Victoria Trail in Hong Kong
Have I told you before how much I love Hong Kong? Yeahh, maybe many times, well I’ll keep saying that cause it should get the credits of protecting and supporting the nature considering the pollution around. One of the reasons why I love Hong Kong is Victoria Trail. It is one of the “must seen” places in Hong Kong. Victoria Trail is a perfect place to go if you ever get overwhelmed by your crazy schedule or the city life. It is also an awesome place to run, walk and get creative. It’s a gorgeous place to store some of life’s energy. There are lots of things that you can do in Victorai Trail. Just go and see how this place fills you with positive energy!
Literally, don’t leave the city without breathing the air in Victoria Trail.
Reminder: You’re going to see many pictures. Click on the pictures to make them bigger to see the details(except the featured photo above- me sitting in front of the huge tree in Victoria Trail-it is already one of the biggest pictures).
As you know, I arrived Hong Kong at the best time of the year!!! It was the time when the worst Typhoon of 35 years was about to hit the city, but I had to go on that day any way because of my visa. It took couple of days to see the sun again. Guys, it is important to go to Victoria Trail on a clear day, why? Because Victoria Trail is located close to Victoria Peak (The Peak), the roof of the city, with a stunning view; therefore, better to go to Victoria Trail on a sunny day so that you don’t need to entertain yourself by trying to guess the shapes seen through the fog, actually it is the pollution.
Before going to Victoria Trail make sure that you put on your trainers, running shoes or hiking shoes, as it is going to be a real hiking eventough you’re still in the city. Here are my running shoes:
Well for those who think that my shoes look a little bit big, it is because they are 1,5 number bigger than my normal size as it is normal for running shoes. Now you know this small detail, let’s keep going.
What is the best time to experience a hike in Victoria Trail?
You can literally spend your whole day around Victoria Trail because it is also close to The Peak and the Galleria located just next to The Peak. But especially, go there just before the sunset or even couple of hours earlier before the sunset. You’ll be amazed by the view.
Let’s start our hiking in Victoria Trail
I started to hike from Harlech Road and finished my hiking on Lugard Road. You can also take the other way around by starting from Lugard Road and finishing on Lugard Road. Either way, you’re gonna love it! Victoria Trail winds around Victoria Peak; therefore it is also known as Peak Circle Hike. It normally takes around 1,5 hours to complete but mine was close to 3 hours as I took tons of pictures and talked with local people and tourists as well.
Let me highlight it again: Guys, this is an amazing place!!! The words are not enough to emphasize how beautiful Victoria Trail is. The first thing I felt when I started my hiking was the change in the atmosphere that surrounded me immediately…It was warmer but at the same time so fresh, I mean sooo fresh because of the giant and various types of trees. The second thing was the animal life, butterflies, birds and giant dragon flies, especially I was surrounded by hundreds of giant dragon flies around the waterfall. Well, I am not a bug fan or any similar kinds, as you may recall how happy I was when bugs started to came out in my room from my house hunting adventure. Here my reaction was, of course, screaming every time they started to run into me but then I got used to them, well I had to.
“Because Hong Kong has a moderate climate and a mild winter, many species of butterfly are seen here throughout the year- although the largest number can be seen during the summer. Butterflies are seen almost anywhere, in the district parks, and across the countryside in grasslands, shrublands, woodlands and wetlands. ”
Who is observing who? I thought that I was observing and watching this little birdie in the picture above, but now I can see that this spot, just couple of minutes before the waterfall in Victoria Trail, is also a good spot for the birds to watch back the ones who are watching them, fair enough.
Did someone mention about the waterfall in Victoria Trail?
The waterfall in Victoria Trail is not big, but still beautiful. Somehow, this waterfall in Victoria Trail attracts many dragon flies around it. I’ve seen that dragon flies are crazy about this waterfall. Do you know what lies under this typical behavior of dragon flies? I did a small search on google and found a study paper of University of Michigan about “dragonflies and waterfalls”. It says that:
“Dragonflies are carnivorous insects with a lifestyle that is closely tied to freshwater aquatic habitats. Eggs are laid in or near water, and immature dragonflies have adaptations such as gills that allow them to spend the first few months to several years as aquatic nymphs, preying on other small aquatic organisms. (Corbet, 1999)”
“Dragonflies are nearly always found near freshwater. They lay their eggs in or close to water, and the immature dragonflies, called nymphs, are fully aquatic. Dragonflies are most abundant and diverse in and around slow-moving freshwater with submerged and emergent vegetation, for example small streams and ponds. However, they can also be found in many other freshwater habitats, including small water-filled holes, vernal pools, ditches, dikes, marshes, swamps, rivers, waterfalls and lakes. Adult dragonflies spend the majority of their time near water, but may travel miles away while hunting. They are agile fliers, and tend to hunt in open areas rather than amongst thick trees or other vegetation. (Borror, et al., 1989; McGavin, 2001; Silsby, 2001)”
That explains everything, doesn’t it? You see how one place can trigger one’s curiosity, otherwise how could I get to know this fact if I hadn’t been there?
Along the way, I saw interesting root formations and various kinds of trees.
I was so excited to be in such a magical place, I was running from one tree to another, trying to climb some of them. taking pictures, of course I had a place to rest and enjoy the view. Here is one of the best places to relax…
Other than tourists and locals, there were some expats running in Victoria trail too. It always makes me happy to see people running, keeping themselves active.
Here is an other perfect spot to enjoy the view that Victoria Trail offers:
What about the view from my seat?
As I kept walking, I saw more huge trees and interesting root formations. I think this is the biggest root I’ev ever seen so deserve to be as a fatured picture of the post.
This place is rich in nature! All the rock and root formations, animal and plant life..”all in one” in Victoria Trail in Hong Kong. This place made my day while I was struggling with the visa process. After a while I was thinking of discovering other paths rather than the main road like I used to do in Belgrad Forest in Istanbul, Turkey, but the density of the branches and trees made me stay on the safe side which was the main path.
As I kept walking, I noticed more perfect spots to enjoy view which was calling me to have a small break and a picture of course.
While you’re passing through, it is impossible not to realize the amazing view and stop for a while to enjoy. I had many moments like that during my hike. But as the time was running out, I had to keep going to catch the sunset.
After a while of walking, here there are two paths. Which do you think I took ?
I wanted to see everything but I had to use my time wisely and I didn’t want to get lost just before the sunset, so I have to find the Lugard Road and yeah, here it is, I was on the right track.
More interesting trees and cute root formations seen along the way.
Especially the red flower above, isn’t beautiful? What about the giant leaf? Wouldn’t it be a great fan when you’re struggling with humid? It was getting hotter so this leaf was the thing exactly I needed to protect me from the heat and the humid so I went towards the leaf and…Nooo, of course I did not touch it, just took a picture and kept walking but still you will need a fan during your hike.
Ohhh look at the beautiful statues below…Statues in Asia, they all are amazing art pieces considering the detailed work on them.
Just love these trees below and the roots looked all most the same as my hair, mixed up, when I was struggling with strong winds thanks to the typhoon in the first two days.
More of these trees…I’ll never get bored of seeing these mixed up trees and I can take pictures of every branch literally. Were you looking for a jungle? Here it is…
In Victoria Trail, some trees are labeled and and have information boards next to them .
One of them is: “Camphor Tree, an evergreen, grows slowly. It can reach 30 meters and its broad crown provides welcome shade. Camphor Trees have distinctive vertical cracks in the bark. The leaves have three main veins, which stretch out like a cock’s claw from the leaf base to its apex. When they are crushed, the branches and leaves emit a strong smell of campor.”
In the picture below, aren’t they look like a nose? Yeah, they are, so tell me which nose is the biggest? We discussed this with some random tourists around and one of the English girls thought that her nose was bigger than the nose-shaped rocks. Well, no pictures of her but the discussion was quite interesting to mention.
Background info about Lugard Road
While I kept walking, let me give you some background info about Lugard Road:
Many roads in Hong Kong were named by former governors, colonial secretaries and commanding generals and Lugard Road is , not an exception, named after Sir Frederick Lugard, governor from 1907-12. Hong Kong formed a brief Far Eastern interregnum in Lugard’s career as a long and distinguished African administrator, and he is best remembered today for the creation of Nigeria. Lugard Road starts at Victoria Gap and passes through the north slope of Victoria Peak and ends at the gap at High West. Ever since it’s completion, Lugard Road has always been the most famous sight-seeing route in Hong Kong. Lugard Road was built between 1913 and 1914 with a huge cost of around $50.000.
Because the north slopes of Victoria Peak are mostly steep rocks, the construction was carried out with a special construction method similar to that of a plank road: to insert pillars under the cliff, then built a bridge as road upon them. This is the only one of its kind in Hong Kong, but instead of wood piles as normally seen in a plank road, it was built reinforced concrete.
Before the World War II, a section of Lugard Road was called “The Fairy Bridge Locked by the Fog” and was listed as one of the Hong Kong’s Eight Great Sceneries . As Victoria Peak is mostly covered with mist and fog, and when they are about to disperse, the road disappers and reappears in a moment, always resembles a vista in a fairy tale – a charming scene indeed.
I think that’s enough with the history. Let’s get back to the modern Hong Kong. Look at the city that is seen through the trees:
It doesn’t matter how modern a city is, its culture and traditions will always be there to make you feel amazed and curious. Against the city view, a man was doing tai-chi…
What about bird-watching in Hong Kong?
This spot above is also popular for bird-watching. Hong Kong, with its scarce land and population, seems an unlikely place for bird-watching. But in fact, Hong Kong has many species of birds and the territory is becoming inclreasingly popular with local and overseas bird-watchers. There are about 450 species of wild birds in Hong Kong, or about one third of the total bird species found in China. There are two reasons fort he impressive bird species diversity. First, the territory lies on one of the main bird migration routes in Asia. Second, Hong Kong has widely different habitats that cater for different birds.
The most important Hong Kong bird habitats are the wetlands along the northeastern and Northwestern coasts, and the valleys and forests in the Country Parks. Shrubland and grassland birds take the mountain slopes as their habitat.
Following the Peak Trail, you can see some common woodland birdsand raptors. The woodland birds are smaller in size, while the larger raptors are usually seen circling overhead or in the valleys.
To watch birds clearly, you need binoculars or a telescope, unfortunately I didn’t have neither of them, so I did keep walking to see more amazing views of Hong Kong’s islands.
Do you wanna say hi to the concrete world? Go for it, perfect place to spill out your feelings about the concrete which consumes everything in the world…I’ll leave you with the pictures here for a while, see you at the end of the post.
All most there…
A little bacground info on Land forms of Hongkong
The Western part of the Hong Kong Island is lined with a rugged landscape Victoria Peak, High West, Mount Davis, Mount Kellett and Lung Fu Shan that overlooking the busy Victoria Harbour. How this unique landscape was formed?
The Hong Kong Island rocks did not form until the Jurassic period. During the Middle Jurassic Period, about 170-150 years ago, the present location of Hong Kong Island was full of volcanic activity. About 90-100million years ago, earth movements sych as folding and faulting dominated teh region. During the last 60 million years, weathering erosion and deposition slowly shaped the present lanscape, the peaks, vallesy an watercourses. The volcanic material eroded off the slopes of teh peaks agev fertile soils to the Pokfulam valleys that supported rich primeval woodland, and the postwar reforestation woodland nowadays.
By abou 2 million years ago, at Quaternay times, the peaks overlooking a wide coastal plain with meandering streams. Until about 15000 B.C., the sea level rose at the end of the Ice end of teh Ice Age and teh coastal plain was submerged to form the lovely Victoria Harbour today.
As we talked a little bit about the land forms, here is all most a g-hundred years old concrete bank overlooking the amazing Harbour skyline.
And towards the end of the road, there was a spot that made me laugh out loud. Make sense but dogs will not be happy about the application below…
Here is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met…Thank you for the great company!
Lugard Road led me to the Peak Tower which was the end of my hiking tour.
I will definitely go back to Victoria Trail, but this time for a run and will try the other paths as well, probably in the morning, still don’t wanna get lost when the sun goes down. This is a must seen place, go there, experience as much as you can, take photos and collect lots of moments while you’re in Victoria Trail, you’ll love it…