When I was a child, I loved reading maps.
I was particularly fascinated by the tiny spots of uninhabited islands in the southeastern waters of Hong Kong. They seemed so mysterious.
That’s why some time ago I went up the peak of Tai Leng Tung (大嶺峒) on the Lung Ha Wan Country Trail in order to get a better view of those islands.
Though Tai Leng Tung is a hill with an altitude of less than 300 meters, its peak offers a panoramic view of the countryside.
The Ninepin Group of islands appeared half afloat in the waters. Originally called Guo Pun Chau in Cantonese, it is often likened to a platter of fruits.
Well, it depends on the viewer what sort of fruit they could see. In my case, I could see lychees, longans, grapes and tangerines.
Heading north I reached another peak, Ping Tok Hang Shan, from where I could see Bluff Island and Basalt Island.
In the distance I could see several figures, apparently members of a geopark tour, visiting the arches of Bluff Island.
Basalt Island, on the other hand, reminds me of Quentin Roosevelt, vice president of China National Aviation Corporation and grandson of US President Theodore Roosevelt, who died in a plane crash on the island in 1948.
As I began going downhill, Shelter Island (牛尾洲) got bigger and clearer.
The Chinese name of the place captures very well of the island’s contour: It really looks like a bull resting but showing its butt out of the water.
At the end of the trail is a riding school, where I was greeted by the heartwarming sight of lovely ponies. It’s a delightful way to mark the end of my hike.
To go to Tai Au Mun (大坳門): Take KMB bus no. 91 at Diamond Hill MTR station; or green minibus no. 16 at Po Lam, no. 103 at Kwun Tong Ferry Pier, or no. 103M at Tseung Kwan O MTR station. Walk for about 20 minutes along Clear Water Bay Road to reach Tai Hang Tun entrance.
To return from Lung Ha Wan (龍蝦灣): Walk for about 30 minutes along Lung Ha Wan Road back to Tai Au Mun stop where buses or green minibuses (mentioned above) can take you to various town centers.
Time: About 1.5 hours
Reference: Government website with map
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan. 7, 2015.
Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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