I’ve been to Hongkong a few times before, and this time I wanted to do something different. I wanted to visit the backside of Hongkong, a place far away from the crowds. It wasn’t easy finding a place; Google was giving me a hard time coming up with the information and the local people didn’t understand why I wasn’t going to the popular touristic places. Eventually, I found two historic locations in Tung Chung I wanted to visit, as a bonus they were in an easily walkable distance.

My colleagues and I were staying in Lantau Island  (the largest island in Hongkong) near the Asia World-Expo. One had to take a bus, existed down to Tung Chung central station, as it was the main starting point to all popular touristic locations. As were neared the station, I was excited and nervous, I’ve never been to this places before, and I was going alone?.The weather looked promising, grey weather is ideal for walking.

I made a quick stop at Starbucks for the free WiFi to set up Google maps and also for a drink. I made a promise to myself I wouldn’t ask for directions this time, I’ll try my very best to manage on my own. My first stop would be the Tung Chung Fort, which was built a thousand years ago to protect the government from smugglers, it was later inhabited by many other groups, like the Japanese in world war II, now it’s declared a national monument. The second stop would be its companion the Tung Chung Battery.

I was shocked when I realized Google Maps only shows direction offline if you are driving not when you are walking. I couldn’t follow the driving directions cause it seemed like a different route altogether. I felt stuck and kept on walking hoping it would be the right way.

I felt quite relieved when I ran into a directional sign, It meant was going the right way? all along, it also read my second stop (Tung Chung Battery) wasn’t far away, thinking that I would have to go back to my starting point. Now I could enjoy my walk, the quiet streets, and the scenic views.

Tung Chung Fort was full of local residents.I ran into a couple, where the wife was busy taking pictures of a tree, the husband asked me what it is, I answered a banana tree. He said,” that’s great my wife doesn’t know what it is.” I couldn’t help but laugh as I walked away from them.

I made my way to Tung Chung battery; I was quick to learn battery means an organized group of multiple pieces of artillery such as guns, cannons, etc. There were directional signs everywhere until I reached a certain roundabout and I couldn’t find any more signs. I knew I had taken the wrong turn when I ended up inside a residential area, where local people minded their own business. Google maps came in handy here, as I retraced my steps and ended up in an empty Road.

Google maps indicated that I had arrived at my destination, but I didn’t believe it cause I couldn’t see anything. I kept on walking discovering hiking trails full of locals as well. The map showed I was leaving my destination making me retract my steps again. The locals were kind enough letting me pass before them, I think they could tell I’m lost, but I stuck to my promise of not asking for directions.

I found tung chung battery, the local residents were also heading in the same direction. I knew why I couldn’t see it before, it was a bit hidden with a wired fence around it and smaller than expected. The battery is also declared a national monument, it was built 24yrs before the British took possession of hongkong. It was rediscovered in 1980, and all that remains is an L-shaped wall.

My feet had started to ache as I walked back to the central point, even though, I was really happy with my walk and all the new things I had learned and discovered.