Ha Pak Lai is pretty, both from above and on the ground. It is on the west coast of the New Territories. Many people go there for the sunset. But it was also beautiful under the bright winter sun. We hiked from Leung King Estate in Tuen Mun, over the Castle Peak Firing Range. After an hour or so, we saw Ha Pak Lai below us, to the west.
Just off the shore, floating in shallow water, are numerous oyster fields. The oysters are attached to strings, hanging under the floating racks. You cannot see them, but they are there. I wouldn’t eat these, however, because the water in the Hao Hoi Wan (后海灣, Deep Bay) is quite polluted.
There are many fish ponds, fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and abandoned houses. On Sunday morning, the place looked clean, healthy and peaceful. Dogs lounged and scratched themselves lazily. They did not bother to bark at us.
The scene was spoiled, however. On the opposite shore, across Hao Hoi Wan, was Shekou (蛇口). It used to be a sleepy village, famous only as the jumping-off point for people who wanted to smuggle into Hong Kong from mainland China, in the 1960s and 70s. It is now a highly-built-up city and a big busy port.
The worse is actually on this side of the water, just to the left (south west) of Ha Pak Lai. It turned out to be the largest and active garbage dump in Hong Kong. I have heard of it but did not realize it was so close to Ha Pak Lai. You cannot actually see much of the garbage. Because it is covered by the green tarpaulin as soon as it is dumped by the trucks. The stench, however, is unmistakable.