I discovered the joys of hiking in Hong Kong after 3 weeks of landing in the city. Until one of my colleagues recommended this as a great weekend activity, Hong Kong for me was just food and shopping. Now, when I think about my time in HK, I always have a mental picture of the amazing hikes I went to. I am sharing some of my favourite pictures from these hikes.
The best part about hiking in HK is the accessibility of the trails via MTR, bus, ferry or even taxi. The best way to do them is to join a group because that way you can meet new people and make some friends, especially if you are relatively new to the city. Moreover, some of these hikes maybe a bit scary to do alone and it is always safe to be in a group when the trails are completely new to you. I joined few hikes through Meetup and a couple of other hikes via other smaller groups. Meetup is the largest online community for such hikes and they have a multitude of options to choose from. Just google ‘Hong Kong hiking group’ and the first 2-3 results should be enough to pique your interest. October is probably the best month to hike as the weather is cooler and fortunately my visit was perfectly timed.
1.Victoria Peak: My very first hike in HK because, well, no trip to HK is complete until you are on the Peak! Right? Whether via the tram or by foot. I had already taken the tram so decided to hike up this time. My quick google research showed that this was a safe hike to do alone and at night so I decided to it on a weekday after work. I started from the Hong Kong part and continued my way up as per directions. I think half way through I thought I am lost. The directions were not clear, it was too dark and the fallen trees post the typhoon made things worse. I had almost started to turn back thinking it was a bad idea to do this alone after dark. And did i tell you i had no torch? Talk about being totally unprepared. But then a group of 3 Chinese guys with a torch (yay!) appeared and I got some courage. I kept following them and when I finally at the top with the iconic HK skyline below me, I cant tell you how exhilarated I felt. There was a huge queue at the bus stop to go down (back to the city) but I anyway needed a break from all the uphill walk!
2.Dragon’s Back Trail: Probably the most popular hike in HK, it was absolutely gorgeous. I learnt my lesson from the first hike so I joined a group and I was fully prepared with hike essentials. Loved the breeze and the views. It was probably my favourite hike!
3.Tai Mo Shan: This was a sunset hike and was on a concrete path so from a challenge point of view it was a moderate hike with lots of uphill walking.
4.Lamma Island: Another beautiful hike (accessible via a short ferry ride from Central pier), where I bumped into a colleague from US office (what are the chances!!). It was very difficult for me because there are so many steps to get to the top of the hill but the hike leader was very encouraging. Also, part of the downhill hike is through a dirty trail with high bushes. I felt I will die but I trudged along anyway. Once we had reached the top, the views were just so stunning! Lamma Island has other fun stuff to do as well– shopping, food etc. post the hike.
5.Po Toi Islands: Another contender for my favourite hike! The base of the hike is accessible via a short ferry ride, but the ferries are infrequent. Very off the beaten track. It was a relatively easy hike for me but a long one. So the real deal is having the stamina to walk a lot in the sun. A lot of beautiful rock formations exist on this island– lookout for the Palm rock!