Letting it Go in Hong Kong’s Winter Wonderland – Part 2: Getting (Kind of) Famous

24 January 2016, one of the coldest January days in Hong Kong in recent years, a group  of friends and myself headed up to the Lantau Peak via the North Heaven Gate.

This is part 2 of our story. (You can see part 1 here) I have also put a short video together, which you can see at the end of post.

On the day, we had a French magazine editor from the Geo Magazine. This magazine specalises in travel and lifestyle . We were honoured to have the editor tagged along the group and experienced the best of Hong Kong’s wilderness. (Literately, off the beaten path for most tourists). Of course, we were looking forward to getting famous in the Francosphere.


This was how cold it was. The wind shelter at the summit of the peak was covered in a thick layer of ice

So here’s the world’s acclaimed article

Geo magazine write up
Courtesy of Loïc Grasset at the Geo Magazine

The article is roughly translated as (courtesy of google translate):


This wintry Sunday, there were fifteen brave traders, merchandisers and engineers who braved the drizzly rain and surprisingly cold weather (2 ° C!) for a sub-tropical region. Wrapped up warm, they climbed for four hours to the top of Lantau Peak (934 meters), the mountain of the Phoenix – the second highest mountain of the territory. There were Chinese, English, Filipinos, an Indonesian and a Finn  [Phil:  the Hongkies, an awesome Frenchman and the legendary Austrian girl in the group were missed out in the shout out]– a reflection of a cosmopolitan Hong Kong.

The progress was difficult due to rough terrain. We went through dense vegetation, rough terrain, and had some vertical rock climbs. There was also dense fog shrouded the mountain. But soon, the scenery becomes lunar. [Phil: this is what was said on the article, (le décor devient lunaire) I didn’t make it up. Is this a figure of speech in French or was his experience so out of the world? ] 

Between rock and tall grass, we saw the sea and the new town of Tung Chung. It is the starting point of the cable car that takes tourists to another summit where a huge statue of Buddha stands.

“It is for these landscapes, with the waves, mountains and skyscrapers that float beyond the clouds, that Lantau has much to offer”, said Jason Zhang of Chinese origin and leader of the hike. “Everything here is extreme: it’s always too hot or too cold or too foggy… For me, this is where breath the true spirit of Hong Kong.”

Our effort to become famous was in vain. To make up the lack of action shots in the magazine, here’s the video. (Sorry guys, it has been taking me three months.)



The crazy crew

Have you been featured on a magazine or a newspaper? Did you get famous because of it? Comment below


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Interesting hike indeed! 🙂 I think le décor devient lunaire can also mean the scenery becomes bright or clear. Perhaps it could be a typo error for lumière (light). Any plans to go for Everest Base Camp Trek?

    Years ago, my picture was featured on a local newspaper for a diagnostic kit developed for master’s degree as my supervisor was away during the time of exhibition. I didn’t become famous but I get to be the first author of a research paper that eventually led to graduation. At the time, having my manuscript accepted and graduation are more important to me than fame. I prefer working on a really fun project in a great environment but no recognition than vice versa. The former is something I have to deal with on a daily basis but fame is somewhat elusive. In other words, the journey mattered more than destination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yhpchung says:

      Lumiere probably make more sense, although we had freezing rain towards the top of the hill… I agree with you on what you say on journey mattered more than destination; this was a very memorable hike in recent years for being fairly technical and interesting weather. Who would expect seeing banana trees completely covered in icicles! 🙂

      As for the Everest Base camp trek, that is definitely something that I want to do once in my life.


  2. Julie says:

    You don’t associate HK with such cold temperatures. I bet at this time of year you would welcome them 😃


    1. yhpchung says:

      Weather this year has been quite weird. Seeing banana and coconut trees plastered in ice was a strange sight.


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