Delectable dim sum, floating islands, and a one-of-a-kind skyline are just some of Hong Kong’s unique features. Get an eyeful of traditional Chinese architecture in Ngong Ping village, then take the tram to the tippity-top of Victoria Peak for unparalleled views. The rocks and gentle hills of Nan Lian Garden will bring you inner peace, as will a calming cup of tea in a Stanley café. Become one with everything at the Chi Lin Nunnery, a serene Buddhist complex.
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Between 1888 and 1917 a massive program of reservoir and dam building at Tai Tam took place. An excellent hiking track, the Waterworks Heritage Trail, has gathered all the historic relics from this time together and created a path that takes you through the Tai Tam valley and past the reservoirs. It leads across the aqueducts and old stone bridges and takes in other features such as the valve houses, pumping stations and workmen’s quarters. Altogether there are 22 heritage monuments or graded buildings included on the 5 km walk. Detailed information boards are posted along the route, describing the history of these early constructions. The scale of the dams is striking but even more striking is that fact that they were built over 100 years ago, at a time when most of the work would have been completed using only manpower and relatively basic equipment. It would have been gruelling work in punishing conditions. Ongoing research has recently uncovered even more landmarks including brick caissons, remnants of a pier. Most intriguingly, a sunken Hakka village has lain beneath the dam waters for over 100 years. Diving teams have been recovering relics, including mud bricks, banyan trees, century-old soda water bottles and small opium containers. Make sure you take plenty of water as you can’t buy it inside the country park. Sunscreen and a hat are essentials. GETTING THERE: The trail begins at the entry gates to the country park, just past the Parkview residential complex. As you approach, you will notice signs for the Wilson Trail and other tracks but keep going past these until you get to the black and white gates for the park, where you will see signs for the Tai Tam Country Park and the Heritage Trail. From Central, a taxi will cost about $75HKD and will take about 15 min. Or you can get the #6 Stanley Market bus and get off on Wong Nai Chung Gap Road beside the petrol station (just past the tennis courts and cricket club). From here, you’ll still have to walk about 15 min uphill, up Tai Tam Reservoir Rd to Parkview and the country park.
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...for anyone with an interest in HK during the war. This battery’s condition, location and history make it one of the most interesting of all the old military installations I have visited here. Also the walk is quite fun, both up and down, as it differed completely from the paved path off of which it branches.
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