Tag Archives: Temple

How To Survive The Monkey Forest In Ubud, Bali

Monkeys are cute, funny, and friendly.. Right?

Wrong. Heading to the Monkey Forest in Ubud might make you think twice about these furry animals.

Since I am writing about my experience heading to the Ubud Monkey Forest, or the Padangtegal Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary as is stated on the entrance sign (try saying that five times fast), then you can be rest assured that I did survive and my tips might very well help you do the same if you decide to go.

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Confused Kuta

When someone mentions Bali, what are the first thoughts or images that come to mind? For me it was serenity, beauty, Balinese architecture, culture, and so forth. If that is in fact what you’re looking for, you should scratch Kuta off your list. However, if you’re looking for any and every possible souvenir to bring home, shopping galore, lots of Australians, and are ready to party like you’re back in first year university, this is definitely the place for you.

We began our trip to Bali in Kuta, spending three nights in a homestay about a ten minute walk to the rather polluted beach. My opinion on Kuta might be slightly skewed due to the constant on-and-off rain the entire time we were there, so perhaps my experience here would have been a little more pleasant had the weather cooperated. Emphasis on the “little”.

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My Least Favourite Place: Guangzhou, China

As you all know from my last post about China, I absolutely love the Mainland, so what better way to spend a long weekend than in Guangzhou?! Due to rather unfortunate circumstances regarding a passport (how does it take twenty working days to process a work visa in China?), Craig was unable to come to Hong Kong. Though being in China during a long weekend is the absolute last place I’d want to be, here I was making the trek via the Intercity Through Train from HK to GZ.

For those that have not made this trip before, let me put it bluntly; it sucks. You need to get to the Hung Hom MTR Station (about 50mins from where I am on the island) then hop on the train (you better have bought your ticket ahead of time, otherwise good luck catching the next one) for two hours where it feels like the maximum speed doesn’t exceed 40km/hr and the bright lights throughout the train never shut off regardless of what time of day it is.

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10,000 Buddha Monastery, Chi Lin Nunnery, and Nan Lian Garden

What better way to spend a day off than exploring the city? We decided to head over to Kowloon side to do a bit of touristy sightseeing and weren’t disappointed!

We first went to the 10,000 Buddha Monastery, which is a Buddhist temple in Sha Tin. Construction of this Monastery (though not actually a Monastery as no resident monks live here) took place in 1949, where it then took eight years to finish construction on all the buildings and another ten years to finish making all of the Buddha statues. As you enter the site and begin walking up to the top, you pass literally thousands of different Buddha’s. It was really quite fascinating.

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Meeting The Big Buddha On Lantau Island

My first off-the-island adventure was to Lantau Island (the largest island in Hong Kong!). This island is immediately to the west of HK and we took a ferry to get there and the MTR to get home. The airport and Disneyland are actually located on this island. The island is not heavily populated and mostly caters to tourists.

The Big Buddha is a huge pull for people to travel to the island and there are many trails for the adventurous hikers who are looking for a new challenge. Once up there, there are many sights to see – temples, incense burning areas, beautiful architecture, statues of warriors, and the Buddha of course.

If you’re catching the ferry, head to Central Ferry Pier to Pier 6 (Mui Wo). The view during the ferry ride was beautiful – you were able to see cityscape on both the Kowloon side as well as the island. When you are in the city, you don’t really realize how big it is. Hopefully you can try to go on a day when it’s not as smoggy. Quite the rarity in Hong Kong, but not only will that make your ferry ride much more scenic, it will also make the Buddha visible (kind of why you want to come here in the first place..).

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