A Travellerspoint blog

May 2021

Wandering around Flat Island.

A Visit to Peng Chau.

sunny

Today I decided to revisit Peng Chau. This is one of the smallest of Hong Kong's permanently inhabited Outlying Islands. It only occupies an area of around 1km square, and has around 6,300 inhabitants. Its name means Flat Island, but it's not entirely flat. It has a hill called Finger Hill, which at 95 metres high, is the highest peak on the island. I have climbed up Finger Hill several times, but today I decided to explore other parts of the island instead.

Getting to Peng Chau from Discovery Bay is easy, as Peng Chau is right next to Discovery Bay and there's a kaito, or small ferry service, between the two places. I caught the 9am ferry and came back on the 1pm one. I could have stayed longer and walked everywhere on the island, but it was 42 degrees today, so I didn't think that was such a good idea.

Ferry to Peng Chau.

Ferry to Peng Chau.

On the Ferry.

On the Ferry.

Arriving in Peng Chau Harbour with the market behind.

Arriving in Peng Chau Harbour with the market behind.

Fisherman in harbour.

Fisherman in harbour.

Peng Chau is nowadays an incredibly peaceful place with friendly people and it isn't bursting at the seams with visitors, even on Sundays. That's amazing for here. It's surprising then to learn that Peng Chau was once a major industrial hub. From the 1940's to the 1970's, Peng Chau was home to the Shing Lee Limekiln factory, the Great China Match Factory, porcelain factories, plus gloves, leather and light bulbs manufacturers. All of these industries are long gone, though the odd ruined building or marker stone testifies to their existence.

I think this is a ruined factory.

I think this is a ruined factory.


Ruin on Waterfront Beach.

Ruin on Waterfront Beach.

Rocks near ruined factory.

Rocks near ruined factory.

I began my explorations by tracking down some of Peng Chau's temples. I started at the Tin Hau Temple, which is dedicated to the goddess of the sea. This colourful temple was built in 1792 by local fishermen who wanted full nets and calm seas.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau temple detail.

Tin Hau temple detail.

Outside the temple there is a stone tablet dating from the Quing Dynasty around 1835. This announces the end of the Authorities being able to requisition fishing vessels from local fishermen and use them to lure pirates, who once terrorised the seas around here, to their deaths or imprisonment. This practice had resulted in huge losses of income for fishermen.

Stone Tablet.

Stone Tablet.

I then visited Kam Fa Temple, the Temple of the Golden Flower Goddess. She is the patron of all pregnant women. Her temple is situated under a banyan tree and dates back over two hundred years. Kam Fa, was the daughter of a martial arts master and, under his tuition, she became an expert in martial arts. Kam Fa lived at a time when the government were extremely corrupt and frequently exploited the poor. She used her martial arts skills to rob from the rich then give the proceeds to the poor - a sort of female Chinese Robin Hood figure.

Kam Fa Temple.

Kam Fa Temple.

Kam Fa Temple.

Kam Fa Temple.

After that I visited The Lung Mo, or Dragon Mother Temple, which is the largest temple on Peng Chau. It is located next to Tung Wan Beach. There is a legend associated with it. One day a woman named Lung Mo was washing clothes on the river bank when she found a smooth, white stone which she took home with her. The stone was actually an egg and, a little over seven months later, five baby snakes hatched from it. Lung Mo looked after the snakes like a mother, but one day they swam away from her down the same river. Five years later they returned, but they had grown into dragons. There was a terrible drought in the land and Lung Mo persuaded her dragons to create rain and save the villagers' lives. Word of this spread all over China and eventually Emperor Qin Shihuang summoned Lung Mo to the capital Xi’an. By this time Lung Mo was elderly and frail and her dragons worried that she would not survive the journey, so each time she set sail for the emperor, the dragons surrounded the boat and brought her back. This happened over and over again, until the Emperor gave up and allowed Lung Mo to stay home. She remained in her home town until she died of old age. On her death the dragons took human form and became the Five Scholars.

Temple of the Dragon Mother.

Temple of the Dragon Mother.

Temple of the Dragon Mother.

Temple of the Dragon Mother.

Temple of the Dragon Mother.

Temple of the Dragon Mother.

Barnacles on broken boats on beach near Dragon Mother Temple.

Barnacles on broken boats on beach near Dragon Mother Temple.

Beach in front of Lung Mo Temple.

Beach in front of Lung Mo Temple.

Drying Gloves near Lung Mo Temple.

Drying Gloves near Lung Mo Temple.

I also visited the Seven Sisters Temple, Chek Tset Miu. This is extremely colourful and of a very unusual design. The Seven Sisters were a group of Hakka girls who were all very close friends and became sort of blood sisters. They each swore an oath to die rather than ever get married. However, the parents of the third sister forced her into a loveless marriage. On the night before the wedding, the sisters committed group suicide on the beach. Next day the girls' bodies had disappeared, but seven new rocks were seen sticking out above the sea. These became known as the Seven Sister Rocks.

The Temple of the Seven Sisters.

The Temple of the Seven Sisters.

The Temple of the Seven Sisters.

The Temple of the Seven Sisters.

The Temple of the Seven Sisters.

The Temple of the Seven Sisters.

The Temple of the Seven Sisters.

The Temple of the Seven Sisters.

I then walked along the waterfront to the left of the ferry pier. This was lined with lots of boats. These were either in the sea or being repaired on dry land. On the other side there were houses which ranged in style from shanty town, to village houses, to posh apartments.

Village House.

Village House.

Bikes and Doorways.

Bikes and Doorways.

Boats not Cars.

Boats not Cars.

Boats by Waterfront.

Boats by Waterfront.

Exercise Equipment on Waterfront.

Exercise Equipment on Waterfront.

Bulldozer with a view.

Bulldozer with a view.

As well as visiting the temples, I decided to walk to the very small island which is connected to Peng Chau by bridge. This island is called Tai Lei Chau. The bridge connecting the two islands is popular with fishermen. Tai Lei Chau houses a China Light and Power electrical substation, as well as a refuse-sorting facility which handles most of Peng Chau's garbage. It is also home to Peng Chau's emergency vehicles. There are no cars on Peng Chau. The only vehicles are emergency vehicles and delivery vehicles. People get around on foot or by bicycle.

Bridge Between Islands.

Bridge Between Islands.

Bridge Between Islands.

Bridge Between Islands.

Much of Tai Lei Chau is impossible to access, but there is an area outside the refuse-sorting facility that is decorated with lots of toys. I'm guessing these may have been thrown away, but instead of being destroyed, they are turned into works of art with dolls climbing trees, soft toys arranged in groups, tree swings made from tyres and lots of tricycles.

Art from toys.

Art from toys.

Art with Toys.

Art with Toys.

Doll in Tree.

Doll in Tree.

Art from Rubbish.

Art from Rubbish.

Nearby there are some interesting rock formations jutting out into the sea. From this area there are great views back towards Discovery Bay. Apparently marine biologists have identified around thirty-five different species of coral in the waters here. I saw several crabs scuttling around before disappearing into rock pools.

Rock Formation on Tai Lei Chau.

Rock Formation on Tai Lei Chau.

Tai Lei Chau Pier.

Tai Lei Chau Pier.

View from the pier on Tai Lei Chau.

View from the pier on Tai Lei Chau.

Rocks on Tai Lei Chau.

Rocks on Tai Lei Chau.

Beach on Tai Lei Chau.

Beach on Tai Lei Chau.

Hearts and Turtles.

Hearts and Turtles.

Tai Lei Chau.

Tai Lei Chau.

I then retraced my steps across the bridge back to Peng Chau and headed left along the Peng Yu Path. I have never walked this path before as I normally go up Finger Hill instead. The Peng Yu Path follows the coast and has great views towards Discovery Bay, other parts of Lantau, Disneyland and Hong Kong Island. The other lovely thing about this path is that it passes some beautiful little beaches. These were really clean and had interesting rock sculptures on them. I saw these on various parts of the island. Near the beginning of this path there is a helipad, presumably in case anyone needs airlifted to hospital at any point.

the Peng Yu Path.

the Peng Yu Path.

The Peng Yu Path.

The Peng Yu Path.

Helipad.

Helipad.

Beach on Peng Yu Path.

Beach on Peng Yu Path.

Sun on the Beach.

Sun on the Beach.

Beach.

Beach.

Swimming at the beach.

Swimming at the beach.

Lone Fisherman.

Lone Fisherman.

As well as great coastal views from this path, there was also some lovely flowers and some colourful berries. The whole area was incredibly beautiful and peaceful.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Berries on Peng Yu Path.

Berries on Peng Yu Path.

Eventually I reached a rock known as the Old Fisherman's Rock. Actually there were two rocks standing up vertically here. I'm not really sure which one was supposed to be the old fisherman. From here the path moved inland. Near the fisherman's rock there is a pavilion where it is possible to take a rest and escape the sun for a while.

Old Fisherman's Rock.

Old Fisherman's Rock.

Fisherman's Rock.

Fisherman's Rock.

Pavilion on Peng Yu Walk.

Pavilion on Peng Yu Walk.

There was then a choice of routes. First I climbed down the stairs to a beautiful deserted beach. I have heard some reviews describe it as the hidden beach. This had great views towards Hong Kong Island.

Path down to Hidden beach with view of Hong Kong Island.

Path down to Hidden beach with view of Hong Kong Island.

Hidden Beach.

Hidden Beach.

Hidden Beach.

Hidden Beach.

After looking at the hidden beach, I climbed up to a radio transmitting station then headed right. I passed the trigonometrical marker for the top of this low hill then I should have followed a sign for Tung Wan, but instead I went straight and ended up in Peng Chau's hilltop graveyard. I think Chinese graves are often located on mountains due to good feng shui. There were certainly beautiful sea views from here.

Trigonometrical Marker.

Trigonometrical Marker.

Fire Beaters.

Fire Beaters.

Graveyard with a view.

Graveyard with a view.

Graveyard with a View.

Graveyard with a View.

Graveyard with a View.

Graveyard with a View.

Graveyard with a view.

Graveyard with a view.

Returning to the main town from the graveyard, I went for a walk along Wing On Street, the Street of Eternal Peace. This is the commercial heart of Peng Chau, so there are some restaurants, bars, market stalls and colourful shops around this area.

Old China Hand Pub.

Old China Hand Pub.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Colourful Garlands.

Colourful Garlands.

I just found this building interesting.

I just found this building interesting.

In addition, one part of the street, which used to be home to two leather factories, has now been turned into an art gallery that uses discarded rubbish to create works of art. This area was very colourful and popular and was filled with people taking photos.

Former Leather Factory

Former Leather Factory

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure.

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure.

Chairs Sculpture.

Chairs Sculpture.

Art Gallery.

Art Gallery.

Girl with Balloons.

Girl with Balloons.

Medals as Art.

Medals as Art.

Motorbike as Art.

Motorbike as Art.

Umbrella Art.

Umbrella Art.

Guitars Art.

Guitars Art.

Bicycle Art.

Bicycle Art.

Soft Toy Art.

Soft Toy Art.

Wheels Gallery.

Wheels Gallery.

Finally I returned towards the ferry pier, but this time set off towards Finger Hill. I had no intention of going up there. I just wanted to stroll along by the sea. There are some beautiful flowers in the gardens that line the sea promenade. On the other side there are some interesting houses. To my surprise I even came across a sort of Christmas tree, a bit unexpected in May!!!

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Colourful Flowers on the Waterfront.

Colourful Flowers on the Waterfront.

Colourful Flowers on the Waterfront.

Colourful Flowers on the Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Bikes on the Waterfront.

Bikes on the Waterfront.

Boats on the Waterfront.

Boats on the Waterfront.

Waterfront and Pier.

Waterfront and Pier.

Christmas tree.

Christmas tree.

Village Street with Murals.

Village Street with Murals.

Another thing that was interesting about this area was the fish and other sea creatures which had been hung out along the waterfront to dry.

Drying Seafood.

Drying Seafood.

Drying Seafood.

Drying Seafood.

Drying Seafood.

Drying Seafood.

Finally, starting to feel a bit sun struck, I took the small ferry back to Discovery Bay.

Ferry Leaving the Island.

Ferry Leaving the Island.

Posted by irenevt 07:09 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (9)

Stanley - Into the Bandits' Den.

A day trip to Stanley.

sunny

Today I realized hiking is definitely off until next autumn, if we are still here, but sightseeing is back on. In the last week our heat has shot up. Today I was drenched in sweat just getting from my home to the bus stop - about a two minute walk. It was 32 degrees and that was at 8am. Despite the heat, it was a beautiful cloudless day, so I took a couple of photos even at Sunny Bay just to capture the blue skies.

Sunny Bay.

Sunny Bay.

Sunny Bay.

Sunny Bay.

I was heading to Stanley. To get there I took the 6X express bus from Exchange Square Bus Station in Central. This bus goes through the Aberdeen Tunnel rather than over the top of Hong Kong Island as the number 6 bus does. It's still a beautiful journey though, as it follows the coastline of southern Hong Kong Island. I took a couple of shots from the bus window as we passed through Deep Water Bay. Going here is on my to do again list.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Stanley takes its English name from Lord Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, the 14th Earl of Derby. He was British Colonial Secretary when Hong Kong was ceded to the United Kingdom. He then later went on to be the Prime Minister of Britain. In Chinese, Stanley is known as Chak Chue which could mean Bandit's Post, as it is believed that notorious Chinese bandit, Cheung Po Tsai, once had a secret hideaway cave here. However, in Hakka dialect, Chak Chue means red column or red pillar, and many people think this was the original name of the area and that it was called this due to the abundance of cotton trees here with their wonderful, huge, bright red flowers.

When I arrived in Stanley, I got off at the main bus station. I probably should have stayed on until St. Stephen's, as I was heading there, too, but I had forgotten the bus went there. It's been a long time since I was last in Stanley. I immediately headed down towards the waterfront. I realized I had made it on time to catch the boat to Po Toi, the South Pole of Hong Kong, but I didn't board it as this had not been my plan - another one for the future. Currently it would be more appealing if it had South Pole type temperatures. The heat will be unbearable here for months.

The Kaito to Po Toi leaving from Blake Pier.

The Kaito to Po Toi leaving from Blake Pier.

The first sight I headed towards was Murray House. This began life as Murray Barracks in 1844 and was originally located in Admiralty between Garden Road and Cotton Tree Drive. These barracks were named after George Murray, the Master-General of the Ordnance, also known as the MGO. I had absolutely no idea what an MGO was so I looked it up. Apparently it was a very senior British army officer who was responsible for artillery, engineers, fortifications, military supplies, transport and field hospitals. The Murray Barracks were dismantled stone by stone and put into storage in the early 1980's. Then in 1985 the Bank of China was built on the site they had once occupied. The Murray Barracks were later renamed Murray House and were rebuilt in Stanley in the mid 1980's. They once housed Hong Kong Maritime Museum, but when that relocated to Central, they became home to shops and restaurants. They have beautiful balconies, tiled floors and ceiling fans.

Looking towards Murray House.

Looking towards Murray House.

Looking Towards Murray House.

Looking Towards Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

Inside Murray House.

Inside Murray House.

Inside Murray House.

Inside Murray House.

Lobster display at restaurant in Murray House.

Lobster display at restaurant in Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

View from Murray House.

View from Murray House.

View from Murray House.

View from Murray House.

View from Murray House.

View from Murray House.

Right in front of Murray House is another relocated building - Blake Pier. This was also once located in Central, but when it was due to be torn down due to land reclamation, it was relocated. At first this pier was at the end of Peddar Street and was known as Peddar's Wharf. Later this pier was renamed Blake Pier in honour of Sir Henry Arthur Blake, the twelfth governor of Hong Kong. It was used as the landing site for new governors and visiting British royal dignitaries. There are some old photos showing the arrival of Governor Lugard and the arrival of The Prince of Wales. This pier is now the boarding place for the Kaito to Po Toi Island.

Blake Pier.

Blake Pier.

Photo showing arrival of Prince of Wales.

Photo showing arrival of Prince of Wales.

The arrival of Governor Lugard.

The arrival of Governor Lugard.

Also in this area is Stanley Plaza. This is a large open square and a covered shopping centre with many shops and restaurants. In this area there are also two temples. One is the Hung Shing Temple and the other is the Tin Hau Temple.

Stanley Plaza.

Stanley Plaza.

Stanley Plaza.

Stanley Plaza.

The Hung Shing Temple is quite small. It is dedicated to Hung Shing who is also known as Tai Wong. He was a righteous government official during the Tang Dynasty, who promoted the study of astronomy, geography and mathematics. Unfortunately, he died young and was later deified. He is especially loved by fishermen. There are forty-two temples dedicated to him in Hong Kong.

Hung Shing Temple.

Hung Shing Temple.

Hung Shing Temple.

Hung Shing Temple.

Inside The Hung Shing Temple.

Inside The Hung Shing Temple.

Not far away is the much larger Tin Hau Temple dedicated to the goddess of the sea. This temple originates from 1767, but has been renovated and modernised several times. According to legend this is the oldest of Hong Kong's Tin Hau Temples and was built by pirate, Cheung Po Tsai. Apparently there are more than seventy Tin Hau temples here.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

After looking at the temples, I visited Ma Hang Park which is behind Murray House. Ma Hang Park has a hilltop lookout point, an incredibly beautiful temple, scenic coastal walks and access to a pleasant sandy beach. The temple is the Pak Tai Temple. It is home to an ancient and mysterious god, Pak Tai, the supreme emperor of the dark heavens. He originated in northern China, but is nowadays more popular in southern China. I loved this temple because of the brightly coloured paintings on the outside of it and the cave like atmosphere inside it. Down the steps towards the sea from the temple leads to a deep well, which was once thought to have magical properties.

Ma Hang Park.

Ma Hang Park.

Hilltop, Ma Hang Park.

Hilltop, Ma Hang Park.

View of Blake Pier from Park.

View of Blake Pier from Park.

View from Park.

View from Park.

View from Ma Hang Park.

View from Ma Hang Park.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple Painting.

Pak Tai Temple Painting.

Cavelike interior, Pak Tai Temple.

Cavelike interior, Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Well, Pak Tai Temple.

Well, Pak Tai Temple.

Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Beach Ma Hang Park.

Beach Ma Hang Park.

Flowers on Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Flowers on Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Boat on Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Boat on Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Walkways, Ma Hang Park.

Walkways, Ma Hang Park.

After wandering through the park, I strolled along the waterfront. This has beautiful sea views on one side and lots of bars and restaurants on the other. It is a very relaxing and pleasant place for a meal or a drink. There is another small temple located here. This one was built by local fishermen and is dedicated to a water deity, Shui Sin.

Dragon Boats.

Dragon Boats.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Flowers on Waterfront.

Flowers on Waterfront.

The Pickled Pelican British Pub.

The Pickled Pelican British Pub.

Waterfront Restaurants.

Waterfront Restaurants.

View from Waterfront.

View from Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Flowers by the small temple.

Flowers by the small temple.

Then I left the waterfront and had a quick walk through Stanley's market. This market sells a wide variety of goods including clothes, accessories, food, but it also has lots of tourist souvenir type things like pictures of your name written in Chinese, silk clothing, paper cuts and other goods.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market Art.

Market Art.

Art in the Market.

Art in the Market.

Market Art.

Market Art.

After the market I walked along the coast to St Stephen's. I wanted to visit here for two reasons. One - because years ago, when we lived in Sha Tin, we used to come to Stanley frequently to swim at St Stephen's Beach. It is a very beautiful and peaceful place.

Along Coast.

Along Coast.

Coastal Walk.

Coastal Walk.

Coastal Walk.

Coastal Walk.

Coastal Walk.

Coastal Walk.

St Stephen's Beach.

St Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

The second reason was, because I have recently been visiting a lot of places connected with Hong Kong during World War II. St Stephen's is home to a military cemetery. It was also the site of a dreadful massacre which took place in St Stephen's College on Christmas Day, 1941. At that time the college was being used as a makeshift emergency hospital. When bands of drunken Japanese soldiers approached the hospital, the doctor in charge, Colonel G.D.R. Black, approached them wearing his white doctor's coat with red cross emblems on his sleeves and waving a white flag. He wanted to inform them that the building was a hospital filled with seriously injured people. The Japanese bayonetted him to death, before killing his second in command, another doctor, Captain P.N. Whitney, who had tried to help the first doctor. The hospital nurses were then rounded up, gang-raped and murdered. Only one managed to survive the ordeal, a Miss Elizabeth A. Fidoe. After the war she gave evidence against the Japanese soldiers involved. The hospital's patients were also massacred in their sick beds. In the cemetery there is a simple grave with the names of the doctors and nurses killed in the massacre. The names of the murdered patients are not all known so it refers to the Chinese, British, Canadians and Indians who died on that terrible day.

Cross in Cemetery.

Cross in Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Old Photo in Cemetery.

Old Photo in Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

In Memory of Those Massacred in St Stephen's College.

In Memory of Those Massacred in St Stephen's College.

Cemetery with a view.

Cemetery with a view.

After looking at the cemetery I wandered back into Stanley passing a spectacular flame tree on route. It really brightened the place up and its fiery flowers looked spectacular against the blue skies.

Flame Trees.

Flame Trees.

Flame Trees.

Flame Trees.

In Stanley I visited the former police station. This is a lovely old colonial building which dates from 1859. During the war this became the Japanese headquarters in Stanley. After the war it was used as a police station again until 1974. Nowadays this building is used as a supermarket. There is a new police station on the other side of the road.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

New Stanley Police Station.

New Stanley Police Station.

Finally, I took a look at Stanley Main Beach. This is also beautiful, but usually busier than the beach at St Stephen's. This beach is famous as a dragon boat racing location each year. One year we were invited onto one of the boats here to watch the races.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

House behind Stanley Main Beach.

House behind Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Posted by irenevt 10:05 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (10)

Rocking the Rock Pools.

Still staying close to home.

sunny

On Friday I was too tired to swim or do anything. I noticed the beautiful flame trees on the way home. Saturday is cleaning my house day, then I went swimming and ate dinner out.

Flame Trees, Sunny Bay.

Flame Trees, Sunny Bay.

Discovery Bay at night.

Discovery Bay at night.

Out on Saturday Night.

Out on Saturday Night.

I had intended to get up very early on Sunday and head to Stanley before it got too busy, but I've been soooo tired this week. Maybe it was my covid jab. I don't know. I heard my alarm clock ringing, switched it off and went straight back to sleep.

When I did get up, I decided exploring somewhere nearby was the way to go as everything would have started to get busy, so I decided to walk to Discovery Valley Road and find the rock pools that I have heard about. People mentioned that it is possible to swim there. I did see a couple of people swimming and the water was a nice temperature, but there's not really a lot of room.

Discovery Valley Road,

Discovery Valley Road,

Discovery Valley Road.

Discovery Valley Road.

I liked the look of this tree.

I liked the look of this tree.

It did not take long to reach the rock pools. Basically there is a stream that starts up in the mountains behind Discovery Bay. On its way to the sea it forms several little waterfalls and lots of rock pools: some small, some large enough to swim in or at least cool down in. The paths to the rock pools are not really clearly marked. There are several places from which they can be accessed. All of these involve a bit of scrambling through bushes and clambering over rocks. I even walked along the edge of the stream for a while. This is easy in some parts and hard in others. I put my feet in the water expecting it to be cold, but it was actually quite warm. I did not realize at the time but when I took my shoes off, my ankles were devoured by mosquitoes. I didn't swim though as I was going swimming at the sports club swimming pool later on that day.

Rock Pool.

Rock Pool.

Rock Pool.

Rock Pool.

Rock Pool.

Rock Pool.

Rock Pool.

Rock Pool.

Rock Pools.

Rock Pools.

Rock Pool.

Rock Pool.

Rock Pools.

Rock Pools.

Rock Pools.

Rock Pools.

Once I had explored the rock pools, I still had lots of energy left, so I continued up the road towards Discovery Bay Golf Club. This is a private, members only club and costs a small fortune to join. I am not a member and I don't play golf, but I have been here, as on week days non-members can use the putting green and the driving range here. I used to come up with my husband and a close friend on the golf club bus to do both these things several years ago. The driving range involved hitting golf balls out over a small lake. They were special lighter golf balls that floated. One poor man's job was to go out on a boat and collect them all back in. The boat had a sort of cage around it to protect him from the balls people were hitting all around him. On trips up here we usually ate in the Golf Club Restaurant, too, but they made it harder for outsiders to do that, so we largely stopped going.

On the walk up the hill there were several places which had beautiful views over Discovery Bay, Disneyland, the sea and even Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, though both were hazy yesterday. It always seems to be hazy on Sundays.

Views.

Views.

The hillsides all-around me were covered everywhere in a blanket of flowers which were red, pink and white. Apparently these were rose myrtles. They were really beautiful.

Flower covered hillside.

Flower covered hillside.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

I decided to cut off the road and head to the lookout point that I have been to before. This route was a much easier way to get there than taking the broken, uneven stairway I had followed before. I sat at the lookout point for a little while to enjoy the views, take advantage of some shade and take a little rest. There was a lady with three dogs who kept attempting to leave the lookout point, but her highly disobedient dogs kept running away from her and coming back to the lookout. It was quite funny and made everyone there laugh.

View from Lookout.

View from Lookout.

View from Lookout.

View from Lookout.

I also took some photos of the mountains all around, which as I said before, were really colourful due to all the flowers. I guess the mountains are worth repeat visits as they will be different in each season

Mountain.

Mountain.

Mountain.

Mountain.

Mountain.

Mountain.

Path with Flowers.

Path with Flowers.

Path.

Path.

After visiting the lookout point, I then walked back to the road and climbed further up to Discovery Bay Reservoir. On route I passed some very expensive houses. These are real houses with gardens, rather than flats, but they are not village houses. This is rare in Hong Kong and they are very expensive. There were lots of colourful flowers in the communal gardens in this area which made the mountains look even lovelier.

Posh Houses on way to Golf Course.

Posh Houses on way to Golf Course.

Mountain with Flowers.

Mountain with Flowers.

Mountain with Flowers.

Mountain with Flowers.

Mountain with Flowers.

Mountain with Flowers.

Past the houses was the reservoir on one side of the road and great views over the winding road and the sea on the other. At the end of the reservoir, I decided to head back down into Discovery Bay. This was when I returned to the rock pools to bathe my feet.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Reservoir.

Views.

Views.

Back down from the mountain, I wandered around the far end of Discovery Bay before heading back home to escape the humidity and heat. There were lots of lovely flowers and beautiful tumbling waterfalls. I later found out, when I returned home, that I had got quite sunburnt.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Posted by irenevt 06:49 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (4)

On a Quest of Discovery.

Looking around Discovery Bay

rain

Peter and I get our second injections tomorrow so I did not want to exhaust myself with a long hike today. Added to that, Peter wanted to swim in the morning, so I couldn't go for a walk till the afternoon when it would already be getting hot. For these reasons, I just went for a short walk close to home, but I wanted to do one I haven't written up before, so I chose to walk to Nim Shue Wan Village and the Trappist Monastery. On route I saw some lovely flowers.

Irises.

Irises.

Flowers.

Flowers.

There are several lovely, sandy beaches in this area, though sometimes they are covered with quite a bit of rubbish. From time to time there are community efforts to clean up the beaches in this area.

Nim Shue Wan Beach with Discovery Bay in the background.

Nim Shue Wan Beach with Discovery Bay in the background.

View of Discovery Bay.

View of Discovery Bay.

Discovery Bay written on the Beach.

Discovery Bay written on the Beach.

Beach with tree.

Beach with tree.

Nim Shue Wan Village was originally a small Hakka village. It dates back to the early nineteenth century so was there long before Discovery Bay was ever built. Now it is located right next to Discovery Bay on Nim Shue Wan Beach. At the end of the nineteenth century, the village was almost totally destroyed in a huge typhoon. Following the typhoon, there was an outbreak of disease and the surviving villagers moved away, leaving the village deserted for around twenty to thirty years. Then around the 1940's some Hakka people moved back into the village. They made their living from growing vegetables or breeding pigs. Nowadays Nim Shue Wan Village is still inhabited by some fishermen, but it's also home to lots of Filipino helpers who work in Discovery Bay, but find it cheaper to rent accommodation here.

Path through the village.

Path through the village.

Village Houses on a Stream.

Village Houses on a Stream.

Village House.

Village House.

Village House.

Village House.

Village street.

Village street.

Village House.

Village House.

Village Houses.

Village Houses.

Village House.

Village House.

Village House and Flags.

Village House and Flags.

Pathway through the village.

Pathway through the village.

Village Houses.

Village Houses.

One of the really good things about this village is that it has lots of little farms which grow either flowers or fruit and vegetables organically. It is possible to visit these farms and buy a variety of produce from them.

Market Gardens with Discovery Bay in the background.

Market Gardens with Discovery Bay in the background.

Bananas.

Bananas.

Pomegranates.

Pomegranates.

Plant Nursery.

Plant Nursery.

Colourful Garden.

Colourful Garden.

Market Garden.

Market Garden.

Crops.

Crops.

Market Garden.

Market Garden.

Flowers for sale.

Flowers for sale.

Pathway through the village gardens.

Pathway through the village gardens.

Across the gardens to the sea.

Across the gardens to the sea.

View across the gardens towards the sea.

View across the gardens towards the sea.

Small organic farm with banana tree and pond.

Small organic farm with banana tree and pond.

Colourful Garden.

Colourful Garden.

Moth.

Moth.

Like most Chinese villages on the sea, Nim Shue Wan has a Tin Hau Temple dating from 1920. The statue of Tin Hau, goddess of the sea, located here was taken to nearby Peng Chau Island and hidden during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. The pathway to the temple is lined with colourful flags. There were also a couple of small village shrines. One of these was probably a shrine to the earth god as he protects villages.

Which religious building will you choose?

Which religious building will you choose?

Flags mark the path to the temple.

Flags mark the path to the temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau in her temple.

Tin Hau in her temple.

Shrine

Shrine

After looking around the village, I continued further on to the nearby Trappist Monastery. This is the beginning part of a hike from Discovery Bay to Mui Wo, but I was not doing the full hike, just the beginning part. I have done the full hike on earlier occasions, but i did not take any photos of it.

Pathway.

Pathway.

Flower lined path.

Flower lined path.

In addition to being able to walk to the Trappist monastery, it is also possible to get there by kai-to, a small passenger ferry, which travels between Peng Chau and Discovery Bay. From the ferry pier you must walk up a slope lined with the fourteen stations of the cross.

Kai to Pier.

Kai to Pier.

Kai to Pier.

Kai to Pier.

Station of the Cross.

Station of the Cross.

Station of the Cross.

Station of the Cross.

Station of the Cross.

Station of the Cross.

The Trappist Monastery was founded by a group of monks who were driven out of Mainland China in 1947. The monastery was at one time known for its dairy farm. It is still possible to find Trappist Dairy Milk in Hong Kong nowadays, though the dairy has now moved to Castle Peak Road in Yuen Long. When the dairy here was closed down, many of the cattle were released. Their descendants are now feral cattle and can be found all over Lantau Island.

Monastery Gateway. Enter in Peace.

Monastery Gateway. Enter in Peace.

Leave in Health.

Leave in Health.

Garden at the monastery.

Garden at the monastery.

Virgin Mary.

Virgin Mary.

Bridge to Monastery.

Bridge to Monastery.

Monastery Building.

Monastery Building.

Building and Flowers next to Monastery.

Building and Flowers next to Monastery.

Monastery Pond.

Monastery Pond.

At the Monastery.

At the Monastery.

Monastery.

Monastery.

Monastery.

Monastery.

The monastery is no longer called the Trappist Monastery. Nowadays it is known as Our Lady of Joy Abbey.

On my walk back to Discovery Bay I enjoyed the scenic coastal views towards Peng Chau Island. I was pleased when it started to rain as I had totally forgotten to take any water with me and the weather was incredibly humid. The rain fortunately cooled everything down.

Nim Shue Wan Beach.

Nim Shue Wan Beach.

Looking towards Peng Chau.

Looking towards Peng Chau.

Peng Chau.

Peng Chau.

Beach and Boat.

Beach and Boat.

View over Discovery Bay.

View over Discovery Bay.

Beach and View.

Beach and View.

Beach.

Beach.

View over Discovery Bay.

View over Discovery Bay.

Beach.

Beach.

Beautiful View.

Beautiful View.

Beautiful View.

Beautiful View.

View.

View.

View.

View.

View.

View.

Coastline.

Coastline.

Lone Boat.

Lone Boat.

Colourful plants.

Colourful plants.

Down to the Beach.

Down to the Beach.

Today's Wildlife was a Burmese python. Actually it wasn't. I didn't see this, but my friend did in another part of Discovery Bay a few days before my walk.

Today's Wildlife was a Burmese python. Actually it wasn't. I didn't see this, but my friend did in another part of Discovery Bay a few days before my walk.

Posted by irenevt 04:51 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (8)

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