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Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright

A Walk to Mui Wo via the Tiger's Head

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Only the rocky blob on the left is the tiger's head. I thought that was an ear and the head was the bit to the right. I can even see the eye.

Only the rocky blob on the left is the tiger's head. I thought that was an ear and the head was the bit to the right. I can even see the eye.

Yesterday I decided to climb the tall mountain behind my house. It is known as Lo Fu Tau or Tiger's Head and once up there, there are trails to Mui Wo and Tung Chung. Lo Fu Tau is the tallest mountain in Discovery Bay with a height of 465 metres above sea level. There are beautiful views over Discovery Bay from it.

I started off by walking into the centre of Discovery Bay to get water. Then I walked up Discovery Valley Road to the lookout pavilion. There are shorter ways up to the lookout than by the road, but I wanted a smooth road rather than a rough path or stairs as most of the walk I was about to do would be those. At the lookout pavilion a couple asked me to take their photo then they took mine. They were doing the same walk as me and we bumped into each other repeatedly all day. All around the lookout pavilion and in many other parts of the walk there was lots of tall silvergrass. This grows here in the winter months and people seek it out to photograph just like they do with autumn leaves.

Tai Pak Beach, Discovery Bay.

Tai Pak Beach, Discovery Bay.

Waterfall next to Discovery Valley Road.

Waterfall next to Discovery Valley Road.

In summer it's hard even to get to this lookout tower.

In summer it's hard even to get to this lookout tower.

Lookout Tower.

Lookout Tower.

Silvergrass lines the path.

Silvergrass lines the path.

Silvergrass.

Silvergrass.

Silvergrass.

Silvergrass.

From the lookout tower it's necessary to find a small path that leads to the climb up Tiger's Head. The way up isn't easy. It's very steep and covered with loose rocks. It took me quite a while to climb it. The mountain is called Tiger's Head because there is a rocky cliff sticking out of it at one point that, with a bit of imagination, looks like a tiger's head. The tiger's head isn't actually the top of the mountain, there's a climb behind it, too. I have always misunderstood the name as I look out on this mountain from my window. The part that is the head I thought was an ear and the hill next to it the head.

The path up is steep and rocky like this.

The path up is steep and rocky like this.

The Tiger's Head is the rocky cliff on the left. It's not very tiger-like from this angle.

The Tiger's Head is the rocky cliff on the left. It's not very tiger-like from this angle.

Getting nearer to the tiger.

Getting nearer to the tiger.

It's probably easier to get up than to get back down.

It's probably easier to get up than to get back down.

Looking down on the buildings where I live.

Looking down on the buildings where I live.

The hikers I met repeatedly all walk, in the distance.

The hikers I met repeatedly all walk, in the distance.

View from the Tiger's Head.

View from the Tiger's Head.

View from the Tiger's Head.

View from the Tiger's Head.

Selfie on the Tiger's Head.

Selfie on the Tiger's Head.

There are views over Discovery Bay Reservoir off to one side.

There are views over Discovery Bay Reservoir off to one side.

I can see the resemblance to a tiger's head from this angle.

I can see the resemblance to a tiger's head from this angle.

Standing on the tiger's back looking towards its head.

Standing on the tiger's back looking towards its head.

I got some fellow hikers to take a picture of me above the Tiger's Head.

I got some fellow hikers to take a picture of me above the Tiger's Head.

Rock Formation.

Rock Formation.

I was quite proud of myself for making it up that mountain. I know lots of people do it every day, but I'm not that good at hiking. Once the climb is over, it's possible to wander off to the right to Tung Chung or to the left to Mui Wo. I went to the left. The walk from this point wasn't too bad, but I began to notice there was something wrong with my left leg. It started to hurt and got worse and worse as I walked. By this time I was on top of a mountain more or less in the middle of nowhere, so I could either rest, go back or keep going. I kept going, because I was afraid that if I stopped my leg might seize up and I was afraid of trying to get back down that steep cliff I had just got up.

The path I was on was very pretty. It overlooks Discovery Bay Golf Course and Reservoir on one side. On the other side, it looks over Tung Chung and the airport. Whenever it went through bushes there was a very loud sound of bees buzzing all around. There seemed to be thousands of them going about their business of pollinating plants. It was like wandering through a giant hive.

Trigonometric marker at the top of the mountain.

Trigonometric marker at the top of the mountain.

Information boards to tell you what you are looking at.

Information boards to tell you what you are looking at.

Information boards to tell you what you are looking at.

Information boards to tell you what you are looking at.

Views towards the airport. It wasn't the clearest of days.

Views towards the airport. It wasn't the clearest of days.

Towards the Airport.

Towards the Airport.

Discovery Bay Reservoir on the other side.

Discovery Bay Reservoir on the other side.

Discovery Bay  Reservoir.

Discovery Bay Reservoir.

Crisscrossing paths.

Crisscrossing paths.

Mountain scenery.

Mountain scenery.

More Silvergrass up here, too.

More Silvergrass up here, too.

More Silvergrass.

More Silvergrass.

At one point the path reaches some interesting rock formations. They are all near each other and are collectively known to hikers as Rock City. They have all been given names depending on their shapes. One is known as the Peach Rock, another the Sword Testing Stone and the third the Duck Rock.

Peach Rock actually stands right in the middle of the path. I don't think I would instantly have thought of peaches when I saw it, but peaches are special in Chinese stories - they symbolise longevity. The peach tree of immortality grew in the garden of Xiwangmu, the Queen Mother of the West. The peaches on her tree only ripened once every three thousand years. Whenever they did, Xiwangmu would host a banquet to celebrate and the eight immortals of Chinese mythology would attend. Any mortals who had impressed the goddess could be given the fruit of her peach tree and gain immortality.

Duck Rock is actually a group of rocks and one balances between the others making a sticking out ledge that looks like a duck's beak. Personally I think it looks more like a woodpecker, but noone asked me.

The sword testing stone looks like it has been sliced down the middle using a gigantic sword. There are actually a few of these around. Sliced rocks that is, not gigantic swords.

I would have examined the rocky area here more thoroughly, but my leg was getting worse and worse.

Rock City on top of the hill.

Rock City on top of the hill.

Duck Rock.

Duck Rock.

Duck Rock closer up.

Duck Rock closer up.

The Sword Testing Stone and the hikers I kept bumping into.

The Sword Testing Stone and the hikers I kept bumping into.

This looks like a smaller sword testing stone.

This looks like a smaller sword testing stone.

Peach Rock from one side.

Peach Rock from one side.

Peach Rock. I think it's more peach like from this side.

Peach Rock. I think it's more peach like from this side.

After this point the walk goes quite close to Discovery Bay Golf Course before starting to descend into Mui Wo. At the end of the Lo Fu Tau Trail, the Olympic Trail starts. This used to be called the Tung Mui Ancient Trail and stretches from Mui Wo to Tung Chung. It was renamed in 2008 when China hosted the Olympic Games and the equestrian events were in Hong Kong. In olden days these ancient trails were how people got from place to place. There are many of them.

Mui Wo is also known as Silvermine Bay because at one point there were several silver mines around this area. The silver mines here belonged to the Tamchow and Tai-yu-Shan Mining Company. They started blasting rock here in search of silver in 1886. The company was owned by Ho Amei who lived from 1838 to 1901. He had previously worked in the gold fields of Victoria, Australia. He later used his knowledge of mining to reopen an abandoned silver mine in Tamchow, Canton then later still in Mui Wo.

Looking across Discovery Bay Golf Course.

Looking across Discovery Bay Golf Course.

Autumn Trees and Silvergrass.

Autumn Trees and Silvergrass.

A Field of Silvergrass.

A Field of Silvergrass.

A Field of Silvergrass.

A Field of Silvergrass.

Mountain scenery.

Mountain scenery.

Tiny Streams and bright red berries.

Tiny Streams and bright red berries.

Colourful Ferns.

Colourful Ferns.

I reached the end of the Lo Fu Tau Trail.

I reached the end of the Lo Fu Tau Trail.

I was suffering more and more from the pain in my left leg, but I still wanted to see Silvermine Cave, Silvermine Waterfall and the Man Mo Temple before going to the bus stop to get home. The walk passed through a little village with lots of crops growing in its fields. I could not find Silvermine Cave and was later furious with myself as I had walked right past it without noticing. Mind you, I was in pretty extreme pain by then.

Some hikers took my photo as I walked down towards Mui Wo.

Some hikers took my photo as I walked down towards Mui Wo.

There were good views over Mui Wo from here.

There were good views over Mui Wo from here.

Village House.

Village House.

Outside a Village House.

Outside a Village House.

Village Shrine.

Village Shrine.

Mui Wo's silver mining cave is right next to this pavilion, but I walked right past without noticing.

Mui Wo's silver mining cave is right next to this pavilion, but I walked right past without noticing.

Silvermine Waterfall.

Silvermine Waterfall.

Silvermine Waterfall.

Silvermine Waterfall.

Rock Pools near the falls.

Rock Pools near the falls.

Sign for the Olympic Trail.

Sign for the Olympic Trail.

The Olympic Trail has markers depicting Olympic sports.

The Olympic Trail has markers depicting Olympic sports.

I next went through a gateway into Pak Ngan Heung, which means White Metal Village, another reference to silver mining. This village is home to a small Man Mo Temple, which is over four hundred years old. It was here that disputes over silver mining were settled in the past. The temple had some lovely paintings on the outside.

Hong Kong Olympic Trail.

Hong Kong Olympic Trail.

Signpost near the waterfall.

Signpost near the waterfall.

Village Fields and Bauhinias.

Village Fields and Bauhinias.

Entrance to Pak Ngan Village.

Entrance to Pak Ngan Village.

Man Mo Temple, Pak Ngan Heung.

Man Mo Temple, Pak Ngan Heung.

Man Mo Temple, Pak Ngan Heung.

Man Mo Temple, Pak Ngan Heung.

Man Mo Temple, Pak Ngan Heung.

Man Mo Temple, Pak Ngan Heung.

Man Mo Temple, Pak Ngan Heung.

Man Mo Temple, Pak Ngan Heung.

Man Mo Temple, Pak Ngan Heung.

Man Mo Temple, Pak Ngan Heung.

Man Mo Temple.

Man Mo Temple.

I then limped painfully through Mui Wo to the bus terminus. I passed a huge water buffalo on the way. Cattle and buffalo roam freely around Lantau Island, so it's not unusual to see them.

Water Buffalo.

Water Buffalo.

Water Buffalo.

Water Buffalo.

Village House.

Village House.

Village House.

Village House.

Village House.

Village House.

Flower Stall

Flower Stall

The Church of Christ in China.

The Church of Christ in China.

Village Street.

Village Street.

The River Silver.

The River Silver.

It's amazing how far the bus terminal seemed due to my sore leg. When I was queueing up, the hikers I had passed several times came and queued right behind me and we shared a few laughs about how we kept bumping into each other. Eventually I got on the bus and the rest from finally getting to to sit down seemed to stop the pain in my leg, but when we arrived in Tung Chung and I tried to get off the bus my leg had seized up almost completely and I had terrible trouble moving it. I made it home - eventually, and Peter got me ice to put on my leg and cushions to put under it to raise it. This morning it seems to be a lot better. I can almost walk normally, though I think resting my legs for a few days is definitely in order.

Posted by irenevt 04:23 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Hi, Irene, How brave are you? Now you are a mountaineer as well has great picture taker. Hope you are rested now. Thanks for posting the blog. Alec

by alectrevor

Haha, never thought of myself as brave or a mountaineer!!! Leg is recovering well thankfully.

by irenevt

Irene, you are a brave explorer indeed... Thanks for sharing the amazing views on your excellent photographs.

by Vic_IV

Hi Victor, hope all good with you. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

I am not seeing the tigers head..Still very beautiful views! Sorry to hear about your leg, hope is better now and you will be able to wander around to your adventures around Hong Kong soon!

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, I'd have to agree with you it's not really very tiger like. On the photo where I am standing on its back the roundish cliff up in front is the head. The mixture of colours of vegetation is supposed to look like stripes.

My leg is definitely getting better but I'll take it easy for a few days just to make sure. All the best.

by irenevt

Sorry, but I just can't see a tiger in that rock 😂 But I loved the views and the silvergrass is very pretty, I can see why people make a point of photographing it.

You did so well to get up that mountain - I never could! I hope your leg is recovering OK?

I have to apologise as again I've been neglecting TP for my WordPress blog, but I'll try to back track to some of your other walks as I always enjoy them. And to do better in the future of course!

by ToonSarah

Hi Sarah, Happy New Year. I think people here just love seeing shapes in rocks. We've also got a lion rock, rhino rock, Snoopy rock, shark rock and devil's claw.

by irenevt

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