Peace of Mind

On a weekend, we visited a wetland area to the northwest boundaries of Hong Kong. It is a unique place because there is few other places like it in an ultra-urban cosmopolitan like Hong Kong where citizens live in the shadows of skyscrapers. This place, known as Nam Sang Wai to the locals, is a strip of peninsula bounded by two rivers running to join each other just north of the Yuen Long district.


The time has arrived when summer turns into fall. It is a transition when birds migrate southwards and their favorite resting place is one of these expansive wetlands north of Hong Kong. To me as an amateur photographer, I really wish to shoot (with a camera!) the lively birds in action, but I lack a long telephoto lens to do the job.

So, instead, like many others who have arrived at the wetlands on the same afternoon, we enjoyed the day as a valuable retreat from the busy city. Couples could be seen strolling along the hidden paths holding hands, families were picnicking comfortably on the grass. To the people of Hong Kong, the vast amount of foliage is a rarity, and this piece of land is famous for being “the Last Garden of Hong Kong”.

Perhaps to foreigners, this piece of land is nothing extraordinary. But to some local people, this garden symbolizes the last line of defense against the multibillion worth of land developers who wish to destroy the forest and wetlands and replace the green trees with tall buildings (which make them rich). A protest was held last year when the local people voiced their dissent with the government’s development plans that threaten to damage the natural environment.


It was a truly relaxing environment in this rural country with little modern structures to be seen. A large grassland welcomed us. From here, a small path lined with trees led us to the bank of the wetlands. On the far side of the waters, colorful houses showed us the signs of their age as the rust eroded into the sheets of metals covering their walls. Apart from the visitors who wandered, cycled, and captured pictures of wild birds, the atmosphere was serene and peaceful.


The following picture is my personal favorite. The broken bridge stood out from the scene. Shades of green and yellow dominated the landscape. A soft breeze cooled us under the cloudless sky.

The effect of light on the plants was magnificent. It was time to practice my macro shots. Although there is not even one beautiful flower to capture, the beauty that our Creator has entrusted to us was evident in even the smallest and most ordinary plants.


And going back to the water side, more colorful houses could be seen. The original farmers and villagers who lived here a long time ago have mostly moved into the city where everything is more convenient. Only a few tuck shops remained, serving traditional Chinese sweets. It was the chilled Tofu Hua (a beancurd jelly with syrup) that delighted us most.


An old house by the water, made of wood and metal sheets

A forbidden forest and a forsaken hut

Closeup of the old houses in contrast to the skyscrapers in the city

Wooden logs over the water

A Charming Branch

We must learn to relax from time to time, and be grateful for what has been given to us each day. We’re glad we found our peace of mind!


(NB photos taken with Sony NEX-3 with Tamron 18-200 and Tamron 60mm f2.0 macro; with HDR post-processing.)

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