A Travellerspoint blog

April 2021

Following the Path of Violets.

The Tze Lo Lan Shan Trail.

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Today I finally made it along the Tze Lo Lan Shan Trail. I tried to do this walk twice during the Chinese New Year Holiday, but changed to other walks as soon as I saw the enormous queues for the number 6 bus to Stanley.

Tze Lo Lan means violets and Shan is hill, so in English this would be the Violet Hill Trail. This path does not go to the top of Violet Hill, but instead skirts around the side, which means there is no climbing to do, so it is easy but quite long - 6.7 kilometres to be precise.

To get to the start of the trail I took the number 6 bus from Exchange Square in Central. I got up early to avoid the queues. I was pleased that the bus stopped at traffic lights right in front of an attractive piece of street art in Wan Chai which I have been meaning to photograph for some time. I also managed to take a somewhat cloudy view over Happy Valley from the bus, too.

Mural in Wan Chai by Didier Jaba Mathieu for Hong Kong Walls.

Mural in Wan Chai by Didier Jaba Mathieu for Hong Kong Walls.

View over Happy Valley.

View over Happy Valley.

I got off the bus at Wong Nai Chung Gap Reservoir Park. This is where I also started a war relics walk a few weeks ago. I climbed the stairs next to the Sinopec Gas Station then walked up Tai Tam Reservoir Road. There were lots of incredibly beautiful blossoming bushes along one side of the road. Before heading out on the trail, I made use of the washrooms at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir, as I knew there weren't any more until the end of the trail.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Colourful Flowers.

Colourful Flowers.

I didn't realize that I could have accessed the trail by walking to the end of the reservoir path and then going down the stairs. Instead I went behind the wall that marks the entrance to Celestial Gardens. At the start this does not even seem like a path, so I was pleased to see the Tze Lo Lan Shan Path sign and know I was on the right route.

Sign for Tze Lo Lan Shan Path.

Sign for Tze Lo Lan Shan Path.

For the first part of this walk you go along the edge of a catchment area for Wong Nai Chung Reservoir. Every so often you will pass a place where water will cascade down the hill in heavy rain, so not a great walk to take during a tropical rain storm. These are very, very frequent here in summer and the rain is always torrential.

Colourful Trees along the catchment Path.

Colourful Trees along the catchment Path.

Dry Waterfall. This will become a flood on rainy days.

Dry Waterfall. This will become a flood on rainy days.

The initial part of the path is paved and flat and very easy to walk on. It is surrounded by trees, but there are occasional views towards Mount Nicholson and over some pretty spectacular mansions owned by members of the Hong Kong elite.

Looking over the houses of the Hong Kong elite. The sun only seems to shine over the rich guys.

Looking over the houses of the Hong Kong elite. The sun only seems to shine over the rich guys.

Looking over the houses of the Hong Kong elite and towards Mount Nicholson.

Looking over the houses of the Hong Kong elite and towards Mount Nicholson.

After I had been walking for a while the path changed to a rocky path through woodland with the occasional view towards Deep Water Bay and Ocean Park through the trees.

Woodland Path.

Woodland Path.

Looking Towards Deep Water Bay and Ocean Park.

Looking Towards Deep Water Bay and Ocean Park.

Towards Deep Water Bay and Ocean Park.

Towards Deep Water Bay and Ocean Park.

Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay area.

Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay area.

Flowers on Route.

Flowers on Route.

I was getting a bit frustrated with only catching snatches of views so was pleased when I finally reached a couple of places where there were spectacular views over Repulse Bay with no trees blocking the way. Repulse Bay has a lovely beach which is very popular in summertime. Now that beaches are reopen I could see it was even busy on a dull day. Repulse Bay also has a famous residential building called The Repulse Bay. This has a large gap in the middle. Local legends claim that it was built like this to allow a family of dragons that live in the mountains behind Repulse Bay to gain access to the sea. To prevent them getting to the sea would bring bad luck according to Feng Shui experts. Fortunately, I didn't encounter any dragons on my walk.

The Repulse Bay with the Hole for the Dragon.

The Repulse Bay with the Hole for the Dragon.

View over Repulse Bay.

View over Repulse Bay.

View over Repulse Bay.

View over Repulse Bay.

Repulse Bay.

Repulse Bay.

Repulse Bay Beach.

Repulse Bay Beach.

Repulse Bay.

Repulse Bay.

Repulse Bay Beach.

Repulse Bay Beach.

The views from the path were beautiful even on a dull day, but you can't linger too long, the path is very narrow and it is difficult for other hikers to pass if you monopolize it.

After the two main viewpoints, the scenery changes dramatically and becomes pleasant green mountain scenery. After a short time, I reached some steps heading down the mountainside. These lead to the Tze Kong Bridge which is a sort of crossroads from which hikers can choose to head to Repulse Bay, or climb the dreaded Twin Peaks to Stanley or head towards Tai Tam Reservoir, which is what I did.

Mountain Scenery.

Mountain Scenery.

Signposts.

Signposts.

Muddy Path.

Muddy Path.

Bridge Through the Trees.

Bridge Through the Trees.

Tze Kong Bridge.

Tze Kong Bridge.

Fellow Hikers.

Fellow Hikers.

On route to the reservoirs I crossed a few streams which had signs next to them warning about flash floods. The signs said things like do not cross if the water level is higher than the bridge. Considering how high above the stream the bridges were, this was a scary prospect, but having seen the power of tropical rain storms here, I fully believe this will frequently happen.

Bridge.

Bridge.

Stream.

Stream.

Warning Sign.

Warning Sign.

Eventually I reached Tai Tam Upper Reservoir and later Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir. It is very peaceful and quiet here. At the far end of Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir you can walk on the dam wall. I took photos and a very friendly Chinese girl offered to take a photo of me. The scenery was beautiful but the weather was dreary and threatening rain so everything was dark, dark, dark.

Path along Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Path along Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

The Dam on Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

The Dam on Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

Me on the Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir Dam.

Me on the Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir.

After Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir I followed a path down to Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir. I walked round here a few months ago and wrote about it in my blog 'Water, Water Everywhere'. I have planned for a while to return to the Tai Tam Country Park area as there is so much more to see. I could just have walked the bit I'd done before without taking photos, but the masonry bridges and the views of the reservoir were just too tempting. There were also some beautiful flowers here.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Crossing a Masonry Bridge.

Crossing a Masonry Bridge.

Beautiful yellow and White Flowers.

Beautiful yellow and White Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

While walking along the paths here I noticed several huge chubby caterpillars wandering across the road, so I had to photograph them, too. As I had left home early for this walk, I was finished around 1pm and the queue for transport back wasn't too bad. I joined the queue for the number 14 bus to Sai Wan Ho, but a nearly empty minibus to Chai Wan pulled in, so I got on that. There were great views as the minibus crossed the reservoir.

Today's Wildlife were Fat Caterpillars.

Today's Wildlife were Fat Caterpillars.

View of Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir from the minibus.

View of Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir from the minibus.

When I reached Chai Wan MTR, I was horrified to see a queue winding round and round endlessly for people waiting to go to Stanley. This made me very relieved I had got up early. I then headed home. On my walk from Central MTR to Hong Kong Station I noticed their new advertising campaign was all about holidaying at home. Begs the question: do we have a choice?

Holiday at Home Poster.

Holiday at Home Poster.

Unusually enough I didn't see any wild boar on this walk, but when I walked down the road from school next day. Sure enough there was one bold as brass, eating all the trees.

Wild Boar.

Wild Boar.

Don't pose for photos with wild animals. Who would be that stupid?

Don't pose for photos with wild animals. Who would be that stupid?

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

On the Tuesday more wild boars on the walk down from school.

I do know you shouldn't do this, but it's not just me who's crazy.

I do know you shouldn't do this, but it's not just me who's crazy.

Posted by irenevt 09:50 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (8)

Playing Indiana Jones.

A Walk up Mount Davis.

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I had thought hiking was over for me, as the weather seemed to be changing to summer, but then it went cool again and I decided I might be able to squeeze a few more walks in. Today I decided to take a stroll up Mount Davis near Kennedy Town. The Mount Davis Battery was once an important military site.

To get to Mount Davis I took the MTR to Kennedy Town and exited through exit C. I then walked down towards Victoria Road. I have been to this area before when I visited the Sai Wan Swimming Shed. Mount Davis Path is about five minutes walk further on from the swimming shed on the other side of the road.

The Walk along Victoria Road to the battery had a lot of beautiful flowers and trees.

The Walk along Victoria Road to the battery had a lot of beautiful flowers and trees.

The Walk along Victoria Road to the battery had a lot of beautiful flowers and trees.

The Walk along Victoria Road to the battery had a lot of beautiful flowers and trees.

The Walk along Victoria Road to the battery had a lot of beautiful flowers and trees.

The Walk along Victoria Road to the battery had a lot of beautiful flowers and trees.

The Walk along Victoria Road to the battery had a lot of beautiful flowers and trees.

The Walk along Victoria Road to the battery had a lot of beautiful flowers and trees.

I knew I had reached the correct area as soon as I saw a very modern-looking glass building. This is The University of Chicago, Hong Kong, Francis and Rose Yuen Campus, which is located right next to and partially on top of my first site - the Jubilee Battery.

Actually the university building itself is very interesting. As I mentioned above, the land it is situated on was once part of a British military battery called the Jubilee Battery. This battery was built by the British in the 1930's. It was right next to the sea and formed part of Hong Kong's coastal defences. Then, after World War II, this area and its immediate surroundings were occupied by several makeshift squatter camps, filled with Mainland Chinese refugees who had fled the civil war in China. After that, this site was home to the British Army Royal Engineers’ mess and quarters. Then, after 1961, the engineers' mess was converted into the Victoria Road Detention Centre which was run under the supervision of the Special Branch of the Hong Kong Police Force. In 1967, when there was widespread rioting against British colonial rule, political prisoners were detained here, sometimes for prolonged periods in solitary confinement. This building has sometimes been referred to as a kind of concentration camp. The site then lay empty for several years, hidden behind high walls and rolls of barbed wire fencing, before being redeveloped as a university building in 2018. Certain aspects of the building's history have been preserved, such as parts of the gun battery on the grounds, barred windows and prison cells converted into classrooms! I'd love to see the inside of the building, but on this occasion, I had to make do with the gun battery which was what I had come for.

The University Building.

The University Building.

It's possible to just peer over the edge of the university terrace and view the gun battery from above, or you can stroll down and wander around it if you want a closer look. I did both. When I walked down the stairs to the battery, I was greeted by a warning sign, saying snakes had been sighted in this area. I wasn't worried here as this part of the battery wasn't overgrown, but I thought about this often as I explored the less tamed batteries on Mount Davis itself. I believe there are other much more overgrown parts of the Jubilee Battery further down the slope and nearer to the sea, but as the path down had been cordoned off for some reason, I didn't visit them.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery.

The Jubilee Battery from above.

The Jubilee Battery from above.

The Jubilee Battery from above.

The Jubilee Battery from above.

When I had taken my fill of photos, I returned to Victoria Road, crossed over and started to wend my way up Mount Davis Path. Mount Davis does not currently have a heritage walk, though I read somewhere that one is planned. It is covered in wartime remains: some cleared, some overgrown, all fascinating.

Mount Davis Path.

Mount Davis Path.

Today's Wildlife was Butterflies. I believe this is an orange magpie moth.

Today's Wildlife was Butterflies. I believe this is an orange magpie moth.

I am not sure what the first ruined building I found used to be. On one site I looked at the writer thought it might have been a guard house. Whatever it was, it was very overgrown and some of the walls had trees growing out of them. I always think that looks amazing. It wasn't easy to walk around inside the building due to the undergrowth and debris, but I managed. This probably wasn't a good idea though as snakes really could be a problem here.

Was this once a guard house?

Was this once a guard house?

Was this once a guard house?

Was this once a guard house?

Was this once a guard house?

Was this once a guard house?

Was this once a guard house?

Was this once a guard house?

Was this once a guard house?

Was this once a guard house?

On the way up the hill there were some sitting out areas, more very overgrown ruins, broken stairways leading nowhere and more overgrown gun batteries.

Ruined Building on the Way Up.

Ruined Building on the Way Up.

Ruined Toilet.

Ruined Toilet.

Some Kind of Flower Sculpture.

Some Kind of Flower Sculpture.

Ruined Building.

Ruined Building.

Ruined Building.

Ruined Building.

Ruined Building.

Ruined Building.

Stairway to Nowhere.

Stairway to Nowhere.

Views from the walk up.

Views from the walk up.

Marker Stone.

Marker Stone.

At one point there was a sign leading to parts of a disused battery. The buildings here were a bit graffitied but easy to wander around in.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Ruined Disused Battery.

Broken Stairway.

Broken Stairway.

Further up the hill there was a youth hostel which looked quite nice and which occupies a pleasant setting. Across from the youth hostel there was a covered gun battery and a steep narrow flights of stairs up the hill. There were some old rooms off the staircase.

Mount Davis Youth Hostel.

Mount Davis Youth Hostel.

Youth Hostel.

Youth Hostel.

Narrow Staircase.

Narrow Staircase.

Halfway up the narrow stairs.

Halfway up the narrow stairs.

Halfway up the narrow stairs.

Halfway up the narrow stairs.

Where did I leave that broom?

Where did I leave that broom?

Covered Gun Battery.

Covered Gun Battery.

At the top of the staircase was yet another gun battery. This one without too much vegetation growing out of it.

Highest Gun Battery.

Highest Gun Battery.

Highest Gun Battery.

Highest Gun Battery.

Highest Gun Battery.

Highest Gun Battery.

Highest Gun Battery.

Highest Gun Battery.

A group of cheerleaders  were on the top gun battery on my way down.

A group of cheerleaders were on the top gun battery on my way down.

Best of all, a bit further on from the gun battery there was row after row of old disused buildings connected by tunnels. I even found one larger building with a brick fire place inside, not sure exactly what it used to be.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the Mountain.

Buildings at the top of the Mountain.

Buildings at the top of the Mountain.

Buildings at the top of the Mountain.

Tunnel.

Tunnel.

Tunnel.

Tunnel.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Inside buildings at the top of the mountain.

Building with Fireplace.

Building with Fireplace.

Building with Fireplace.

Building with Fireplace.

View.

View.

View over Islands.

View over Islands.

Top of the Mountain.

Top of the Mountain.

Triangulation Point.

Triangulation Point.

Triangulation Point with the Peak and Mount High West in the background.

Triangulation Point with the Peak and Mount High West in the background.

Mount Davis Battery was built in the early twentieth century. It served as the headquarters of the Western Fire Command which was responsible for the defence of the western side of Hong Kong. In the 1930s two guns were removed from here and taken to Stanley. This battery suffered heavy bombardment by the Japanese in 1941.

I took what was supposed to be a shortcut on my way back by following a sign to Victoria Road. The path was quite overgrown though pretty in parts with lots of colourful flowers. A lot of the steps down were narrow or broken. The last part had high wire fences on each side and felt a bit like being in a cage.

Watercourse on Way Down.

Watercourse on Way Down.

The Path Down.

The Path Down.

Overgrown Pathway.

Overgrown Pathway.

Interesting Tree.

Interesting Tree.

Colourful Walk Down.

Colourful Walk Down.

Colourful Walk Down.

Colourful Walk Down.

Broken Stairway.

Broken Stairway.

Ever feel caged in?

Ever feel caged in?

Ever feel caged in?

Ever feel caged in?

Posted by irenevt 01:09 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (6)

Everything in the garden is rosy.

A visit to Lai Chi Kok Park.

sunny

If you look at my blogs, you could be forgiven for thinking my life is rosy. It most certainly isn't. My husband's eyesight has gone downhill so badly in the last year that he is now almost blind. My job mounts pressure after pressure on me. The latest is that teachers must be covid tested every two weeks. You may still think, stop whining, but here if you or anyone else in your workplace tests positive for covid, you are either hospitalised or placed in compulsory quarantine in a quarantine centre, even if you test negative. This is also true for a positive covid case in your building. All in all life here on the covid front is rather bleak.

Well, on the positive side, today after being forced to drop off my covid test at school, even though it is the Easter holidays, I headed to Lai Chi Kok Sports Centre. I wanted to find out where this is, so I can get Peter there smoothly for our rescheduled vaccination and I discovered that right next to the vaccination centre there is the most beautiful park in Hong Kong that I have ever seen. This park is called Lai Chi Kok Park and it is actually right next to Mei Foo MTR Station Exit C.

Lai Chi Kok means Lychee Corner and is called after the fruit. There is even a sculpture of the fruit in the middle section of the park here. Lai Chi Kok Park is a large park containing many different things. It has got sports facilities: a swimming pool, tennis courts, skateboarding area, roller skating rink and many more.

Lychee Sculpture.

Lychee Sculpture.

Plaque showing the park was opened in 1990.

Plaque showing the park was opened in 1990.

Skateboarding.

Skateboarding.

The first area I visited was the beautiful Chinese Garden. This is entered through a traditional Chinese gate guarded by stone lions. Through the gateway there are stone lanterns at the start of the paths. I followed one path to the walled garden with its differently shaped gateways. Through the gateways lies a tranquil pond surrounded by pagodas and colourful flowers and crossed by several bridges.

Lion guarding the park gateway.

Lion guarding the park gateway.

Lanterns, near the entrance to the park.

Lanterns, near the entrance to the park.

Tranquil Pond, Chinese Gardens.

Tranquil Pond, Chinese Gardens.

Reflections in a Pond, Chinese Gardens.

Reflections in a Pond, Chinese Gardens.

The new reflected in a pond.

The new reflected in a pond.

Old men gather in a pagoda in the Chinese gardens.

Old men gather in a pagoda in the Chinese gardens.

Pagoda.

Pagoda.

Bridge and Fountain, Chinese Gardens.

Bridge and Fountain, Chinese Gardens.

Fountains.

Fountains.

Pagoda and Bouganvilia.

Pagoda and Bouganvilia.

Ponds, Pagoda and Bridge.

Ponds, Pagoda and Bridge.

Circular Gateway.

Circular Gateway.

Circular Gateway.

Circular Gateway.

Bouganvilia.

Bouganvilia.

Gateway.

Gateway.

Yellow Iris.

Yellow Iris.

After looking around the Chinese Gardens, I wandered into the middle area of the park. In this area there are grassy lawns, trees and some gardens that had been entered for the Hong Kong Flower Festival Community Garden Competition. One of them was called Treasures Galore and represented the Sham Shui Po District. It was partly made using recycled rubbish such as: car tyres, plastic bottles, toppled trees. Another garden which I think may also have been from this competition had a small building that looked like a tiny church and a seating area surrounded by flowers. There were also quite a few brightly coloured tulips. There was an interesting sculpture here called the Vibrancy of Spring by Wu Ya-lin, an art supervisor from the Sculpture Department of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Many of the park's sporting facilities were around this area, too.

Vibrancy of Spring Sculpture.

Vibrancy of Spring Sculpture.

View of the middle garden.

View of the middle garden.

View of the middle garden.

View of the middle garden.

Trees in the Middle Garden.

Trees in the Middle Garden.

Gardeners.

Gardeners.

Sham Shui Po Community Garden.

Sham Shui Po Community Garden.

Sham Shui Po Community Garden.

Sham Shui Po Community Garden.

Sham Shui Po Community Garden.

Sham Shui Po Community Garden.

Church and Flowers.

Church and Flowers.

Church and Flowers.

Church and Flowers.

Colourful Flower.

Colourful Flower.

Autumn Leaves.

Autumn Leaves.

Tulips.

Tulips.

Tulips.

Tulips.

Hibiscus.

Hibiscus.

And everything was all yellow.

And everything was all yellow.

And everything was all yellow.

And everything was all yellow.

Next I wandered to the Lingnan Garden. This is also a Chinese style garden, but is in the style of gardens found in Southern China, particularly around Guangdong. It consisted of covered walkways surrounding ponds which were dotted with pagodas. There were also bridges, statues, ornate paintings and stone carvings. Unsurprisingly this area was very popular. I enjoyed watching people doing tai chi. One lady did her routine with a tambourine. Another lady used a sword and a fan for hers. Even the floors in the Lingnan Garden were beautiful and in one area there was a mosaic with a phoenix. In the pond there was a sculpture of a turtle with a snake on its back. In Chinese mythology these creatures symbolize longevity.

Lingnan Gardens.

Lingnan Gardens.

Pagodas Flowers, Ponds.

Pagodas Flowers, Ponds.

Flowers, Pagodas, Ponds.

Flowers, Pagodas, Ponds.

Flowers by the Pond.

Flowers by the Pond.

Pond in Lingnan Garden.

Pond in Lingnan Garden.

Viewpoint over the pond.

Viewpoint over the pond.

Decorative Window.

Decorative Window.

Turtle and snake sculpture.

Turtle and snake sculpture.

Turtle Statue on Pond.

Turtle Statue on Pond.

Tranquil Pond.

Tranquil Pond.

Flower filled pond.

Flower filled pond.

Zig-zag Bridge.

Zig-zag Bridge.

Phoenix Mosaic.

Phoenix Mosaic.

Bonsai.

Bonsai.

Birds above Gateway.

Birds above Gateway.

Rickshaw.

Rickshaw.

A good site for a picnic.

A good site for a picnic.

Through the hexagonal doorway.

Through the hexagonal doorway.

Through the round doorway.

Through the round doorway.

Circular Doorway.

Circular Doorway.

Through the Circular Doorway.

Through the Circular Doorway.

Tai Chi with a tambourine.

Tai Chi with a tambourine.

Tai Chi with a tambourine.

Tai Chi with a tambourine.

Tai Chi.

Tai Chi.

Behind the Doorway.

Behind the Doorway.

Entrance to Lingnan Gardens.

Entrance to Lingnan Gardens.

Carvings on entrance to Lingnan Gardens.

Carvings on entrance to Lingnan Gardens.

Carvings on entrance to Lingnan Gardens.

Carvings on entrance to Lingnan Gardens.

Floor Tiles.

Floor Tiles.

Floor Tiles.

Floor Tiles.

Chinese Chequers.

Chinese Chequers.

Near the Lingnan Garden there was a little stream trickling over rocks and forming tiny waterfalls. All in all this was a very peaceful place perfect for destressing.

Pagoda and Stream.

Pagoda and Stream.

Streams.

Streams.

Bouganvilia.

Bouganvilia.

White Flowers.

White Flowers.

On the way home I noticed there were some more examples of Art in the MTR in Mei Foo Station. This was a series of paintings called 'Life in Mei Foo - Now and Then' by Ng Yuen Wa. These were completed in 2003.

Art in the MTR.

Art in the MTR.

Art in the MTR.

Art in the MTR.

Art in the MTR.

Art in the MTR.

Art in the MTR.

Art in the MTR.

The next day my covid test came back negative; maybe life isn't all bad.

Posted by irenevt 14:04 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (12)

Stairway From Hell

Hiking in Discovery Bay.

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Last Easter I tried to walk up to the lookout behind where I live. I wrote about it in a blog called on the up and up. I had to give up and was laughed at my friend who considered this an easy stroll. Well, I've been doing a lot of hiking since then, so I thought I would give it another go.

The good news is this time I made it. The bad news is - it was absolutely hell on earth getting there. Every step on the way up is just too big to step on comfortably, every step is broken and they are all uneven. They are absolute agony on the knees. I guess it must just be me because other people run up here or walk their dogs up here every day.

Personally I thought I was about to die on this climb. I got further than last time, then was in so much pain I decided to give up and sat down on the steps utterly defeated. I sat there for a few minutes then saw some people climbing up towards me. I was totally blocking their way. I actually felt tempted to just suggest they should stand on me so I didn't have to move, but I didn't. I picked myself up and kept going and thus I made it to the top.

At the top I discovered I had actually gone higher than the lookout and I could see the trail to one of the hardest walks here - the tiger's head. Somehow I don't think I'll be doing that one. I walked down to the lookout and found an alternative route back down so I could avoid those stairs. It wasn't the best day for taking photos, but I took lots anyway as I'm not doing this walk again in better weather or indeed ever.

Those horrendous Steps.

Those horrendous Steps.

Views on the climb.

Views on the climb.

On the climb up.

On the climb up.

This is where I collapsed and gave up but got up to let people pass then just kept going.

This is where I collapsed and gave up but got up to let people pass then just kept going.

Views from the top.

Views from the top.

Views from the top.

Views from the top.

More Hellish Steps.

More Hellish Steps.

Mountain Path.

Mountain Path.

Trigonometrical Station and Views.

Trigonometrical Station and Views.

Trigonometrical Station and Views.

Trigonometrical Station and Views.

Trigonometrical Station and Views.

Trigonometrical Station and Views.

Going down to the lookout.

Going down to the lookout.

Going down to the lookout.

Going down to the lookout.

Near the Lookout.

Near the Lookout.

Approaching the Lookout.

Approaching the Lookout.

The Lookout.

The Lookout.

Views from the Lookout.

Views from the Lookout.

Views from the Lookout.

Views from the Lookout.

Views from the Lookout.

Views from the Lookout.

Mountain Scenery.

Mountain Scenery.

Mountain Path.

Mountain Path.

Stream.

Stream.

Stream.

Stream.

Stream.

Stream.

Stream.

Stream.

Taking a different route down I ended up on this path.

Taking a different route down I ended up on this path.

Back down to civilization and Bouganvilia.

Back down to civilization and Bouganvilia.

Back down to civilization and Bouganvilia.

Back down to civilization and Bouganvilia.

Back down to civilization and Bouganvilia.

Back down to civilization and Bouganvilia.

Back down to civilization and Bouganvilia.

Back down to civilization and Bouganvilia.

Posted by irenevt 08:29 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (8)

Keep your Sunny Side Up

Walking to a village near Sunny Bay.

overcast

On my commute home from work I pass through Sunny Bay Station on the Tung Chung Line. This station exists mainly so that people can go to Hong Kong's Disneyland, but it also provides a bus service to Discovery Bay where I live. It used to be a quiet, empty station. Then for a while, pre-covid, it was filled, and I do mean filled, with mainlanders coming to visit Disneyland. Pandemics and border closures put paid to that and all was quiet again.

Then someone somewhere must have realised everything is closed, there's nowhere to go and nothing to do, but there's a stretch of empty coastline along the front at Sunny Bay. Due to this every Sunday when I've gone hiking, I've made my way home past lineups of cars, tents, barbecues, fishermen, kite fliers and little kids who have never seen grass before running around crazy by the sea.

Parked cars line the waterfront promenade.

Parked cars line the waterfront promenade.

Campers enjoy a day in the countryside.

Campers enjoy a day in the countryside.

Fishermen on the front.

Fishermen on the front.

Now though, we are in a five day public holiday as Easter merges with Ching Ming and the crowds are no longer content with just staying at Sunny Bay. My bus home to Discovery Bay has the queue from hell every day as crowds flock to our beaches and parks. I suppose it's fair enough and exactly the same as the influx places like Stanley, Lamma Island and Cheung Chau have been putting up with for years, but it's relatively new to us and exacerbated by the fact that people here can't travel anywhere outside Hong Kong during holidays unless they are willing to pay for three weeks of quarantine when they come back.

Anyway all that aside, today was another dreary, dark day but I wanted to do a short walk, then go swimming in our newly opened pool. I decided I would check out Sunny Bay and try to find out what the crowds are flocking here for. To do this I took a bus from Discovery Bay to Sunny Bay Station then instead of rushing to the MTR like I usually do, I headed to the front, turned left and followed the road beside the railway line. I was heading along Yam O Wan, a bay which is older than Sunny Bay, and which ironically translates as Shady Bay.

Walking along the railway line.

Walking along the railway line.

Walking along beside the railway line.

Walking along beside the railway line.

Togetherness beside the railway line.

Togetherness beside the railway line.

Trains hurtle past on my left as I walk next to the railway line..

Trains hurtle past on my left as I walk next to the railway line..

Walking by the railway line.

Walking by the railway line.

Walking by the railway line.

Walking by the railway line.

I liked these trees on the walk along the railway line.

I liked these trees on the walk along the railway line.

Yam O Bay.

Yam O Bay.

Apparently in the 1960s, a lumberard was relocated to Yam O Wan as it was a calm, deep, wide bay and thus perfect for lumber storage. Logs were strengthened here by being driven into the sea floor. The salt water corroded the bark on the outside of the logs but helped preserve the rest. There are still many logs sticking out of the sea here. They were left behind when the lumber industry went into decline around a decade or so ago.

Logs left to harden in the salt water, Yam O Bay.

Logs left to harden in the salt water, Yam O Bay.

Drying Logs.

Drying Logs.

Drying Logs.

Drying Logs.

When I read up on this area, it mentioned there was a little village here called Luk Leng Village. This translates as Deer's Neck Village. It was described as an almost uninhabited village, but it was certainly busy on a holiday weekend. There were still several villagers in residence there as well as a large influx of visitors. The village is located on a peninsula. It has a very island feel to it. I had to keep reminding myself it was attached to the mainland. At the end of Luk Leng Village there is an uninhabited island called Cheung Sok which can be accessed on a sand bar at low tide. It was high tide when I visited and it was only possible to get to Cheung Sok by swimming.

Luk Leng Village still had several inhabited houses and some of these seemed to have set themselves up as restaurants. There was a pier where at one time you could catch a boat to Tsuen Wan. I don't think that is the case now. There were also several piers which were made of bits of wood tied together with cloth, string, wool, whatever was available. I had read a blog before visiting where someone stood on one of these and had a panic attack because the logs start rolling as you move on it. I watched lots of people stagger along these for photos. I did not have a go myself.

Steps down to the village.

Steps down to the village.

House in Luk Leng Village.

House in Luk Leng Village.

House, Luk Leng Village.

House, Luk Leng Village.

House, Luk Leng Village.

House, Luk Leng Village.

Village House.

Village House.

House and dog.

House and dog.

Rental bikes

Rental bikes

Have you seen my aeroplane?

Have you seen my aeroplane?

House.

House.

Restaurant, Luk Leng Village.

Restaurant, Luk Leng Village.

Restaurant on stilts Luk Leng Village.

Restaurant on stilts Luk Leng Village.

Restaurant.

Restaurant.

Barbecuing.

Barbecuing.

Triceratops, Luk Leng Village.

Triceratops, Luk Leng Village.

Fishing Nets.

Fishing Nets.

Lifebelts.

Lifebelts.

Makeshift Pier in Luk Leng Village.

Makeshift Pier in Luk Leng Village.

Makeshift Pier Luk Leng Village.

Makeshift Pier Luk Leng Village.

Makeshift Pier.

Makeshift Pier.

Makeshift Pier.

Makeshift Pier.

Makeshift Pier.

Makeshift Pier.

Real Pier.

Real Pier.

Real Pier.

Real Pier.

From the pier.

From the pier.

On a beach by the pier.

On a beach by the pier.

Togetherness, Luk Leng Village.

Togetherness, Luk Leng Village.

At one point there is a bridge connecting one area of the village to another. It was lined by many artists who seem to flock here to paint pictures.

Bridge, Luk Leng Village.

Bridge, Luk Leng Village.

Bridge Luk Leng Village.

Bridge Luk Leng Village.

Its all happening along that bridge.

Its all happening along that bridge.

Artist Luk Leng Village.

Artist Luk Leng Village.

Artist, Luk Leng Village.

Artist, Luk Leng Village.

Artist, Luk Leng Village.

Artist, Luk Leng Village.

Artist.

Artist.

Artist.

Artist.

Artist.

Artist.

There were also lots of mangroves and boats: some usable, some abandoned and sunk.

Boats in Luk Leng Village.

Boats in Luk Leng Village.

Boats and Makeshift Pier, Luk Leng Village.

Boats and Makeshift Pier, Luk Leng Village.

Boats, Luk Leng Village.

Boats, Luk Leng Village.

Boats Luk Leng Village.

Boats Luk Leng Village.

Boats, Piers and Sleeping Dogs.

Boats, Piers and Sleeping Dogs.

Boats for hire.

Boats for hire.

I noticed many bundles of branches which had been tied up and left out to dry scattered around. There were also several gardens where people were growing their own vegetables.

Growing Crops.

Growing Crops.

Growing Crops.

Growing Crops.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Garden.

Garden.

Bundles of Branches.

Bundles of Branches.

Bundles of Branches.

Bundles of Branches.

At one point I left the coastal path and followed a little path marked toilets and barbecue site. This led me to both those things, plus to a little beach where people were having a great time barbecuing, swinging on rope swings, paddling and swimming.

On the beach.

On the beach.

On the beach.

On the beach.

Enjoying the beach.

Enjoying the beach.

In the jungle.

In the jungle.

I also left the narrow green fenced path on my way back to visit another small beach were people were relaxing and picnicking.

On the beach.

On the beach.

On the beach.

On the beach.

Posted by irenevt 15:20 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (4)

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