At last! stewartgoeswalkies actually goes walkies!
It has been a long hot summer with week after week of hot weather warnings, interspersed by torrential downpours. Sadly, the hot weather has resulted in several fatalities due to people ignoring the warnings. We chose to be more sensible and waited until the weather was more conducive.
The Tai Po Contour Sitting-out Area is yet another beautifully designed facility created and managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Government. It is easily accessible from Kwong Fuk Road, the main road running through Tai Po, and it’s a short walk to and from the shops and eateries.
If you are visiting from outside of Tai Po the easiest way to reach it is by MTR to Tai Po Market Station. This map shows you how to get there from the MTR to the entrance of the park.
Alighting at the station take Exit B. Walk out onto Nam Wan Road and turn left, following the course of the Tai Po River. At the junction with Kwong Fuk Road turn left again ascending a short staircase, and continue along the road for a short distance. You will soon see the entrance to the park.
We began our visit at the Kwong Fuk Road entrance and made our way up the gentle staircase which brought us to a junction, the right hand path led to the Green Hub, more on that soon. Continuing up the stairs we came to the sitting-out area.
On arriving at the sitting-out area you will find yourself surrounded by, and sheltered by trees. On the day of our visit there wasn’t much of a breeze but it was still very pleasant. The sitting-out area extends towards several benches so there is plenty of room for everyone.
After relaxing for a few moments we carried on towards the Green Hub. Heading back down the steps towards the junction, we turned left and carried on up the short walk to the entrance.
It was there that we were fortunate enough to meet a Chinese gentleman who informed us that they only allowed visitors to enter with a previous booking. We had not been aware of this information and thought that our visit might be a waste of time. However, when the lady came to open the gate he was kind enough to explain the situation and she was equally gracious, in allowing us to enter without having made a booking.
The Green Hub is based in the former Tai Po Police Station.
The original Tai Po Police Station, which now houses the Green Hub, photo by Tksteven , own work, and on the right, the police station as it appeared in 1901, photo by The National Archives UK (Public Domain) Both photos were used by courtesy of Wikipedia
We were given a brief explanation of the centre which is part of the Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden organisation. The reception area is what was once the station officer’s living room.
We continued the tour of the old police station and soon came to the Report Room, the holding cells and the armoury. If you think being incarcerated today is rough, you should consider what it was like back then.
On a happier note, the Green Hub also offers restaurant facilities with organic food on the menu. Unfortunately, it was too early in the day to take advantage of the services offered so we made our way down towards Tai Po via Wan Tau Kok Lane. From there you are minutes away from eateries and public transport.
However, before leaving we walked around some of the buildings and saw some of the trees that must have been in existence before the police station was ever conceived such as this Banyan.
I would encourage any Tai Po residents who haven’t visited yet to make the effort. It is not too much of a hike and the beauty of the trees and historical information available make it all the more worthwhile.
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