Friday, September 29, 2017

A scenic hike along the eastern and southern sections of the Chi Ma Wan Peninsula (Photo-essay)

A few years ago, while walking along the section of the Lantau Trail close to Pui O, I was approached by a bunch of college age folks who asked me how far it was to the Chi Ma Wan Peninsula.  Guessing correctly that none of them had a map with them, I took out my Countryside Map for Hong Kong's largest island and showed them where we were as well as where the Chi Ma Wan Peninsula was on it.  In addition, after ascertaining that they were thinking of venturing along the Chi Ma Wan Country Trail, I showed them where it was and got them realizing that it's 18.5 kilometers long -- whereupon they decided to abandon their hiking plans for the day on ths spot!    

Based on how few people I see whenever I've been on this southeastern section of Lantau (be it to hike or take part in beach clean-ups), I'm inclined to conclude that the length of that official trail puts many a hiker off in addition to its out of the way location.  In either case, it's a real pity; not least because this part of Hong Kong really is pretty scenic, and there also being ways to break up the hiking routes so that one doesn't have to go along all 18.5 kilometers of the Chi Ma Wan Country Trail in one go! 

As an example: the section of that trail which passes through an area known as "rock wonder" can be accessed without having to go up the highest points of the peninsula.  Also, the Inter-Islands Ferry between Mui Wo and Cheung Chau makes regular (though not frequent) stops at a pier on Chi Ma Wan.  So if you get your timing right, you can take that ferry back to civilization (as I've done more than once now), the trail head, or both!

Picturesque dwellings at Shap Long Chung Hau village
over on the north-eastern edge of Chi Ma Wan Peninsula

My hiking companion and I followed the signs to the now disused 
correctional institutions but then headed beyond them to get to the section
of the peninsula that's part of Lantau South Country Park

View from the trail of Hei Ling Chau, an island that's home to
three correctional institutions and an addiction treatment center

A rocky section of Chi Ma Wan Peninsula

Further along the same trail, the more populated 
island of Cheung Chau comes into view 

 Natural rock formation or modern art sculpture? ;)

Hike's end that day: the ferry pier near the now disused
Chi Ma Wan Peninsula correctional facilities! :)


Anonymous said...

Hi There,

For this particular Tai Long Bay and before 1997, they use to host an annual festival for local rice harvesting there, with lots of food, beer, and when expats were involved, lots and lots of mud.

I have not read about for a very long time and maybe nobody is planting rice there anymore.


YTSL said...

Hi T --

Thanks much for that information re Tai Long Wan! I wonder... did the expats come from nearby Sea Ranch or all over Hong Kong? And yeah, I don't think there's any rice being planted in that vicinity any more...

Anonymous said...

Hi There,

The expats were from all over the city, I think. Certainly those close by could be there earlier, say those in Sea Ranch, Disco bay and other parts of Lantau, Cheung Chau. Back then both English papers would have some pieces of the mud chaos.

I tried to Google it and found someone wanted to revived the festival back in 2010, but it did not catch up. Haven't heard of it after that.

Oh, a note. Lantau was famous for Black sticky rice back then.


Bill said...


You seem to have a special attraction for Chi Ma Wan...Third photo from the bottom does resemble a "modern art sculpture" - a good example of how nature and art seem inseparable. This photo is comparable to the best of all your rock photos, especially those of Po Toi and the iconic Tortoise Rock.


YTSL said...

Hi again T --

Your tales pertaining to Chi Ma Wan's Tai Long Wan attest to things that happened not so long ago in Hong Kong easily being forgotten and/or feeling like ancient history Thanks for bringing the information to light once more on this blog! :)

Hi Bill --

I do reckon that Chi Ma Wan is a special place. I'm not sure if I want to tackle Lo Yan Shan and its surrounding hill(s) again any time soon but I definitely would like to go hiking again in other parts of Chi Ma Wan Peninsula before too long. ;)