Looking at the map, I often see Lantau Island as a tiger cub with Chi Ma Wan peninsula (芝麻灣半島) as its front paw.
Chi Ma Wan, which translates into Sesame Bay, is known for its correctional institution and the private boarding school for teens sent by their parents to get rid of their drug addiction and other misbehaviors.
It is also a favorite of hikers, with its circular trail standing outside the famous Lantau Trail. People enjoy the long walk that allows them to savor the beauty of nature.
Not long from the starting point one has to climb up a hilltop, Miu Tsai Tun (廟仔墩), where lying next to an outcrop of rock is a temple. It’s tiny, but not its fame.
Once upon a time, a hiker came by, left a five-dollar note and helped himself to a few coins that added up to two dollars because he just wanted to donate three dollars.
Later, he used the coins to buy a lottery ticket and won the third prize.
Since then, the legend has spread and it has become a tradition for passersby to leave some money on the dish. Oddly, though, there is no statue of a god or goddess inside the temple.
So the question is, from whom did the lucky hiker get the blessing?
Probably from the spirit residing on Lo Yan Shan (老人山) — literally, the Elderly Hill — which is the highest peak on the Chi Ma Wan peninsula.
The climb is worth your while if only for the chance of beholding the breathtaking scenes around. Cheung Sha Beach is found along the coast, while Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak can be seen at a distance.
On your way down, you will reach the Rocky Forest, where you can find all kinds of rocks. There are smooth round rocks dubbed as “soft cushions” for hikers to sit on. By the cliff is a “tofu” brick, and somewhere near there is a stone with a crack in the middle — probably there once stood a sword resembling the one belonging to King Arthur.
Walking through this rocky jungle, you just can’t help thinking how great a sculptor Mother Nature is.
At the end of the trip you will arrive at Shap Long Irrigation Reservoir, where you will be stunned by the beautiful crystal-clear water.
To go to San Wai Tsuen (新圍村): Take bus route 1, 2, 3M or 4 at Mui Wo bus terminal and get off at San Wai Tsuen bus stop.
To return from Shap Long Irrigation Reservoir (拾塱水塘): Walk to Chi Ma Wan Pier and take the inter-islands ferry to Cheung Chau or Peng Chau, or walk to Pui O and take a bus back to Mui Wo Ferry Pier.
Time: About five hours
Reference: Government website
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept. 17.
Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting
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