A world away from the Hong Kong most people (think they) know
Luk Chau Shan's Canoe Rock
An old (and, it looks like, ruined) church that I think
has appeared in more than one Hong Kong movie
It's been a while since I've gone on two hikes in three days. It's also been a while since I've gone up to the Ngong Ping plateau located in Ma On Shan Country Park (and, for that matter, the more famous Ngong Ping plateau on Lantau Island). But two days after going in search of red leaves in Tai Lam Country Park, I went with a friend along the Ma On Shan Country Trail on what's turned out to be a surprisingly warm as well as humid Christmas Day.
As per my usual procedure with regards to this particular hiking trail, we started our trek from near Mau Ping New Village near Sai Kung town and ended it in Ma On Shan town (where we caught the train back to the more densely populated section of Hong Kong by Victoria Harbour). Where we departed from the usual is that after climbing up to the Ngong Ping plateau and spending some time taking in the always breathtaking -- even when the visibility levels are not as super high as I would like -- views from there, we decided that we had enough energy and inclination to detour off the official country trail and go up 414 meter high Luk Chau Shan in search of its famous Canoe Rock.
If truth be told, I found that particular rock formation to be on the underwhelming side visually when I finally caught sight of it. However, I did enjoy the Luk Chau Shan detour since that hill is indeed home to an interesting rocky landscape quite unlike the nearby Ngong Ping plateau. Also I must admit to some satisfaction is finally having gone up a hill I've passed by quite a few times before, often with the thought that I'd like to go up it one day!
In addition, as we approached the former mining village of Ma On Shan Tsuen, home in the past to some of the workers of the Ma On Shan Iron Mine which was in operation from 1906 to 1976, I also got views that I previously hadn't been privy to. Thanks to Typhoon Mangkhut having felled quite a few trees in the area, I now got clear views of the village's old St Joseph's Chapel which, if I'm not mistaken, has appeared in a number of Hong Kong movies, including Tactical Unit -- Comrades in Arms (2008), a film in which a team of Police Tactical Unit officers get lost for a time in the wilds of Hong Kong!
More than incidentally, that movie had me a few hiker friends giggling with amusement when we viewed it because it showed how quite a few Hong Kongers really aren't that used to being in the Hong Kong countryside and are liable to freak out over what are some pretty common sights when one goes hiking in the Big Lychee. And when we later came across a couple of the locations used in the film, we got to laughing even more because a number of the sections of Hong Kong they had supposedly got lost in actually are located pretty close to official hiking trails and not that far away from roads that are accessible to vehicles, never mind pedestrians! ;D