A Travellerspoint blog

January 2022

Ho Pui, Ho Pui, so good I walked it twice!

A walk around three reservoirs.

semi-overcast

Mirror-like reflections in Ho Pui Reservoir.

Mirror-like reflections in Ho Pui Reservoir.

On Monday I decided to go to Ho Pui Reservoir and walk around it. To get there I took the MTR to Kam Sheung Road Station and then exited through exit C. I was feeling a bit nervous about this hike as I haven't been hiking since I injured my leg. I chose the Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk as it was supposed to be easy.

When I hike, I always buy plenty of water in the MTR station before I set out. While there is a 7-eleven next to the A and B exit of Kam Sheung Road Station, there isn't at exit C. I didn't know this, so there was nowhere nearby to buy water. "Not to worry," I thought. "I can always buy some in Ho Pui Village."

To get to Ho Pui Village I had to take green minibus number 71. I've read this is infrequent and I managed to arrive just in time to watch one shoot past me. Things were not going to plan. Fortunately, as it turned out, I only had to wait around fifteen minutes for the next one. The minibus route goes through a few little villages with very narrow roads. It's very hard for minibuses and cars to pass each other, but after a few near misses, we finally arrived at Ho Pui Village - thankfully in one piece. There was no sign of anywhere to buy water. "No problem. It's only a short walk," I told myself.

Ho Pui Village.

Ho Pui Village.

I always look up information about how to do my hikes and this time my information came from one of my favourite sources. It told me to walk past The Happy Gathering Restaurant and wander out of the village up a slope. I did this and was surprised that there were no signs for the walk. Also, the research I had done kept talking about a view over the huge MTR Pat Heung Maintenance Centre, but I couldn't see that at all. Surprisingly, the information made no mention of the waterworks department, despite the fact I was wandering along a large catch-water belonging to it. Something wasn't quite right.

The view from my walk.

The view from my walk.

And from higher up.

And from higher up.

Silver grass by the catch-water.

Silver grass by the catch-water.

Well, I knew I should reach a campsite after 20 minutes, so I kept going. After 30 minutes, I still had not reached it, but I did reach a sign post. Yippee! The reservoir should have been around thirty minutes from where I started, but from the direction I had walked it was now one and a half hours away. Oh dear!

I could have gone back, but I decided just to follow the sign. It led me to a dirt trail and that was fine until it began to go up a mountain. The walk was not turning out to be quite so short and quite so easy after all. It would have been nice to have some water, but at least my legs were managing it.

The Mountain Path.

The Mountain Path.

At one point I passed a beautiful mountain spring that made me think of a hotel spa

At one point I passed a beautiful mountain spring that made me think of a hotel spa

So peaceful, so clean.

So peaceful, so clean.

Some parts of the path were mercifully flat.

Some parts of the path were mercifully flat.

It's certainly silvergrass time of year.

It's certainly silvergrass time of year.

Actually, I just kept going. The walk was beautiful with fantastic views, so I was actually really enjoying it and it was a bit shorter than an hour and a half. Not a total disaster then. Eventually I reached the reservoir. It is famous for three things: its mirror-like reflections, its bamboo grove and its curved dam. I decided to save the best for last and walk around in an anticlockwise direction. The walk had several beautiful viewpoints over the reservoir and wonderful flowers that I don't think I have seen on other hikes. There were small patches of bamboo to photograph, but I knew a whole grove was coming up.

The lovely Ho Pui Reservoir.

The lovely Ho Pui Reservoir.

View over the curvy dam and mirror-like reflections.

View over the curvy dam and mirror-like reflections.

View over the curvy dam and mirror-like reflections.

View over the curvy dam and mirror-like reflections.

Mirror-like reflections.

Mirror-like reflections.

The water looked green here.

The water looked green here.

Trees and reflections.

Trees and reflections.

I loved these beautiful flowers.

I loved these beautiful flowers.

I loved these flowers.

I loved these flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Flower-strewn path.

Flower-strewn path.

A close-up.

A close-up.

Selfie by the reservoir.

Selfie by the reservoir.

Some passing hikers helped me take this.

Some passing hikers helped me take this.

There are several little bridges and streams.

There are several little bridges and streams.

Me with some bamboo.

Me with some bamboo.

When I reached the bamboo grove, I decided to take a selfie using my selfie stick and just as I was about to click it, guess what? My phone fell off the stick. Around ninety percent of the path round the reservoir is dirt, but, would you believe it? My phone fell straight onto a rock and the screen smashed to smithereens. It was a right off, totally unusable. I knew I should have stayed in bed!

I walked through the stunningly beautiful bamboo grove unable to photograph it. I arrived at the curvy dam and could only look. To make matters worse, Peter decided to phone me at that point, probably to see if my leg was holding up. I tried to answer, but had to input a pin and swipe. Neither of these things were possible and trying to do them was cutting my fingers. I put the phone off. Peter phoned again. I put it off. He phoned again. I knew he had decided something terrible had happened to me, but I couldn't answer to say I was all right.

I walked back to the village, noted that there was a huge sign pointing out the direction of the walk and that I had been about two steps away from it when I had decided to merrily head off in the wrong direction. After a bit of a wait, a minibus came in and I boarded it. My husband, still worried about me, rang again. I couldn't answer it. I pressed off to cut the call, but couldn't switch the phone off. He rang back. I couldn't answer. This went on all journey until I started to fear my fellow passengers might lynch me. What a day! I got home waiting for a telling off, but I only had to show my husband my destroyed phone for him to calm down. What a nightmare!!

The sign I managed to miss.

The sign I managed to miss.

Anyway by Thursday I had decided to do it all again, complete with a new phone and this time going the correct way. I even came carrying a bottle of water. Leaving the minibus on arrival in the village, I went left and walked to the end of the village, then walked left again. The slope up to the reservoir begins here. There were lovely views towards the mountains, Kam Tin, Ho Pui Village and the Pat Heung MTR Maintenance Centre.

Overlooking Ho Pui.

Overlooking Ho Pui.

Overlooking Ho Pui.

Overlooking Ho Pui.

Overlooking Ho Pui.

Overlooking Ho Pui.

Not sure what this tunnel is for.

Not sure what this tunnel is for.

The MTR Pat Heung Maintenance Centre.

The MTR Pat Heung Maintenance Centre.

On the walk up I passed a campsite and an organic farm. The organic farm was not open, but I think it sometimes is and it is possible to buy vegetables here. Eventually I arrived at the reservoir. This time I walked around it in a clockwise direction. This meant I began by walking across the reservoir's unusual curvy dam.

Sign for the campsite.

Sign for the campsite.

Organic farm.

Organic farm.

Organic farm.

Organic farm.

Organic farm.

Organic farm.

Ho Pui Reservoir Sign.

Ho Pui Reservoir Sign.

Curvy dam.

Curvy dam.

The curvy dam.

The curvy dam.

The other side of the dam.

The other side of the dam.

I wandered through the woods around the reservoir. This area is filled with trails and there are many leading away from the reservoir trail. Once again I enjoyed the beautiful flowers, little bridges crossing gurgling streams and weird shaped rocks. There are some shaped like a tent.

Lots of trails lead off the main path.

Lots of trails lead off the main path.

Tree Stumps.

Tree Stumps.

Little bridges over streams.

Little bridges over streams.

More beautiful flowers.

More beautiful flowers.

Tent-shaped rock.

Tent-shaped rock.

Selfie with tent-shaped rock minus disgraced selfie stick.

Selfie with tent-shaped rock minus disgraced selfie stick.

Eventually I reached the huge bamboo grove where I had previously smashed my phone. This time I held on extremely tightly and tried to be very careful.

Bamboo Grove.

Bamboo Grove.

Shady Bamboo Grove.

Shady Bamboo Grove.

Bamboo Grove.

Bamboo Grove.

Bamboo Grove.

Bamboo Grove.

In the bamboo grove.

In the bamboo grove.

Bamboo lines the steps.

Bamboo lines the steps.

Bamboo-lined steps.

Bamboo-lined steps.

Close-up of bamboo.

Close-up of bamboo.

Green Bamboo.

Green Bamboo.

Green Bamboo.

Green Bamboo.

Bamboo Selfie.

Bamboo Selfie.

I really enjoyed the bamboo groves and then I continued all the way round the reservoir again. It wasn't quite as bright as on my previous visit so the mirror effect was not quite as clear. There were so many beautiful flowers and everywhere was so peaceful. At one point three older Chinese ladies asked me to take their photo which I did.

More Bridges.

More Bridges.

Looking Towards a Grave with a View.

Looking Towards a Grave with a View.

More Beautiful Flowers.

More Beautiful Flowers.

Peaceful Reservoir Views.

Peaceful Reservoir Views.

Peaceful Reservoir Views.

Peaceful Reservoir Views.

More Flowers.

More Flowers.

I wonder what these will be used for.

I wonder what these will be used for.

Ferns.

Ferns.

When I had finished with the reservoir, I walked down to the campsite where there was a beautiful waterfall. I bumped into the three Chinese ladies again and they got me to take more photos of them. We joked that I was their official photographer for the day. Then they took photos of me and insisted I tried to pose in each one which I never do. They were quite funny.

I was made to pose.

I was made to pose.

I was made to pose.

I was made to pose.

I then walked along the road from the campsite towards a waterfall. To my surprise there was a man standing in the middle of it.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Instead of going back the way I had come I decided to walk to the nearby Tsing Tam Reservoir. There were beautiful views over Kam Tin from here.

Pathway along the catchwater.

Pathway along the catchwater.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Flowers and trees.

Flowers and trees.

Autumn colours line the pathway.

Autumn colours line the pathway.

It took around half an hour to walk to Tsing Tam Reservoir. There is an upper and a lower part. Perhaps the light had changed by the time I got here, but this reservoir had excellent mirror-like reflections. This reservoir was much smaller than Ho Pui Reservoir.

Tsing Tam Reservoir Sign.

Tsing Tam Reservoir Sign.

Lower dam.

Lower dam.

Lower Reservoir.

Lower Reservoir.

On Tsing Tam Reservoir Dam.

On Tsing Tam Reservoir Dam.

Looking down from the lower reservoir.

Looking down from the lower reservoir.

Tsing Tam Upper Reservoir Dam.

Tsing Tam Upper Reservoir Dam.

Mirror-like Reflections in Tsing Tam Upper Reservoir.

Mirror-like Reflections in Tsing Tam Upper Reservoir.

Mirror-like Reflections in Tsing Tam Upper Reservoir.

Mirror-like Reflections in Tsing Tam Upper Reservoir.

Mirror-like Reflections in Tsing Tam Upper Reservoir.

Mirror-like Reflections in Tsing Tam Upper Reservoir.

Mirror-like Reflections in Tsing Tam Upper Reservoir.

Mirror-like Reflections in Tsing Tam Upper Reservoir.

Instead of walking all the way back to Ho Pui Village, when I had finished looking at the reservoirs, I followed a path downhill to Kam Tin. This path went through farmyards and villages. Eventually I reached a main road, caught a bus back to the MTR and went home.

Farms.

Farms.

Farm and irrigation device.

Farm and irrigation device.

Banana Trees.

Banana Trees.

Banana Trees.

Banana Trees.

Village House.

Village House.

Village stream.

Village stream.

Village street.

Village street.

Colourful entranceway to village house.

Colourful entranceway to village house.

Posted by irenevt 00:31 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (8)

Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright

A Walk to Mui Wo via the Tiger's Head

semi-overcast

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 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 Comments (10)

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