Wong Nai Chung Gap Hike

October. Just cooling off, Hong Kong felt good for a hike that afternoon. I decided to take the bus from Queen’s Road East up into the mountains and hike around near Wong Nai Chung Gap Reservoir and Road. Good choice, as it turns out! Halfway to the trail head is the Wong Nai Chung Gap Reservoir Park, where you can go paddle boating and see a nice view out over the south side of Hong Kong Island.

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After the initial trek to get up into the mountain from the bus stop, the hike is not challenging (taking the path in a counter-clockwise direction).

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Lots of parts of it run along narrow concrete trails which are surrounded by dense foliage. When the trees break and reveal the view, it’s stunning.

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I was hiking late in the day, so the sky held a dramatic golden tone which accented the edges of the clouds. It is often surprising to find evergreens in Hong Kong, as it’s so hot here for most of the year, but these pines are quite prevalent in the area.

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The groundcover is dense and full of little ferns. I imagined it would look very nice in the rain.

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The path runs along near some old war relics – gun emplacements as part of defense headquarters against the Japanese during the invasion of 1941. In December of that year, these defenses were actively used when this hillside saw a battle that many write was the bloodiest of the entire invasion.

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Now, the area is quite peaceful. I only remember meeting a few other hikers, and they were on the lower part of the trail. Descending the hill was one of my favorite parts of the hike, as the buildings from Causeway Bay to Central unveiled themselves in the afternoon haze.

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The photo does not do it justice, I must say.

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As I rounded a corner and came out facing Mount Cameron, the sun was starting to glow.

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The trail was pretty clean for Hong Kong, and I found it an interesting mixture of lush and spartan, concrete as it was, yet surrounded with vegetation that reached out as if desiring attention. This piece was too cool not to notice. (Manipulating my phone camera’s adjustable focus, I think I did a pretty good job capturing the depth of field.)

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A grove of towering bamboo framing the sunset made the perfect vista for the close of the most picturesque part of the hike. After this, it wound through a lower part of the mountain until it reached an apartment complex, from which hikers follow the path back down to Wong Nai Chung Gap Road.

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Later that night in Wan Chai, I found a hilarious shirt. It does not reside in my closet, as this photo was all I needed to remember it. By no means the worst Chinglish I’ve seen, it actually makes sense. But its odd mix of macabre humor and baseball T were too much for me to ignore.

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Now for two random reflections:

I’m still mentally saying goodbye to my first apartment in Hong Kong, even though I’ve been living in my second for 3 months now.

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Also. Sometimes fire is just what I need. The night I took this photo was like good medicine. Thanks to the people who made that night special.

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