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Hong Kong

Done with Lions, moving on to Rhinos.

Hiking to Rhino Rock in Stanley.

sunny

Rhino Rock.

Rhino Rock.

About a year ago, I set out to hike to Rhino Rock. I took a bus directly to Stanley and it was so hot, I abandoned the hike and just wandered around Stanley instead. This failed hike actually marked the end of my hiking season. I didn't do another one until about October.

Today, I set out again to walk to Rhino Rock. This time I took bus 14 to the very start of the hike. It was a really, really hot day and I felt tempted to abandon the walk again, but I decided to keep going.

To get to the Rhino Rock Trailhead, I took bus 14 from exit A, Sai Wan Ho Station and stayed on to the last stop. The last stop is Stanley Fort which is now a People's Liberation Army of China Barracks.

View over Stanley Fort from the Rhino Rock Trail.

View over Stanley Fort from the Rhino Rock Trail.

Stanley Fort was originally built in 1841, as a British Army Barracks with accommodation for both soldiers and officers. These barracks are quite large occupying around 128 hectares. Of course, it is not possible to go inside nowadays, but I could hear the soldiers exercising as I climbed the hill.

The Rhino Rock Hike leads to a large rock which sticks out over Stanley Bay and has weathered beautifully until it resembles the shape of a rhinoceros' head. The hike starts on the left hand side if you are facing the barracks. There is a green gate at the entrance. I believe this is sometimes open, but when I went it was locked. I joined everyone else in manoeuvring myself around it. Past the gate there are some very worn down stairs. The climb up this hill is relatively short, around ten minutes, but it is very steep and quite tiring.

Steep path up.

Steep path up.

Steep path up.

Steep path up.

At the end of the stairs, there is a forest path leading to a trigonometrical marker. To the right there is a path through the bushes. The path is marked with ribbons to help hikers find it as it is not signposted. In fact this is a hike where the ribbons are a Godsend or it would be very difficult to find the way to the rock.

Forest Path.

Forest Path.

Trigonometrical marker.

Trigonometrical marker.

Selfie with trigonometrical marker.

Selfie with trigonometrical marker.

Trail marked with ribbons.

Trail marked with ribbons.

The path begins with a walk through tall sharp shrubbery. When you emerge from this, there is a very slippy, loose sand slope. It's necessary to go slowly here to avoid falling. There are lovely views over Stanley Bay from here. I did notice some discolouration in the water and wondered if it was red tide which is caused by an overgrowth of toxic red dinoflagellates algae. We once went swimming at Deep Water Bay and swam into red tide. It was horrible, really hard to scrub it all off.

Path through the bushes.

Path through the bushes.

View of the bay and fort.

View of the bay and fort.

View over the bay. I wonder if the reddish stuff in the water is red tide.

View over the bay. I wonder if the reddish stuff in the water is red tide.

View over the bay.

View over the bay.

Selfie with bay.

Selfie with bay.

Next there is a steeper and even slippier slope and ropes are provided to help you go down without falling. Again I believe hikers set up the ropes to help other hikers, just like they do with the ribbons.

Slope down with rope.

Slope down with rope.

On the slippery slope.

On the slippery slope.

When you reach the bottom of that slope, you are off through the shrubbery again. This path is also pretty tall and a bit prickly. You should cover your arms and legs to avoid getting scratched. My legs were covered, but my arms weren't and I have the scratch marks to prove it.

Path through the shrubbery.

Path through the shrubbery.

After this shrubbery, there is another oddly shaped rock. I don't think it has a name. I thought it looked a bit like an elephant waving its trunk in the air. It's quite difficult to get down to. This area is very slippy. I did not go all the way down.

The unnamed rock on the way down. It looks a bit like an elephant.

The unnamed rock on the way down. It looks a bit like an elephant.

Unnamed rock.

Unnamed rock.

The next part of the path involves making your way through some very large boulders. It's necessary to go slow, so queues form here if many people are going at the same time. It's also very difficult to pass people going the other way. There are more attractive and interesting rock formations around this area.

Queueing to climb down to Rhino Rock, Hong Kong.

Queueing to climb down to Rhino Rock, Hong Kong.

In between the rocks.

In between the rocks.

View from between the rocks.

View from between the rocks.

View from the slopes.

View from the slopes.

Fellow hiker on the rocks.

Fellow hiker on the rocks.

Rock Shapes.

Rock Shapes.

At one point the way between the boulders is really narrow and you can only proceed in single file. I was glad I did not come on a Sunday. That would be hell on Earth, but it was great to have some people, as I could simply follow them without getting lost. I was beginning to feel this was more of an assault course than a hike.

Squeezing through the narrow path and still following the ribbons.

Squeezing through the narrow path and still following the ribbons.

Narrow Path.

Narrow Path.

Narrow path between the rocks.

Narrow path between the rocks.

Looking back at the area with the narrow rocky trail.

Looking back at the area with the narrow rocky trail.

Eventually I reached the Rhino Rock. Chinese people love to see different shapes in rocks and there are many named rocks here, such as: Lion Rock, Amah Rock, Shark Rock, Piglet Rock, Star Rock. Some look more like the animal or thing they are named after than others. Rhino Rock actually really does look like a rhino. There was a small boy behind me who made me laugh by asking his auntie very loudly: "Is that a real rhino?"

Rhino Rock.

Rhino Rock.

Rhino Rock closer up.

Rhino Rock closer up.

Rhino Rock with person for scale.

Rhino Rock with person for scale.

Viewed from lower down, it is not rhino like at all.

Viewed from lower down, it is not rhino like at all.

People taking a rest near the rock.

People taking a rest near the rock.

I've seen photos of people climbing up and standing on the rhino's nose. I had no plans for doing this, partly because I'm not completely mad and partly because I have a bit of a balance problem, as I have something wrong with my ears. Actually, while I was there, noone climbed up onto the rhino. I think this trail is considered too dangerous and that the bit it was possible to climb up, I think it was a tree behind the rock, has been taken away. There were a group of Filipinas in front of me on the walk who had even brought their own step ladder with them, presumably so they could climb up, but I never saw them on the rock. Perhaps it wasn't long enough!!! Or perhaps they were trying to attach it and I had left before they succeeded.

There were lots of people taking turns at posing for photos. I took some shots with and without people in them and some selfies. Pre the big COVID outbreak here I used to ask people to take my photo. Now I feel nervous to do so in case they think: 'I'm not touching your phone you may have COVID', not that anyone has ever said that to me. This is probably me just me being paranoid, but today a lovely lady offered to take my photo, so I got some nice shots of me with the rhino.

Me with Rhino Rock.

Me with Rhino Rock.

Me with Rhino Rock.

Me with Rhino Rock.

Selfie with Rhino Rock.

Selfie with Rhino Rock.

I only went the wrong way once on the climb back up the hill which is quite good for me. There was a number 14 bus in when I arrived back at the stop so I leapt on. I had considered doing two hikes today. The other in nearby Chung Hom Kok, but although the Rhino Hike was short and didn't take up much time, it was just too hot to do a second walk.

View away from the sea.

View away from the sea.

View from the cliff.

View from the cliff.

View from the cliff.

View from the cliff.

As it was still early, I decided I would do a detour to Jordan on the way back. That way I got to cool down on transport first. Plus in a built up area, it's always possible to nip inside a shop or somewhere to cool down in the air-conditioning.

The number 14 bus route is very scenic. I took a couple of pictures as the bus crossed over Tai Tam Tuk Dam. I saw the Red Hill houses I kept photographing on section 7 of the Hong Kong Trail close up. Unfortunately, I was on the wrong side for taking photos of these. My goodness those houses are colourful! I also saw the shopping centre that I mistook for a temple from a distance. Close up it looks very like a shopping centre.

Tai Tam Tuk from the bus.

Tai Tam Tuk from the bus.

Tai Tam Tuk from the bus.

Tai Tam Tuk from the bus.

Colourful building next to Tai Tam Tuk Dam.

Colourful building next to Tai Tam Tuk Dam.

When I got to Jordan, I took exit E, probably not the most sensible exit, as it brought me out into a shopping centre. It took me a while to find my way to street level. I eventually exited onto Nathan Road and turned left. Then I turned left on Austin Road and continued on to Chatham Road South where I again went left. I passed a beautiful school in an old colonial building. This is St. Mary's Canossian College, a Catholic girls secondary school, founded in 1900. It originally catered to the Portuguese Community of Hong Kong. Opposite the school, there was another former British Barracks, now frequented by the PLA. This one was Gun Club Hill Barracks. It dates from around the beginning of the twentieth century. There were canons outside its entrance.

St. Mary's Canossian College side view.

St. Mary's Canossian College side view.

St. Mary's Canossian College.

St. Mary's Canossian College.

St. Mary's Canossian College.

St. Mary's Canossian College.

St. Mary's Canossian College.

St. Mary's Canossian College.

Canon outside Gun Club Hill Barracks

Canon outside Gun Club Hill Barracks

Gun Club Hill Barracks.

Gun Club Hill Barracks.

Gun Club Hill Barracks.

Gun Club Hill Barracks.

I was heading for the Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower. This stunning building was designed by Zaha Hadid. I loved the Riverside Museum of Transport in Glasgow which she designed and I only just realised she had designed a building here, too. Innovation Tower is on the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Appropriately it is home to their school of architecture. The security guards would not let me on the campus due to COVID, though I did try and persuade them to let me in. I could only photograph the building through a fence and across a motorway, but it was still beautiful. This building was completed in 2014, so it has taken me a while to notice it exists!!!

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower viewed across a pool.

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower viewed across a pool.

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower viewed across a pool.

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower viewed across a pool.

Motorway and bridge linking two campuses of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Motorway and bridge linking two campuses of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower viewed from front.

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower viewed from front.

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower viewed from side across a motorway.

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower viewed from side across a motorway.

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower viewed from side across a motorway.

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower viewed from side across a motorway.

On my walk back to the MTR I took a different route and ended up passing Kings Park which I think I've failed to find twice, but this time wasn't looking for. Actually I think I haven't found it before because it's not really a park anymore. It has lots of sports related buildings built on it. This time I passed the hockey ground.

King's Park Hockey Grounds.

King's Park Hockey Grounds.

Club for Chinese Civil Servants.

Club for Chinese Civil Servants.

Finally, I took an mtr back home from Jordan.

Posted by irenevt 02:09 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (9)

Lions and Amahs.

Climbing up Lion Rock.

sunny

View while climbing up the Lion's Head

View while climbing up the Lion's Head

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

Lion Rock viewed from Diamond Hill on a different day.

Lion Rock viewed from Diamond Hill on a different day.

Lion Rock viewed from Diamond Hill on a different day.

Lion Rock viewed from Diamond Hill on a different day.

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

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

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

Tai Wai Old Village.

Tai Wai Old Village.

Fancy Doorways.

Fancy Doorways.

Fancy Doorways.

Fancy Doorways.

Earth god shrine.

Earth god shrine.

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

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

Game painted onto the riverbed.

Game painted onto the riverbed.

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

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

Sign for Amah Rock at Hung Mui Kuk Barbeque Site.

Sign for Amah Rock at Hung Mui Kuk Barbeque Site.

Hung Mui Kuk Barbeque Site.

Hung Mui Kuk Barbeque Site.

Stairs up through the barbeque site.

Stairs up through the barbeque site.

Stairs at the barbeque site.

Stairs at the barbeque site.

Cross the bridge over the catch water.

Cross the bridge over the catch water.

Choose your route.

Choose your route.

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

Cross the stream on the way to Amah Rock.

Cross the stream on the way to Amah Rock.

Cross the stream on the way to Amah Rock.

Cross the stream on the way to Amah Rock.

Walks in Hong Kong involve lots of stairs.

Walks in Hong Kong involve lots of stairs.

Stairs, stairs and more stairs.

Stairs, stairs and more stairs.

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

Close up of Amah Rock.

Close up of Amah Rock.

Close up of Amah Rock.

Close up of Amah Rock.

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

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

Views over Sha Tin from Amah Rock.

Views over Sha Tin from Amah Rock.

Views over Sha Tin from Amah Rock.

Views over Sha Tin from Amah Rock.

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

Always good to find a bit of flat path.

Always good to find a bit of flat path.

Looking back at Amah Rock.

Looking back at Amah Rock.

Looking back at Amah Rock.

Looking back at Amah Rock.

Amah Rock with Sha Tin behind her.

Amah Rock with Sha Tin behind her.

Amah Rock with Sha Tin behind her.

Amah Rock with Sha Tin behind her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Military Marker.

Military Marker.

Military Marker.

Military Marker.

Reunification Pavilion.

Reunification Pavilion.

The path to Beacon Hill.

The path to Beacon Hill.

Path to Wang Tau Hom.

Path to Wang Tau Hom.

Sign for Lion Rock.

Sign for Lion Rock.

Shelter on the walk up to Lion's Rock.

Shelter on the walk up to Lion's Rock.

Stairs up to Lion Rock.

Stairs up to Lion Rock.

Stairs up to Lion Rock.

Stairs up to Lion Rock.

Path up to Lion Rock.

Path up to Lion Rock.

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

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

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

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

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

View from the top across bright red flowers.

View from the top across bright red flowers.

View from the lion's middle .

View from the lion's middle .

View from the top with flowers.

View from the top with flowers.

Beautiful view from the top.

Beautiful view from the top.

View from the middle

View from the middle

Views across vegetation.

Views across vegetation.

Wide views from the top.

Wide views from the top.

Posing at the top.

Posing at the top.

View across bushes.

View across bushes.

View from the top.

View from the top.

View from the top.

View from the top.

View from lion's head.

View from lion's head.

Looking at the Lion's Head.

Looking at the Lion's Head.

Another look back at the lion's head.

Another look back at the lion's head.

Sign at the top of Lion Rock.

Sign at the top of Lion Rock.

Lots of danger signs on the top of Lion Rock.

Lots of danger signs on the top of Lion Rock.

Me on top of Lion Rock.

Me on top of Lion Rock.

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

Inside a pylon.

Inside a pylon.

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

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

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

View on the walk down to Sha Tin Pass.

View on the walk down to Sha Tin Pass.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Sha Tin Pass Road.

Sha Tin Pass Road.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple Door.

Temple Door.

Temple.

Temple.

Posted by irenevt 12:44 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (2)

Trailing to the Bitter End.

The Hong Kong Trail Sections Seven and Eight.

sunny

It was a beautiful day: blue skies and clear views. Top temperatures of the day were predicted to be around 25 degrees, so not too hot for walking. I got up early and set out soon after, as the last two sections of the Hong Kong Trail are the longest ones.

To get to the start of Section Seven I went by MTR to Sai Wan Ho Station, exited through exit A, and took bus 14 to Tai Tam Reservoir North. If you are ever in Hong Kong, I'd highly recommend taking this bus route all the way to Stanley, as it crosses over the top of the Tai Tam Tuk Dam and the views are amazing. Unfortunately, I had to get off just before it crossed.

From the bus stop, I walked about 100 metres back the way on the same side of the road. There's no pavement here, so it is necessary to walk with caution. I saw the path sloping down on my right and began Section Seven.

Section Seven is seven and a half kilometres long and goes from Tai Tam Road to To Tei Wan. For most of the way this trail follows a flat concrete path through the forest and next to a catch-water. It's very easy to walk on and there's plenty of shade from the surrounding trees. Every so often there are little bridges and waterfalls along the route, though the waterfalls were just trickles on this walk.

Catch water.

Catch water.

Catch water.

Catch water.

Catch water.

Catch water.

Reflections in the catch water.

Reflections in the catch water.

Selfie on catch water.

Selfie on catch water.

Bridge.

Bridge.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Jungle Path.

Jungle Path.

I've read lots of blogs by people who did the whole Hong Kong Trail in a day and they complain about this section describing it as samey and endless. I wasn't in as much of a hurry as they were and I stopped to enjoy the spectacular views from here over Tai Tam Harbour. On a sunny day these views were pretty breathtaking. It's possible to see Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir Dam, Red Hill, Tai Tam Tuk Harbour and, in the distance, Stanley.

Tai Tam Harbour through the flowers.

Tai Tam Harbour through the flowers.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Red Hill.

Red Hill.

Red Hill.

Red Hill.

Stanley with zoom.

Stanley with zoom.

Stanley with zoom.

Stanley with zoom.

Selfie with harbour.

Selfie with harbour.

I noticed a few interesting buildings in the distance and took shots of these with my camera zoom, which is quite powerful. Some of these I am sure are part of the Tai Tam Heritage Trail near Tai Tam Harbour. One of them looked like an elaborate temple, but turned out to be Red Hill Shopping Centre. Red Hill is a low level residential area built on a peninsula in Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters and Chimney Shaft on Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail

Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters and Chimney Shaft on Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail

Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters and Chimney Shaft on Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail

Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters and Chimney Shaft on Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail

Zoom shots of buildings on Tai Tam Raw Water Pumping Station.

Zoom shots of buildings on Tai Tam Raw Water Pumping Station.

From a distance this looked like a temple. I photographed it with my zoom and discovered it was a shopping centre.

From a distance this looked like a temple. I photographed it with my zoom and discovered it was a shopping centre.

As well as the views, there were lots of lovely flowers on route. There were also masses of butterflies. I especially liked the black ones with bright blue edges to their wings, though none of these would pose for me.

Butterfly on Indian hawthorne.

Butterfly on Indian hawthorne.

Beautiful Flowers. I think this is shell ginger.

Beautiful Flowers. I think this is shell ginger.

Beautiful Flowers. I think this is shell ginger.

Beautiful Flowers. I think this is shell ginger.

Sunshine through the leaves.

Sunshine through the leaves.

Spiky Plants. I think it is screwpine.

Spiky Plants. I think it is screwpine.

Spiky Plants.

Spiky Plants.

At one point there were stairs off this path leading down to a lovely little village and a beautiful temple. I really wanted to investigate both of these, but it was too big a diversion when I had two long sections of trail to do. I might go back some day and walk the lower path nearer the sea.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple taken with my zoom.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple taken with my zoom.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple with zoom.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple with zoom.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple with zoom.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple with zoom.

Flight of birds near the temple.

Flight of birds near the temple.

Lan Nai Wan Village and Red Hill.

Lan Nai Wan Village and Red Hill.

Lan Nai Wan Village and Red Hill.

Lan Nai Wan Village and Red Hill.

Lan Nai Wan Village with zoom.

Lan Nai Wan Village with zoom.

Lan Nai Wan Village with zoom

Lan Nai Wan Village with zoom

View over a village.

View over a village.

At the end of Section Seven I did go off the trail slightly to visit a lovely little beach. This was very pretty, but there was a lot of rubbish on it, especially around the bins, which were overflowing. Government beaches, which have lifeguards, toilets, changing rooms and shark nets are all closed at the moment, but this was not a government beach, so there were people here enjoying the beach.

Village by the beach.

Village by the beach.

Boats on the beach.

Boats on the beach.

Boat on the beach.

Boat on the beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

From the beach to get to the end of Section Seven, you have to go up some steep stairs. In one blog the writer claimed she had climbed seven hundred stairs here. I thought that was just her exaggerating and making a joke. Sadly she wasn't. From the beach to get to Shek O Road, I had to climb over seven hundred and fifty steps. It nearly killed me. My biggest motivating force was I needed to go to the loo by this stage and I knew there were toilets at the start of Stage Eight.

The start of the seven hundred steps looks harmless enough.

The start of the seven hundred steps looks harmless enough.

The Seven Hundred Steps.

The Seven Hundred Steps.

The village and beach viewed from the steps.

The village and beach viewed from the steps.

At the top of the stairs I arrived at Shek O Road and the start of Section Eight. I was exhausted from the climb up from Section Seven. I visited the loo and then found a shady spot at the start of Section Eight where I could sit and drink lots and lots of water. A bus arrived when I was sitting there and lots of hikers started their climb up the mountain. They gave me pitying glances as they passed, because I looked as if I had walked about ten steps then collapsed. When I felt a bit cooler and no longer dehydrated, I began my ascent.

Section Eight of the Hong Kong Trail is also known as The Dragon's Back and it's one of the most popular hikes in Hong Kong. This section is eight and a half kilometres long and goes from To Tei Wan to Tai Long Wan. In English Tai Long Wan translates to Big Wave Bay which is a beautiful village with a beach that is popular with surfers.

Dragon's Back sign.

Dragon's Back sign.

View on the climb up.

View on the climb up.

Climbing up to the Dragon's Back.

Climbing up to the Dragon's Back.

Steps up Dragon's Back.

Steps up Dragon's Back.

I have walked Dragon's Back before, but then I did it with fresh legs, I was a bit worried I'd be too tired to get up the hill having already walked around eight kilometres. After quite a few steps, I arrived at a viewing point with views over Tai Tam Harbour.

Dragon's Back Viewpoint on climb up.

Dragon's Back Viewpoint on climb up.

View from Viewing Point.

View from Viewing Point.

I continued to the point where the trail splits. If you go to the right, you climb up the mountain. If you go to the left, you go around the mountain on the flat. The two paths meet later on. I went to the right up the mountain as that's the way the Hong Kong Trail goes. I remembered a very steep set of stairs up. I kept thinking I hope I have the strength to get up those. I've started a new technique where I avoid looking at how much I have to climb and just concentrate on the bit directly in front of me. I kept thinking just get up these steps and then there's just one last steep bit to go. To my surprise when I came to the end of the stairs I was at the top and that had been the steep bit I had been doing. I was delighted. What's more it was really easy compared with the seven hundred and fifty stairs up from the beach.

From the top of the mountain there are beautiful views over Shek O Peninsula, the village of Shek O and its two beaches. There are also views over Shek O Golf Course. I spent some time soaking these up.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Golf Club.

Shek O Golf Club.

Shek O Golf Club.

Shek O Golf Club.

Shek O Golf Club and peninsula.

Shek O Golf Club and peninsula.

Shek O Beach.

Shek O Beach.

Selfie with Shek O Peninsula.

Selfie with Shek O Peninsula.

The Dragon's Back Path undulates like the back of a dragon so you go down a bit, up a bit, down a bit, up a bit etc the whole way along, but it's not as hard as it sounds because the ups and downs are small and not too steep.

Dragon's Back Trail.

Dragon's Back Trail.

Dragon's Back Trail

Dragon's Back Trail

In some areas the path is rocky.

In some areas the path is rocky.

After a while the views are overlooking Big Wave Bay on one side and Tai Tam Harbour on the other.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

The highest point on this walk is Shek O Peak at 284 metres. This is where you will find the trigonometrical marker. On the hill just beyond this is the Dragon's Back viewing point. From here you can enjoy the views in all directions.

Marker at top of Shek O Peak.

Marker at top of Shek O Peak.

Shek O Peak board and view.

Shek O Peak board and view.

Shek O Peak board.

Shek O Peak board.

It was windy on top of the mountain. Can you tell?

It was windy on top of the mountain. Can you tell?

Dragon's Back Viewpoint.

Dragon's Back Viewpoint.

After the viewing point, you begin your descent. The way down is quite uneven and you have to be careful not to turn your ankle here. Eventually I arrived at an intersection with the earlier path that skirts round the mountain. Last time I looped back left here by mistake and the views were spectacular. This time I went right following the Hong Kong Trail through the forest. This was pleasant and shady with the occasional view, but it wasn't as beautiful as the other way.

Intersection of the round the mountain and over the mountain paths.

Intersection of the round the mountain and over the mountain paths.

Pleasant Shady Forest Path.

Pleasant Shady Forest Path.

View from Forest Road Section.

View from Forest Road Section.

At the end of the forest path I came out onto a road. There was a sign post telling me to go right and that I just had two and a half kilometres left to do. The path to the right was actually part of Cape Collinson Road and very easy to walk on. Through the trees I could see a huge hillside cemetery. There was a view point on route that looked over Siu Sai Wan and Tseung Kwan O.

Siu Sai Wan and Tseung Kwan O.

Siu Sai Wan and Tseung Kwan O.

Siu Sai Wan and Tseung Kwan O.

Siu Sai Wan and Tseung Kwan O.

I was a bit annoyed because after walking for quite a while, a new sign told me there were two and a half kilometres to go. I was getting tired by this point so I wanted the distance to go down not up. The same thing happened again later. At Cape Collinson rest garden a sign told me one and a half kilometres to go. I walked for around 500metres and reached a sign that said one and a half kilometres to go.

Cape Collinson Road.

Cape Collinson Road.

Cape Collinson Road.

Cape Collinson Road.

Rest area on Cape Collinson Road.

Rest area on Cape Collinson Road.

Sign posts and trail markers didn't quite agree.

Sign posts and trail markers didn't quite agree.

Hong Kong Forest Track Mount Collinson Section.

Hong Kong Forest Track Mount Collinson Section.

The last bit of the path down into Big Wave Bay was very uneven and hard to walk on. I was just desperate to get the walk finished by this stage. I knew my last marker was number 100. I reached 98, struggled on to 99 and finally, just before the last steps into Big Wave Bay, reached marker 100. It was over I had finally made it. Yippee!!!

Marker 97, getting near.

Marker 97, getting near.

Marker 98, nearer still.

Marker 98, nearer still.

Marker 99, almost there.

Marker 99, almost there.

The 100 Marker.

The 100 Marker.

I made it to the 100 marker.

I made it to the 100 marker.

As I have said before I don't think sticking rigourously to a trail is for me. I prefer to wander all over the place. However, this trail has challenged me in a positive way. For example on Section Five I successfully did more climbing than I thought I could do and on Section Seven and Eight I walked longer than I thought I could do. Sometimes it's good to challenge yourself.

I walked down to Big Wave Bay Beach. On my first visit here the beach was closed due to COVID and had police tape around it. This time it is closed due to COVID again and has a really ugly huge plastic barricade around it. I found this really sad.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Barricades and Beaches.

Barricades and Beaches.

Big Wave Bay Beach across the barricade.

Big Wave Bay Beach across the barricade.

Big Wave Bay Beach taken with a zoom to avoid the barricades.

Big Wave Bay Beach taken with a zoom to avoid the barricades.

Wet Suits Big Wave Bay.

Wet Suits Big Wave Bay.

Surf Boards Big Wave Bay.

Surf Boards Big Wave Bay.

The restaurants in Big Wave Bay were nearly empty, the shops hiring wet suits and surf boards were doing no business. I thought the whole place was sad to see like this. The closed beach has taken all the life out of this village. I was glad to jump on a number 9 minibus and head home.

Posted by irenevt 07:16 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (6)

The Ups and Downs of Trailing.

Hong Kong Trail Section Five and Six.

sunny

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

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

City Plaza Mall. Tai Koo Shing.

City Plaza Mall. Tai Koo Shing.

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

The ship shaped Whampoa shopping mall.

The ship shaped Whampoa shopping mall.

Front of the ship.

Front of the ship.

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

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

Cannon and Plaque.

Cannon and Plaque.

Colourful tunnel at the shopping centre.

Colourful tunnel at the shopping centre.

Colourful tunnel at the shopping centre.

Colourful tunnel at the shopping centre.

Maritime themed mural.

Maritime themed mural.

Dolphin sculpture outside building my friend works in.

Dolphin sculpture outside building my friend works in.

Dolphin sculpture outside building my friend works in.

Dolphin sculpture outside building my friend works in.

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

Out for dinner.

Out for dinner.

Birthday boy with his Leffe.

Birthday boy with his Leffe.

Peter's fish and chips.

Peter's fish and chips.

My tuna.

My tuna.

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

Blue Skies over Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Blue Skies over Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Blue Skies over Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Blue Skies over Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

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

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

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

Staircase up.

Staircase up.

Hong Kong Trail marker.

Hong Kong Trail marker.

And next to it Wilson Trail Marker.

And next to it Wilson Trail Marker.

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

The Osborn Memorial.

The Osborn Memorial.

Detail of poppy wreath.

Detail of poppy wreath.

Me with the memorial.

Me with the memorial.

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

Looking back at the view.

Looking back at the view.

Looking back at the view.

Looking back at the view.

Stairs, stairs, stairs.

Stairs, stairs, stairs.

Boulders on the way up.

Boulders on the way up.

Some parts of the path were shaded.

Some parts of the path were shaded.

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

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

At the top of Jardine's Lookout.

At the top of Jardine's Lookout.

Arriving at Jardine's Lookout.

Arriving at Jardine's Lookout.

View from Jardine's Lookout.

View from Jardine's Lookout.

View from Jardine's Lookout.

View from Jardine's Lookout.

Selfie at Jardine's Lookout.

Selfie at Jardine's Lookout.

Looking the other way over Tai Tam Reservoirs.

Looking the other way over Tai Tam Reservoirs.

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

View over harbour on descent from Jardine's Lookout.

View over harbour on descent from Jardine's Lookout.

Descending Jardine's Lookout.

Descending Jardine's Lookout.

Mount Butler Quarry.

Mount Butler Quarry.

Approaching Mount Butler Quarry.

Approaching Mount Butler Quarry.

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

Little bridge at bottom of Jardine's Lookout.

Little bridge at bottom of Jardine's Lookout.

Walking at the side of the quarry

Walking at the side of the quarry

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

Stairs up Mount Butler.

Stairs up Mount Butler.

More and More Stairs

More and More Stairs

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

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

Where the Hong Kong Trail and Wilson Trail Split.

Where the Hong Kong Trail and Wilson Trail Split.

View on climb up Mount Butler.

View on climb up Mount Butler.

Tai Tam Reservoirs.

Tai Tam Reservoirs.

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

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

Tai Tam through beautiful green foliage.

Tai Tam through beautiful green foliage.

Looking back at Park View from Mount Butler.

Looking back at Park View from Mount Butler.

Tiny Flowers.

Tiny Flowers.

Cave on Mount Butler.

Cave on Mount Butler.

Cave on climb up Mount Butler.

Cave on climb up Mount Butler.

Second Cave on Mount Butler.

Second Cave on Mount Butler.

Nearly at the top of Mount Butler.

Nearly at the top of Mount Butler.

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

Top of Mount Butler.

Top of Mount Butler.

Viewing Point on Mount Butler.

Viewing Point on Mount Butler.

View from Mount Butler.

View from Mount Butler.

View from Mount Butler.

View from Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

View from top of Mount Butler.

Tai Tam Reservoirs from Mount Butler.

Tai Tam Reservoirs from Mount Butler.

Selfie on Mount Butler.

Selfie on Mount Butler.

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

Jacob's Ladder down Mount Butler.

Jacob's Ladder down Mount Butler.

Jacob's Ladder down Mount Butler.

Jacob's Ladder down Mount Butler.

Shelter on Mount Parker Road.

Shelter on Mount Parker Road.

On Mount Parker Road.

On Mount Parker Road.

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

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

Unusual Tree.

Unusual Tree.

Forest Path.

Forest Path.

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

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Sign.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Sign.

First Glimpse of Tai Tam Upper Reservoir through the Trees.

First Glimpse of Tai Tam Upper Reservoir through the Trees.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam.

Looking back at Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam Wall.

Looking back at Tai Tam Upper Reservoir Dam Wall.

Signs for Heritage Trail.

Signs for Heritage Trail.

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

Sign for Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir.

Sign for Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir.

Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir Dam.

Looking at the colourful koi in the Byewash Reservoir.

Looking at the colourful koi in the Byewash Reservoir.

Colourful koi in the Byewash Reservoir.

Colourful koi in the Byewash Reservoir.

Colourful koi in Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir.

Colourful koi in Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir.

Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir with Aqueduct in distance.

Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir with Aqueduct in distance.

Photo of the aqueduct with my zoom.

Photo of the aqueduct with my zoom.

Tai Tam Aqueduct.

Tai Tam Aqueduct.

View from Aqueduct.

View from Aqueduct.

Old Masonary Bridge.

Old Masonary Bridge.

Old Masonary Bridge.

Old Masonary Bridge.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

Tai Tam Upper Reservoir.

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

Old Boundary Stone marking City of Victoria and Stanley.

Old Boundary Stone marking City of Victoria and Stanley.

Red Brick Building.

Red Brick Building.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colourful Foliage.

Colourful Foliage.

More colourful foliage.

More colourful foliage.

Entrance to path down to Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Entrance to path down to Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

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

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

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

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

Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Selfie with Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Selfie with Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.

Rocks above the stream.

Rocks above the stream.

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

View over Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

View over Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

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

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

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

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

Sign for Hong Kong Trail Section Six.

Sign for Hong Kong Trail Section Six.

Chai Wan Art Work.

Chai Wan Art Work.

Posted by irenevt 11:39 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (4)

Trailing Behind.

Section 3 and 4 of the Hong Kong Trail.

overcast

Lovely white flowers near Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Lovely white flowers near Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Today I decided to do the next two sections of the Hong Kong Trail: Section Three and Section Four. I was a bit confused about how to get to the starting point of Section Three.

It seems when I finished Section Two, I came off the trail slightly too early, then I got a bit lost looking for the bus. I remember thinking to myself I have absolutely no idea where I am. However, I knew, or at least thought I knew, where the end of Section Four was, so I did these two sections in reverse.

To get to the start, or rather end, of Section Four, I took bus number 6 from Exchange Square Bus Station and got off at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir. I should then have crossed the road and found Black's Link. However, I went up the way towards Wong Nai Chung Reservoir by mistake. On the way, I passed some beautiful white bell-shaped flowers. It didn't really matter that I had gone the wrong way, as the only washroom on the whole route was here next to the reservoir, so I would have had to walk up here anyway. I took a quick look at the reservoir, as I always do. The animal headed pedalos on the reservoir were all chained up and not in use due to COVID.

There's a notice board in front of the reservoir showing trail maps, so I was able to work out from that where I should have gone to get to the trail head. As I walked back down, I noticed some very posh looking houses on the hill.

I thought these flowers were very pretty.

I thought these flowers were very pretty.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Big posh houses in this area.

Big posh houses in this area.

Black's of Link.

Black's of Link.

Sign showing interchange between section 4 and 5.

Sign showing interchange between section 4 and 5.

Section Four of the Hong Kong Trail is seven and a half kilometres long. It goes between Wong Nai Chung Gap and Wan Chai Gap. To start it from Section Four of the Hong Kong Trail go to Black's Link. This road was built on the instructions of Major General Wilsone Black. There are not many buildings on this road. Apparently it was built for military reasons to help bolster Hong Kong's defences on the south side of the island.

Once on Black's Link, I walked along this road and then entered Aberdeen Country Park. There should be beautiful views over Deep Water Bay, Ocean Park and Aberdeen Sports Ground near the start of this trail, but the weather was very foggy. I could see lots of mist swirling around the tops of the mountains. I suppose it was fairly atmospheric. When I reached a viewpoint, I did take some pictures of the view, but they were not very good shots due to the weather. There were some lovely flowers near the trail. I took a short detour to look at them. Around this area the trail leaves the paved surface of Black's Link and goes along a dirt track through the forest. It's pleasant and shaded, but you need to watch your feet as there are lots of rocks and tree roots to trip over. At one point, for a few moments, the fog was swept away and blue skies appeared. I thought the weather was going to improve, but unfortunately the blue skies did not last long.

Bridge and entry sign for Aberdeen Country Park.

Bridge and entry sign for Aberdeen Country Park.

The tops of the surrounding mountains were shrouded in fog.

The tops of the surrounding mountains were shrouded in fog.

Foggy Path.

Foggy Path.

Middle Gap Viewing Point.

Middle Gap Viewing Point.

Aberdeen Sports Ground. This is where my school held its sports days.

Aberdeen Sports Ground. This is where my school held its sports days.

Aberdeen Sports Ground.

Aberdeen Sports Ground.

Ocean Park symbol and cable car are on the left of the mountain.

Ocean Park symbol and cable car are on the left of the mountain.

Deep Water Bay, Ocean Park is on the mountain to the right.

Deep Water Bay, Ocean Park is on the mountain to the right.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

At one point the sun came out, but disappeared again seconds later.

At one point the sun came out, but disappeared again seconds later.

As I said, I did this part of the hike in reverse due to not being sure of the starting point, but I think I lucked out on this decision, as although most of the walk is flat, there is one long steep uphill section and for me it was a long steep downhill section. Yippee!

Stairs at the end of Black's Link leading to Aberdeen Reservoir.

Stairs at the end of Black's Link leading to Aberdeen Reservoir.

I'm starting to see that following a trail and sticking to it really is not my style. I'm a bit more all over the place. When I followed Section One, it indicated it was going to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir, but just passed by it from above. I wasn't bothered about that, as I have been to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir several times recently. Section Four claims it goes to Aberdeen Reservoir, but doesn't really. It just goes near. I think I've only been to Aberdeen Reservoir once, so in annoyance, I deviated off the trail to see it and then returned to the trail again. This diversion added another kilometre to my walk. I only went to see Aberdeen Upper Reservoir. If I'd gone to the Lower Reservoir, too, that would have made my walk even longer. I think I'm more into sights than exercise.

Aberdeen Reservoir from above.

Aberdeen Reservoir from above.

Shelter near Reservoir.

Shelter near Reservoir.

Slope down to the reservoir.

Slope down to the reservoir.

Aberdeen Reservoir.

Aberdeen Reservoir.

Me at Aberdeen Reservoir.

Me at Aberdeen Reservoir.

After Aberdeen Reservoir, Section Four of the Hong Kong Trail becomes the same walk as Lady Clemanti's Ride. I've done that walk before and it's very pretty. Lady Clementi was the wife of Hong Kong Governor, Sir Cecil Clemanti. Both of them liked to ride their horses round the mountains of Hong Kong Island. Both of them have trails named after them. My favourite part of the trail are the beautiful masonary bridges here. There are also a few interesting war remains, such as ammunition store rooms and pill boxes.

In some parts the trees made a shady tunnel

In some parts the trees made a shady tunnel

Rocky Path.

Rocky Path.

Beautiful Tree Lined Path.

Beautiful Tree Lined Path.

Selfie in the woods.

Selfie in the woods.

Bridge.

Bridge.

War Remains.

War Remains.

War Remains.

War Remains.

There were quite a few little streams on the walk

There were quite a few little streams on the walk

I love these beautiful masonry bridges.

I love these beautiful masonry bridges.

Masonary Bridge.

Masonary Bridge.

Taller Masonary Bridge.

Taller Masonary Bridge.

Pandanus palm tree.

Pandanus palm tree.

Close up of pandanus palm tree.

Close up of pandanus palm tree.

Near Wan Chai Gap, the Hong Kong Trail separates from Lady Clemanti's Ride and becomes Hong Kong Trail Section Three. This section is six and a half kilometres long and goes between Wan Chai Gap and Peel Rise. The whole of this section is on a lovely shady forest path and is crossed by lots of beautiful streams and passes by many pretty waterfalls.

Lots of bridges, waterfalls and streams characterises section three of the trail.

Lots of bridges, waterfalls and streams characterises section three of the trail.

Standing on this bridge looking at the trees and the waterfalls I felt I had gone back to the Jurassic Age.

Standing on this bridge looking at the trees and the waterfalls I felt I had gone back to the Jurassic Age.

This was my favourite part of the whole trail. Wait a minute is that a T-rex over there.

This was my favourite part of the whole trail. Wait a minute is that a T-rex over there.

Tree trunks and tiny waterfalls.

Tree trunks and tiny waterfalls.

More bridges.

More bridges.

Gurgling Stream.

Gurgling Stream.

Pretty Waterfall.

Pretty Waterfall.

While I was walking along Section Three, Peter phoned me to say the lockdown and compulsory covid testing we were expecting would not be going ahead. Also some of the rules in place for COVID would be relaxed such as: opening up to more flights, reducing quarantine time, gradually opening up again. Thank God. After two years of this, I think we have all had enough.

Near the end of the trail I came to a foot massage path which had lovely brightly coloured poinsettia plants next to it.

Foot Massage Path.

Foot Massage Path.

Colourful Poinsettia Plant next to the foot massage walk.

Colourful Poinsettia Plant next to the foot massage walk.

I then reached the end of the section and decided to walk the short part of Section Two I had missed out. I was glad I did because it passed another lovely waterfall. I retraced my steps to Peel Rise and followed it down into Aberdeen. The path passed by Aberdeen Chinese Cemetery.

Waterfall near the end of the trail.

Waterfall near the end of the trail.

Walking down Peel Rise into Aberdeen

Walking down Peel Rise into Aberdeen

Aberdeen Chinese Cemetery.

Aberdeen Chinese Cemetery.

Aberdeen Chinese Cemetery.

Aberdeen Chinese Cemetery.

I was tired by this stage so did not really want to look at Aberdeen. I walked past the Aberdeen Tin Hau Temple, which is closed as all religions buildings here are closed due to COVID. I continued down to the waterfront and boarded the number 4 bus. The driver was using kangaroo petrol, as a friend of mine would say, and his passengers were being thrown all over the place. I was glad to get off at Hong Kong University MTR and make my way home. Twenty-five kilometres of the trail are done. Twenty-five left to do. Halfway there.

Aberdeen Tin Hau Temple.

Aberdeen Tin Hau Temple.

Artwork decorates the subway stairs.

Artwork decorates the subway stairs.

Beautiful flowers near Aberdeen Waterfront.

Beautiful flowers near Aberdeen Waterfront.

Beautiful flowers near Aberdeen Waterfront.

Beautiful flowers near Aberdeen Waterfront.

Posted by irenevt 10:19 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (9)

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