Tommy Ku Photography

Photowalk in Inspiration Lake

Entrance of Hong Kong Disneyland
Not going this way this time

I was on a scouting mission. Being "magical", the Hong Kong Disneyland and its surrounding is one of the most well-maintained environment in the city and thus the greenery have to be the perfect subject for my upcoming infrared photography project.

Equipped with the recently acquired Olympus 35DC a roll of bulk loaded Kodak Vision3 5207 250D, I took the MTR to the Disneyland Resort in Lantau Island.

Despite being on a weekday, there were many families and couples visiting the theme park.

Auntie/uncle taking photo of the special MTR's interior
Waited until everybody has left to shoot the interior of this special MTR train

The Disneyland resort line is a short 2-station MTR line connecting the Sunney bay station and Disneyland resort built specifically to connect the modern world to the "magical" Disneyland world. Therefore even the interior of the MTR train is designed to encapsulate Disney elements.

Walking in an opposite direction of the crowd (red line below) and passing through the empty car park, there's a sign pointing to the Inspiration Lake. The walk was about 10-15min along paved road, passing through the fire station and police station and a big roundabout to reach the lake (yellow line below).

Map of the Disneyland resort with lines pointing to different places
Blue line is how people go to the not-so-magical™ Penny's Bay Quarantine Centre that proudly demonstrated institutional ridiculousness
Empty car park
Empty carpark symbolizing the destitute state of Hong Kong tourism. By the way, we no longer have any cruise in the city as well

On a lighter note, along the road to the Inspiration Lake there are some flowers blooming on the various trees. Staff can be seen trimming the hedges and sweeping the pedestrian road, cleaning the place and ensuring it's "magical" in general.

Tree fully blooming with pink flowers at the middle of the road
Pink flowers looking slightly like cherry blossom from a distance

There are people running and riding bicycles in the area. Despite being well-maintained, the area feels like some districts in New Territories where the terrain is generally flat and surrounded by an abundance of vegetation.

Children's playground and water fountain
Children's playground and water fountain at the entrance of the Inspiration Lake

Being a weekday on October, kids wouldn't have been playing here. The scene where large group of children playing at the playground and making a mess at the fountain can be vividly imagined. Hmm, maybe not the fountain, it's getting cold soon.

Paddle boats and dragon boat at the pier of the Inspiration Lake
Paddle boats and dragon boat at the pier of the Inspiration Lake

As I entered the Inspiration Lake through a Disneyland-style (English style?) building, conveniently there is a convenience store. I have brought enough water for the trip so didn't enter to see whether the price is the same as in the city.

Folks dressed in some sort of water sport suit were just leaving. Apparently, they came here to for dragon boat training. How come they can do that on a weekday?

The Inspiration Lake is a small man-made lake with walkway around the lake. This time I chose to walk counter-clockwise while some other visitors can be seen walking along the opposite direction.

Lake view + blooming flowers on tree
Blooming flowers, after the recent T3 they probably have been blown away already
People picnicking
Picnicking people. How come they don't have to work today?
Structure extending into the lake
Would be nice shooting this with a long-focus lens

To be honest there's nothing much here. Just some well-maintained lake, grass and plants. As if they are waiting for people to come, to bring along what they have and what they want to do. A place to have fun.

Pets are prohibited though so don't bring them.

Island at the middle of the lake
Fake island at the middle, perhaps reachable using the paddle boats?

There's supposed to be some water fountain show but during the one hour I was there, I didn't see any water shooting up from the lake.

Blooming trees
Many trees like this which are blooming alright
Children paintings on the ground
Pretty sure these are left uncleaned intentionally

Off the paved path there're some rocks having some painting on. As far as Inspiration Lake and Disneyland as a company goes, they are probably left by actual kids. Hmm, is that rainbow mask worn by them or some kind of statement?

From that point going under a bridge there's a huge space called Inspiration Lake Arboretum, which I missed entirely. There're some huge grass fields and open space. Maybe good for taking some infrared shots but I decided to go Ho Pui Reservoir for shooting the infrared photos instead of here.

Tree by the lake
Another tree by the lake

There is someone dressed in black riding a black bike doing at least 4 loops around the lake during my stay. At some point I think he turned around and I had lost count of his loops.

Tree in the middle of the road and abandoned bike on the ground
Don't leave your bike on the ground

There was a strange uncle walking behind me and it felt super awkward so I rushed along. And because of that I missed the artificial waterfall which is supposedly one of the selling points of the place.

Trees with the blue sky as a backdrop
Tree, tree everywhere

For an afternoon walk this was quite chill. In the middle of it I took off my earphones to hear the wind, water and the bird, and that was great. However I definitely don't want to be here when it's crowded.

Water fountain and statute
Water fountain and statute at the entrance of the Disneyland

I walked back to the entrance of the Disneyland to finish up a few shots I had left in the camera. This fountain may look magical, but at this point it also reveals a souless quality, emphasizing that everything here is man-made. The lake was, the statues were, and the experience is all just a setup.

Maybe I shouldn't walk alone. I was thinking too much.