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Gazing across a Thousand Islands.

Tai Lam Chung Reservoir

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Today I decided to hike to the viewpoint over Tai Lam Chung Reservoir, which is also known as A Thousand Islands Reservoir. To get there I took the MTR to Tuen Mun. I exited the station through exit F2. This brought me out in front of V-City Shopping Mall. I had heard there is a minibus stop here, but that the minibus usually arrives full, so I turned left and walked up Ho Pong Road. When I reached the Wellcome supermarket, I went right. The terminus for green minibus serice number 43 to So Kwun Wat is in front of San Hui Market. To get to the reservoir, take this to the last stop in front of So Kwun Wat's Tin Hau Temple.

San Hui Market looked interesting and colourful, but I didn't go in. To enter a public market nowadays it's necessary to scan the leave home safe app and if anyone who has visited the market tests positive for covid, you need to take a compulsory covid test. I didn't think it was worth the risk for a couple of photos, but I photographed the busy streets on the edge of the market.

San Hui Market.

San Hui Market.

San Hui Market.

San Hui Market.

Green Minibus.

Green Minibus.

Number 43 minibus timetable.

Number 43 minibus timetable.

The minibus ride goes through part of the Gold Coast and past the Gold Coast Hotel. This area looks quite interesting and I intend to explore it later on. Apparently it has a lovely sandy beach, called Golden Beach.

Most articles I have read on the walk I was about to take emphasise that there is nothing to see except the final viewpoint. I certainly did not find this to be true. I started by having a quick look at So Kwun Wat Village. It had a pond, several small farms, including a bee farm, an ancestral hall and a Tin Hau Temple. The temple, though small, was beautiful and well-maintained.

So Kwun Wat pond. The little farm beyond has lots of scarecrows.

So Kwun Wat pond. The little farm beyond has lots of scarecrows.

Ancestral Hall.

Ancestral Hall.

Doorway to the hall.

Doorway to the hall.

Inside the hall.

Inside the hall.

Looking outside from the hall.

Looking outside from the hall.

Typical village houses.

Typical village houses.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Dragon Incense Burner.

Dragon Incense Burner.

A god outside the temple.

A god outside the temple.

Tin Hau, goddess of the sea.

Tin Hau, goddess of the sea.

Decorative Panels inside the temple.

Decorative Panels inside the temple.

Decorative Panels inside the temple.

Decorative Panels inside the temple.

Decorative Panel.

Decorative Panel.

Piles of Incense.

Piles of Incense.

Door god.

Door god.

Looking outside the temple.

Looking outside the temple.

Looking outside the temple.

Looking outside the temple.

Honey farm.

Honey farm.

The route I was taking is part of stage 10 of the Maclehose Trail.

The route I was taking is part of stage 10 of the Maclehose Trail.

Someone should really move and/or wash this car.

Someone should really move and/or wash this car.

Other things I liked about the village were: it is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery and it is home to lots of free range goats. I think these are owned by one of the farmers, but they are allowed to roam free. Cars drive along the road cautiously in order not to kill them. The sound of their bleating fills the air. There are not many places in Hong Kong with goats.

Village Graveyard.

Village Graveyard.

Goats on route.

Goats on route.

Goats on route.

Goats on route.

Goats on route.

Goats on route.

Goats on route.

Goats on route.

Mountain Scenery.

Mountain Scenery.

Flowers along the way.

Flowers along the way.

Flowers along the way.

Flowers along the way.

Beyond the goats, I reached the entrance to the Tai Lam Chung Country Park. There are lots of trails here, so some day I may come back and walk a different one. In December I plan to go to a different part of this reservoir which is famous for autumn leaves. For today's hike I was walking to the Tai Lam Chung Reservoir Lookout Point. The views from here are among the most famous in Hong Kong.

The Tai Lam Chung Reservoir was constructed between 1952 and 1957, making it the first reservoir to be built in Hong Kong after World War II. It was created by building a dam across the Tai Lam Chung Valley. The resulting rise in water level turned several mountain tops into islands in the reservoir and created the stunning thousand island view. There is a reservoir in Mainland China which was formed in the same way and which also has thousands of little islands poking out through its waves.

The start of the trail up to the viewpoint follows a concrete path. It's an easy walk though it is all on an incline, so might prove tiring on a hot day. Along the way there is a small dam. I walked across it for some views.

Small dam on the way.

Small dam on the way.

View from the dam.

View from the dam.

View from the dam.

View from the dam.

On the next part of the walk I passed some water department buildings, a possible war remain and several breathtaking viewpoints. Personally, I loved the views from here more than the famous thousand island views. They reminded me of Scottish lochs and Austrian lakes.

Looking at the waterworks.

Looking at the waterworks.

More waterworks constructions.

More waterworks constructions.

I wondered if this was war related, but I may just be obsessed with war remains.

I wondered if this was war related, but I may just be obsessed with war remains.

Fellow Hikers and typical scenery on this path.

Fellow Hikers and typical scenery on this path.

I liked these beautiful views on the way up more than the famous ones.

I liked these beautiful views on the way up more than the famous ones.

This view on the way up made me homesick for Scottish lochs.

This view on the way up made me homesick for Scottish lochs.

Eventually, I reached an open area with an early view over the Islands. It's not as spectacular as the later view, but it's still beautiful and it's a good place to sit down and take a rest. There's a portaloo here, too. If I had continued along the paved path from here, I'd have ended up at another reservoir, but I left the paved path and followed a dirt one to get to the reservoir viewpoint. There are lots of interesting rock formations in this area. There was even the odd hint of autumn colours.

The view from the area where the paved road and dirt track meet.

The view from the area where the paved road and dirt track meet.

Selfie with the reservoir from this point.

Selfie with the reservoir from this point.

Where you leave the concrete path and head along a dirt track.

Where you leave the concrete path and head along a dirt track.

Typical scenery on path to viewpoint.

Typical scenery on path to viewpoint.

Forest Pathways.

Forest Pathways.

Autumn Colours.

Autumn Colours.

Mountain Scenery all around.

Mountain Scenery all around.

Mountain Scenery all around.

Mountain Scenery all around.

Eventually I reached a colourful signpost for the viewpoint and a final set of stairs up. The views were very beautiful. I'd imagine on weekends and public holidays you would actually have to queue up to see the views and to take photos. It was luxury to do this on a weekday.

Viewpoint Signpost.

Viewpoint Signpost.

Signpost and stairway.

Signpost and stairway.

A view across the reservoir.

A view across the reservoir.

Me with a Thousand Islands.

Me with a Thousand Islands.

Me with a thousand Islands behind me.

Me with a thousand Islands behind me.

Me with a Thousand Islands.

Me with a Thousand Islands.

A View over the Islands.

A View over the Islands.

View from the famous vantage point.

View from the famous vantage point.

View from a higher vantage point.

View from a higher vantage point.

View from a higher vantage point.

View from a higher vantage point.

The return hike retraced the earlier one and I slowly made my way back home to take Peter for another cold swim, then out to dinner in 22 Degrees North with a friend.

Posted by irenevt 06:14 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Another enjoyable walk :)

I have wondered about those incense burners, does they always have incense burning or is there some system when they are lit? :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, when people come to the temple to pray, they light incense sticks. I think usually 3 at a time, waft them in front of the statues, then place them in the sand and ash of the incense burner bowls when they are finished praying. I would guess that there's incense burning most of the time when the temple is open and that perhaps it's all extinguished at night for fire safety reasons, but I don't really know.

by irenevt

There must be nice incense smell all the time in the air, when visiting temples :)

by hennaonthetrek

Yes, there is, though sometimes, such as on special festival days, it can even be overpowering.

by irenevt

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