Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hong Kong & Macau 2008 Day 5

Raining again! Today the rain stopped earlier, at about 11am. We took the KCR to Tai Wo, because ... today we were going to get to the top of the hill at Kadoorie Farm!

We had lunch of wonton mee (Slug is a crazy fan of Hong Kong's wonton noodles) at Ho Ho Congee and Noodle in Tai Wo Shopping Centre. After lunch, we explored the nearby Tai Wo Estate, a very relaxing and peaceful neighbourhood (as could be seen by the huge numbers of elderly folk chatting at the stone tables and the children playing badminton). We somehow got quite lost in that area, and actually wasted 30 minutes trying to find the bus-stop to take the bus to Kadoorie Farm.

Ho Ho Congee and Noodle

Our lunch

Slug and I at Ho Ho Congee and Noodle shop

Tai Wo Estate

The carefree residents of Tai Wo

Slug and I at Tai Wo Estate

So many restrictions again! (No nuisance?)

After 30 minutes of aimless roaming, we found the bus-stop which was under a huge overhead bridge on the other side of Tai Wo Estate. Hong Kong neighbourhoods are as confusing as Singapore's.

We even considered taking a cab

At the other side of Tai Wo Estate

Taking Bus 64K to Kadoorie Farm

After a 15-minute ride, we reached Kadoorie Farm. It was already 2.30pm, and I somehow doubted we could make it to the peak (and vacate the farm by 5pm) within such a short time. The farm actually provides free shuttle bus service to the peak on Sundays, but we were too late - the bus tickets were all snapped up. Looked like we really had to make our way up by foot.

On the way to Kadoorie Farm

Back with a vengeance

We first went to the Reptile Lookout to look at the lazy crocodile, clumsy tortoise and sluggish monitor lizard.

Then it was on to the Piers Jacobs Wildlife Sanctuary to look at the mammals.


Wild boar

Some eagle at the Raptor Flight Aviary

Some cute lizard at the Amphibian and Reptile House

A cute cat at the Native Mammal Display

As we made our way up, we passed by many familiar attractions.

Walter Kerr Memorial Gardens

It was tough finding a smoking point in the farm, but there was a Smoker's Den (the one and only in the farm) hidden somewhere in the trees. I spotted an amusing sign that wanted us to refrain from throwing cigarette butts onto the ground because "the wild animals smoke them at night and we are trying to get them to quit".

We soon came to the starting point of the Rainbow Trail. All ready for the gruelling climb!

At somewhere near the starting point of the Rainbow Trail

A cute little hut

Looking at the majestic hill opposite the farm

It was an all-too-familiar hike along Rainbow Trail, except that things were a little different this time. For one, it was hotter and more humid, so it got quite exhausting and uncomfortable as we began to sweat from climbing all those steps. Secondly, the mosquitoes were out in full force! Using whatever strength we could gather, we tried swatting them away but they would always come back landing on our necks and faces. Thirdly, at least this time we did see some creatures - creepy crawlies, and pretty flowers in bloom (many varieties!).

Climbing up the steps along Rainbow Trail

Did I mention before that Slug is into nature photography?

Nothing but trees all around us

Fresh poo on a huge leaf (who did that!)

Finally, we reached the Rainbow Pavilion. It was 3.30pm, and we could afford some time to continue our climb, hurray! There, we took a short rest and sprayed ourselves all over with deodorant, hoping that it could function like insect repellent and ward off the mosquitoes. Not only did it fail to do that, it also attracted the bees. We quickly fled the pavilion in horror.

At the Rainbow Pavilion

The waterfall just next to the pavilion

From Rainbow Pavilion, we climbed a few more steps before reaching the main road, which could take us up to the top. Went for a short toilet break before ascending the steep road.

Picking up from where we left behind previously

Do not underestimate the steepness of this road

Convent Garden - now we were officially 335m above ground

At one point, there was a faint honey smell in the air and it was because we passed by an apiary!

Only for guided visitors

A very long flight of stairs seemingly leading to nowhere

We resumed our climb till we got to a bridge that crossed the waterfall we had seen earlier on.

Nearing the bridge

Looking down at the waterfall from the bridge

We were getting nearer and nearer to the peak!

We climbed further and got to a T-junction, where we intended to turn right to get to the Deer Haven (I wanted to see Bambi!), but Slug was quite apprehensive because it was already 4.15pm and it was about time that we clamber our way down. I had another idea though - that T-junction was actually one of the pick-up / let-off points for the shuttle service, and even though we did not have tickets, I felt that maybe we could try our luck to get on the shuttle bus.

At the T-junction - now 387m above ground!

A sign telling us to give way to the farm's roaming employees - two mules!

We were about to make a quick dash to the Deer Haven, but unfortunately, the shuttle bus came along and we had to catch it before it was too late. Luckily, the driver allowed us in and what followed was an exciting ride down the steep roads of the farm and bird's eye views of the mountains, forests and the neighbouring farms. Whew! At least we did not have to make our own way down! The shuttle bus dropped us off at the Farm Musuem and Farm Shop.

Farm Musuem and Farm Shop

Slug looking at the potted herbs sold at the Farm Shop

A stall nearby selling fresh farm produce

Looking at the farm terraces above

We still had 30 minutes to explore the farm before closing time, so Slug visited his favourite crocodile again (which was still in the same position and same pose as just now!).

Scarecrow at the Eco-garden

The family tree of the pigs living in the pigsties (At 10 years old, Jai Jai is the oldest pig in Hong Kong!)

Soon it was time to leave the farm, and I was frustrated because we still could not complete the climb to the top. We still could not visit the Kadoorie Brothers' Memorial Pavillion and the Kwun Yum Shan Summit at a fricking 552m above ground. We will be back.

At the plaza of the farm and about to leave

Took the same bus to Tai Po, where we explored this small town as the sun set. We were walking around in Uptown Plaza just beside the MTR Station, when we spotted this Pie and Tart Specialists shop and its delectable array of pies and tarts. We got the milk tart (its specialty) and mushroom quiche, and I must say, the milk tart is heavenly! It was a break from the conventional egg tart, and the tart was practically filled with soft and thick milk curd, set into place by a thin layer of cheese on top. While Slug was happily slurping the milk off the pastry bowl, I was sulking and regretting that I chose the mushroom quiche (which was nice anyway).

Pie and Tart Specialists

Milk tart and mushroom quiche

Enjoying our snack

We returned to my favourite tidbits store and grabbed my favourite Japanese bubble gum and other junk food. We got quite tired from all the walking around and the carrying of big bags of junk food, so we returned to Causeway Bay and dumped the stuff in our apartment before making our way to Windsor House, a chic shopping centre nearby, to have dinner.

My favourite tidbits store in Tai Po

Snacking on fish siew mai before going home

We just had to try the KFC here! This season, their latest creation was the chicken cutlet rice with sweet curry, and what was special about the chicken cutlet was that it was coated with many tiny crunchy flour balls called 'pearls'. Yum.

Windsor House

Our meal at KFC

Spent the rest of the night packing gloomily and worrying how we were going to bring all our bulky and heavy bags over to Macau. But the major problem was ... we were not even ready to leave Hong Kong yet!

1 comment:

Rose Red said...

you came to hong kong and had kfc?!?!