Hong Kong’s Lantau Big Buddha, Part 1


Alex took me to one of Hong Kong’s most famous Buddhist sights: Lantau Big Buddha.

Back in the day people would walk the miles-long trail… but now we have a lift =]

They have this special transparent cabin that allows you to see 360 degrees!

This sight is really popular so there’s usually a very long line. We got lucky though! There was almost no one in line ^^ I think it’s because we went in the early afternoon. Everyone was already up there 😄

They had this cute painting on display near the area people wait in line to board the lift.

We got some great views of Hong Kong from up in the lift ^^

It’s unfortunately a little difficult to make out in this picture… but the trail lined with Buddhas went through beautiful forested areas =]

We could see buffalo from the lift too!

And finally… the Buddha!

Ngong Ping 360, the Village at the Top

In Hong Kong, shopping is a national sport. You can shop literally ANYWHERE! So it was no surprise that this historic Buddhist site was no exception 😄 

Chinese Zodiac!

Stay tuned for Part 2! ❤

Hong Kong!


Hong Kong was amazing! I stayed with Alex at his apartment for a week and got to see tons of stuff! I met some local AIESECers, got to have British-style high tea time, and even went to several Buddhist sites ^^

High Tea

 

 

This Apple Store is huuuuuge!

 

 

 

This was a gorgeous viewpoint! Don’t remember what it’s called though ><‘ Post it in the comments Alex? O=]

 

 

 

Everyone was crowding over here to take pictures! The view of Hong Kong with all the lights was beautiful =]

 

 

We went out to get a yummy Japanese dinner afterwards =3

 

 

This place was pretty cool too. It looked so classy… reminded me of Europe for some reason O=] It was right smack in the center of Hong Kong, from what I remember.

 

 

There were cool trolleys running all over Hong Kong! We always rode on top in the very front ^^

 

 

Dim sum for the road =3

 

Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace


This is one of the touristy spots Alex and I made sure to check out during our trip (that and the Hagia Sophia–can’t miss that!) I don’t remember much of the history behind Topkapi Palace since it’s been 2 months now since we were there (yeah, I know. I’m falling behind!) You can, however, click on the link above to find  nifty site with tons of info!

Let’s start with some pictures right outside the palace.

 

A Turkish Guard!!! (Notice his cool knife and scabbard–I got a small one for one of my best friends =] )

The Entrance

Gardens Inside (there were cats running around ^.^)

 

Everything was ornamented beautifully with gold and intricate patterns.

 

I think this may have been the room where Ottoman Sultans received guests (kind of like court, for business.)

 

I was thoroughly impressed by the ceilings O=]

 

This just looked cool…

 

The palace was full of beautiful gardens tourists walked through to go from building to building.

 

There was a reaaaaally long line to get into this place. I don’t remember what the chambers were used for but the whole place was like a museum. There were cases inside the walls with old memorabilia for people to look at: intricately decorated weapons, books…

 

This terrace was beautiful and so sunny. It felt really nice just relaxing outside!

 

 

I love how graceful these arches look. Turkish architecture is just gorgeous!

 

The blue and gold is such a great color pairing ^^

 

We took one last picture inside the garden (and played with a cute, friendly kitty!) before heading out.

 

Istanbul!!


Istanbul was amazing!! I forgot to take pictures of the Grand Bazaar (a must-see!!) and the hamam (public baths), but I did get a few shots of local sights =]

This aqueduct was real close to where we stayed.

The Blue Mosque

I didn’t get the names of these next structures. Walked by them on my way to the Grand Bazaar one morning.

One of the shops we slipped into for a snack had some amazing, yummy sweets! =3

One last monument pic for the road!

Wandering Around Selçuk


Selçuk is the city we stayed at in Ephesus. It was such a nice little town ^^ There were some beautiful ruins, several merchant streets full of cool shops and delicious food =3 Plus, our hosts were just amazing. I think we found the sweetest guys in town!

This cutie pie is Zuzu! I stopped to pet her and ended up making friends with the shop owner. One of the amazing things about Turkey is that everyone is so incredibly nice (and not in that “I’m being nice to you so you’ll buy my wares and then you can be off on your way” kind of nice… they’re very genuine, friendly people!)

I found a turtle while Alex and I were walking around looking at ruins!

I took a lot of pictures of cute homes and hotels in Turkey too O=] I wanted to remember the quaint, almost French feel of it. I can’t quite pin it down, but it reminded me, not of Paris, but of the French countryside just a little bit.

I loved the way the vines formed a thin canopy up above our heads!

Just like the one pictured below, most of the neat buildings we encountered were hotels/bed & breakfasts or restaurants.

So colorful!

Alex really liked this place….

We came back to this place for dinner later that day! The lady just seemed so sweet, and she was so happy (maybe a little surprised?) when we came back!

Below is the tall, white building inside the wall. You can sort of see it on the right side of the picture above…

There was a street called “Love Street” in downtown Selçuk. Cute, huh?!

We found this fountain nearby (if I remember correctly! It’s been a month but I took so many pictures I’m still posting the ones from Turkey and editing the ones from Hong Kong ><‘)

And now for dinner pictures =3 These were grape leaves wrapped around rice and all sorts of yummy ingredients. Yum!!

Om nom nom =3

If you ever go to Turkey, you must try the yogurt drink!

I don’t quite remember what the yellow stuff was …. but click on the picture for a larger view.

The restaurant was so beautiful at night =] And there was almost no one else there for a bit! Everyone started showing up around 9pm.

There was even a hookah lounge in there!

Alex is a pro…

Great note to end the night on! =]

Pictures of Rome, Pt 2


Been a little busy applying for jobs and going to interviews, but now that I’ve found a few minutes… here are the rest of my pictures of Rome!

We found this place while strolling around after lunch.

This restaurant looked so charming! Like something out of a romantic movie…

Ah Rome, columns everywhere…

This is where Alex and I had lunch!

I loved the way restaurants looked in Rome. Ended up taking pictures of more restaurants then I actually ate in 😄

The architecture was gorgeous in Rome. I kind of miss it now that I’m back in the Bay Area.

I saw this and just had to take a picture for my little brother. He’s a fan of the Simpsons.

The Pantheon

Plazza Venezia

We went to the huge toy store at Plazza Venezia and found fancy Barbie dolls, my favorite board game Hotels and… a life size Garfield.

The coolest McDonald’s ever

Mozzarillo, aka McMozzarella

Pit Stop in Verona, Pt 2


Like I said last time, we only spent a few hours in Verona but I somehow managed to take A LOT of pictures… so here’s the rest! Enjoy =]

Duomo Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare

Alex and I found this strange, striped cathedral while walking around randomly. We were surprised how much cool stuff we always just seemed to find magically whenever we simply walked around aimlessly.

Everything inside the cathedral was just awe-inspiring!

A few more pictures of sights we found strolling around (Hint: slide your mouse over each picture to see comments and descriptions, and click on them to see them in full size.)