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Shing Mun Reservoir: Sunday 19 February 2023

February 19


Right around the Reservoir – circumnavigate Shing Mun Reservoir Sunday 19th February 2023

Until the mid-1600’s the area around the reservoir was a dense forest with very few inhabitants. A loyal follower of the Ming emperor Li Wanrong controlled Kowloon and the Northern New Territories, erected a fortress in the lower part of the valley, giving the area the name Shing Mun, meaning “fortified gate”. In 1669, the Great Clearance imposed by the Kangxi Emperor was rescinded, allowing many Hakkas to settle in the area, growing rice, tea and pineapples. In the 1905, there were seven villages in the area.

The Shing Mun Reservoir was built to meet the increasing demand for fresh water due to the urbanization of Kowloon. Designed by London engineers, Binnie, Deacon & Gourley, the dam construction began in 1933 being 122 metres wide and 35 metres high providing a reservoir with a capacity of 4 billion litres. In 1937, the dam height was increased to 85 metres in height and capacity to 13.6 billion litres. The reservoir was named Jubilee Reservoir to celebrate the Silver Jubilee (1935) of King George V.

The local inhabitants were resettled in other parts of the New Territories, as most their old villages became submerged. The remains of other villages and houses can be seen in the woods on the side of the reservoir. The remains of the World War II defences against the Japanese invasion, the Gin Drinkers Line, may still be visited on the hills around the reservoir. Although many of you will have visited the lower section of the reservoir, the upper section is more interesting. The Shing Mun Fung Shui Woodland covers about 6 hectares. This woodland, which belonged to the former Tai Wai Village, evacuated in 1929, was protected by the villagers in accordance with feng shui traditions. It was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1975.

Here is the lunch point.


Meeting point: Tsuen Wan MTR (Red line) Exit B in the concourse 10.00 am.

We will take the No 82 minibus from the nearby stop ( we travel by public transport because buses
are not allowed on the entry road).
We begin our hike at Pineapple Dam entrance (toilets and a kiosk for water and soft drinks are here)
After a short climb we join the path around the reservoir. After around 20 minutes, we will make a
short diversion to the Butterfly garden, where we may be lucky to see a few flying about.

Word of warning! The lower area is populated by macaque monkeys, initially brought to the area by the British to control the spread of an invasive tree, the fruit of which was attractive to the monkeys. Sadly, much more attractive was the food offered by visitors to the park, who thereby “trained” them to expect all humans to feed them.
DO NOT EAT in this area and avoid opening your bags when monkeys are around.
DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT or try to attract them. Keep these simple rules and they will not bother you. You can of course take photos of them doing their monkey business.
As we progress. There will be fewer visitors and fewer monkeys. The scenery at the northern end is
beautiful. The Government has recently erected a splendid viewpoint near the upper end of the
reservoir, where we will stop for lunch, before heading round to the opposite side to complete our walk.

Distance: 8km. Total Ascent: 219 m.

Please let me know if you are coming by 17th Feb – e-mail (maureen932@gmail.com) or what’s app (61281366).

What to Bring: Suitable clothing for the weather, hiking shoes, plenty to drink, packed lunch, and umbrella – just in case, phone, Octopus, change, …and your sweetest smile!
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February 19