Earlier today, as I took a stroll to the top of the hill behind my hostel, I talked to this elderly guy called William. He was born and bred in Hong Kong and was keen on recommending me places I should visit during my stay. He had seen the binoculars around my neck and asked me if I was interested only in birdwatching or perhaps other animals too. Well of course I am, bring ’em on!
So he told me about Monkey Hill. The official name is Kam Shan Country Park (“Golden Hill”), but apparently it is mostly referred to as Monkey Hill. Normally it would be really easy to get there from my hostel, as it is only three stops away by bus. But what is normal anyway? I had gone to the bus stop and waited there for about twenty minutes, when a lady told me that there would be no more bus service today due to ‘events’ in the city centre. So I waved down a taxi instead which then took me uphill to the entrance of the park for a surprisingly small fee.
Whilst driving in the taxi I had wondered how difficult it might be to find the legendary monkeys. Would they be very shy and elusive? Well, of course not. You see them even before you notice the huge information boards telling you that it’s forbidden to feed them, or in fact any other wildlife in the area.
Most of the monkeys here are rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), and they are hardly shy. The top picture was taken right beside the busy Tai Po Road, right next to the little snack bar (no surprise there). The light was nice, so I mounted my tele lens and took a few pictures.
Let’s not even pretend that this is proper wildlife, okay?
But cute nonetheless, I think! There were mothers with babies, tennagers, and also adult males. The mothers really made sure that I didn’t get too close to their offspring. The showing of teeth and their hissing sounds proved to have the desired effect on me!
Then I walked down a hill towards a smaller water reservoir and a little car park with barbecue area. There were some more macaques hanging around and doing nothing much. They weren’t too disturbed by my presence.
The afternoon light was fading quickly, so I had to use very high ISO settings. But hey, a picture with some ‘noise’ is still better than no picture at all, don’t you agree?
This handsome fellah obviously knows very well which parts of his body are the most beautiful and impressive…
Is it just me or do these creatures really have a melancholy and sad expression on their faces? Dusk was falling, so I walked back to the main road.
No busses today – boring!
Does this guy really only have photo equipment, or is there some chocolate hidden in his backpack somewhere maybe…?
In the absence of chocolate, anything chewable will do 🙂
One of those days when everything is faster than usual…
Wait a minute, is that really a monkey?
I don’t think it managed to break that lamp in the end.
All in all, a nice little trip to a place well away from the city centre and whatever may have been going on there. Some more wildlife will follow tomorrow, and even more authentic than today. Stay tuned!