Ngau Kok Chung 牛角涌
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Panoramic photo by njohn EXPERT Taken 06:33, 20/01/2013 - Views loading...

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Ngau Kok Chung 牛角涌

The World > Asia > China > Hong Kong

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牛角涌為一長流山澗,源自橫嶺之「石芽頭」峰。來源兩支,於半坡交匯;中段曲折、坑狹林密;流水不現,穿入亦難,大有深山巨流之外貌。中段以下暢然北向,過「紅石門村」之上方而後自牛角頭西側入海。據前輩行友所述:兩源交匯以下之一段始名「牛角涌」;上段以西源為主,稱「焦頭坑」。此澗之中段,原有一小水塘,食水由海底輸水管運供鴨洲、吉澳居民飲用,工程頗浩大。水塘於年前重修,堤壩加高、客量增大;於是一塘凝碧,明鏡映綠,在荒山高壑中,份外顯得明艷嬌媚,亦為東北黃竹角山水添增無限姿采。水塘以下,餘瀝無多,空見長坑亂石,殊無足觀。  牛角涌口東岸上有山徑上越牛角頭,折接牛角頭西岸之「鹹魚埕篤」。  牛角頭東部海面,稱為「蒲魚灣」,灣篤為「鹹魚埕」或「鹹魚埕篤」。年前因重修牛角涌水塘之故,於蒲魚灣西岸闢一寬大黃坭車行道折接小水塘;岸邊則纍三合土墩權作碼頭以利建材機械之運送。今水塘重修完成,而此等石墩未去;由於地近紅石門村,故為村民生活貨運,平添不少方便。與新相識的朋友結伴同遊紅石門。一年前到訪紅石門是經紅石門坳,當時的天氣陰暗,火紅海岸变為瘀紅色。昨天天氣寒冷,但天朗氣清,於是從另一路入紅石門,經馬尿河、黃竹涌、大水湖至紅石門。馬尿河、黃竹涌、大水湖一帶為著名的“迷蹤地帶”,出發前也有點担心會否迷路,但實際情況是沿路綁帶頗多,而且路徑頗為“寬闊”,在重要的分叉位皆有綁帶引路。從烏蛟騰起步,入口位於下苗田大溪後的危險警告牌,跨過已乾旱的馬尿河,及黃竹涌,至山坳位,可下觀大水湖及印洲塘一帶風光,下降至大水湖,即黃竹涌出海處,灘後沿山腰路至牛角涌,碧綠的海水與紅石構成色彩鮮明的構圖。下降至牛角涌,灘後沿山路前行,在第二個支路位(第一个應往咸魚埕)左轉入紅石門村。可能天氣好的關係,紅石門居然遇上10多人,經水壩續上行至紅石門坳,經大峒,下下苗田,出烏蛟騰。

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This panorama was taken in Hong Kong

This is an overview of Hong Kong

Overview and History

Hong Kong sits on the south coast of China, on the Pearl River Delta. It's got a population of more than seven million people and is one of the most densely populated places on earth. It also appears to be putting into place the template for population management, which cities around the world will be implementing as soon as they can afford it. More on that later.

Archaeological evidence dates human activity beneath present-day Hong Kong back to the stone age. The area was first settled by people from the mainland during the Han dynasty, around the beginning of the common era (the P.C. term for when B.C. changed to A.D. Whoa!)

For hundreds of years, Hong Kong was a small fishing community and haven for travelers, with a few pirates here and there. Then whitey showed up.

Western influence reached China at the beginning of the 15th century, when all those great explorers in boats were cruising for loot in strange and mysterious places. Tea and silk were the commodities connecting eastern Europe to China, and Hong Kong was known as a safe harbor through which to pass. When you're carrying the Queen's tea, it's especially important to avoid ARRRRRRguments with pirates. Hyuk hyuk hyuk.

Seriously folks -- in the eighteenth century Britain was doing a booming business with China, offering Indian opium to balance their extensive purchases of fine porcelains and everything else. The opium was ordained to be for medicinal purposes only, of course.

Well, as you may imagine, the Chinese got sick of opium fiends junking up the place, so they attempted to stop the British suppliers, to no avail. The Opium Wars resulted and ended with China ceding Hong Kong to the British, in fear of their massive naval power. This took place in the year 1841.

Colonization soon followed, Hong Kong shot up in value as an international port, and its population increased dramatically. In 1898 Britain acquired additional territories on a 99 year lease -- expiring in 1997. Does that year sound familiar? Read on.

In the 20th century Hong Kong changed hands several times. The British surrendered it to Japan during World War Two, then took it back after Japan's defeat, then gave it to China later. Immediately following the war, Hong Kong served as a safe haven for hundreds of thousands of Chinese refugees, while the Chinese National Government was losing its civil war against communist leadership.

The population of Hong Kong exploded as corporations seeking to escape Chinese isolationism arrived and set up shop. Cheap labor in the textile and manufacturing industries steadily built up the economy and ensured foreign investment. By the end of the 20th century Hong Kong had become a financial mammoth offering banking services to the world.

In 1997 Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule with a few stipulations in place to guarantee its economic autonomy, as much as possible. The phrase "one country, two systems" was coined by the Chinese to describe the relationship between the mainland and Hong Kong.

Getting There

Well, where do you want to get to from the Hong Kong International Airport? There are ferries servicing six mainland ports in the Pearl River Delta Region. Airport Express Railway connects directly to downtown Hong Kong, and it has been rated the best airport in the world multiple times.

The Airport Express Railway will get you into Hong Kong in about an hour, for $100. Public buses cost $10 and take a little longer. For direct service to your hotel you can take one of the hotel's private buses ($120+) or a taxi ($300+). As you can see, waiting time is optional for those who can afford it.

Here's a little blurb on travel times, with further information for access to nearby cities (cross-boundary transport).

Transportation

Grab an Octopus card when you arrive. Octopus is the world's first electronic ticket-fare card system and the Hong Kong public transportation system is the world leader in people-moving. 90% of Hong Kongers get around on public transportation.

Octopus covers the Airport Rail line, buses, ferries, the rapid-transit MTR network, supermarkets, fast food outlets, phone booths... It's how to get around the cashless economy.

Nevermind the microchip built into it, you'll get used to having one of those on you at all times -- and soon they'll be internal! What do I mean? Many schools in Hong Kong even use the Octopus card to check attendance, because you read the card's data with an external scanner from a distance. This will the global norm soon. What if that chip is installed in your body? It's in the works baby!

The hilly Hong Kong terrain also demands some special modes of transportation. If you've been to Pittsburgh, you may have some idea of how cool it is to ride a cable car up the side of a mountain, overlooking a majestic harbor and city. Multiply that by about ten thousand and you've got Hong Kong: vertical-travel trams, moving sidewalks, and the world's longest outdoor escalator system.

People and Culture

The local currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) which is pegged to the U.S. dollar. Official languages are Chinese and English.  You're on your own, baby!  Dive into the swarming, throbbing, pulsing, crawling and teeming mix!

Things to do & Recommendations

The Peak Tower and its shopping Galleria are the biggest tourist attraction in Hong Kong so don't miss it.

Cool off in the Kowloon Park public indoor swimming pool!

After that, go see what's happening at the Hong Kong Fringe Club, a non-profit organisation which puts together exhibitions for international artists and performers.

Organize sports fans flock to the Hong Kong Stadium, but there's good news for disorganized sportistas too -- Mountain biking is now legal in the parks! Have at it, baby!

All this excitement is going to make you hungry. Springtime is traditionally the time to celebrate seafood, summer is for fruits, and winter steams with hot pot soups to keep you warm.

The best thing to do is go and find some dim sum. Dozens of plates of tasty small items, sort of like sushi but it's cooked, and the varieties are endless.

Since you won't be able to walk down the street without complete and total sensory overload, I'll just whap in the Hong Kong tourist board's guide to dining and leave you to your intuition.

Good luck, take it slow and above all -- DON'T SPIT OUT YOUR CHEWING GUM ON THE SIDEWALK. Gum is legal but there's a $500 fine for intentional littering. Enjoy!

Text by Steve Smith.

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