Bats and Fireflies
This tour is suitable for children of age 4 and up.
Tonight we're going on a nighttime adventure to look for bats around Hok Tau reservoir and fireflies near the
the Sha Lo Tung abandoned village. Other typical nighttime critters include various insects, and with a little
luck we run into various other animals including toads and frogs, and maybe even a snake or a porcupine.
The main season for fireflies runs from May until August, with mid/late summer the high season, with a second
shorter season in November. Different species shine their lights in different periods, depending
on their life cycles. Thanks to their lights, these little bugs are really easy to find.
Bats however are harder to spot. A special
bat detector will help us find these elusive creatures, as this device helps to listen in to their echolocation
calls, and tells us when a bat is nearby. Using a powerful torch we can then see them as they patrol the
night skies hunting for flying insects, which are caught in flight.
Near the end of the tour we end up at a great viewpoint overlooking Tai Po and Tolo Harbour, where we can see
all the lights of the highrises and the industrial estate. Weather permitting we even get to see Ma On Shan district
across Tolo Harbour.
This tour takes in total about 3 1/2 hours including about 2 1/2 hours on trail. The terrain includes service
roads, paved footpaths and well maintained dirt paths. Total about 6 km walk, with 200m of elevation changes.
- Meet up at Fanling MTR station - time varies according to the season.
- Take minibus or taxi to the start of the walk near Hok Tau village.
- Walk up the service road to the reservoir, an area with many bats.
- Around the reservoir and through the dark forest to the abandoned village of Sha Lo Tung (this is
where fireflies live).
- See the lights of Tai Po town and the industrial estate before walking down to Fung Yuen.
- Minibus from Fung Yuen back to Tai Po Market MTR station.
This is a mostly easy going walk of about 7 km, with about 200m in height differences.
Bring mosquito repellant and a bottle of water, torch is provided.
If you're driving: best park your car near Tai Po Market MTR station (easy to get to by minibus from the end
point), and then take the MTR two stops to Fanling to meet the rest of the group.