- I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).
29 March 2015
22 March 2015
20 March 2015
12 March 2015
09 March 2015
Over 4 months since the launch of the iPhone 6, I was surprised that there was still a line to buy iPhones at the Apple Store in Hong Kong. The system was very efficient - as you enter the line, an attendant takes the model, the number and colour, and then pick up once you get to the front of the queue; and then another attendant to pay.
In comparison, the Xiaomi store (I alsi bought a Xiaomi Redmi2) was almost empty, the Samsung stores were deserted. And this goes for other phone stores also - Apple seems to be the most dominant brand by far. Based on that, I think the spectacular sales numbers for the iPhone will continue for some time to come.
08 March 2015
06 March 2015
Built on top of the hill on Lantau Island, the Big Buddha is meant to be visible from afar, and at its base provide amazing views of Lantau. Unfortunately, today was a very cloudy day (it didn't start out that way, and the weather prediction was largely incorrect), and there was very poor visibility. So poor, that it was not possible to see the cable car in front, and only make out the shadows of the cable cars going in the opposite direction.
The hilltop is easiest to reach by the 5.7 Km cable car, which hints at some spectacular views on clear days. On the cloudy day such as today, it provided an eerie, horror film like atmosphere, with no land or cable visible.
The Buddha was built fairly recently (in the late 1980s IIRC), by the Po Lin Buddhist monastery located also on top of the hill. The cable car drops you off at the "village" which is basically a collection of tourist shops.
One of the things I find interesting about Chinese Buddhism is the amalgamation of Chinese and Indian aspects. This is quite well seen in the monastery itself, as well as then approach to the area involving a path guarded by the 12 Divine Generals, some of whom are also gods in Hinduism.
The big Buddha statue is a long walk up steps - and the platform on top features 6 statues of devotees, a small museum (with an amazing panel painting on the life of Buddha on the second floor) and the Buddha itself - surrounded by fog today.
The monastery is also interesting - the new Hall of 10 Thousand Buddhas puts mist rappers to shame on its bling, while there are amazing dragon carvings on the pillars outside the building.
The Peak is the premier tourist attraction of Hong Kong. The highest point on Hong Kong island, it offers amazing views of the island and Kowloon. There are also good hiking trails although I only did a small portion of the total set of trails.
There is an old funicular that seems to struggle up the hill. The popularity of The Peak means that queues are long - on my way back, there was a queue to join the queue to go down! There is an alien-head looking viewing tower at the top, but the Galleria shopping mall next to it offers almost similar views for free. Better still, walk in the 4km circular trail and get different angles of the skyscrapers below. The vegetation is very lush, and there are plenty of birds and squirrels to spot.
I had tried to time my visit to coincide with a brief patch of sunshine earlier this week, but I had not accounted for the queues. Nevertheless, the late afternoon trip and walk led to great views of the city in the evening, despite the fog.