This is the continuation of my last post:
I had read about the nice little Japanese Tea House in one of the guidebooks and thought it would be the ideal spot for us to stop for a bite to eat. The menu offered a small selection of hand rolls and doriyaki pancakes, filled with red bean paste. We were in a savoury mood and ordered a selection of the delicious hand rolls and some tea. The mamasan was very friendly when she discovered that we had been a few times to her home country she had a long chat with us about Japanese places. We also had to take the obligatory group photo with her, which unfortunately did not turn out well enough for me to send to her or to feature on the post.
The next part of our hike first went along the back of the beach and then up onto the second hill. We first passed some houses before reaching another pavilion. There was a crowd of people gathered underneath the cherry blossoms. It almost felt like we were back in Japan and not in China with the people gazing admiringly at the rose coloured blossoms.
The Cheung Chau family walk guided us past a church with a large building complex, obviously a place to for dedicated Christians to come for bible seminars, in fact there are many religious retreats on this part of the island. Further along we saw a lot of abandoned houses, most of them looked like they once must have been family homes. I went into one of them, it was completely empty, no furniture left but graffiti on the walls and dirt gathering in the corners.
Eventually the path left the urbanised area, with just the sea and nature surrounding us. At some point the path turned into the Mini Great Wall Trail, which is a paved walkway with granite railings that is supposed to mirror the Great Wall of China. There are a few rock formations with names like “Eagle Rock” and “Rock of Ringing Bell” to either side of the path. Some of the rocks certainly had interesting shapes but we would have needed a lot of imagination to gather where the names might have come from and perhaps more to imagine we were on a real great wall. Maybe children still have a more fantastic mind to imagine the shapes, however Jerome seemed to be not able to make them out.
At Kwung Fam temple we walked down a few steps and ended up at one of the nicer beaches on Cheung Chau. Sadly the weather was much colder than on our trip to Lamma Island and therefore we did not feel like staying on the beach. There was another lifeguard tower, which I added to my collection of photographs before walking on.
Ahead at the end of the beach we could see a little café/bar overlooking the beach and a heliport. We sat down on the terrace and ordered some drinks. After a while, enjoying our drinks and taking in the view we could see a helicopter heading towards us. Jerome got excited but we told him that surely it would not be landing in front on the landing platform. We were proven wrong though, the noise of the rotating blades got louder and the helicopter slowly descended onto the landing spot right before us. We were wondering why it would be landing there on a day like today, especially with no one around, but soon enough we could hear the sirens of a police car and shortly after an ambulance followed. Some men left the ambulance car and opened its back door, they then carried an older gentlemen, on a stretcher, to the helicopter. As soon as the man was loaded in the helicopter it disappeared back into the air and out of sight, probably on to the closest hospital. The contrasting silence was notable. We afterwards realised just how many other people had gathered to watch the spectacle, most likely a highlight for some of the locals.
Our walk that day ended with a stroll back into town and to the harbour, completing a figure of eight around the two hills. The timing could not have been any better, the ferry had just arrived and shortly after we were able to board. We took seats outside, to the back of the ferry and watched the colours of the clouds change from a greyish sky to a pink glow beneath where the sun was about to go down, as we cruised back to Hong Kong Island.
The hike along the family trail on Cheung Chau is definitely an option for families with children of any age, it can be lengthened or shortened depending on the age and ability of the little ones. It makes a contrast to the main city and is worth the time to explore a part of Hong Kong that is a little off the normal well beaten tourist tracks.