As Hong Kong has a subtropical climate, most trees here are evergreens. Deciduous trees are rare here, the Sweet Gum Tree is one of them. The leaves of these trees turn a pretty shade of red before they fall off, and the best time to see these red leaves is late December.
So on this beautiful, warm and sunny Christmas day we set off to do just that. Together with well half of Hong Kong it seemed. Bus K66 from Yuen Long was running every few minutes, still we had to wait a few buses before we were able to get on. Those double deckers were packed.
From the bus stop it was about an hour walk along Tai Tong Shan Road. Signs indicated the “red leaves”, and if any doubt, just follow the crowd.
For me as a European, seeing the red leaves as such is not exactly special. The most interesting part was how many people go to see this phenomenon, and how special they think it is, making photos of themselves and one another under the trees. There is no denying these trees were pretty, though not exactly special and the crowds were just overwhelming.
So after taking the obligatory photos for my wife to post on her Facebook, we broke off from the crowds and took an alternative route back to the Tai Tong bus terminal.
On the way we ran into this cute little Pak Kung temple, at the top of White Tiger Pass. This temple was erected by villagers carrying their produce across the hills to the market, and here they often offered some crops while praying for a safe passage.
As usual most of the people, as in pretty much all of them, will not stray from the beaten path, so the moment we branched off Tai Tong Shan Road we barely saw anyone. All in all an interesting afternoon out.