A Travellerspoint blog

The Ups and Downs of Trailing.

Hong Kong Trail Section Five and Six.

sunny

When I walked sections three and four of the Hong Kong Trail, I was getting concerned that the weather was getting too hot to do the remaining four sections, but from that day, temperatures went down and it poured with rain almost every single day. I didn't see the point in completing the next two stages in torrential rain, so I had to wait a bit for the weather to change.

In the meantime, I've had quite a few other things I had to do. It was Peter's seventy-third birthday and I went all the way to Uny Supermarket in City Plaza, Tai Koo Shing to get him something he wanted, only to find they didn't have it.

City Plaza Mall. Tai Koo Shing.

City Plaza Mall. Tai Koo Shing.

I also had to get some documents witnessed and that involved visiting a friend who works in Whampoa. The Whampoa area in Hung Hom was once the site of the Hongkong and Whampoa Dockyards. These were opened in 1863. In their heyday, they were one of the busiest shipyards in Asia and employed around four thousand people. As well as many ships, several star ferries and the fireboat Alexander Grantham were built here. During World War II, these docks were bombed, first by the Japanese and then later by the United States Air Force. The dockyards closed down in 1980 and in 1985 the Whampoa area was redeveloped as a residential and commercial district. As a tribute to the area's shipbuilding past, the centrepiece of the commercial district is a shopping centre built in the shape of a 360 foot long cruise liner. This contains many shops and restaurants.

The ship shaped Whampoa shopping mall.

The ship shaped Whampoa shopping mall.

Front of the ship.

Front of the ship.

This nineteenth century canon discarded from a Royal Navy Ship that was refitted in Hong Kong and Whampoa Dockyards. This cannon was found during the building of Lily Mansions in Whampoa and was later restored.

This nineteenth century canon discarded from a Royal Navy Ship that was refitted in Hong Kong and Whampoa Dockyards. This cannon was found during the building of Lily Mansions in Whampoa and was later restored.

Cannon and Plaque.

Cannon and Plaque.

Colourful tunnel at the shopping centre.

Colourful tunnel at the shopping centre.

Colourful tunnel at the shopping centre.

Colourful tunnel at the shopping centre.

Maritime themed mural.

Maritime themed mural.

Dolphin sculpture outside building my friend works in.

Dolphin sculpture outside building my friend works in.

Dolphin sculpture outside building my friend works in.

Dolphin sculpture outside building my friend works in.

Peter and I went out for an early dinner, as restaurants close here at 6pm, to celebrate his birthday. We went to a Belgian restaurant in Discovery Bay called 22 degrees north. Peter had beer battered fish and chips. I had tuna steak which I just love.

Out for dinner.

Out for dinner.

Birthday boy with his Leffe.

Birthday boy with his Leffe.

Peter's fish and chips.

Peter's fish and chips.

My tuna.

My tuna.

Finally, on the last day of March, there was a day when it was not raining and I could do the next two sections of the Hong Kong Trail. To get to the start of Section Five I took the number 6 bus from Exchange Square Bus Station to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir. For once I got to see this reservoir on a bright sunny day.

Blue Skies over Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Blue Skies over Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Blue Skies over Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Blue Skies over Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

After looking at the reservoir and making use of the washrooms next to it, I continued up the steep hill towards Park View residential estate. Across the road from this is the start of Section Five of the Hong Kong Trail. This section stretches from Wong Nai Chung to Mount Parker Road and is just four kilometres long. However, although Section Five is the shortest section of the Hong Kong Trail, it is also the hardest, as it climbs up and down two mountains. At the start of the trail there's even a warning notice telling people not to attempt this walk unless they are experienced hikers. This was all a bit worrying, as I'm not really that fit. For much of its route Section Five of the Hong Kong Trail follows the same route as Section Two of the Wilson Trail.

The start of the Hong Kong Trail Section Five and The Wilson Trail Section Two.

The start of the Hong Kong Trail Section Five and The Wilson Trail Section Two.

Staircase up.

Staircase up.

Hong Kong Trail marker.

Hong Kong Trail marker.

And next to it Wilson Trail Marker.

And next to it Wilson Trail Marker.

I started up the steps that lead up towards Jardine's Lookout. On route I passed the Osborn Memorial which I have wanted to see for a long time. The Osborn Memorial is a granite plaque, adorned with a wreath of bright red poppies. It commemorates the bravery of Sergeant-Major John Osborn of the Winnipeg Grenadiers. On the 19th of December 1941, during the Battle of Hong Kong, Osborn leapt on top of a grenade, hurled at his men by Japanese troops. This act of bravery saved the lives of several of his fellow Grenadiers. Osborn was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his incredible courage. The memorial reminded me that the area I was hiking through saw some of the fiercest fighting during the Second World War.

The Osborn Memorial.

The Osborn Memorial.

Detail of poppy wreath.

Detail of poppy wreath.

Me with the memorial.

Me with the memorial.

After the memorial, there are many more stairs to climb. I found that stopping every so often and looking back to admire the views was the way to get through this with the least possible pain.

Looking back at the view.

Looking back at the view.

Looking back at the view.

Looking back at the view.

Stairs, stairs, stairs.

Stairs, stairs, stairs.

Boulders on the way up.

Boulders on the way up.

Some parts of the path were shaded.

Some parts of the path were shaded.

Eventually, after many, many stairs, I reached Jardine's Lookout at the top. Jardine's Lookout is 433 metres high. The view from here was absolutely stunning and made the climb well worth the agony.

Jardine's Lookout, like so many things in Hong Kong, takes its name from William Jardine, the founder of the Jardine Matheson Company. Long ago, when people still relied on sailing ships for travel and trade, Jardine's stationed a man to keep watch here. As soon as the watchman spotted the firm's clippers returning from India or London, he sent a signal. Jardine's then sent out a fast whaleboat to collect the company's mail. This meant that Jardine's received news on the world's markets before any of their rivals and could adjust their investments accordingly.

At the top of Jardine's Lookout.

At the top of Jardine's Lookout.

Arriving at Jardine's Lookout.

Arriving at Jardine's Lookout.

View from Jardine's Lookout.

View from Jardine's Lookout.

View from Jardine's Lookout.

View from Jardine's Lookout.

Selfie at Jardine's Lookout.

Selfie at Jardine's Lookout.

Looking the other way over Tai Tam Reservoirs.

Looking the other way over Tai Tam Reservoirs.

I could have happily gazed out from Jardine's Lookout all day, but reluctantly had to begin my descent. The stairs going down are steeper than the ones up, so I was glad I was doing this trail forwards rather than backwards like the last one. All the way down the hill the trail looks over the Mount Butler Quarry.

View over harbour on descent from Jardine's Lookout.

View over harbour on descent from Jardine's Lookout.

Descending Jardine's Lookout.

Descending Jardine's Lookout.

Mount Butler Quarry.

Mount Butler Quarry.

Approaching Mount Butler Quarry.

Approaching Mount Butler Quarry.

After reaching a little bridge at the bottom of Jardine's Lookout, the trail starts to climb along the edge of Mount Butler Quarry. This quarry gives Quarry Bay its name. Mount Butler Quarry was opened in 1954 and granite was mined here until 1991. Nowadays the quarry is a base for the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Bureau and is also home to a Firing Range of the Disclipinary Forces of Hong Kong - both very good reasons for not scaling the fence and getting in there.

Little bridge at bottom of Jardine's Lookout.

Little bridge at bottom of Jardine's Lookout.

Walking at the side of the quarry

Walking at the side of the quarry

Once again I had to climb lots of stairs. There were spectacular views over Tai Tam Reservoirs and Tai Tam Harbour the whole way. Looking the other way I could see Park View where I had started my hike. It looked very lonely. I hadn't realised how isolated it is. On my climb up the mountain I passed two caves, possibly war time tunnels. On a historical website, that I subscribe to here, I read an account of someone exploring wartime tunnels in this area and that the tunnels were filled with bats. I wasn't brave, or stupid enough, to venture inside. The Hong Kong and Wilson trails part company before the top of Mount Butler. I kept noticing beautiful tiny violet flowers on the path.

Stairs up Mount Butler.

Stairs up Mount Butler.

More and More Stairs

More and More Stairs

Markers for Hong Kong Trail and Wilson Trail next to each other.

Markers for Hong Kong Trail and Wilson Trail next to each other.

Where the Hong Kong Trail and Wilson Trail Split.

Where the Hong Kong Trail and Wilson Trail Split.

View on climb up Mount Butler.

View on climb up Mount Butler.

Tai Tam Reservoirs.

Tai Tam Reservoirs.

The views over the reservoirs change depending on the surrounding foliage.

The views over the reservoirs change depending on the surrounding foliage.

Tai Tam through beautiful green foliage.

Tai Tam through beautiful green foliage.

Looking back at Park View from Mount Butler.

Looking back at Park View from Mount Butler.

Tiny Flowers.

Tiny Flowers.

Cave on Mount Butler.

Cave on Mount Butler.

Cave on climb up Mount Butler.

Cave on climb up Mount Butler.

Second Cave on Mount Butler.

Second Cave on Mount Butler.

Nearly at the top of Mount Butler.

Nearly at the top of Mount Butler.

When I reached the top of Mount Butler, I was again rewarded with spectacular views over Victoria Harbour in one direction and over the Tai Tam Reservoirs in the other. Mount Butler is 436 metres high.

Top of Mount Butler.

Top of Mount Butler.

Viewing Point on Mount Butler.

Viewing Point on Mount Butler.

View from Mount Butler.

View from Mount Butler.

View from Mount Butler.

View from Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

Tai Tam Reservoirs from Mount Butler.

Tai Tam Reservoirs from Mount Butler.

Selfie on Mount Butler.

Selfie on Mount Butler.

After enjoying the views for a while, I headed down a very steep staircase nicknamed Jacob's Ladder. Again I was glad I hadn't come up this way. I felt sorry for those who were puffing and panting their way up. At the bottom of the stairs I reached Mount Parker Road which starts in Quarry Bay. There are shelters, seats and washrooms here. I had a seat and some water to celebrate finishing Section Five. It was time to start Section Six of the trail.

Jacob's Ladder down Mount Butler.

Jacob's Ladder down Mount Butler.

Jacob's Ladder down Mount Butler.

Jacob's Ladder down Mount Butler.

Shelter on Mount Parker Road.

Shelter on Mount Parker Road.

On Mount Parker Road.

On Mount Parker Road.

Section Six of the Hong Kong Trail is four and a half kilometres long and goes from Mount Parker Road to Tai Tam Road. Most of this route is either flat or downhill and it is easy. This came as a welcome relief after all the climbing I had done.

I began my walk by wandering down a paved road through a forest. At one point I noticed a rather interesting tree. Its trunk doesn't look big enough to support the rest of it.

Unusual Tree.

Unusual Tree.

Forest Path.

Forest Path.

The first reservoir I reached was Tai Tam Upper Reservoir. At this point the Hong Kong Trail leads you across the reservoir dam. There's an eight and a half kilometre heritage trail around the Tai Tam Reservoirs. I've never followed it, but have come across many of the points of interest that are on it. Maybe one day I'll walk all of it.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Sign.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Sign.

First Glimpse of Tai Tam Upper Reservoir through the Trees.

First Glimpse of Tai Tam Upper Reservoir through the Trees.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam.

Looking back at Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam Wall.

Looking back at Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam Wall.

Signs for Heritage Trail.

Signs for Heritage Trail.

From Tai Tam Upper Reservoir it's just a short walk to Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir. There were some huge fish swimming around in there. When I was looking at this reservoir, I noticed a beautiful aqueduct in the distance. At first I just photographed it with my zoom, but then I decided to wander off trail and check it out. I was glad I did. Near the aqueduct there were very good views of the Upper Reservoir and there was another masonry bridge.

Sign for Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir.

Sign for Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir.

Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir Dam.

Looking at the colourful koi in the Byewash Reservoir.

Looking at the colourful koi in the Byewash Reservoir.

Colourful koi in the Byewash Reservoir.

Colourful koi in the Byewash Reservoir.

Colourful koi in Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir.

Colourful koi in Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir.

Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir with Aqueduct in distance.

Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir with Aqueduct in distance.

Photo of the aqueduct with my zoom.

Photo of the aqueduct with my zoom.

Tai Tam Aqueduct.

Tai Tam Aqueduct.

View from Aqueduct.

View from Aqueduct.

Old Masonary Bridge.

Old Masonary Bridge.

Old Masonary Bridge.

Old Masonary Bridge.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Near the Byewash Reservoir I noticed an old boundary stone showing Victoria City and Stanley. A bit further on I found a beautiful old red brick building which used to be home to the police guards at the reservoirs.

Old Boundary Stone marking City of Victoria and Stanley.

Old Boundary Stone marking City of Victoria and Stanley.

Red Brick Building.

Red Brick Building.

I was getting near to the reservoirs I have already visited, but I wasn't going to actually reach them, as the Hong Kong Trail turns off before them and becomes a forest path. I was really impressed by some beautiful pink foliage here. About halfway along this path, there is a narrow trail, marked with ribbons, but also with big 'keep out, road closed' signs on it. I knew from blogs I had read, that this would lead me down to Tai Tam Mound Waterfall. The path down, if you could call it that, was awful. Fortunately, someone had placed ropes at the side of the path, so I could get up and down. The waterfall here is lovely, but there was police tape all around it, which made it look much less lovely. This is because the police don't want people to swim here, partly due to COVID and partly because the stream here feeds into a reservoir. Being me, coming back up, I managed to climb up the wrong part of the slope, but fortunately, I was able to get across to the correct bit without having to go back down.

Shortly after the waterfall there is a section of the stream that feeds into it where you can stand on rocks and look down on the waterfall. I didn't go on the rocks, I had seen the waterfall and was tired by this stage.

Here the Hong Kong Trail heads off through the woods on a forest trail.

Here the Hong Kong Trail heads off through the woods on a forest trail.

I just loved the colourful foliage on the last stretch of the trail.

I just loved the colourful foliage on the last stretch of the trail.

I just loved the colourful foliage on the last stretch of the trail.

I just loved the colourful foliage on the last stretch of the trail.

Colourful Foliage.

Colourful Foliage.

More colourful foliage.

More colourful foliage.

Entrance to path down to Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Entrance to path down to Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Path, if you can call it that, down to Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Path, if you can call it that, down to Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Ropes to help you get down to Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Ropes to help you get down to Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Selfie with Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Selfie with Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Rocks above the stream.

Rocks above the stream.

At one point, the forest trail I was walking on opened up and there was a beautiful view over Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir. In the sky I noticed a strange circular cloud that made me think of polo mints.

View over Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

View over Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir with weird polo-mint shaped cloud.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir with weird polo-mint shaped cloud.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Finally, I reached the end of the trail. I came out onto Tai Tam Road next to a sign for the Hong Kong Trail. This is an odd stretch of the road, as it's right next to Tai Tam Tuk Dam. There's no pavement here, but traffic can only proceed one way at a time due to the narrow road that crosses the dam. I was ok to begin with, as I was on the side with no moving traffic, but suddenly it changed. I raced to get to the bus stop before the traffic in my direction was on top of me and a minibus to Chai Wan pulled in, so I leapt on and began my journey back home

Sign for Hong Kong Trail Section Six.

Sign for Hong Kong Trail Section Six.

Chai Wan Art Work.

Chai Wan Art Work.

Posted by irenevt 11:39 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Beautiful waterfall. We're opposites; I prefer going up steps and hate coming down them.

I believe your big fish are koi. They're very popular with watercolorists here.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally, To be honest I don't like going up or going down steps. It just hurts in different places. Going down hurts the knees.

Koi, yes. I should have remembered that. Thank you. I'll put the correct name in.

by irenevt

The mall-ship looks very out of place on the dry land :)

Beautiful track yet again, and I agree with Beausoleil, I also prefer going up than down :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, the ship does look out of place, but I like the fact that they are paying tribute to the areas maritime past. Thank you for viewing.

by irenevt

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