Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ping Che (坪輋) Hike

Last Saturday we hiked from Sheung Shui (上水) to Ping Che.  To be more precise, we started from Sheung Shui MTR station and walked due north along Man Kam To Road (文錦渡路) towards the border.  We passed over Ng Tung River (梧桐河), and turned right at Hung Kiu San Tsuen (紅橋新村) to started climbing and hiking along a series of hills running towards Ping Che in the east.  

We hiked towards Wa Shan (華山) and continued past it.  Yes, there is a Wa Shan in Hong Kong.  It is much much smaller and nothing compared to the grandeur of Hua Shan (華山) in Shaanxi (陝西).  Nevertheless it still offers quite a nice view.  On our right, in the south is the plains of Sheung Shui, Fan Ling (粉嶺) and Kwan Tei (軍地).   

We can also see the San Wai / Tai Ling Firing Range (新圍/大嶺靶場).  We often hear of   announcements over the radio about road closings near the place because of shooting practice. From a distance, it resembles somewhat a landing strip for airplanes.  Upon closer inspection, however, it is, of course, quite different.  

In the distance, across the plain to our left in the north, we could see the high rises of Shenzhen.  The plains on either side of our trail reminded me that, as crowded as Hong Kong is, we still have much land that can be developed.  Why aren’t they?  Mostly it is greed - the desire of the land owners to restrict the supply of land, to push up the prices.  Who cares that most Hong Kong’ers have to slave for decades for the privilege to live in cramped quarters.  

There are few highrises on the Hong Kong side near the border.  What we have in abundance, however, are cargo containers. A particular pile reminded me of a container ship in a big green sea.  A pretty picture?  Or an eyesore and a blight on the land.  

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