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Following the Path of Violets.

The Tze Lo Lan Shan Trail.

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Today I finally made it along the Tze Lo Lan Shan Trail. I tried to do this walk twice during the Chinese New Year Holiday, but changed to other walks as soon as I saw the enormous queues for the number 6 bus to Stanley.

Tze Lo Lan means violets and Shan is hill, so in English this would be the Violet Hill Trail. This path does not go to the top of Violet Hill, but instead skirts around the side, which means there is no climbing to do, so it is easy but quite long - 6.7 kilometres to be precise.

To get to the start of the trail I took the number 6 bus from Exchange Square in Central. I got up early to avoid the queues. I was pleased that the bus stopped at traffic lights right in front of an attractive piece of street art in Wan Chai which I have been meaning to photograph for some time. I also managed to take a somewhat cloudy view over Happy Valley from the bus, too.

Mural in Wan Chai by Didier Jaba Mathieu for Hong Kong Walls.

Mural in Wan Chai by Didier Jaba Mathieu for Hong Kong Walls.

View over Happy Valley.

View over Happy Valley.

I got off the bus at Wong Nai Chung Gap Reservoir Park. This is where I also started a war relics walk a few weeks ago. I climbed the stairs next to the Sinopec Gas Station then walked up Tai Tam Reservoir Road. There were lots of incredibly beautiful blossoming bushes along one side of the road. Before heading out on the trail, I made use of the washrooms at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir, as I knew there weren't any more until the end of the trail.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Colourful Flowers.

Colourful Flowers.

I didn't realize that I could have accessed the trail by walking to the end of the reservoir path and then going down the stairs. Instead I went behind the wall that marks the entrance to Celestial Gardens. At the start this does not even seem like a path, so I was pleased to see the Tze Lo Lan Shan Path sign and know I was on the right route.

Sign for Tze Lo Lan Shan Path.

Sign for Tze Lo Lan Shan Path.

For the first part of this walk you go along the edge of a catchment area for Wong Nai Chung Reservoir. Every so often you will pass a place where water will cascade down the hill in heavy rain, so not a great walk to take during a tropical rain storm. These are very, very frequent here in summer and the rain is always torrential.

Colourful Trees along the catchment Path.

Colourful Trees along the catchment Path.

Dry Waterfall. This will become a flood on rainy days.

Dry Waterfall. This will become a flood on rainy days.

The initial part of the path is paved and flat and very easy to walk on. It is surrounded by trees, but there are occasional views towards Mount Nicholson and over some pretty spectacular mansions owned by members of the Hong Kong elite.

Looking over the houses of the Hong Kong elite. The sun only seems to shine over the rich guys.

Looking over the houses of the Hong Kong elite. The sun only seems to shine over the rich guys.

Looking over the houses of the Hong Kong elite and towards Mount Nicholson.

Looking over the houses of the Hong Kong elite and towards Mount Nicholson.

After I had been walking for a while the path changed to a rocky path through woodland with the occasional view towards Deep Water Bay and Ocean Park through the trees.

Woodland Path.

Woodland Path.

Looking Towards Deep Water Bay and Ocean Park.

Looking Towards Deep Water Bay and Ocean Park.

Towards Deep Water Bay and Ocean Park.

Towards Deep Water Bay and Ocean Park.

Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay area.

Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay area.

Flowers on Route.

Flowers on Route.

I was getting a bit frustrated with only catching snatches of views so was pleased when I finally reached a couple of places where there were spectacular views over Repulse Bay with no trees blocking the way. Repulse Bay has a lovely beach which is very popular in summertime. Now that beaches are reopen I could see it was even busy on a dull day. Repulse Bay also has a famous residential building called The Repulse Bay. This has a large gap in the middle. Local legends claim that it was built like this to allow a family of dragons that live in the mountains behind Repulse Bay to gain access to the sea. To prevent them getting to the sea would bring bad luck according to Feng Shui experts. Fortunately, I didn't encounter any dragons on my walk.

The Repulse Bay with the Hole for the Dragon.

The Repulse Bay with the Hole for the Dragon.

View over Repulse Bay.

View over Repulse Bay.

View over Repulse Bay.

View over Repulse Bay.

Repulse Bay.

Repulse Bay.

Repulse Bay Beach.

Repulse Bay Beach.

Repulse Bay.

Repulse Bay.

Repulse Bay Beach.

Repulse Bay Beach.

The views from the path were beautiful even on a dull day, but you can't linger too long, the path is very narrow and it is difficult for other hikers to pass if you monopolize it.

After the two main viewpoints, the scenery changes dramatically and becomes pleasant green mountain scenery. After a short time, I reached some steps heading down the mountainside. These lead to the Tze Kong Bridge which is a sort of crossroads from which hikers can choose to head to Repulse Bay, or climb the dreaded Twin Peaks to Stanley or head towards Tai Tam Reservoir, which is what I did.

Mountain Scenery.

Mountain Scenery.

Signposts.

Signposts.

Muddy Path.

Muddy Path.

Bridge Through the Trees.

Bridge Through the Trees.

Tze Kong Bridge.

Tze Kong Bridge.

Fellow Hikers.

Fellow Hikers.

On route to the reservoirs I crossed a few streams which had signs next to them warning about flash floods. The signs said things like do not cross if the water level is higher than the bridge. Considering how high above the stream the bridges were, this was a scary prospect, but having seen the power of tropical rain storms here, I fully believe this will frequently happen.

Bridge.

Bridge.

Stream.

Stream.

Warning Sign.

Warning Sign.

Eventually I reached Tai Tam Upper Reservoir and later Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir. It is very peaceful and quiet here. At the far end of Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir you can walk on the dam wall. I took photos and a very friendly Chinese girl offered to take a photo of me. The scenery was beautiful but the weather was dreary and threatening rain so everything was dark, dark, dark.

Path along Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Path along Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

The Dam on Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

The Dam on Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

Me on the Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir Dam.

Me on the Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

After Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir I followed a path down to Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir. I walked round here a few months ago and wrote about it in my blog 'Water, Water Everywhere'. I have planned for a while to return to the Tai Tam Country Park area as there is so much more to see. I could just have walked the bit I'd done before without taking photos, but the masonry bridges and the views of the reservoir were just too tempting. There were also some beautiful flowers here.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Crossing a Masonry Bridge.

Crossing a Masonry Bridge.

Beautiful yellow and White Flowers.

Beautiful yellow and White Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

While walking along the paths here I noticed several huge chubby caterpillars wandering across the road, so I had to photograph them, too. As I had left home early for this walk, I was finished around 1pm and the queue for transport back wasn't too bad. I joined the queue for the number 14 bus to Sai Wan Ho, but a nearly empty minibus to Chai Wan pulled in, so I got on that. There were great views as the minibus crossed the reservoir.

Today's Wildlife were Fat Caterpillars.

Today's Wildlife were Fat Caterpillars.

View of Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir from the minibus.

View of Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir from the minibus.

When I reached Chai Wan MTR, I was horrified to see a queue winding round and round endlessly for people waiting to go to Stanley. This made me very relieved I had got up early. I then headed home. On my walk from Central MTR to Hong Kong Station I noticed their new advertising campaign was all about holidaying at home. Begs the question: do we have a choice?

Holiday at Home Poster.

Holiday at Home Poster.

Unusually enough I didn't see any wild boar on this walk, but when I walked down the road from school next day. Sure enough there was one bold as brass, eating all the trees.

Wild Boar.

Wild Boar.

Don't pose for photos with wild animals. Who would be that stupid?

Don't pose for photos with wild animals. Who would be that stupid?

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

I do know you shouldn't do this, but it's not just me who's crazy.

I do know you shouldn't do this, but it's not just me who's crazy.

Posted by irenevt 09:50 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

I love the colors on your caterpillar.

What is the wild boar doing in the city? We have coyotes but thankfully, not wild boars. Good thing he didn't mind you posing beside him. LOL

by Beausoleil

Thanks , Irene, i love the walk . Alec Stay safe.

by alectrevor

Hi Sally, we have lots of wild boar here and they often come very close to and even into the city streets. Obviously it's not a good idea to get too close to them or touch them or anything, but they are usually not too aggressive unless they have babies. My favourite story about them was when a group of them were seen swimming or paddling in the Bank of China fountain. That's right in the middle of Central.

by irenevt

Hi Alec, it was a fun walk. Shame the skies were so gray. All the best, Irene

by irenevt

Nice walk and nice that it didn't rain even when the sky was so dark! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, yes it was a lovely walk. We've had quite a bit of rain ever since it though.

by irenevt

Again another lovely walk. I love the mural you photographed from the bus. And the area around the reservoir looks so nice to spend a couple of hours. Thank you for taking me there!

by Jojes

Hi Jessika, good to hear from you again. Hope all is well with you. The area around the reservoir is very popular for hiking, barbeques and picnics, though the bbq and picnic sites are currently shut due to covid.

by irenevt

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