The Suicide Cliff in Hongkong

by Fabian Weiss

A story goes around the world (Issue III/2020)


Hiking trail in Hongkong. Photo: Fabian Weiss/laif

After hiking for half an hour through the New Territories in the outskirts of Hong Kong, you reach this imposing cliff: Suicide Cliff, which gets its name because it is shaped like a springboard. It is incredible to stand atop it and watch the vast city emerge from the fog. The cliff is a station on the MacLehose Trail. The five hour trail is named after the longest serving Governor of the city (1971-1982): Murray MacLehose, who created Country Parks throughout the city to protect its diverse wildlife. In Hong Kong, wild nature and sudden gaps between skyscrapers often lie side by side.

The day I took this photo, I was on the cliff hiking in a group of twenty people on an organised tour. Sometimes up to fifty people took part in such hikes. Our group was smaller because the weather was not so good. The groups are mixed, you meet professional athletes as well as first-time hikers, employees, pensioners, locals, as well as people from Europe, America or other Asian countries. On our tour there was a good atmosphere: Hong Kong dwellers like to hike, but they are also happy to get together in a city that is otherwise so anonymous.

Editor's note: The photo was taken before the Corona pandemic. Currently, only a maximum of eight people can participate in organised tours. They continue despite the current protests (as of 15.07.2020).

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