From Hong Kong’s more central areas we began to slowly circumnavigate the Western side of the island via its endless web of efficient public transport routes. With the dry heating blasting the windows of our bus into a smeary fog, we tried catching a glimpse out to the wintery stillness of the bay and Green Island. This bus was heading to Aberdeen via our destination; Pok Fu Lam, a residential area in the island’s Southern District.

We spent the morning roaming Wah Fu, a public housing estate on Kellett Bay. From the ubiquitous musk stick-coloured towers you can work your way down to Waterfall Park, a green area that, like many recreational spots in Hong Kong, seems to be caught in a battle between wild neglect and overzealous landscape design. One of the most surprising features of this park is a shrine full to the brim with hundreds of unwanted statues of Buddha, Feng Shui figures and other gods, supposedly collected by local fishermen to look out over the bay and protect its seaside workers.

Heading back towards Kennedy Town along the perimeter of Mount Davis brought us to Sai Wan Swimming Shed, a quaint, purpose-built swim club that wouldn’t be out of place on the east coast of Australia. As I later found out, the place is not only one of the last remaining traditional swimming ‘sheds’ in HL but one of the most frequently photographed destinations due to its picturesque location and slightly treacherous jetty and as such, I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of old sea dogs who were gearing up for a chilly winter swim as I spoke with them. If the daytime temperature hadn’t dropped to 4 degrees soon after, I probably would have joined them.

 

 

Road leading to Waterfall Bay Park near Wah Fu Estate, Pokfulam

The road down to Waterfall Bay Park.
Apartment blocks and sitting out area in Wah Fu Estate, Pok Fu Lam.

Wah Fu Estate.

 

Pastel painted concrete blocks and plants at a bus stop on Pok Fu Lam Road

Giving concrete a new life at a bus stop on Pok Fu Lam Road.

 

Pastel painted concrete blocks and plants at a bus stop on Pok Fu Lam Road

 

Pink and blue painted concrete in Wah Fu Estate car park, Hong Kong

Candy-flavoured concrete in one of Wah Fu’s carparks.

 

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A makeshift meeting point at Waterfall Bay Park.

 

Shrine at Waterfall Bay Park, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong.

A collection of statues looking out to sea.

 

Lookout point at Waterfall Bay Park, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong.

Another vantage point on Kellett Bay.

 

Steps in dense green foliage leading down to Sai Wan Swimming Shed, Mount Davis.

Heading down to Sai Wan Swimming Shed.

 

Sai Wan Swimming Shed, Mount Davis, Hong Kong.

The old swim club and its quaint garden.

 

Jetty leading out to Sandy Bay, Sai Wan Swimming Shed, Mount Davis.

Alight here for your winter dip.

 

Looking out to Green Island from Sai Wan Swimming Shed, Mount Davis, Hong Kong.

Green Island from the Sai Wan jetty.