- Specie: Chinese Banyan (ficus microcarpa)
- Location: Mount Austin Road
If Hong Kong’s forest has a king, or perhaps queen, then he or she lives on Mount Austin road, just in front of one of the first houses on Victoria Peak – the Haystack, which was built in the late 1900s.
The Chinese Banyan (ficus microcarpa) is massive, and ancient, and wears its years on its moss covered body and arms like a cloak of a faerie. Like many of its species, this tree features an extensive aerial root system that resembles the tensed muscles of Atlas holding up the world, or the flows of life energy rising from the Earth into the physical realm, made all the more mysterious by its deep green colour.
To get to this this tree, you have to get to the Peak Gallery on Victoria Peak, then find the road leading up to the actual top of the mountain. Simply follow this road for about 10 minutes and you should come face to face with this remarkable tree.
Alternatively, you can search, I mean literally search on Google, for Haystack Hong Kong. Topping the result should be Google’s profile of the building on 16 Mount Austin Road that was built sometime in the late 1900 century and is now the home of the Consul General of Japan. As part of the search results, you also get a 360-degree photo of the road in front of the building. Click into the photo for a glorious view of this tree.
If you do make the physical trek up to this tree, be sure to take in its younger sibling – you really can’t miss it because it is on the same road, but only a couple of minutes from the Peak Gallery.
It’s a little younger, a little smaller, but there’s plenty of character in its wide spread of prominent limbs supporting an impressive canopy.