Legend has it Hong Kong experienced a time of peace, where its natives enjoyed what the land had to offer without the smell of Fierce by Abercrombie and Fitch, Lush’s organic handmade soap, or the stench of the Central to Admiralty train at rush hour. This is Hong Kong, and as much as I prefer my trees, decent parking space and whatnot, this is home, and I love it here.
Now if you’re lucky enough, turning enough rocks over you find spectacularly structured pieces of mother nature amidst this urban jungle where, if by dreams you mean incredibly fast internet and an over-abundance of Starbucks chains, are made of. Hidden in a valley between Yat Tung and Tung Chung lies a stream of fresh springwater of stretching through a rumoured myriad of waterfalls:
BUDGET: 120 HKD : 56 HKD (Max possible price of return train ticket to Tung Chung and back) + 7 HKD (Return 38bus ride to Yat Tung and back) + 50 HKD (Lunch: subway or foodrepublic) + Extra cash for self-esteem and emergencies.
BACKPACK CONTENTS: 2 Sets of Clothing (Tops, Bottoms, AND Undies), Wet Socks / Old Runners with grip (<- must), Camera, Waterproofing material(whether it be a lifeproof case or a plastic bag for your phones or wallets), a friend (if you haven’t got any, the hk hiking community, a long lost sister, a tinder match, there are ways), and Sunscreen
Accompanying me on this expedition is Anelka Williams, British-Filipino, born and bred in Hong Kong, dedicated YouTuber (Anelka2TV), photographer, and bears an insatiable hunger for Hershey’s Bars and crisps. For the purpose of not getting flayed in the dead of night by this woman; comment, rate and subscribe to her videos. Lets get started.
Taking the ever so convenient MTR train service to Tung Chung, and getting off at the first stop of the 38bus should, if you believe in a young girl’s heart, magically place you at the sight of a walk-bridge adjacent to Pa Mei village. Such is the view:
Having crossed the bridge in the direction of the gas station and the village, the view of an arch with Chinese characters should be evident. Take a (second star to the) right from here, and you should be able to see a “Welcome to Tung Chung sign”, greenery, and a couple road signs. Take the left to “Chep Lak Kok New Village” after this.
Taking that singleminded left should reveal a path straight to another village and a temple. Unless you brought your sandalwood incense and fervent prayers of good will and fortune then carry on and follow the path mate.
The strays are quite tamed given you don’t poke it with your selfie sticks (don’t lie, everyone has one). If you’ve managed to keep up, blast some Send Me on My Way by Rusted Root, and take a camera phone out, this is where things start getting pretty, and you feel like a nob for choosing only 16 gigs on your new iPhone.
“Who knew Yat Tung held such beauty” right? Although you’ll be tempted to take a couple peeks at the locals, and occasionally bolt into a sprint whenever you here rustling in the bushes, keep calm, post a few snapchats, and bask in what remains of the initial 20 minute trek to the stream.
Since when did we let a suspicious roadblock stop us in our tracks? Robert Frost took the road less travelled yes? Well now lets make all the difference, and I guarantee you’ll be home in errr at least one piece. 5 minutes from the toll, you’ll encounter the picnic site, the entrance to the trail to Sunset Peak, and the restricted reservoir site. All these you ignore unless, you feel like putting your self-esteem to the test with the ridiculously fit 60 year old marathoner doing pull-ups at the Picnic site. If you’d rather keep your dignity, take the dodgy stairs to the left of the restricted reservoir at the end of the path.
NOTE: Be prepared to get your feet wet, an old pair of runners or wet socks should do the trick. I highly recommend keeping your brand smackin’ new Yeezy’s in the cupboard. Keep your wits about yourself and make sure your valuables steer clear of the path, VoyagerZulu will not be responsible for scratched GoPros, worn out Vans, wet wallets, and frustrated girlfriends.
Presented in front of you is the base of the reservoir, normally populated with Tai Chi enthusiasts and skeptical couples during the summer. Make your way through the rocky path, and ATTEMPT to cross the ankle-high body of water towards to concrete slab using the rocks as balance. (I recommend just walking through the water. Moss covered ankles are better than the embarassing misbalances and scratched knees). Climb said structure;
Having crossed the flimsy rock path and climbing the slab of concrete, let the amazement of the sight of pure freshwater, and the sense of minor accomplishment sink in. At the top of the slope, cross to the left, and climb the ladder (LEFT LADDER, the right one could potentially lead to a restricted section, Diagon Alley or Narnia):
Shown in the picture above is the view from the ladder climbed upon, lest I remind you again to NOT climb the opposite restricted one. From here, the path seems pretty straightforward. With your ever reliable peripheral vision heads up for spiders as big as your face in the crevices and branches. Only one way, and that is forward:
Cue 4 second video of surroundings:
At time of climb, temperatures were spiking at 31 degrees celsius (87.8 degrees fahrenheit), so don’t hesitate to take a dip at the rockpools every now and again so you don’t get a heatstroke, heavily frowned upon by disappointed hike buddies who’ll have to carry you home. Greet fellow climbers, making friends in a place like this is basically life insurance:
After what I hope wasn’t a struggle, the half hour trek should bring you to this rock embedded with more chinese characters, clear sign of close proximity to the source of the stream. Expect to get more wet, as well as the increase of spider webs. Should you encounter the forked path, know that these lead to the same destination, with varying difficulty in each route. Oh and yes, you might have to get on top of some huge rocks at around this point, where the chest days and mass protein in the gym is finally offered a chance to shine.
Through patience and perseverance you are treated with another one of the Big Man upstairs’ wonders. Low and behold:
The pool starts off being knee-deep, with the far end near the falls being a around 20 feet deep. The absence of stalagmites by the falls indicates two things: 1. Spot is cliffdive worthy ; 2. Waterfalls base can be sat on and meditated on if you feel the need to reach nirvana, and a nice massage
Here’s a couple stolens of this photographer in action:
Now if you were patient enough to get this far, do walk the extra mile by doing your part in maintaining the environment! Keep your litter to yourself, and try your best not to contaminate the pure water with the sunscreen. Unlike you, Mother Earth can’t do much about her complexion so we all gotta work together here people. Oh and ofcourse, if the water tank’s empty, do not hesitate to refill using the fresh pool water!
At this point you’d notice you could keep going, and if you do your tolerance for the heat is phenomenally out of this world. A set of paved steps on the left face of the entire falls brings you beyond the falls:
To seek the comfort and shelter of home, use the same route back exactly the way you came!
Now I do hope you’ve found some sort of appreciation for the natural side of Hong Kong which I aim to further expose, most of which is hidden under a bombardment of buffet, broadband internet and waxing salon advertising. Home Kong has loads more of hidden finds, you just gotta look hard enough. We surely did:
Reward yourselves with a pat on the back, air conditioning, and a cheat day with your diets!
- All photos and the video were taken by me, and are of my property.
- Anelka’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ASquaredTelevision
- Guide that helped me out: http://hikehongkong.blogspot.hk
- Mum and Dad for constantly pushing me to put myself out there, you guys are the best.
- The Big Man upstairs who constantly takes my breath away with sceneries such as these.
- Twitter / Instagram: voyagerzulu
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org