From Wu Kau Tang to Luk Keng 烏蛟騰から鹿頸まで
It’s my goal to start making better use of my weekends. Specifically, I’m going to try to get through as many of the hikes in my copy of the “Serious Hiker’s Guide to Hong Kong” as possible. I had to laugh at the phrase in the intro to the hike I did last Sunday: “but its far flung location means that few make the trip”. It’s not far for me, I live out in the New Territories. The distance from Wu Kau Tang to Luk Keng is pretty long but except for a couple fairly long, steep sections it’s not an extremely punishing hike. The estimated time from the guide book is 5 hours. It took me a leisurely 5 1/2 with stops for photography, exploring abandoned villages and communing with the wildlife.
Like many areas of the New Territories, there are abandoned villages all over the place. I talked about my trip out to Kuk Po in a previous post which you can see here. The largest of the abandoned villages on this trip is Lai Chi Wo. Despite being deserted, it’s still well maintained because the government of Hong Kong declared the area around the village, its fung shui forest and derries in particular, a “special area” several years ago. As you come out off the trail, the first thing you see is a large courtyard in front of the Hip Tin temple. On this trip, it was obvious that it was a favourite toilet spot of the feral cattle in the area. Now, on a hot day cow manure just dries out without much smell. Cow urine baking on hot granite flagstones is another thing entirely.
Walking through the abandoned streets and peering into rows of vacant houses is strange. There’s still a feeling of being an intruder because in many cases, people just up and left leaving behind many personal items. It’s like they figured they were leaving only for the day but never came back because things like furniture, pictures on the wall and dishes remain behind. Sort of gives you an idea of daily life in the villages.
Like the guidebook said, it would be a hike that would be well worth taking after a storm though it would make some of the rocky, shaded areas mighty treacherous to walk. Either way, if you head all the way to Luk Keng, the three restaurants there are a good place to have something to eat and down a beer or two while waiting for the minibus to Fanling station.