29.6.18

Lau Shui Heung to Hok Tau 流水響至鶴藪


The passion of taking a nice shot of the reflection and trying out the shorter route drove me to revisit Lau Shui Heung within a week.  I arrived at Lau Shui Heung around 10.15 in the morning. The sun was not high yet. From far I didn't see the reflection but at the shrubs I could take nice photos.


I took time going here and there to take nice photos. When I started ascending the shorter path (left one with steps), it was about ten to twelve. Hikers advised me to go together with two ladies. They heard the recommendations and welcomed me to join them.  It's a blessing that I walked within a short distance with family Yeung a few days ago and this day with Ivy and Samantha. 

The shorter path is the blue line on the map. Up to the end is an intersection, going down to reach Hok Tau.  If you take the red route, you will go towards Tai Po with endless downward steps. It is a demanding path before you reach the staircase to go downward.


The path up to Hok Tau was about an hour.  The most difficult part is the staircase at the beginning. The demanding walk takes about 15 minutes. Afterwards are always hill roads up, flat or down. There is a side track to go up a hill to have a panoramic view.  We skipped as my new friends seemed like suffering from the difficult upward walk.  At a certain point, we had a fabulous view over Hau Tau Reservoir. The path was dotted with butterflies, tom bows and bird symphony.



The list minute to the reservoir is descending staircase. Hooray! Passing through a zigzag bridge, we went into the heart of the reservoir.  It is serene and peaceful.  Tourists were rare.  Occasionally a family with a strong smell of anti-mosquito chemicals.  It was a big contrast to the tranquillity, unfortunately.  Luckily, the smell of nature was back soon as they moved away.
 
 

Samantha found a farm when researching the hike.  We had a short visit after strolling the reservoir.  You will find a sign at the main path from the reservoir to the public transport spot.



E-Farm 川上農莊 is simple construction. The owner and volunteers finished their lunch when we arrived.  Oh, they had a big fish from their own pond. The owner showed us a round. Plants / crops are plentiful.  The orka tasted wonderful!

e-Farm - Orka

e-Farm - Dragon Fruit

e-Farm - Lime
The work of the owner is impressive.  He built everything.  Formerly he studied engineering and had worked with factory production for decades.  Owing to the declining importance of manufacturing in Hong Kong, he switched to organic farm. He built a big room to reproduce worms to feed his fish.  Waste from fish is used for fertilising his crops. Amazing work and results!

e-Farm - Guava

e-Farm - Owner
At the very end of the visit, we saw red tom bow at the golden fish pond which accommodates unwanted golden fish from his friends.















23.6.18

Lau Shui Heung Hiking 流水響



I joined a hiking group at Facebook about two weeks ago and read about Lau Shui Heung 流水響.  It is known for the gorgeous reflection of Paperbark trees 白千層. And one can take a hike to reach Hok Tau 鶴藪, another reservoir in the north of the New Territories. I visited Lau Shui Heung twice in a week. In this article I'll talk more on tips of taking the paperbark tree reflection and hike up to the high point. Then I'll talk about a shorter tour to Hok Tau in the next one.


I arrived at Lau Shui Heung by a minibus after 12 pm. After getting off, just went to the right and a bit upwards to arrive at the reservoir.

Continued on the right will have a great view of the reservoir.  Sunshine was strong. I could not see the reflection but still enjoyed the view of trees surrounding the reservoir and the flowing water.


Going further will be a dead end which a dam blocks the way. So, I went back and took the big street on the left. On the way prior to reaching a BBQ area, there is a small path leading to the water. Just before the end of the path, a diversion on the right allows you to have a closer view of the paperbark trees.  Go a bit further and if lucky you will be able to take a world-class photo.


Walk passed the BBQ area, on the right is a line of shrubs.  There is a great view over the paperbark trees and the reflection.  Well, I could take it.  I guess the reflection would be clearer on a cloudy day.


Continue the way you will see a bridge which takes you to the paper bark trees.  I could see nice reflection of the opposite shore.



Next, let's go for hiking! There are two ways to reach Hok Tau. I followed a family after seeing the trees (red path). I was going higher and higher. When I took a rest the children followed close to me. We walked till the intersection. There is a signage to go to Lau Shui Heung. But nothing was written for Hok Tau.



The vegetation is nice. Black fungus was in the damp area. Green dotted the whole place. Walking up was harsh.  The green made it more pleasant.


We went further to the south, higher altitude. Until we reached a wired tower and saw people walking from Tai Po, we knew we went the wrong way but should go back to the intersection to take the path to Lau Shui Heung which a detour will lead us to Hok Tau.



Going high wasn't bad at all. I could enjoy panoramic views of the surroundings.  There is a trick: go up the stairs for maintaining the slopes.





Going high with sweat.  The prizes are closer to the sky and fabulous views. I was proud to make it.  Next, I'll talk about the much shorter way from Lau Shui Heung to Hok Tau and a local farm.  P.S. If I haven't walked passed the intersection, the time of taking the longer way is estimated as 3 hours.






9.6.18

Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park to Tai Tan 海下灣至大灘


I read about the hiking path of Hoi Ha Wan from Mountain Girl.  Her hiking trails are normally not difficult.  I tried Lau Shui Heung previously. It's beautiful with trees reflection on the surface of the reservoir. I as also attracted to Hoi Ha and could finally put my feet on it.  I enjoyed it very much.  The scenery is breathless.   A friend commented on my photos: 'speechless, simply beautiful.'



I started the trip from taking bus 299X from Shatin to Sai Kung.  The trip took about 40 minutes.  Then switched to a mini-bus No. 7 next to the bus terminal.  It runs every 20 minutes between Monday and Saturday. If a long queue is seen, a minibus will arrive soon. I was lucky to get on the first minibus.  The journey took more than 20 minutes.  It cost HK$12.1.


It's easy to find the path. Just go straight ahead to the Hoi Ha Wan Warden Post.  From there I learnt that Hoi Ha Wan was famous for good water quality and its rich marine life. Turn right and left.  You will see loads of signage of restaurants and canoes for renting. You can go to beach on the left or straight to the right.  Both sides offer beaches for canoes to head up to the sea. At time, there were strong waves.



Soon you will pass by the pier and WWF building (closed).  On the way, you can glimpse the beauty of the coastal scenery in Sai Kung. Follow the path you will come to an intersection.  Straight is to Wan Chai. Right will take you to Tai Tan 大灘.



When you see a Y course, go left to visit a deserted beautiful beach with fine sand.  Enjoy the tranquillity and loneliness before you continue the hike.



After the beach will be an ascending path.  It is sometimes demanding but manageable. Your sweat is well worth for the magnificent views all along the way.  On the way, I saw a group of elderly people. So, you will be able.....



Then it will be descending path and you will reach another beach.  I sat on stone to enjoy my apple, bread and the amazing scenery. Next right is a sandy beach.  It is quiet with fine sand to welcome swimmers.  Unfortunately, no one went into the water.


It is not far to the destination: Tai Tan 大灘.  Enjoy the sea, life around, insects and muddy fish.






The trail is 7km long. It took me 2.5 hours to complete, including photography and a long pause at the stone beach.  To head back, reach Tai Tan village, go to the back of the houses and find a cement path to go back to the main street.  The bus station is called Ko Tong Ha Yeung 高塘下洋. Take 94 back to Sai Kung town centre or 96R to Diamond Hill (runs on Sunday and public holidays only).