Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On Sai Kung East Country Park's Luk Wu Plateau (Photo-essay)

It may be only 4.7 kilometers in length but as the Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department's hiking website notes, the Luk Wu Country Trail is a route for fit and experienced hikers.  One reason, as at least one person who checked out my previous photo-essay of my hike along that trail observed, is that quite a significant portion of it involves an uphill trek.

And I have to say that one section of the trail in particular may have the steepest incline I've ever been one -- one whose steps were less horizontal than they were sloped.  All in all, it was quite the effort to stand still and go along them, so I ended up not being able to take too many photos when I was on that particular portion of the trail -- alas!  Still, I trust that the photos I took during other parts of the hike will help compensate for their absence... 

  The kind of ruins I usually like to explore

...but after spotting the lengthy piece of dried, shedded snake skin
on the grounds of that ruin, my hiking companion and I decided 
against stepping into and spending much time within that space!

Look closely at the hill in the photo and you'll be able to
make out the outlines of the steep trail that we went up
a few minutes further into that day's hike!

Near the foot of the hill, my hiking companion and I
had to sidestep a wild/feral dog that had decided
to lie down and rest on one of the steps :O

It did feel good to be able to look back at that point and 
see how much of the trail we already had hiked that afternoon :)
Up on Luk Wu Plateau, there are 360 degree views 
of nature and, also, a campsite (complete with 
barbecue area) and toilet facilities!

 Despite the facilities installed there, I got the feeling that
not many people visit this remote part of Hong Kong -- and 
I'd include those charged with maintaining the country trails!

If so, it's a real pity as this really is a pretty pleasant
part of the Big Lychee -- albeit one whose pleasantness
stems in part from one feeling like one is far away from 
the madding crowd and close to nature when there... :)


ewaffle said...

One of the delightful aspects of Hong Kong life that comes through in your hiking posts, although it isn't really highlighted, is how extensive and (one imagines) how useful the public/mass transit system is.

I think I have read a number of references to taking a bus or a train to the beginning of a trek and hoping on another one at the end with good connections in both spots.

Much better than in less urban or more transit deprived areas where one has to drive to a hiking path and then walk in a circle to get back to the car.

YTSL said...

Hi ewaffle --

Easy accessibility to hiking trails via public transportation is something I've come to pretty much take for granted here in Hong Kong. Glad you noticed it without my explicitly stating it -- although if you follow the links I make to certain official trail information, you'll find that the information includes how to get there to the trail head and where to get public transportation from the end of the trail. :)

In the case of the Luk Wu Country Trail, I took a village bus to the trail head and then caught a green mini bus near the trail end to go back to Sai Kung town, where my hiking companion and I proceeded to have a nice dinner to reward ourselves for having completed the challenging hike. :)

Diana said...

A beautiful area, it is too bad that more people don't go there. Maybe that steep climb is a deterrent?

Wise move avoiding a possible snake encounter. I don't recall you mentioning snakes before, are they a problem there?

YTSL said...

Hi Diana --

The steep climb is one deterrent. The other is that the only public transportation that gets one near to the trail head is a village bus whose service is not all that frequent.

Re snakes: I estimate that I spot a snake every 15 hikes or so in Hong Kong -- with the frequency being way higher in the summer months than any others. ;S

Diana said...

Ah, the transportation issue is all relative isn't it? Most places here don't even have that one public transit option.

1 in 15 hikes doesn't sound too bad, wouldn't stop me from hiking and clearly doesn't stop you. Actually since I know I am allergic to bee stings, that is more of a deterrent. (Although there is an easy fix for that if one is prepared)

YTSL said...

Hi again Diana --

Yes, it really is relative -- re the transportation issue and so much else! :)

Something else re the Luk Wu Plateau: it's not on the way of major trails such as the Maclehose and is not on Hong Kong Island, so it's less known. But I like it so much I've gone on it twice now -- albeit opting for different portions out after getting there. :)

Re the snakes: yeah, they don't stop me but in the summer months, they definitely make me more wary of straying from official designated portions of trails! :b