I have been to Hong Kong many times but always to either side of the harbour and whenever the flight circles the islands I would be wondering what it will be like hiking on one of those barren hills. No more wondering. Going this weekend. However, instead of going all rambo this weekend, why not start with the largest and possibly most popular of them all, Lamma island. And thinking if I have time,a to do another one. Getting there seems to be easy enough. in short, MTR to Central, walk to the Central Piers next to Two IFC, and pier 4. I will start at Yung Shue Wan, where apparently everyone will go as well looking at people crowding at the entrance to the pier. One way ticket cost 14.5 HKD and octopus card works here. And it seems the crowd only starts going into the holding area 10 minutes from boarding time and the ferry only holds 370 souls.
Ferry ride takes somewhere between 20 to 30 minutes. I didn't time it. Feels like the same type of fast ferry that connects hong kong with macau. The boat lands right at Yung Shue Wan village, and although there are normal village shops, most of them are restaurants, shall I say, catering to tourists flooding the village.
15 minutes hike out of town and the crowd starts to thin down, on the trail to Sok Kwu Wan. It starts in the forests with farmer's lodges everywhere and before long I start to get to the bald and barren hills with trails along the hill side. There are a couple of pavilions en route, doubling as a rain shelter. I'm now typing this out at one (N22.20922, E114.12299). Today started with heavy cloud cover, and surely as the forecast said it would, periods of sunlight could be seen. And I had to forget my sunblock lotion!
Sok Kyu Wan (N22.20628, E114.13161): The other town on Lamma Island. Took me a little more than 1 hour to get here. On the approach there are houses like the ones in the countryside but once you get into the town, its just seafood restaurants. Occasionally there are cheaper restaurants, not too difficult to spot as there are workers having lunch there. I'm not going to stop here as I have an island circumnavigation to do. Halfway there. Now at sea level. Sok Kyu Wan has what looks like a seafood farm right at the harbour.
Just passed Yung Shue Ha (N22.19525, E114.13795), a nice quiet little town with not more than 5 buildings. There seems to be some connection to water sports here, looking are the number of dilapidated boats and wind surfing boards here. Only sign of life are old people lazing on easy chair. Sea here is rougher and at the nearby jetty all sorts of rubbish and plastic bags can be seen floating around the beach, probably the cause of lack of tourists here. I continue on my clockwise circuit around the island.
This leg going towards Sok Kyu Wan is passing through high hills with large loose boulders. The path is paved, so no problem with the walk, and the scenery holds promise. Only problem today is that the weather is not that great and hazy so its only for the view, but not for the camera. My 645 stays in the bag and snaps were taken with point and shoot camera. The scenery is not something you would have expected in hong kong. Very very nice walk. There are a few path that leads to the top of the hill. But not today for me. By the way, had a quick check and there are no mobile signal this side of the island. So I can't check my mail here...
I continue on, and the path starts to lead downhill and before long there are trees again, unlike the barren granites with undergrowth only. GPS indicates I'm about 200m more to Sok Kyu Wan. Before long, the path passes through a cemetery and soon back in the town. A quick check on the photo of the ferry schedule tells me there is one in 15 minutes but I won't rush for it. Its the weekend for taking it easy. So I walked into a simple shop and ordered a plate of oily beef horfun for lunch. The Garmin GPS indicates I have hiked 11 km this morning so a little bit more oil won't hurt at all. I think I will just sit here for the next hour or so waiting for the 4pm ferry back to Central. Listening to Giles Peterson's documentary on Bossa Nova on podcast. Been a nice walk. Will reward myself with a little indian food tonight for dinner! Over and out!
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