Why, hello there strangers!
Apologies for the lack of posts recently, we had some rather lovely guests staying with us last week – there are so many fun adventures that I can’t wait to share with you, so I hope you’ll forgive me!
Though first thing’s first, Ry and I wanted to tell you about our trip to Monkey Mountain. After seeing the monkeys trapped in cages at the HK Zoological and Botanical Gardens, we wanted to check them out in a more ‘natural’ habitat, where they were free to roam!
Monkey Mountain, also known as Monkey Hill, is located in Kam Shan Country Park in Northern Kowloon. The park covers an area of 3.37 km² and takes its name from the 369m peak that marks the highest point of the area. Most of the area is covered by the Kowloon Group of Reservoirs. There are also hiking trails, barbecue and picnic areas, though we were more interested in the monkeys 😉
There are about 2,100 wild monkeys in Hong Kong and around 1,800 of them in Kam Shan Country Park.
It is famous for the Rhesus and Long-tailed macaque monkeys. Unfortunately wild macaque groups native to Hong Kong have almost disappeared due to habitat destruction and over-hunting. As a result, these monkeys are probably descendants of monkeys released by pet owners in the 1920s.
The population was also said to have boomed again in the 1960s after a Tibetan acrobat troupe were forced to release their monkeys as they were banned from transporting them to their next destination.
Our first decision took us down the ‘Wilson Trail – Section 5.’
We were hoping for a beautiful nature trail; however we were greeted by metal fencing, dirty lakes and a lot of trying not to get run over by cars in the narrow roads.
Consequently we decided to head back the way we came and tried to find a more appealing route, following this little guy…
After a short walk, we found the Kam Shan Country Park! 😀
Having read some reviews of Monkey Mountain before we arrived, it was a little unnerving to hear about the monkeys being aggressive to visitors offering them food, or even getting something out of their bags that had the potential of being food.
However if you show no sign of bringing them food and keep your distance, the monkeys will mind their own business and they’re actually very relaxed, besides the odd play fight!
Furthermore the forest has over 100 species of edible leaves and fruit available to the macaques, therefore feeding by the public is unnecessary.
If you’re visiting, please DO NOT FEED THE MONKEYS, because doing so can:
– Cause rapid and unnatural growth in the monkey population.
– Result in the monkeys being attracted to areas popular with visitors and residential areas.
– Make them more aggressive towards visitors.
– Result in monkeys losing their foraging skills in the wild, which is harmful in the long-term.
– Increase the potential for disease transmission between humans and monkeys.
Other ways to protect yourselves from monkeys:
– Do not stare at them
– Do not make loud noises
– Keep your distance
Anyone hunting or disturbing wild animals is liable to a fine of HK$100,000 and one year in jail (under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance).
Slightly unnerving to see a monkey so close to barbed wire.
The walk along the reservoir was rather beautiful!
This little guy was enjoying the view too…
…while these did a spot of grooming.
This is my favourite photo of the day! ^.^
We finally reached the end of this reservoir…
…to be greeted by a couple of wild pigs!
Why, hello there!
We decided to take the short Kam Shan Tree Walk, as the sun would be setting soon.
However if you arrive earlier than us, longer trails include the Maclehose and Wilson Trails, along with the shorter Kam Shan Family Walk.
It’s a very peaceful walk with many labels on the different types of trees and flowers, including short stories to go with them!
Our walk ended with another reservoir…
It was quite bizarre that there were no monkeys swinging from the trees in the woods during our walk, however there were big groups of them along the slopes by the road as we went to catch the bus home.
We both felt very disappointed at the human race when we came across this scene.
These signs are EVERYWHERE – how can you not get the message?!
Monkeys were sitting on railings, road-signs and swinging from lamp posts instead of the abundant number of trees in the forests.
It was really nerve-wracking seeing the monkeys climbing along the narrow railings above a busy road
Nevertheless, we both enjoyed our time on Monkey Mountain and it’s definitely worth a visit!
However please be respectful of the monkeys ^.^
Directions: Take the 81 KMB bus from anywhere along Nathan Road, between Jordan and Prince Edward to Shek Lei Pui Reservoir. (Just press the bell when you see the monkeys!)