I was out hiking last month on one of my favorite hiking trails in Hong Kong, Hong Pak Country Trail, and discovered what I thought might have been an old wartime tunnel. I didn’t check it out then, just had a quick peek and figured that I would revisit it at a later stage.
A few weeks back I tried to take my six year old son along but he was scared as soon as I mentioned tunnel and rightly so.
I ventured up there yesterday specifically to take a closer look. Unfortunately it was raining which made it a little difficult to take any decent photos of the entrance, however I’ll head back up there again today to take a closer look. On this occasion however I did have a quick look inside and walked about 20 meters in.
I have to say that it certainly is somewhat of a scary thing to do. One of the things that worries me the most is that perhaps some animal ventured in their to take shelter and that i’ll be stuck head to head with it in a confrontation that I cannot easily run away from. High on my fear list are snakes and wild boars, which are very common in this area, and a tunnel makes a nice place to take shelter, especially when it is pouring rain outside.
The first thing I noticed is the absolute silence within. It is deadly silent and makes me think how frightening it must have been to be in one of these tunnels during the war. The other thing was the amount of dust; it was terribly smoky in there cutting visibility down to about 5 meters, so even when I turned the last bend that I dared to walk to, I could only see straight for about 5 meters in what appeared to be a very straight section of the tunnel.
So if I ever venture back there again, I’m going to need a few supplies including a mask, a higher power light (smartphone wasn’t quite sufficient), and a high dose of confidence to eliminate my high levels of fear.
I thought that on my return I might take by remote control Axial Wraith Rock Racer along so that I can drive further ahead in the tunnel and perhaps stay a little safer at a distance back. It has some powerful lights up front which should be sufficient enough to provide ample visibility.
The entrance of this tunnel is quite large and I’m surprised that the hiking trail above it hasn’t yet collapsed into it. It is evident that it was once boarded up, but that is no longer the case. Also it was evident that the Japanese must have been rather short because there is little room if you are 6’3″ like me. I was hunched over in the first 10 meters and there are lots of twists and turns and the tunnel descends into the mountain which makes it a little bit slippery. The air was very still, suggesting that it does not reemerge anywhere else.
In case you’re wondering these tunnels were dug by the Japanese during the war around 1940 and there are some 40 tunnels such as this on Hong Kong Island alone.