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Eastern new territories

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Eastern new territories Eastern new territories Presentation Transcript

  • The Eastern New Territories is predominantly a scenic stretch of hills and greenery surrounding the historic rural settlements of Tai Po and Sha Tin (now high-rise Eastern New Town developments). From the Mainland China borderland in the north to the peninsulas of Clear Water Bay and Sai Kung in the south, this swathe of New Territories country parks and ancient farmland contains some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Hong Kong. Much of the Sai Kung Peninsula is protected as country park and has become a prime recreation area affectionately known as the ‘Back Garden’ of Hong Kong. Exploring here, you’ll encounter abandoned villages and farms – offering a chance to reflect on Hong Kong’s bygone days, when farming was the backbone of the community. One must- do hike is a trip to Tai Long Wan (Big Wave Bay), which offers magnificent photo opportunities and once-in-a-lifetime views. And after a day of hiking, stop by Sai Kung town for superb seafood and alfresco dining.22 23
  • Kadoorie Farm &Botanic Garden Located near the town of Tai Po, the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden is a sprawling green sanctuary established by the wealthy Kadoorie brothers toSituated on the slopes of one of Hong Kong’s help poor local farmers. Just inside the main gate you can get a taste of thehighest mountains, the Kadoorie Farm and bygone farming days of Hong Kong by visiting the Farm Museum featuringBotanic Garden offers a profusion of activities fascinating pictures and old farm implements.for the whole family. Wander the paths of The farm has pioneered organic growth methods in Hong Kong, and helpedthis delightful conservation centre admiring introduce local strains of pigs and chickens that you can see in their pens.vegetable gardens, lovely greenhouses full of Follow signposts in the lower part of the farm and you can visit small poolsbeautiful flowers and plants, and scores of with waterfowl including flamingos and see deer in an enclosure.different animals. You will be impressed bythe farm’s conservation efforts. The farm extends up the side of the mountain, and the higher reaches can be accessed by shuttle bus. Go to the top near the Kadoorie Brothers’ Memorial Pavilion and enjoy fantastic views of the countryside. This area features a wood and scrubland, which is a conservation area. Here you just might see porcupines, pangolin or barking deer – though the best chance to see them is at dusk, as they are mainly nocturnal. You can spend hours exploring the many paths and visiting the different areas like the Butterfly Garden, Rainbow Pavilion and the nearby Great Falls. But be sure to collect a map at the entrance, so you don’t get lost! Please note: Admission fee for the farm is HK$10 (exemption for children under 12 or visitors over the age of 60). The farm is open daily, 9:30am - 5pm, though entry is not permitted after 4pm. How to get there: Take bus 64K. You can catch one either at MTR Tai Po Market Station (bus heading towards Yuen Long) or at MTR Kam Sheung Road Station Exit C (bus for Tai Po Market), and get off at the Kadoorie Farm stop. Or, take a taxi from MTR Tai Wo Station to Kadoorie Farm. Travelling time: 1 to 1.5 hours Difficulty: Easy24 Eastern New Territories 25
  • Organic Vegetable Terraces Greenhouses26 27
  • Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park If you like marine life and you fancy some snorkelling, then head for Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park. The name translates as ‘Bay Beneath the Sea’ and it contains more than 60 species of hard corals and 120 varieties of coral fish. Enjoy the bay, explore the mangroves, see some of the magnificent coral and soak up the ambience of Hoi Ha Village. When you arrive at the village, walk down the path through the village past a rural restaurantand a small temple, and on by a protected old limekiln. The path then climbs a little, affording a good view ofthe shimmering waters in the bay. Then, turn left down a flight of steps to a pier. Here you’ll find one of the bestspots for coral in the bay and – if the tide is low and the water is clear – you should be able to see coral heads.These are mostly brain coral, named for their rounded shapes and convoluted surface patterns. You will also seesome nicely patterned fish swimming amongst the coral. If you want a closer look, it is possible to rent masks and snorkels from the local village stores. Just remember that corals are protected, so be careful not to bump into or break any! To see more of the bay’s habitat, retrace your steps and head just beyond the minibus stop and then take the path down to the right. This leads through trees and crosses a former rice field and then a stream. Climb over some boulders and you’ll see a signboard explaining all about the mangroves here. The patch is small but this is a pleasant spot to enjoy the bay. How to get there: Take bus 92 or on Sundays and public holidays take bus 96R to Sai Kung Town from MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2, then interchange with green minibus 7 or take a taxi to Hoi Ha Village. Travelling time: 1.5 hours Difficulty: Easy Length: 2 km Hiking time: 1.5 to 2 hours Other points of interest 1. A visit to Hoi Ha can be readily combined with a visit to Sheung Yiu Folk Museum (see page 37). From Hoi Ha Village, take a taxi to Pak Tam Chung. The starting point is near the road barrier at Pak Tam Chung. Afterwards, head for the town of Sai Kung for some food, drink and relaxation.28 Eastern New Territories 29
  • Soft coral - Bubble-tip anemone Nudibranch A pair of Clownfish Starfish30 31
  • Brides Pool The Bride’s Pool offers a unique Hong Kong Please note: The rocks are slippery, especially when wet with spray or rain. So take care if you clamber down experience – two wonderful waterfalls set in the for a closer view and to take photos. midst of steep ravines in the wilds of the northeast How to get there: There is a daily minibus 20C (infrequent service) from near MTR Tai Po Market Station to New Territories. Legend has it that a young Tai Mei Tuk, passing by Bride’s Pool. Better yet is the service to Bride’s Pool on Sundays and bride who drowned after tumbling into a ravine public holidays: bus 275R from MTR Tai Po Market Station. Or, take a taxi from MTR Tai Po sometimes reappears to comb her hair by her Market Station to Bride’s Pool. reflection in a pool. Travelling time: 2 hours Difficulty: Easy From the Bride’s Pool car park (opposite the bus terminus), walk down the steps past barbecue pits Length: 800m Hiking time: 45 minutes for a good vantage point to admire the waterfall. After heavy rain, the foaming white torrents offer Other points of interest a splendid contrast to the surrounding greenery, 1. Wu Kau Tang is a village just above the Mirror Pool falls, with trails including a gentle streamside walk to making for a picturesque scene. the top of the falls.Continue down the steps and cross a footbridge over the stream. Walk past another large barbecue area, turn left 2. Tai Mei Tuk – a village en route to Bride’s Pool (served by daily bus 275 from MTR Tai Po Market Station)and cross a footbridge built of sturdy stone slabs. A stone tablet says it was built in 1906, with donations from as – has restaurants; a water sports centre with small yachts, windsurfing boards and kayaks for hire; also storesfar away as the USA and Jamaica. Follow the directional markers and turn into a ravine. The path soon levels, renting bicycles: you could cycle 3.5 kilometres (2 miles) from here to Bride’s Pool, or simply ride along theand leads you through woodland until you round a corner to find the end of the path and the fabulous Mirror Pool main dam of Plover Cove Reservoir.waterfall right in front of you! This lovely waterfall plunges 20 metres (60 feet) into Dragon Ball Pool, where you canperhaps clamber onto a huge rock in the middle of the stream. The Mirror Pool is just above these falls. 3. Go back to Tai Po Market by taxi and stroll past fascinating stalls in the market selling all manner of products. You can also drop by a local restaurant.32 Eastern New Territories 33
  • Bride’s Pool Bride’s Pool Nature Trail Mirror Pool Plover Cove Reservoir34 35
  • Sheung YiuCombine a relaxing hike with a trip back After a small farm house and orchard, there are woodsin time to a simpler age! The Sheung Yiu and you’ll see an information board situated by anFolk Museum was originally a walled incense tree. It notes that the cultivation of this tree gavevillage that has been renovated and rise to Hong Kong’s name as Fragrant (tree) Harbour.opened to the public. Here you can find You’ll also see an old limekiln – a relic of another ages-small houses furnished like they would old industry in these parts: baking shells and coralhave been 150 years ago. fragments, to create lime that was sold by the villagers for building and agricultural purposes.Once you alight at Pak Tam Chung, walkalong Pak Tam Road and head for a small The trail leads to the folk museum that still has afootbridge on the right, and you’ll be on watchtower with lookout windows, and stout doorsthe Pak Tam Chung Nature Trail. It’s an all- that once guarded the village – suggesting thatconcrete path with lots of signboards covering residents were relatively wealthy and exposed toaspects of the area’s history, flora and fauna. bandits. The village was established by the WongEnjoy the mangroves and keep an eye out for clan in the late 19th century but was abandoned infiddler crabs scurrying over the mud. the 1960s – around the same time that farming began its gradual decline in Hong Kong. Inside, you’ll find small houses. Wander around and you’ll find an assortment of wooden tables, benches and farm implements like simple threshing machines on the ground floor. Residents slept on the upper floors, while the buildings at either end were for pigs and cows. Doors open onto a spacious terrace where villagers relaxed and held banquets. Please note: The museum is open daily, 9am – 4pm, except Tuesdays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the first three days of Chinese New Year. This area can be very busy on Sundays and public holidays. How to get there: Take bus 92 from MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2 or green minibus 1A from MTR Choi Hung Station Exit C2 to Sai Kung Town; then take bus 94 (to Wong Shek Pier) and keep an eye out for the road barrier at Pak Tam Chung. Get off at the next stop. On Sundays and public holidays, you can take bus 96R (to Wong Shek Pier) from MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2 and get off at the same stop. Or, take a taxi from Sai Kung Town to Pak Tam Chung. Travelling time: 1 to 1.5 hours Difficulty: Easy Length: 1 km Hiking time: Up to 45 minutes Other points of interest Head for Sai Kung Town for some food, drink and relaxation!Sheung Yiu Folk Museum36 Eastern New Territories 37
  • Old Limekiln Sheung Yiu Folk Museum38 39
  • Tai Long Wan, Sai Kung You’ll see two beachfront restaurants. Follow a rough trail from beside them and you discover a long sandy beach that sweeps northward past former Tai Long Wan (Big Wave Bay) is set amidst perhaps rice fields. This beach is popular with surfers and is a wonderful place to Hong Kong’s most stunning scenery and offers some stroll. The water here is probably the cleanest in Hong Kong. But be careful of the territory’s most beautiful beaches. The beaches of the strong current that can catch swimmers unawares, as there are no are remote and unspoilt. The pounding surf and lifeguards on duty. Hike back to the road, and then enjoy a meal and drink the stunning views make for a sublime experience. in Sai Kung Town before returning to the city. Honestly, you’d never know you were in Hong Kong! How to get there: Take bus 94 from Sai Kung Town or, on Sundays and This great outing begins at Pak Tam Au where you public holidays take bus 96R from MTR Diamond Hill join the MacLehose Trail (named after the former Station Exit C2 and get off at Pak Tam Au. Or, take a Governor of Hong Kong who established Hong taxi from Sai Kung Town to Pak Tam Au. Kong’s country park system). The first bit of the trailis fairly easy, but once you reach Chek Keng, it is a sustained climb to a ridge. It’s not that steep but you’ll be Travelling time: 1 to 1.5 hours Difficulty: Moderateglad you’ve reached the top for a well-deserved rest. There are wonderful views over hillsides, beaches, bays Length: 12 km Hiking time: 6 hoursand islands.From here the route is downhill as the path drops into a natural amphitheatre with Tai Long Wan ahead of you.You’ll pass two hamlets: Tai Long, featuring white houses and further along, Ham Tin. The path is now level, Other points of interestrunning beside a stream and Ham Tin lies above one of the main beaches – which is an exhilarating place to be, Follow the MacLehose Trail heading south and you’ll reach a pretty beach called Sai Wan.especially when the surf rolls in with an easterly wind.40 41
  • MacLehose Trail Section 2 Tai Long Wan High Island Reservoir42 43
  • Ma On Shan Ma On Shan (Horse Saddle Mountain) is one of the If so, turn right, following a small path that crosses a narrow grandest peaks in Hong Kong. It’s tough reaching the ridge, before you have to scramble up to the top. On a clear day top, but makes for marvellous views of the Sai Kung you have panoramic views north to Shenzhen in Mainland China countryside. Absolutely stunning! and south to Hong Kong Island with the lower hills of Sai Kung in the east and Tai Mo Shan in the west. Your trip to the top of one of Hong Kong’s highest peaks (702 metres) starts at Shui Long Wo, the Follow the MacLehose Trail down, passing the aptly-named beginning of stage four of the MacLehose Trail. The Pyramid Hill, following which you will arrive at a junction on terrain is gentle at first with great views over Port the Ngong Ping plateau. Here you can decide which route to Shelter and the tiny islands off Sai Kung. Further take out of the hills. There is an easy but rather long exit to thealong the road, you’re in for a steep climb for about 300 metres. Cresting the ridge, you can decide if you have the right, first along the Ma On Shan Country Trail, which leadsenergy to make the small detour to the summit of Ma On Shan. to a former iron mining area and then down a narrow road to the edge of Ma On Shan Town. Or keep to the MacLehose Trail, and you’ll find other paths from the hills. One of these is the eastern section of the Ma On Shan Country Trail, which leads down to Po Lo Che near Sai Kung. How to get there: From MTR Sha Tin Station, take bus 299 at Sha Tin New Town Plaza and get off at Shui Long Wo. Or, take bus 92 from MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2, or green minibus 1A from MTR Choi Hung Station Exit C2, or green minibus 101M from MTR Hang Hau Station Exit B1 to Sai Kung Town. Once there, interchange with bus 299 or take a taxi to Shui Long Wo. Travelling time: 1 to 1.5 hours Difficulty: Tough Length: 8.5 km Hiking time: 4 hours Other points of interest Take the MTR Ma On Shan Line and interchange with MTR East Rail Line to the bustling town of Sha Tin. Drop by the Sha Tin New Town Plaza and enjoy great shopping and dining. The lush eight-acre Sha Tin Park, with its six gardens and artificial waterfall, is well worth a stroll. Did you know? If you know the local language, place names take on a whole new meaning. In Cantonese, Ma On Shan means ‘Horse Saddle Mountain’ and it faces Ngau Ngak Shan or the ‘Hunchbacks’.44 Eastern New Territories 45
  • MacLehose Trail Section 4 Pyramid Hill (Tai Kam Chung)46 47