Tuesday, July 17, 2012

From Mount Parker Road up to Siu Ma Shan (and beyond) (Photo-essay)

For those who saw my recent Lantau and northern New Territories critter spottings-themed blog entries and wondered if (m)any critters can be spotted while hiking on Hong Kong Island, let me assure you that this indeed the case.  Indeed, the only time I saw a cobra in Hong Kong was while hiking in Tai Tam Country Park.  And it was on a hot summer day's hike in that same Hong Kong Island country park that my hiking companion and I came across a really big snake right on Mount Parker Road (a road that leads from busy King's Road in urban Hong Kong up to Quarry Gap deep within Tai Tam Country Park).

Unbelievably, my hiking companion actually ran towards to the big snake in the hopes of being able to take a photo of it!  Even more unbelievably, the big snake reacted by moving quickly into the bushes... and it really was scary to see not only how fast it moved but also how well camouflaged it was amidst the natural greenery!  

In a way, it could be said that everything that came afterwards was sort of anti-climactic... except that the truth of the matter is that that day's hike which involved a circular route that took us up the the peaks of 424 meter high Siu Ma Shan and its 436 meter high neighbor, Mount Butler, did turn out to be a generally excellent one -- full of interesting sights (though, thankfully, with no more snake spottings) as well as one that was very satisfying in many other ways!

 A well maintained shrine passed by early on the hike

 A closer view of the statue of the Goddess of Mercy 
holding a child that can seem like the East Asian version 
of Western Christian Madonna and Child sculptures

 The sky over Hong Kong looked lovely 
on that hot but beautiful summer's day

 The view of urban, high density Hong Kong from a much 
greener -- yet not so distant -- part of the territory 

One of the hike's more easily recognizable landmarks --
Mount Butler H. F. Radio Receiving Station

A scenic view not far away from the receiving station
that includes what used to be the landing strips 
of Kai Tak Airport, the newer and very red 
Megabox and Kowloon Peak

 View from close to the previous point looking west
all the way to Victoria Peak

A view of the trail that we were on that day  -- and yes, 
some parts of it were by no means covered with 
concrete (like some people would have you think
that most Hong Kong hiking trails are)!


sarah bailey knight said...

Hi ytsl,

I do enjoy your photo essays of hikes where you pass by local shrines and/or older villages.

My initial reaction to your second photo was, "Is that Kuan-Yin holding baby Anthony Wong?"..And Gordon's comment was," Is Anthony Wong both Kuan-Yin and the baby?"

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

I'm glad you like my photo essays of hikes that pass by local shrines and older villages.

Re yours and Gordon's reactions to the second photo: hmm, methinks you both are such big fans of Anthony Wong that you see him in a lot of things. As you know, I'm guilty of that with Brigitte Lin -- heck, I even think that Winkipinki reminds of Brigitte as they have similar expressive eyebrows! ;D

sarah bailey knight said...

Hi ytsl,

We are big fans of Anthony Wong and had just been talking about him when I read your post.

Hehehe...Winkipinki and Brigitte!!!

Emilie said...

I think the govt would prefer people stayed like sheep on the concrete paths! It's a shame that some of the lesser-used 'natural' paths get overgrown and eventually are unpassable.

YTSL said...

Hi again sbk --

Yes, well, re Brigitte and Winkipinki... I also find myself thinking that some actresses bear a resemblance to her -- most notably South Korea's Lee Yeong-Ae -- though, of course, none come close to The Great One for sheer charisma and cinematic presence to my eyes! ;S

Hi Emilie --

I'm not sure what the government wants. Sometimes, there's concrete and railings where they don't seem needed but in other places, I think a bit of concrete (or, at least, cut steps) and railings might actually help -- and they just are not there!!! ;(