MacLehose Trail, Stage 6

MacLehose Trail Section 6 – Macaques

  • View of Kwai Chung, Needle Hill, and Tai Mo Shan
  • Shing Mun, Kowloon and Shek Lei Pui Reservoir.
  • WWII Relics, the Shing Mun Redoubt
  • Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), Long-tailed Macaque (M. fascicularis) and hybrids

Section 6 is the shortest trail of all of MacLehose Trail, stretching only 4.6km in length and both ends are conveniently connected to public transport. Although the trail is short, it is still packed with gorgeous sceneries, war relics and wildlife (macaques) that are not boring at all!

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Shing Mun Redoubt

I started my hike at Shing Mun Country Park which can be easily reached by green minibus no. 82 from Shui Wo Street, a short walking distance from Tsuen Wan MTR Station. The entrance of Section 6 is at the end of Shing Mun Road. The stone steps will lead you to the installations of the Shing Mun Redoubt — the fortified line prepared for WWII. They were a combination of tunnels, observation posts and pillboxes for defending Kowloon and Hong Kong Island from the north. There are well-written signs explaining these installations and their significance during war time.

After passing the relics, there are some very good spotting locations for panoramic views of Kwai Chung (look for the container terminals). On a fine day, you can even see Sing Mun Reservoir (Section 7), Needle Hill (Section 7) and Tai Mo Shan (Section 8).

Macaques

I carried on and soon arrived at the service road that stretched until the end of Section 6. Along the 2km-long road, there were plenty of Macaques sunbathing, grooming or hugging each other for a snooze on this cool sunny day.

Macaques were introduced to Hong Kong around 1910s as some people believed that they could help to control the spread of poisonous vegetations surrounding the reservoir. Today, you will find plenty of large green cages along the service road used to capture them from time to time for veterinary care. These macaques are either Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), Long-tailed Macaque (M. fascicularis) (long tails and dark palms/feet) or their hybrids. After waving goodbyes to the Macaques, I arrived at Kowloon Reservoir. It was such a pleasure to walk along the dam and I admired the view. Kowloon Reservoir was the first reservoir built in the 1900s to serve Kowloon Peninsula, its dams and valve houses are declared monuments.

Thoughts

Section 6 is short and very well-connected by public transport. There are plenty of pleasant sceneries when you hike along. It only took me 2 hours to finish and it is a combination of dirt and service roads. Meanwhile, the Shing Mun Visitor Centre is right next to the green minibus stop at Shing Mun, you will find a lot of information about the trail and history there. If you are looking for just a short hike with no hassle, Section 6 should be a good choice!

Information

  • Distance: 4.6km
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation: 120m/270m (min/max)
  • Pole No.: M125 to M114

Transport

  • Getting In: Green minibus no. 82 from Tsuen Wan MTR Station and alight at the last stop, Shing Mun, walk along to Pineapple Dam, which is about 1km or so.
  • Getting Out: Bus no. 81 or bus no. 72, towards Kowloon or the New Territories.

The Defence Line of Hong Kong during WWII

Shing Mun Redoubt is part of the Gin Drinkers Line that was fortified in the late 1930s in preparation for the War. The battle of Hong Kong broke out on the 8th December 1941 just hours after the Pearl Harbour attack on US soil. The Shing Mun Redoubt was supposed to act as a command depot to coordinate for the defences. It was that thought the redoubt would give at least months of delay for the offensive to advance beyond Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island. Guarded by only 30 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Scots, the Shing Mun Redoubt was quickly fallen on the 9th December 1941 after the enemy took the high ground of Tai Mo Shan during an attack the night before. The troops retreated to Hong Kong Island thereafter and Hong Kong was fell to Japanese occupation on Christmas Day, 25th December 1941. Japan occupied Hong Kong for 3 years and 8 months. The hardships during that period were still imprinted in the memory of many older generations of Hong Kong people.

Map

Video

Photos

Kowloon Reservoir

Kowloon Reservoir

WWII Bunkers

WWII Bunkers

Lower Shing Mun Reservoir

Lower Shing Mun Reservoir

Shing Mun Reservoir

Shing Mun Reservoir

Needle Hill from Stage 7

Needle Hill from Stage 7

Tai Mo Shan (Radar Station), Stage 8

Tai Mo Shan (Radar Station), Stage 8

Fancy Staircases

Fancy Staircases

Macaques, grooming

Macaques, grooming

Many More Macaques

Many More Macaques

Cages to capture macaques in controlling population

Cages to capture macaques in controlling population

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