Join: 01 Nov - Geopark tour 09 Nov - Hiking tour 15 Nov - Geopark tour
Sai Kung boat tour: Yim Tin Tsai and geopark Abandoned villages tour Sham Chung and Lai Chi Chung (geopark) (more)
History, culture and natural beauty all in one. Visit ghost villages in the northern New Territories. Hidden villages and one of the most beautiful geopark sites.
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Tai Po Kau and Grassy Hill

It was the day after the gruelling hot hike from the Devil’s Fist. The Very Hot Weather Warning was still in force, but sitting at home I could not. The skies were really clear again, so what better than to head out to some great vantage points?

DSCF7021Taking the heat into account I started off in Tai Po Kau. This forested area is great for a relaxed walk. Many well maintained paths, not too steep up, and best of all the trees keep the temperatures to a comfortable level. I spotted some really nice looking mushrooms on the way, growing on the dead wood.

DSCF7040Heading further south and steadily uphill, I finally left the nature reserve area and continued on some ancient village trails, leading to the ruins of an abandoned farming village. There are many such ruins on the mountains of Hong Kong. Many were flourishing communities, abandoned in the 1960s and 70s when Hong Kong rapidly industrialised, its population swell and cheap imports from the mainland made farming uneconomical.

DSCF7044This village is down to a few ruins of homes, and the remains of the ancestral hall. A bit further down the trail the remains of fields can be seen, built on terraces against the slopes of Grassy Hill.

My hike led me now DSCF7074steep up Grassy Hill, to a great viewpoint where also a geocache was hidden, which of course was one of my main goals of the hike. The views from this point were just fantastic. The skies were as said really clear, and from my high point I could see quite literally over Hong Kong Island: I could make out the three chimneys of the Lamma Island power plant.
DSCF7104I then continued my hike up to the summit of Grassy Hill, and from there the to me quite familiar route via Lead Mine Pass back down to Tai Po. What still surprises me about Lead Mine Pass is first of all that the toilet building there comes with a disabled toilet, now how a disabled person would make it up there to begin with is beyond me. And secondly that there is a stone baccarat table there. It is the only such table that I know of in Hong Kong, the nearest other baccarat tables that I have seen were in the casinos of Macau.