Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hong Kong's Dragon's Back (photo-essay)

Back in 2004, in their annual Best of Asia survey, TIME magazine voted Hong Kong's Dragon's Back trail as the continent's Best Urban Hike. And this past Sunday, I got the chance to see whether it was as good as its reputation. If truth be told, we (i.e., two friends and I) could have picked a better day to do hike the Dragon's Back.

For one thing, the amount of pollution in the Hong Kong air that day ensured that my panoramic photographs aren't as clear as I would have liked for them to be. For another, the sun that managed to shine through the pollution ensured that we all ended up with a good amount of sunburnt skin at the end of a hiking day that, to be fair, had been on the long side and also had taken in treks to and around Big Wave Bay -- where we had lunch and checked out the ancient (c. 3,000 year old) rock carvings in the vicinity -- and both of Shek O's beaches.

Nonetheless, I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all involved. And that I found the Dragon's Back cool and attractive enough to think that: my Sunday trek was very much worthwhile; it would be very much worth hiking again -- albeit on a day with clearer air and skies than this time around; and I still managed to take some nice photos that are worth sharing with this blog's visitors. So, without further ado:-

Yes, folks, this is Hong Kong --
and Hong Kong Island, to boot! :)

And yes, the Dragon's Back does involve
climbing up (and down) some steps

More steps along with lots of greenery

Lest there be any fears about getting lost,
note that it's all pretty well sign-posted

Also, there are benches to sit on
and rest in some really scenic spots

Furthermore, along the way,
you get to behold scenic views --
like this one of Shek O
and the surrounding environs...

...and this one of Big Wave Bay

To be continued? (Once again,
I'll await some signs from interested visitors
re whether to do so!) ;)


Anonymous said...

Wow. I certainly wouldn't have guessed those were from an "urban" hike, and certainly not Hong Kong. That's great. Sorry about the pollution and sun burn.

I enjoy seeing photos from your journeys and adventures. I say keep them coming!

Madara said...

Those shots look like some of the locations I see in numerous Shaw Bros. kung fu movies of the 1970s. But at some point I was told that every panoramic landscape shot in any of those movies was a Taiwan location. But there must have been some filmed in these places. Do you know anything about this? Just curious.

YTSL said...

Hi Alejna --

Yeah, I wouldn't consider it an "urban" hike either. At the same time though, all that greenery really doesn't lies very far from the city.

And thanks for enjoying my photos! :)

Hi leo86 --

For sure not every panoramic landscape shot in the Shaw Brothers movies was a Taiwan locale. At the same time though, it's far more likely that the movies were shot out in the New Territories (particularly in the Clearwater Bay area -- where the Shaw Brothers studio lay/lies). Still, it's understandable that some of the photos reminded you of the movie locations as I'd imagine that the vegetation and such would be pretty similar. :)

A. said...

I certainly wouldn't have guessed that was Hong Kong. Beautiful pictures in spite of the air quality.

Yes, yes, please continue!

Jordy said...

Those were pretty neat pictures! I'd love it if you did something like this again! (^___^)

YTSL said...

Hi a. and Jordy --

Thanks for the "yes" votes that have encouraged me to post some more of my Dragon's Back hike photos in the near future. :)