Yellow Dragon River!!! How could a hiking web page left out this river?
Due to some silly emotional ties to this river, we have visited this river many times over the past 10+ years. We have tasted the tender and the anger of this famous river, Yellow Dragon.
This river is rather easily accessible, there is a well paved road leading you directly to the entrance of the river. One can walk from Tung Chung MTR station to the entrance in about 45 minutes.
Yellow Dragon earns its fame by majestic Yellow Dragon Fall, Yellow Dragon Three Dangers, affluent water flow and openness.
Out of those, the Yellow Dragon Three Dangers (黃龍三險) is the major tourist attraction. It is however, part of the attraction was intentionally demolished for sake of visitor safety by HK government. Don't worry, this page is about to turn back the clock to the realm of Three Dangers many many years ago.
The journey starts right after the dam. There is a footpath on the right of the dam taking you to the hinterland of Yellow Dragon.
Yellow Dragon is actually an extensive river system. It has many big off-shoots, Crouching Dragon River is one of those. This big rock (pointed by the orange arrow) is standing at the front door of the the Crouching Dragon.
This is what the Yellow Dragon main fall looks like from afar. It is a silvery bright object embraced by deep forest.
This interesting V-shape rock is one of the landmark of Yellow Dragon. The rock surface is so flat as if it was artificially polished.
Here we go! This is the Yellow Dragon main fall (黃龍瀑). It is about 25m in height. The pool below is crystal clear.
Diving into the icy fresh water in hot summer time could clean up your body and soul.
This huge rock stands right in front of the Yellow Dragon main fall.
Marco is climbing along a faint path on the left of the waterfall. This picture was taken about 15m above the pool surface, we can still saw the bottom of the pool at this height. Do you think the pool looks a big jade under noon sunlight?
Besides Crouching Dragon and Hidden Dragon (Cang Lung), another main off-shoot is Left Dragon stream. This picture show you the entrance of Left Dragon. If you pay attention to this picture, you may be able to spot a red rope hanging from the cliff to the tree. This rope guides you to the mysterious Left Dragon.
Opposite to the Left Dragon is the Right Dragon. The Right Dragon is actually a straightly impregnable waterfall over 100m in height. A nice name is given to this area: Two Dragons for One Ball (雙龍掙珠).
There is a rope helping explorers to scale up Left Dragon Stream.
Here we came to the Dragon Tail Fall(龍尾瀑) which tells you to leave the stream. There is no practical way to overcome this waterfall without proper rock climbing equipment. The Yellow Dragon Dangers is now waiting for you on your left hand side.
The Classic Yellow Dragon Three Dangers --- Rope Ladder (繩梯崖)
Now we are in the hinterland of Yellow Dragon Three Dangers 10 years ago. The first danger was a rope ladder. The ladder was built by hiking veterans. It was made of branches, rattans, ropes and planks. It hung from a cliff of about 20m tall. It shaked and swung as you were climbing up. Honestly speaking, this ladder was not very robust, it was a real challenge for climbers. In 2001, HK government has taken it down lest any accident should happen.
Soon after that, a new path was exploited by hiking veterans to overcome the cliff again.
In our latest visit, the famous rope ladder was replaced by a single dangling rope.
The Classic Yellow Dragon Three Dangers --- Passage on Cliff
This is the second danger. Compared to the first danger, it was really nothing. All you need to overcome is to walk/climb along some narrow passages along hill-side.
The Classic Yellow Dragon Three Dangers --- Snake Retreat(蛇倒退)
The third danger could really be scary. As the name suggests, it is so steep that even a snake will back off. If you miss a step, you're finished right away, you will fall over several tens meters to the rocky river bed. Besides vertical cliff, there is nothing beneath the guy in the picture. My advice is to get concentrated, grasp the man-made handrail firmly and crawl across this rock to the footpath on the other side.
After the Snake Retreat, you're almost safe. Take a rest and follow the faint path to the Lantau trail. In hot summer time, this faint path could demand you a quite lot of energy.
The Modern Yellow Dragon Dangers
After the rope ladder was taken down, a new hidden path was soon established to by-pass the first and the second danger. The new path starts where the rope ladder was.
The following photos take you through the new Yellow Dragon Dangers.
The Modern Yellow Dragon Dangers --- Rope Cliff
Here is a sheer steep slope made of rough loose rocks. When someone is climbing this slope, people should stay away from the bottom.
There is no margin for error.
There is a scenary outlook waiting for you after the sheer slope. This scenary outlook gives you the whole view of the Right Dragon.
The Modern Yellow Dragon Dangers --- Snake Retreat(蛇倒退)
A few mintues later, you will meet our old friend again, Snake Retreat.
After the Three-Dangers, you can either follow the ribbons to leave the stream and go back to the mountain or you can follow another set of ribbons to go back the stream to continue the journey in the upper stream. The upper stream has very few ribbons, you are on your own when you encounter obstacles. It is because very few hiker visit the upper stream, most hikers leave after the Three-Dangers. Just follow the main stream body, you won't get lost.
As soon as you go back the stream, there is a short waterfall blocking your way. You scale up on the right but there are many lose rocks. SO make sure you guys climb one by one.
Relatively dry stream body. Good for visitors.
Moving along the Yellow Dragon Upper Stream.
The stream ends abruptly at a wet vertical cliff.
This is not the deadend. There is a steep footpath on the right taking you away from the Yellow Dragon.
Finally we reach the open area again. Lantau Trail is now very close.