10 min. from Central, and yes, those are paddle-boats!

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Just when you think you know everything, you discover something totally new. The Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park is a place I’ve passed by a dozen times, but never actually visited. Due to its location on a steep hillside, just below the reclusive Parkview complex, I’ve never had an occasion to go there.

Last weekend, wanting to go for a walk after lunch I suggested it to my friends. I actually had no idea what to expect.

Parking up at the top of the hill, which is near the start of some hiking trails, we walked down towards the reservoir. From the outside it looks like the standard government structure.

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At the front was a sign touting the virtues of the park: “Hot Dogs, Noodles, Ice Cream, Sandwiches, Soft Drinks, Fishballs.”

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Is this a peak inside the mind of Homer Simpson, or does it reveal the cravings of a typical H.K. citizen?

As you pass through the open building it spills out onto a balcony overlooking the reservoir. The water is filled with large fish and turtles.

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In fact, feeding the fish and turtles appears to be part of the attraction. While I was there I spied some kids throwing handfuls of crumbs into the water. The fish responded enthusiastically by surrounding their boat in a feeding frenzy.

Walking down from street level there’s a sign with rental rates for the boats on the second floor terrace.

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The prices per hour are slightly higher on weekends and public holidays. Rates also differ depending on the number of seats in the craft you choose. They offer two-seat paddle boats, four-seat paddle boats and row boats for rent.

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I was in the mood for walking, not rowing after my lunch, so I just strolled around the pathway of the reservoir and snapped some photos of the scene. The old stone wall of the reservoir dates from 1899, which makes it ancient by Hong Kong standards.

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The sky was blue and the lush green mountains that surrounded the water made for a good photo opportunity.

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Though the reservoir isn’t large, I’m sure it would be fun to cruise around in a paddle boat and perhaps forget for a moment that you’re a ten minute taxi ride from the middle of the city.

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