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Two Tales Of Hiking: Stepping Off The Beaten Path 2017

A place I’ll never forget

DeAnna Bastin

Hong Kong

Everyone remembers their first big trip. You’re filled with never-ending excitement. You couldn't stop talking about it to anyone who would listen. This is me, every single time. When I tell you that Hong Kong is a place I will never forget; realize this small pocket of the world is somewhere that has left a huge impression on me, nay, on my soul.

My first day in Hong Kong, and I hired a local hiking guide for Tai Mo Shan and it’s magnificent waterfall. The heat and humidity wasn’t something I am used to and it hit me hard halfway up. Instead, we headed to a secret spot off the hiking path, by scaling a small cliff to the most serene place I’ve ever seen. The waterfall fell into a small pond, and was surrounded by the rock cliffs and falling vines. It was completed secluded, and I stood there transfixed. I swam in the pond, looking up at this beautiful waterfall and jungle forest and knew that booking a trip to Hong Kong was the best decision I have ever made.

Hong Kong grows on you every day. Between the chaotic street markets, enticing food stalls, the walk up the 10,000 Buddha’s mountain; I didn’t think Hong Kong could make me love it more than I already did. I was wrong. I topped it all at Kam Sham Park. This hiking spot is almost never visited by tourists, which makes it the best kept secret of Hong Kong. When I entered the park I encountered my first sneaky monkey. He was walking along the railing, following me. I’d stop, and turn. He stops, and turns. Uh huh, sure monkey, I know this trick! I start walking, he starts walking. I turn to look, and he pretends to pick something from the tree. I’m onto you little guy!

Hiking up a secluded path, I came across a sign about fruits in the region. That’s when a piece of fruit “fell” and hit me in the head. Then another fell, and another. This can’t be a coincidence, I think to myself. I look up to see a big macaque staring right at me. That cheeky bugger was throwing fruit at me! I retreat across the clearing and watch as the monkey scampers down the tree and proceeds to eat the fruit he so generously threw. Checked off the bucket list: seeing wild monkeys. Check two off the bucket list: having monkeys throw fruit at me. This day was most surely a success!

It came at no surprise that there are so many expats living in Hong Kong. The culture, the people, the perfect mix of city and nature. It’s a place you come for a week and stay for a lifetime. I hold Hong Kong deeply in my heart, and am counting down the days when I can return – 349 days and c

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