Escaping the smog: HK nature

To relax from the imminent university stress, my friends and I like to go away from the city to gaze at the wonderful views Hong Kong’s nature has to offer. Two weeks ago I visited Cheung Chau (‘Long Island’), which according to one of my guide books is the most beautiful of all the islands surrounding HK. Last weekend I went to Dragon’s Back, a hiking trail in the East of HK Island.

On the ferry to Cheung Chau Island

We got to Cheung Chau by ferry from Central. It is famous for its small harbours, cheap fish and the fact that it used to be a pirate hub. Cheung Chau is very different from Hong Kong in the sense that it has a strong local culture. It is famous for its Tai Chiu Bun Festival, held in April or May. The festival is held to soothe the ghosts of people killed by pirates. At this festival, high towers of buns are built and people try to climb them. (odd, I know, thus MUST visit^^)

People in Cheung Chau Island like bikes almost as much as the Dutch!

Our main goal of the trip was to see a famous pirate cave: Cheung Po Tsai Cave. The waters around Hong Kong have been popular among pirates and smugglers for a long time. Cheung Po-Tsai was one of the most famous pirates of his time. He lived in the early 19th century and had a fleet of 1,200 ships and 50,000 men. In 1809 he surrendered to the Portuguese navy after a fierce battle. Some say the government had offered him a title in exchange for his surrender, since his fleet was so much more powerful than the navy’s. The cave we went to see on Cheung Chau is said to have been one of his hiding places.

Tin Hau Temple

Loye is scared while descending into the pirate cave.

You’d be amazed to see the amount of tourists that head to Cheung Chau to see the cave; we had to stand in line to enter! The cave is so narrow that I bumped my head a couple of times and so dark we had to use the flashlights on our phones. Quite the adventure!

On the rocky beach of Cheung Chau

Looking far into the South China Sea

The city can still be seen in between the green

Last weekend we went hiking on the Dragon’s Back; the eighth part of the Hong Kong hiking trail, and the most striking one.

It was quite a mission to get to the trail in the first place: we had to catch a bus to Central, then the MTR to the east of the island and finally another bus to one of the starting points of the walk. The trail is only 6km long, but the amount of stairs and the steepness of the road make the hike quite challenging. (especially the last bit to get to the top of the mountain 😉 ) It took us about two hours: we started at Big Wave Bay, a touristy beach where many expats go surfing and ended at Shek O, a small village. Luckily, the sun was shining and there was a light sea breeze: the weather could not have been any better for this trip!

After an intense climb: breath-taking views on top of the mountain

Planking the top of a mountain: you had to be there to appreciate the humor of it

And again...

Another amazing view

My next post will be about…. ME! 😀 I have told you all about my flat mates, but you must admit that the sucky little biography of myself to the right of this post does not suffice. Stay tuned.



2 thoughts on “Escaping the smog: HK nature

  1. Hoi Paula, Met verbazing zien we steeds weer nieuwe beelden uit China. Hartstikke leuk om te zien dat je zo ondernemend bent. Zelfs bergen beklimmen, daar draai jij je hand niet voor om. Is dan de top bereikt zie je drie van die lachebekken op een paal. Leuk die foto’s.
    De natuurfoto’s zijn om jaloers op te worden. He Paula je hebt toch een dikke jas bij je zag ik. Hier alles zijn gangetje en Ton probeert er op de Noenes toch weer iets van te maken. Van Carnaval hebben we niet veel gezien omdat we er niet zoveel om geven.Paula houd je haaks en tot mails. Dikke knuffel oma

  2. Hé girl,
    Beautiful pictures! For sure I want to see some of that when we are there. Sunday I am leaving for Geneva. We’ll be in touch….

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