“Are we there yet?” My brother whined, for what seemed like the hundredth time. I ignored him, rolling my eyes. He opened his mouth again to complain, but fell silent when he saw the thunderous look on my face.

Every summer, my mum and I drag my dad and my brother out of bed and make them come hiking with us up Lion Rock Mountain. While we both love the whole experience and look forward to it every year, they thoroughly detest it, and would much sleep the whole day away. 

My favorite part of the whole experience, while tiring, is the hike up itself. All around us, trees shoot up all around like hands reaching for the pale blue sky, and streams of golden sunlight filter through the outstretched branches. Vines curl lazily around the thick tree trunks, and birds hop about on the tree tops, gently shaking and rustling the branches. Flowers with all the colors of the rainbow litter the ground around us, their faces beaming and facing the sun.

One of the earliest memories I have was made during one of these hikes. Again, it begins with my brother whining- “Mum… when are we gonna get there?” “Not too long now!” My mum replied. “But, you’ve been saying that for ages now! My feet really hurt, can we-” 

Suddenly, my mum stopped dead in her tracks, and my brother’s complaining trailed off. “Look over there!” She exclaimed in a hushed voice. 

Sitting on a tree in front of us was a family of monkeys, staring at us with wide, unblinking eyes. We stared back, transfixed by the intelligence in their eyes. A baby was clinging to its mother’s back, and some of the monkeys were clutching sticks and berries in their hands. There was something about the way they were staring at us, like they were studying us. They stared at us. We stared back. Time seemed to slow down around us. 

Suddenly, without warning, the monkeys jolted back to life, like a spell had been lifted off and ran off, chattering. We watched them run off, each one of us willing them back mentally. “Come back!” My brother and I called after them to no avail. They were gone already, like leaves scattered in the wind. 

Although the actual hike up is my favorite part, the view from the top is a close second. There’s just something special about the feeling you get looking down on that bustling metropolis.

You can see dozens of mountains, each topped with dense green forests. Look even further and you can see a vast blue sea shimmering in the sunlight, dotted with boats and cruise ships. Birds soar in the warm afternoon sun, dipping in and out of the clouds of cotton. Houses huddle together, and cars weave in and out of streets like worker ants. 

But without a doubt, the most breathtaking thing is the magnificent skyscrapers. They loom above the rest, surging towards the sky, glinting in the sun like diamonds among the sapphire blue sky. From up there, you can’t hear the honks of traffic or the cacophony of the city, but the whispers of the leaves in the wind, and the soft chirping of songbirds.

I have so many good memories from these summer hikes. Memories of laughter and fun, and to top it all off, a breathtaking view from the top. This is why Lion Rock is my favorite place.

  • Cheryl Chan
  • : hi
  • : youth_(12_–_18_as_of_31st_december_2019)
  • : This is the first time this story has been published.