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Go Big Or Go Home

HA! P.T. Barnum ain’t got nothing on Shanghai. While he was busy futzing with elephants, high wire acts, and bearded ladies, the Chinese have been working on their grand scheme to undermine Barnum’s operation and truly create The Greatest Show On Earth. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, feast your eyes now on the Shanghai Land Subsidence Monitoring Show!!!

Ohhhhh. Ahhhhh.

But wait… there’s more!

We got duped into the most ridiculous tourist trap of the trip today! The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel is the most tacky, overpriced, sightseeing scam ever. It is however — as far as we could tell — the most efficient way to get to the other side of the river. And I was able to salvage some of my dignity with a few over exposed photos.

Once we escaped from that tube of terror, we emerged on the other side of the river where we got a close up view of the Oriental Pearl Tower which is the third tallest tower in the world.

I guess when you have 20 million people living in a city, you learn very quickly how to build vertically. And learn they did. After the clouds smog parted I was able to get a shot of the top of the Shanghai World Financial Center, which up until this time last year was THE worlds tallest skyscraper at 1,614.2 ft.

It’s the one on the right that looks like a bottle opener. It’s neighboring building only looks taller due to the angle. But you can see who’s really the boss from across the river.

We grabbed a bite to eat as the GoodYear blimp floated down the river.

Or for those of you that can read Chinese, here’s the translation on the opposite side.

Since we couldn’t find any other way to get back across the river on foot, and we already paid for the round trip ticket, it was back through the seizure shaft.

We started to walk down The Bund, but after being constantly harrassed by the plethora of street vendors we just gave up and went back to the hotel to try and brush up on our Chinese phrases. As it turns out, it’s REALLY difficult to do anything in this country without a decent understanding of their language. Everywhere else up until this point you could squeek buy with simple English. Not in China. I guess when you’re the most populous nation in the world you don’t really need to learn another language. But don’t fret my fellow Americans, we have a strong foothold here… in a little franchise called KFC. First we take over their chicken, then their language! Muaahahah! 😉

The Road To Recovery

Today we tried our best to catch up on our sleep, so not much to report. After two back-to-back 13+ hour flights, our internal clocks are a bit waked out. I’m sure our all night partying last night until 6am didn’t exactly help. We did manage to wake up on time however for the 8pm light show. Here are a few select photos from the other side of Hong Kong island during it’s nightly 8pm show.

After the light show we took a stroll down The Avenue of the Stars, which is very similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, only it’s for Chinese actors. And at the end of the Ave is this life size statue of Bruce Lee.

Very cool!

The prize of the night goes to these Chinese street performers who absolutely butchered some classic American songs.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that we won’t be seeing their statue on the Ave anytime soon. Great entertainment however! Even if it does make me want to go crawl back into bed and jab q-tips deep into my aural cavity.

Happy Hong Kong Halloween

You think you know. But you have no idea. This is the true Hollywood Hong Kong story of a Halloween night out on the town dressed as a caveman and a cereal killer.

I kid you not, we must have posed for at least 50 photos before we even got to the turnstile to board the train.

And once we boarded the train…

…we posed for several more photos on the train…

…and yet more after exiting the train at our stop…

For the first time in my life I’ve come to realize what it must be like to be a celebrity. From one camera to the next, flash after flash, photo after photo. At one point there must have been a crowd of 50 or so people all surrounding us waiting for their turn to take a photo with us. It was INSANE I tell you! At one point we just had to cut people off (no pun intended) and walk away. And that’s when people would bring out the big guns and come up to you with their babies in a pumpkin costume and lay on the guilt trip. Now how can you say no to that? You just can’t. So of course we got wrangled into about two dozen more photos before we finally ducked out from the flashes of the paparazzi.

Had we know just how many people there were out in the streets snaking around downtown Hong Kong, we would have evacuated much sooner. It was a massive parade of people. I’d say it was the equivalent — as far a density of humans — to the millennium celebration in Las Vegas. Just a ridiculous amount of people.

Some in costume…

…and some not – just out to have a good time…

…and take photos…

…with all the freaks!

At one point there was even a little Cro-Magnon theme going on… friggin’ traitors! I knew I couldn’t trust them with my fire!

At least I bagged myself a real live injun!

Before I found one of the best costumes of the night.

It was by far one of the most fun Halloween experiences of my life. I HIGHLY suggest everyone tries dressing up in Hong Kong to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve at least once in their life. You won’t be sorry.

The Ascension To Wisdom

Did you know that Hong Kong is made up from over 260 islands? Neither did I.

New wisdom!

Did you know that Lantau Island is the largest of the islands in Hong Kong? Neither did I.

New wisdom!

And did you know that on that island there is a cable car system…

…that runs 5.7km from the bay…

…up to 800 meters above sea level to the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddah?

Neither did we.

New wisdom.

268 steps up, sits the 34 meters tall, 250 ton, world’s tallest outdoor bronze seated Buddha.

I bet HE’S got some wisdom.

A 10 minute walk from Buddah is the Wisdom Path.

38 timber columns carved with a 260-word Heart Sutra erected in the shape of the symbol for infinity. As in, infinite wisdom.

And here now is a passage of one version of a translation of the Heart Sutra

Here, Sariputra, form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form;
emptiness does not differ from form, form does not differ from
emptiness; whatever is form, that is emptiness, whatever is emptiness,
that is form, the same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses and

Here, Sariputra, all dharmas are marked with emptiness; they are not
produced or stopped, not defiled or immaculate, not deficient or

Therefore, Sariputra, in emptiness there is no form, nor feeling, nor
perception, nor impulse, nor consciousness; No eye, ear, nose, tongue,
body, mind; No forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables or objects of
mind; No sight-organ element, and so forth, until we come to: No
mind-consciousness element; There is no ignorance, no extinction of
ignorance, and so forth, until we come to: there is no decay and death, no
extinction of decay and death. There is no suffering, no origination, no
stopping, no path. There is no cognition, no attainment and

Whoa. That’s deep.

I now leave you to ponder the meaning with this imagery of Tian Tan Buddah overlooking Lantau Island, as seen from the Wisdom Path.

And Now A Word From Our Sponsors

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Sure sounds refreshing, don’t it?

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