Saturday, April 1, 2017

Crossing the River Indus and hiking along Hong Kong's "Great Wall"!

Click on the above image to enlarge it and better see a Hong Kong road 
likened to the Great Wall of China and a Hong Kong waterway 
known as the River Indus as well as Ng Tung River! :O 

Looking north to the skyscrapers of Shenzhen
 Another enlargeable- via-clicking-on-it view panorama :)

Earlier today, I went on a hike that involved crossing the River Indus and then walking up hill and down dale in a border area along an old military road that has been likened to the Great Wall of China.  And before anything else: no, this is not an April Fool's joke (despite my indeed blogging on April 1st)!
At the turn of the 20th century, a British Army Royal Engineers team were assigned to map Hong Kong's New Territories.  Rather fancifully but not very creatively, it proceeded to bestow names like the Chilterns, Cotswolds and South Downs to mountain ranges and highlands in the Big Lychee that bore some physical resemblance to the originally named locations in England, and designations like the Indus, Ganges and Beas to waterways that are nowhere as large and wide as the Indian rivers that bore those names.
And while it does require a bit of imagination to see the old Wa Shan Military Road as the Great Wall of China, I reckon that it does resemble that monumental barrier in terms of its location atop a hilly range and consequent undulation.  At the very least, this particular area landmark surely is more deserving of the comparison than Cheung Chau's actually rather pathetic Mini Great Wall which I think that even the Mount Parker Road structure I have laughingly labelled the not-so-great wall of Hong Kong looks better than! 
Even if you don't think its fanciful nickname is deserved, you undoubtedly would consider a trek along Hong Kong's Great Wall to be well worth the effort when you behold the views to be held from it, especially on a beautiful, high visibility day like today was.  While walking on this northern New Territories trail that takes one up and then down 115-meter-high Cham Shan, 139-meter-high Wa Shan, 169-meter-high High Hill and 135-meter-high Lamb Hill (Ma Tau Leng) as well as the side of 115-meter-high Tsung Chan, one gets to see much of the surrounding Hong Kong countryside but also clear across the Sham Chun River over into mainland China.   
In addition to scenic views of green Hong Kong hills and tall Shenzhen skyscrapers, one also gets treated to unusual sights such as a People's Liberation Army firing range, a stele atop Wa Shan that dates back to the reign of the Qing Dynasty's Emperor Daoguang Emperor along with sprawling container yards that have turned formerly green pockets of rural land into brownfield sites.  Last but not certainly not least are what appears to be guaranteed critter spottings that, this afternoon, included a long-tailed, color-changing lizard and colorful butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. :b


peppylady (Dora) said...

Maybe April fool day which I call fake news day.
Hope you enjoy your day.
Coffee is on

YTSL said...

Hi peppylady --

If only all fake news were created in jest and for April Fool's Day... In any case, here's making clear that my blog post content for April 1st IS genuine! ;)

eastcoastlife said...

Such beautiful outdoor view in Hong Kong! I get to see natural beauty in China too but this is not easily seen in Singapore. Maybe I should stop by Hong Kong some time and go on a trekking hike with you. yay.

Anonymous said...

Hi There,

Did you see red flags or hear gun fire when you were there? I remember a section of the military road up at the hills falls within the restricted area of the firing range of San Wai barracks (Formerly called Gallipoli Lines by the Brits). At San Wai they fire rifles as well as more heavy artillery guns.


YTSL said...

Hi Ecl Tan --

A Singaporean friend of mine who used to live in Hong Kong often goes out hiking with me whenever she's back in Hong Kong for a visit (usually for business, but she manages to get in some pleasure if she ends up staying over a weekend or more). She tells me that hiking is one of the things about Hong Kong she misses now she's back in Singapore.

Hi T --

Didn't see any red flags and didn't hear any gun fire. The firing range looked really peaceful, well kept up but not like it's been used recently. And, actually, among the loudest noises we heard while out in the area were of vehicles moving around in what looked like large container graveyards nearby.