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Lions and Amahs.

Climbing up Lion Rock.

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View while climbing up the Lion's Head

View while climbing up the Lion's Head

Yesterday, I climbed up Hong Kong's famous Lion Rock for the first time. There are many interestingly shaped rock formations in Hong Kong, but Lion Rock is the best known one. It looms over Kowloon and parts of the New Territories and is said to embody the spirit of the Hong Kong people.

Lion Rock viewed from Diamond Hill on a different day.

Lion Rock viewed from Diamond Hill on a different day.

Lion Rock viewed from Diamond Hill on a different day.

Lion Rock viewed from Diamond Hill on a different day.

There are different approaches to climbing Lion Rock. The most popular route is to start in Wong Tai Sin, but I decided to start from Tai Wai, because I wanted to climb up via Amah Rock.

To get to Tai Wai, I travelled on the East Rail. I had a very good transport day. I got a bus instantly when I left home which was amazing, as the bus and ferry service here have been slashed recently due to COVID. I got my first and second MTR trains instantly and only had to wait for five minutes for the East Rail, so I got to Tai Wai in record time.

I thought it was going to be a smooth day, but when I got to Tai Wai, things started to go wrong. The directions I had found online for getting to the start of my walk were wrong and I ended up going the wrong way and wandering all over Tai Wai. I used to live not far from Tai Wai, but it has changed a lot, and I got hopelessly lost. Trying to make the most of it, I took some pictures of Old Tai Wai Village which is surrounded by high rise buildings, but still has some character.

Tai Wai Old Village.

Tai Wai Old Village.

Fancy Doorways.

Fancy Doorways.

Fancy Doorways.

Fancy Doorways.

Earth god shrine.

Earth god shrine.

Not sure what is being dried here. A Chinese friend tells me it's probably some kind of herb for use in Chinese medicine..

Not sure what is being dried here. A Chinese friend tells me it's probably some kind of herb for use in Chinese medicine..

Game painted onto the riverbed.

Game painted onto the riverbed.

After a while, I was getting fed up and even returned to the station ready to leave. I thought since I have come all this way, I'll give it one more chance, so I walked all the way round the station to see if I could find the correct road to start on and, when I did this, I saw a pink tourist sign saying Hung Mui Kuk . That was the name of the road I wanted, so I followed that. I had to go up an escalator and onto an overpass. I walked round the overpass till I saw the correct road and took the stairs down to it. The road went past houses, up a slope, past a village and led to stairs up to a motorway. At that point I had to cross to a bus-stop. It was a very dangerous place to cross the road and I narrowly avoided being hit by a huge lorry that appeared out of nowhere. From the bus stop I had to cross another busy road, walk through a tunnel and climb the stairs on the other side. Finally, I made it to Hung Mui Kuk Barbeque site and the start of the trail. It had been a fairly horrible journey to get here to be honest, I was already really tired out from all the faffing about I'd gone through.

The barbecue site is quite pretty and there are toilets and drinks machines here. I took a short rest at a picnic table in the shade to recover, then started climbing up the stairs. There are several paths here, but basically from the barbecue site, keep to the trail on the left. I eventually reached a road where I went left and crossed a catch water. At this point the path splits. On the left there's a longer gentle path up towards the start of the Lion Rock climb and on the right there's a shorter and steeper way up that goes via Amah Rock. The paths meet up later on. I choose the hard path via Amah Rock as I really wanted to see this close up.

Sign for Amah Rock at Hung Mui Kuk Barbeque Site.

Sign for Amah Rock at Hung Mui Kuk Barbeque Site.

Hung Mui Kuk Barbeque Site.

Hung Mui Kuk Barbeque Site.

Stairs up through the barbeque site.

Stairs up through the barbeque site.

Stairs at the barbeque site.

Stairs at the barbeque site.

Cross the bridge over the catch water.

Cross the bridge over the catch water.

Choose your route.

Choose your route.

The climb up to Amah Rock involved steep stairs, steep stairs and more steep stairs, but at least it only took about half an hour to get there. It was getting very hot by this time and not much of this path was in the shade.

Cross the stream on the way to Amah Rock.

Cross the stream on the way to Amah Rock.

Cross the stream on the way to Amah Rock.

Cross the stream on the way to Amah Rock.

Walks in Hong Kong involve lots of stairs.

Walks in Hong Kong involve lots of stairs.

Stairs, stairs and more stairs.

Stairs, stairs and more stairs.

Amah Rock is actually a beautiful structure. It looks like a woman holding a baby. You can view it in two ways as if the baby is being carried on the woman's back, or as if she is holding the baby in front of her in her outstretched arms. I find it easier to see it the latter way.

Close up of Amah Rock.

Close up of Amah Rock.

Close up of Amah Rock.

Close up of Amah Rock.

There is an old Chinese legend attached to this rock. Once there was a young married couple who had just given birth to their first child. The husband was a fisherman, and shortly after the birth, he set out to sea. His wife waited anxiously for his return, but his boat never reappeared. Worried about him, the wife got into the habit of climbing a mountain near their home every day. She would stand there for hours, watching for any sign of her husband's boat. What the wife did not know was that out at sea there had been a terrible storm and her husband had drowned. After a while, the goddess of the sea, Tin Hau, felt so sorry for the heartbroken young wife that she decided to turn her and her young child into stone so that their spirits could reunite with the spirit of the dead husband.

From the rock there are good views over Sha Tin. There were quite a lot of people sitting in this area or posing for photos with the rock and views.

Views over Sha Tin from Amah Rock.

Views over Sha Tin from Amah Rock.

Views over Sha Tin from Amah Rock.

Views over Sha Tin from Amah Rock.

After looking at the rock, I exited through the gate and continued on the path I had been walking on. I kept looking back to see if I could get a good view of the rock. At one point I could get a good shot using my camera zoom. After a while, there was a break in the trees and from here I could look back at a beautiful view of Amah Rock with the whole of Sha Tin spread out behind her. I loved this view and spent quite some time standing here enjoying it.

Always good to find a bit of flat path.

Always good to find a bit of flat path.

Looking back at Amah Rock.

Looking back at Amah Rock.

Looking back at Amah Rock.

Looking back at Amah Rock.

Amah Rock with Sha Tin behind her.

Amah Rock with Sha Tin behind her.

Amah Rock with Sha Tin behind her.

Amah Rock with Sha Tin behind her.

I was getting more and more tired and was in two minds whether to plough on to Lion Rock or just visit Amah Rock and go home. I thought I would at least continue to the point where the two paths met up. That turned out to be quite a long way and by the time I got there I had decided I might as well keep going.

Eventually, I reached Kowloon Pass. Here there is a covered pavilion where I could sit in the shade for a while. This Pavilion used to be called Lion Rock Pavilion, but after the handover, its name was changed to the Reunification Pavilion. There were good views over Kowloon from here. The pavilion is located at the intersection of several paths. From here you can walk up Beacon Hill or you can walk up Lion Rock, or you can walk down to Wang Tau Hom.

Views over Kowloon and Hong Kong Island from The Reunification Pavilion.

Views over Kowloon and Hong Kong Island from The Reunification Pavilion.

Views over Kowloon and Hong Kong Island from The Reunification Pavilion.

Views over Kowloon and Hong Kong Island from The Reunification Pavilion.

There are several military remains around the pavilion. These are markers which indicate the distance to various military installations. These were used by the British army in the early days of Hong Kong.

Military Marker.

Military Marker.

Military Marker.

Military Marker.

Reunification Pavilion.

Reunification Pavilion.

The path to Beacon Hill.

The path to Beacon Hill.

Path to Wang Tau Hom.

Path to Wang Tau Hom.

Sign for Lion Rock.

Sign for Lion Rock.

Shelter on the walk up to Lion's Rock.

Shelter on the walk up to Lion's Rock.

Stairs up to Lion Rock.

Stairs up to Lion Rock.

Stairs up to Lion Rock.

Stairs up to Lion Rock.

Path up to Lion Rock.

Path up to Lion Rock.

I decided that I had come so far, I might as well keep going to the top of Lion Rock. The distance did not sound too far, but the path is really really steep and exhausting. At some points you need to use your hands to help you climb. I had heard that there are many monkeys in this area, but I did not see any.

Eventually, after expending lots of energy, losing gallons of sweat and feeling like giving up many, many times, I finally made it to the top of Lion Rock. I had arrived at the Lion's head end. I climbed up the head a bit, but this isn't easy and I soon decided to come back down from there.

Lion Rock is four hundred and ninety-five metres high. When you look towards this rock from a distance, it looks like a crouching lion keeping watch over Hong Kong.

The views from the top of Lion Rock are amazing. They make it well worth the strenuous climb. You can see across Kowloon in one direction and over the New Territories in the other. The path from the head wanders down, then back up, to the lion's middle, then down and back up again, to the lion's tail. The walk from head to tail is along a ridge with drops on each side, so you have to be quite careful. There are warning signs everywhere about how dangerous it is near the edges. The day before my walk, someone was climbing here using ropes and fell. They were very badly injured.

As you can probably tell, I got carried away with the views and took too many photos. but I feel I earned this right after my climb.

View from the top across bright red flowers.

View from the top across bright red flowers.

View from the lion's middle .

View from the lion's middle .

View from the top with flowers.

View from the top with flowers.

Beautiful view from the top.

Beautiful view from the top.

View from the middle

View from the middle

Views across vegetation.

Views across vegetation.

Wide views from the top.

Wide views from the top.

Posing at the top.

Posing at the top.

View across bushes.

View across bushes.

View from the top.

View from the top.

View from the top.

View from the top.

View from lion's head.

View from lion's head.

Looking at the Lion's Head.

Looking at the Lion's Head.

Another look back at the lion's head.

Another look back at the lion's head.

Sign at the top of Lion Rock.

Sign at the top of Lion Rock.

Lots of danger signs on the top of Lion Rock.

Lots of danger signs on the top of Lion Rock.

Me on top of Lion Rock.

Me on top of Lion Rock.

When I had looked at the views for a while, I realised I had to get out of the sun. I was getting quite badly burnt. I walked down from the tail, following signs for Sha Tin Pass Estate. The constant steps were very jarring on the knees. Every so often there were lovely views. At one point the walk takes you right underneath a giant pylon. It feels strange looking up at this.

Inside a pylon.

Inside a pylon.

Eventually after what felt like forever going down non-stop stairs, I ended up on the very welcome smooth surface of Sha Tin Pass Road. What a relief to my knees that was! I walked down to the colourful Fat Jong Taoist Temple. This is located just above Wong Tai Sin. Apparently it's beautiful inside, but of course it is currently closed due to covid, so unfortunately I could not go in. From here I took a steep downhill walk to Wong Tai Sin MTR. I arrived at the entrance right next to the famous Wong Tai Sin Sik Sik Temple. Last time I went here it was being renovated. I wondered if it was finished, but, of course, with all religious buildings currently closed, it didn't make a big difference to me. I got on the MTR then went home.

The stairs down to Sha Tin Pass Estate were lined with flowers.

The stairs down to Sha Tin Pass Estate were lined with flowers.

View on the walk down to Sha Tin Pass.

View on the walk down to Sha Tin Pass.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Sha Tin Pass Road.

Sha Tin Pass Road.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple Door.

Temple Door.

Temple.

Temple.

Posted by irenevt 12:44 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

My knees are getting sympathy-aches just for reading this!

We have similar story than Amah-rock about Saana-hill up in Lapland, the Saana-giant was having his wedding to beautiful beautiful maiden Malla when his rival, friend of warlocks made a storm to ruin the wedding, all the wedding guests fled from the icestorm, including Saana who was carrying Malla but they didn't make it, Mallas tears made KilpisjƤrvi (biggest lake in Lapland) and the storm made them freeze in to their places and are there still.. :)

by hennaonthetrek

Haha,that's great to know that there are similar stories in different cultures.

by irenevt

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