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Sunday, November 22, 2009

High Island Reservoir

Several weeks ago, I happened to read from a papers that the government is promoting a new tourist attraction, called Hong Kong National Geopark. In fact, HK Geopark was officially opened in 3-Nov-2009.

Great ! Finally, someone had aware that the international image of HK does not have to be just a city with many buildings but can also be a natural and healthy international metropolis.

HK Geopark is made up of 8 Geo-Areas distributed across the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region and Northeast New Territories Sedimentary Rock Region, a total area of about 50 square kilometres. There are HK's oldest and youngest rocks, ranging from 400 million to 65 million years old, as well as HK's star rock formation - the columnar jointed volcanic rocks, of a kind known as tuff.

A geopark is an unique natural area with special geological significance and natural and cultural landscapes, and serves the 3 objectives of conservation, education and sustainable development.

We drove to Pak Tam Chung and parked our car at a over crowded parking area. While husband was searching for the information, we strolled around the information center. Sons were thrilled to see a dolphin specimen in a tank.

It is called Striped Dolphin.

There are also 2 skeletons in the same exhibition room. This one is called Risso's Dolphin.

He asked me to take a photo with his hand holding this I-don't-know-what-it's-called tool.

Yeah, that's the place we were heading to. Looks great !!

Husband said we should go to East Dam instead of West Dam. Besides walking 10km long, the only transportation that can carry us to the East Dam fast is by taxi.

Some of the sites as listed in HK Geopark.

Standing on the East Dam, facing the High Island Reservoir.

The High Island Reservoir (萬宜水庫) is the largest reservoir in HK. It was opened in 1978 helping to alleviate water shortage problems in Hong Kong. Its water capacity is approximately 273 million cubic metres.

On the opposite site of the reservoir is this seafront.



The rocks along the shore are not ordinary rocks. They are volcanic rocks, composes neat arrays of giant polygonal joint columns. Amongst these are the well known "hexagonal rock columns". These giants are rare natural prodigies and invaluable geo-tourism resources that draw great interest to many experts.

Instead of walking to the end of the dam to descend the lake, we took the most immediate way lay right in front of us, by walking down this long, steep stairs.

Although we shouted to the boys many times, asking them to watch their steps carefully, they just descended way too faster than we did. While we were still at the mid way, they had almost reached the ground down there. Sigh, by-gone.

Looking back to the way we have come down from.

By the time we were there too, the boys have been playing there all so happily for quite some time, with no one nagging them around.

Saw a mysterious hole at the end there. Naturally, we wanted to go near there to check it out.

Husband wanted to go near to the hole, the boys wanted to follow. I couldn't stop the old, but I could stop the young, alright.

At that side, he even suggested we should have gone to the other side by taking this shortest cut of all. Crazy...

As for the boys, they could only play here, alright.

We then walked to the other direction to take a look of the famous rocks, at a very close distance.

The world's foremost hexagonal columnar was found here, in HK.

These volcanic rock columns stand as high as 30 metres. They first appeared some 140 million years ago when subterranean magma and volcanoes were active.
Whenever there was an eruption, great lava flows gushed out along with scorching volcanic ash. They spread across the ground surface and formed lava layers. During the cooling period, the rock contracted very uniformly and gave rise to the marvelous hexagonal columnar joints seen today.
About 400 metres thick, these rocks are known as High Island Formation. They are part of the Early Cretaceous Kau Sai Chau Volcanic Group.

The S-shape section was formed as a result of the rock columns were buckled under gravity before it could cool down completely and solidify, and thus the scene we see today.

Slowly walked to the seafront at the right hand side...

The seafront is protected by concrete dolosse units. Functional as it is visually appealing, this cofferdam attracts many visitors.

Just when we turn back, we saw a big gang heading to our direction. The man in brown turtle neck shirt is very eye-catching though. OMG, he is the Chief Executive of HK SAR, Mr. Donald Tsang.

Gosh, I really didn't expect to see him at this place, this time. At light-speed, it's hard to decide what and how to react appropriately. So, precisely, I ignored him. (Furthermore, his body guide had made him hard-to-be-approached)

We walked at the lower deck just now...and we would walked at the upper deck later on...

We were here at that time.

Uhh oh...shouldn't have gone near the rocks...

We rested here for about 20 minutes. And we have absolutely no idea of the troubles that were awaiting for us.

Oh, I didn't know it will take 3 hours to walk up a 10 km distance. Thought the time needed is much shorter?

Husband said we should go over to the other side to halt a taxi. He thought our chances was higer over there.

The small island was formed as a result of washing by waves for many years.

There were many taxi driving in, but all of them were taken. Apparently, they came with an order. Sensing something was not right, we started to call the taxi station.
Unfortunately, the call center said there wasn't any taxi driver available at that time. Gosh, all we could do was to continue to call the center like crazy. 30 minutes passed, but still our call to no avail.

We were getting frantically panic when the sky had turned completely dark at 6 pm, and we were the last few person who still waited there. Finally, husband raised the price to HKD100 in order to lure the driver come (normal rate is HKD65). Finally, he managed to get a driver commited to come in 20 minutes time. It was such a relief !!

The driver did come in time. Just when we wanted to get inside the car, a young couple dashed forward and begged us to share the car with them. Well, I didn't have to look in their eyes to see how desperate they were. Ok, we agreed to help them, let William sat on my lap. After all, they shared 50% of the taxi fare.

Finally, I took a picture for son under this Christmas tree, after he bugged me for several times.
It's great to be home, safe and sound.


Gargles said...


all men memang like to go into holes...hehe..

Dua: you look tercantik skali.

Tiga: ask why donald tsang here mah..

Empat: yuen loi got moral behind the story geh. that is, to book a taxi early early on the return journey.

jessylee said...

satu : so agree...men.

dua : terima kasih

tiga : i'm so takut dia punya body guide lo

empat : yeah, now we know.

Fionne Chong said...

A nice new place to explore at HK. Wow... luckily you guys get fetched back home safe and sound, the reservoir should be too new for taxi to frequent huh...

jessylee said...

nah, the reservoir is not a new place.

But it's quite remote, so I think the taxi driver will only go there by order.

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