Monday, May 12, 2014

From Tai Ping Tsuen to Mui Tsz Lam and beyond (Photo-essay)

When I first started hiking in Hong Kong, I bought a number of hiking books and followed their stated routes religiously.  These days, however, I sometimes decide on a hiking path by looking at a map, other times after reading about it on a blog, and still other times by mixing and matching trails. 

For example, after reading on Journey to Hong Kong about a hike that the blogger took from Ma On Shan Village to Tai Shui Hang via the Ma On Shan Country Park's Ngong Ping plateau and  a century old village path, I decided to go with a friend along that village path from Mau Ping down to Mui Tsz Lam.

But rather than end at Tai Shui Hang, we swung left after passing by Chevalier Garden to Shek Mun (from where we got on the MTR to go to a restaurant for our post-hike dinner).  Also, instead of starting the hike at Ma On Shan Village (like one would do when hiking the Ma On Shan Country Trail), we opted to start instead from Tai Ping Tsuen (like what one would do if hiking that official trail in reverse) -- which made for a steeper ascent but also a route that offered more scenic views early on:-

 View from inside Ma On Shan Country Park of non-country park 
and country park sections of the Sai Kung Peninsula

 This butterfly has bits of wing missing but still managed
to fly about and away pretty well! :O
There sure are a lot of boats (many of them private yachts)

It's always tempting to stay a while to enjoy the views -- 
and also the nice grassy ground -- at Ngong Ping plateau

 Once we got on the old village path, we were on
a trail that I hitherto had never been on

Along the path are the remains of villages that
were abandoned a while back
Mui Tsz Lam is one village that is still lived in
-- and, in fact, appears to be growing, with 
some construction going on when we passed by it

 There are some agricultural plots in the vicinity --
one of which made creative use of this windmill-like device 
fashioned from a plastic bottle to scare away pests! ;b


Mike said...

Cool walk! I wonder about the history of the abandoned house...

Bill said...

Hi Yvonne,

Your enthusiasm for hiking in Hong Kong (and improvising new routes) obviously hasn't diminished, as this blog is every bit as good as your best ones...Third photo from the bottom, is a worthy addition to your other photos of abandoned villages.
"Haunting" is the only way to describe this photo-essay, as the surroundings have an aged quality about them...Glad you included a link to AnnaTam, a site I visit pretty often.

I read an online article this week about a brave woman in Sai Kung West Country Park who rescued her dog from the deadly grip of a Burmese python!


ewaffle said...

Echoing Bill, I think the photo of the ruined building in the abandoned village is terrific. It brings to mind a line from Goldsmith's The Deserted Village: "Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all/ And the long grass o'ertops the mouldering wall;"

YTSL said...

Hi Mike --

I don't know about the history of that specific abandoned house but there are many villages in northern and north-eastern Hong Kong that got abandoned in the latter part of the 20th century because they proved too remote for their inhabitants' comfort -- and this appears to be the case with this one.

Hi Bill --

Yep, my enthusiasm for hiking in Hong Kong is undiminished -- in fact, I think the opportunities for hiking is one of the best things of living in Hong Kong!

Re the brave woman: indeed -- and it serves as a reminder that there are indeed snakes in Hong Kong, including large pythons!! :O

Hi ewaffle --

Great to see you commenting again on this blog -- and thanks for bringing to attention that quote from Goldsmith. :)

Unknown said...

Hi Mike, the abandoned house in Mo Ping belongs to my great uncle Lau Pun Shing and my dad helped him build it in 1964. In the late 60s, the villagers found it too inconvenient to walk to Sai Kung to buy their food so the villagers started to abandon the village, and relocated to Sai Kung where they started a new village called Mo Ping New Village.

YTSL said...

Hi Mimi --

Thank you for providing the interesting information you did. I hope Mike checks this post sometime and sees it. (By the way, the villages you refer to also are written in Romanized script as Mau Ping, right?)