Hong Kong Outdoor journal By Ravi

First trip: Kam Shang Park, or Monkey hill
For my first trip, me and my family went to Kam Shan nature park, a park known for its huge amounts of Rhesus Macaques.
Even though there were a couple pieces of stray rubbish littering the trail, the trip was overall very interesting and fun.
And a lot of monkeys too...
Monkeys, food, and rule-breakers
Results of Monkeys being fed by humans

Even before walking for ten minutes, I already sensed a aura of bad rule-breaking oozing figuratively around each road and path of the trail. Even before hopping off our cab, a red van screeched to a stop near the entrance of the trail, while the driver slowly clambered out of the dented car. Opening the back of the van, the driver took out a huge box of mouldy bananas and left them on the ground, watching from behind a bush as the bananas were ripped into little pieces by eager monkeys.

"Rules? Forget about them"- Random rule breaker

Another rule-breaker took it even further, letting monkeys grab the food from their hands while in the safety of a car. And one last example of bad rule-breaking would be the case of a young boy and his dad. Near the beginning of the trail, there was a small rest area with toilets and vending machines. After quickly emptying a can of lemon tea, they decided it would be better fun to let the monkeys drink whatever was left in the can, laughing and hollering loudly when the monkey found out that the can was empty.

That sign says NO feeding the monkeys.

Later on, I researched more about these monkeys that seemed to be taking over Kam Shang country park. The monkeys I saw were Rhesus Macaques, monkeys who had been introduced into Hong Kong to stop the wild growing of a plant called Strychnos found to be growing along the Kowloon reservoir. A deadly plant, Strychnos was actually quite lethal to humans who unwittingly ingested it. Despite this lethality, Rhesus Macaques were immune to this deadly property, and managed to devour most of the Strychnos plants lining the reservoir. However, the Introduction of Rhesus Macaques soon had its consequences. Initially supposed to be very small in numbers, the population of Macaques skyrocketed extremely fast, most likely the product of people feeding the macaques rather than letting them forage food for themselves. This led to the macaques being less afraid of humans, and therefore more likely to cause accidents to humans and macaques alike.

Some more fun: other photos
Photos 2.0

Place 2: Kadoorie farm and Botanical garden

For my second trip, I went with my family to Kadoorie farm and Botanical garden. A very tranquil place, with stunning views of the mountainside and lovely flora, Kadoorie farm and Botanical garden was established during the late 1950's. Kadoorie Farm and Botanical garden (Kadoorie farm for short) was very interesting and fun for me, housing a wide variety of rescued animals and various monuments. Along with this, there were also many species of flora, decorating the whole farm with shades of vibrant red and yellow. Compared to my first location, Kadoorie Farm was very quiet and peaceful, the breeze howling gently through the trees. I really enjoyed Kadoorie farm and its wonderful flora.

Some of the photos I took on the trip
Some of the many photos I took on the trip
Main Highlight of the trip
My Mom and younger sister

Here is a picture of the Kadoorie Brothers Memorial Pavilion. The Pavilion was built during the late 1990's to celebrate the achievements of the founders of Kadoorie farm (Horace Kadoorie and Lawrence Kadoorie). Due to the high altitude, the Pavilion was very tranquil and serene, with nearly no one there!

The Kadoorie Brothers Memorial Pavilion
My mom and sister walking along the thin trail to the Pavilion
The Moon Gate

Third place: WWF Mai Po nature reserve

For my third place, me and my family went to the WWF Mai Po nature reserve. A wide marshland with many species of birds, including the endangered Black-faced spoonbill. The reserve was very fun and engaging, especially watching many birds like White Egrets slowly take off and fly. Even though it was slightly drizzling on the day, the nature reserve was still very fun and I really enjoyed it!

Watching Birds: a lovely experience!

For me, the greatest part of the trip was walking on the low, marsh-covering bridges that spanned all along the wetland reserve. I also enjoyed going up to the bird hides (places to watch birds), taking photos of birds as they quickly flashed by the small, wooden window of the bird hide. Perhaps the most interesting part of the trip would be the trip itself, and spending valuable and precious time with my family. While it still rained quite a lot, the experience was both fun, interesting and special. What a great way of how to spend a would-be boring Saturday afternoon!

One of the numerous bridges across the wetlands
Close-up of one of the wetland bridges
My Sister and my Dad walking on the bridge
The wetland Reserve
Watching birds from inside the bird hide
The city of Shenzhen, in the foggy mist
Birds darting around near the end of the day

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