Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Monkey Hill Adventure

Being from the rural United States, I am quite used to seeing animals. All sorts of them from deer, squirrel, chipmunks, woodchucks, coyotes and the occasional wild townie. But a monkey? No. Never. Not in my wildest dreams have I seen a monkey on the loose. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to go on a hike with our distant cousins, I had to take it!

Disclaimer: Monkeys can be dangerous and should not be fed....

The pictures of angry monkeys, the common sense of not feeding a wild animal processed food, and maybe a slight lacking of bravery would prevent my friends and I from feeding the monkeys. However, the locals didn't seem to care at all! Within five minutes of the hike we saw locals feeding a monkey. He was pretty receptive and seemed to be more appreciative than anything else. He had pretty nice table manners, and probably could tell which fork was meant for a salad at a nice restaurant. One could assume it has attended Dean Braun's workshops.

It looks pretty chill, right? Well it eventually finished the tomato and decided that the local family would be generous enough to provide him with some more fruity goodness. He actually got on that pole next to the tree and was walking around really close to them (imagine your dog begging for some food). He never ended up becoming aggressive, but he got close enough to make the family feel uncomfortable and leave. The worst it ever really escalated to was my friend in the picture got pretty close and was looking face to face with him while taking pictures. It is not a good idea to stare at a monkey... The monkey started to open and close his mouth, in what we deemed to be concerning, so we decided that we should continue onward with the hike.  

As we continued we stumbled upon more locals feeding the monkeys. They are trying to be nice, but every time that we saw it happen the monkeys continued to follow the people! This time around the monkey was getting really close to the smallest child. It said on the sign to not let your small children near them because the Monkeys might think they can play with them. The father had to step in-between and scold the monkey. Now, these monkeys are completely wild, but they are not foreign to the human race. They get very close to humans, and they still continue on with their normal business. We saw near 30 wild monkeys and they all seemed to be in their own little groups. They were all up to something different like cleaning each other, taking care of infants, horsing around and even mating...but this isn't National Geographic, so I have left it out. 

Mommy monkey grooming her baby near a campsite. 
Monkey Hill is known for nothing other than the monkeys. It is not a hike for eye-catching views whatsoever.... until you get lost! haha

To be honest, I am not even sure if we went down the right path, or if we were even on the actual trail.. but that is part of the fun! Maybe I was lost, maybe I wasn't, but we still had an amazing time and no harm was done. There are a little over 2,000 monkeys in Hong Kong and around 1,800 of them reside in Kam Shan Country Park. So, you are bound to see them just being in the area. On our way back to the city we saw one on top of a mechanic's shop! Anyways, the beauty of us getting lost was this little village we were able to find in the park. All of the pictures below were taken in the village.

This is where we ended up when we made it through the village

Small temple the village uses to pray

It was almost like we were in a jungle. This is the only time I have encountered a village like this. Hong Kong is a "concrete jungle" with many parks, islands, beaches, and places to hike. There is plenty of natural land. This however, was in the Kowloon area, and we were able to walk right out of the jungle, and back onto the highway (after approximately two hours of walking and taking pictures)! You absolutely cannot see this place from the street. Something I have learned about this area is that, while it is hard to completely escape the skyscrapers, you can get a completely different vibe from almost everywhere in Hong Kong. Maybe that is why they call it Asia's World City. 

If it were not for getting lost we wouldn't have had exposure to that side of Hong Kong. So get lost (not literally, please keep reading)! I bet there is something you haven't experienced in Bowling Green, your hometown, or wherever. You could even get lost in a book. It will make your parents happy. 

Until next time,

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