BADLANDS, ORCHARDS & OYSTERS
A "stepless" hike
Despite their uniqueness, the badlands of Hong Kong's northwestern New Territories see very few visitors. As they were for
many years a military firing range, you will see none of the usual anti-erosion measures and tree-planting schemes.
However, since the HKSAR returned to Chinese sovereignty China in 1997, there has been very little target practise activity in
this area, which in turn has allowed the public to slowly reclaim these arid hills for recreational purposes.
Partially following an old military road, this "stepless" hike links the giant dormitory suburb of Tuen Mun with the quiet
orchards and vegetable farms on the shores of Deep Bay near Hong Kong's westernmost point.
It is only a short ride from Siu Hong MTR station to the working class Tuen Mun neighbourhood of Leung King on the Light
Rail, Hong Kong's other (air-conditioned) tram system. Making our way through the housing blocks allows us a brief flat
warm up before we hit the only real climb of the day: A nameless pass north of Castle Peak.
It is a fair and occasionally steep and challenging climb but, as it follows an old military track, it has NO steps to overcome.
Gaining altitude, we pass a small temple and the odd "illegal" garden, but the main feature of the western badlands is the
relative sterility of the landscape. Generally, Hong Kong features lush sub-tropical sceneries. Here, however, you will see
mostly gravel-covered erosion-ravaged hill-sides. Indeed, on hot summer days, one could be excused for believing to find
oneself on the set of a Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western....
Continuing westwards and downhill, the usual lushness gradually returns. By the time we reach the hamlet of Ha Pak Nai,
we find ourselves on narrow concrete pathways between small orchards and vegetable farms. Crossing the village, we are
treated to a display of produce available at local wet markets.
After a brief stop at the village café, we continue northwards along the little-used coastal road to explore the orchards and
fish ponds of the area. While you won't actually have time to try your luck at catching lunch, we shall not be in a rush....
At Sheung Pak Nai, we flag down a minibus which will take us to Lau Fau Shan. Lau Fau Shan used to be famous as the
oyster capital of Hong Kong. There is still a reasonably sized oyster industry in the area, but doubts have recently been
raised as to their quality. Nevertheless, we will conclude this outing by visiting the old oyster mounds and by taking lunch at
a local restaurant specializing in Chinese seafood.
|Participants on all Hansen's Events' hikes and rides take part entirely at their own risk. By joining any of our events all participants are automatically seen to have
agreed to have entered into a disclaimer which exonerates the outing leaders and the organizers from any personal or public responsibility whatsoever and for any
claims, injuries or damages arising thereof.
|Hansen's "Stepless" Hikes
|by Hansen's Events
|... exploring Hong Kong's other side...
|Due to work commitments, holidays and other personal issues,
Hansen's Hikes & Rides has decided to SUSPEND all operations until further notice.
Apologizing for any inconvenience caused,
we hope to partially resume our outings towards the end of the year.