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Please, don't litter!

Hiking is about communion with nature. So please pickup after yourself. There's no excuse to leave plastic bags, water bottles or any rubbish on or around the trails; if you managed to bring it, you can manage to bring it back!

Wild Hong Kong

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hong Kong Mini Grand Canyon, Po Lo Shan - Pineapple Mountain (菠蘿山)


75 minutes

Difficulty: 3/10

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 1 liter

Appreciation: 6/10. Don't have too high expectations, the "Grand Canyon" is quite small. I also don't like the return access which is via an infrequent minibus

Transportation: Red light rail #505 to Leung King Light Rail MTR station from Siu Hong MTR station on West Rail line. Return via minibus at Ha Pak Lai

Why it's worth it:
Take the West Rail MTR line and get off at Siu Hong. Then take red light rail #505 and alight at Leung King. Cross the tracks, and you will be in front of Leung King Plaza. 

Go around Leung King Plaza (on the right)

You'll see a little walkway that gets you to a road, where you head left.
No major risk of getting lost there, the village is so small.

Just walk along the road...

... until the road curves to the left and, to your right, you'll see a path going up the hill.
That's the beginning of the trail.

The PLA area gates might be closed, just go around. From that point on, you just have to follow the main trail (don't divert via any side-trail which may be going up mountains or hills). You'll go up for maybe 30 minutes and then down towards the canyon.

And eventually the path will get you here. Be careful at the edges

Once you're done, keep going, following the path down towards Ha Pak Lai.
You'll get to this point where the PLA is informing you that you essentially have gone all rogue and illegal.
Head right

Then left here towards the village and the minibus terminus.
The terminus is a good 10 minutes walk away

The beach, on your right, along the way to the minibus.
Quite dirty and stinky, but good for sunset pictures

There you go, minibus stop. Usually busy on weekend around sunset time

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Short urban walk to Garden Hill in Sham Shui Po. The night photographers' hangout (嘉頓山)


15 minutes

Difficulty: 2/10

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 0.5 liter

Appreciation: 8/10. Good views of Kowloon and a great place to watch the sunset. Really easy to access.

Transportation: Exit D2 of Sham Shui Po MTR

Why it's worth it:

Real easy; get out at exit D2, Sham Shui Po MTR (Green line)

Then go straight on Kweilin street (the Golden Computer Center is right on your left at the exit)

After about a 5 minutes walk, you'll get to Castle Peak road, with the Mei Ho house in plain sight.
The hill behind is Garden Hill. Cross the street

The Garden bakery, from where the hill gets its name by the locals

Once across the street, head right to go around the fence, then left on Berwick street so you can reach the Mei Ho house

Right before the house, you'll get to this point, there's even signage on the wall pointing to the right direction.
You'll then arrive to the stairs on the left that will take you up Garden Hill

Enjoy the view!

Lots of peeps there at night!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Wild Hong Kong touring Dragon's Back

Seems that Google fixed my Blogger problem. That was quick; just 1 day after I reported it. Would have been nice if they would have let me know however. But hey, Blogger is free so, I can't complain too much.

Anyhow, here are some developments of late: I have gotten a few requests to organize hiking tours and while I can do this, this is certainly not the focus of this blog. I figured it would be better to leave that part to the pros.

So, when I got a new follower a few months back under the name "Wild Hong Kong", I was curious and did some Googling. Happens to be the Hong Kong Eco-Tour business of Rory Mackay, who specializes in Hong Kong hiking, kayaking, cycling, and canyoning tours.

I met Rory and told him there was an opportunity for mutual benefit in what I was doing with HikeHongKong and what he built with WildHongKong.
Hence the referral to his site. 
In the end, I get a cut (full disclosure) and you get a discount (5%)

However, before I could recommend Rory's tour, I wanted to make sure I tried them myself. So I did this past Sunday. It has been raining like crazy for the past 2 weeks so we were lucky for clear skies, which is best for Dragon's Back.

Right off the minibus stop, weather was perfect. Not too hot.

Admiring the view of Shek-O beach from Dragon's Back (Rory on the right)

Postcard-perfect view on a sunny day

As I said, it's been raining hard for pretty much every day and streams which are usually trickles were full
I found Rory's tour to be very nice; he obviously knows the trails, but he was also very knowledgeable in answering questions the group had about Hong Kong, the various sights we would encounter, and about the flora and fauna (I learned a few things myself about these gigantic spiders that we sometimes see on the trails. No worries though, they keep to themselves).

All-in-all, a great day and probably the best way to have a condensed "best of Hong Kong's outdoors" experience for a person or a group visiting Hong Kong.

If you are in Hong Kong for a few days, plan a tour with Rory to see the wild side of Hong Kong that is less frequently covered by the tourists (the more frequently covered wild side being Lan Kwai Fong, but that's another story altogether)

Instructions to get the Wild Hong Kong discount:
When you have decided on a tour, proceed to booking by clicking on 'Make a Booking', fill out all the required information, and then make sure to use your HikeHongKong discount/promo code HIKEHONGKONG2016 in the field 'Promotional Code' at the bottom right of the page. This will get you a 5% discount on your tour.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

50-60k page views a month, 1.5 million visits. Glad you like it!

Dear all,

   another milestone reached with 1.5 million page views on HikeHongKong. With 50k to 60k views a month of late, I am glad you are still enjoying the blog as I am still loving having you find easy ways to explore this beautiful place which is Hong Kong.

I have been running into a bit of trouble with blogger lately which makes adding new entries difficult but I am hoping to have this solved soon.

In the meantime, happy hiking!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Little compensation, benefit for you too...

Dear all,

   if you want to show me your appreciation of this now 5 or so years of HikeHongKong (and you are Hong Kong-based), from now to end of September, you can use my referral link and register for a Cathay Asiamiles AmericanExpress card. I'll get some referral Asiamiles and you will get my gratitude, as well as the following:

- fees are waved the first year (if you can make the spending minimum, just cancel after the 1st year)
- free access to the PlazaPremium lounges at all major airports (free food, great seats, a shower if you have a long layover). That's the best perk!
- Bonus 2000 Asiamiles for you from my referral
- Up to 78,000 Asiamiles during the first 3 months (enough for a trip to Europe)

So, the way I see it, a win-win situation.

Not that this blog is meant to be a get-rich-quick scheme and I won't stop posting no matter what. But hey, always nice to get a bit of extra...

Referral link is here: www.amex.com.hk/refer/jcclemjb01



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Urban walk in Ap Lei Chau


1-2 hours

Difficulty: 1/10

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 0.5 liter

Appreciation: 7/10. Travel back in time and have a very local experience. You have to go during the week for all the little stores to be open (they might be open on Saturdays as well, not sure)

Transportation: Bus 970x, exit at 'Tin Wan Street' and keep walking in the same direction to the foot-bridge over the highway. Return via the same bus, right in front of the Aberdeen promenade. Bus 95 gets you there as well, and returns the same way. MTR will get right to Ap Lei Chau at the end of 2016

Why it's worth it:

Get to the Aberdeen promenade. The ferry to Ap Lei Chau is, not surprisingly... by the water!

Accross the footbridge over Aberdeen Praya

The little ferry getting you to Ap Lei Chau. It even takes the Octopus card

Docking at Ap Lei Chau
The recommended path. Just a few hundred meters but you'll want to stop and enjoy sights, and tastes! Right off the ferry, head left and take Wah Ting street to number 84, Wah Ting on the left.
This is an traditional metal shop (open on weekdays). Then keep walking, to Ap Lei Chau Main street.
Then head right on Ap Lei Chau Main street
友和士多, at 110 Ap Lei Chau Main street. You will find traditional Cantonese sweets, including the Chinese style bowl pudding

Then retrace your steps to visit the wet market and its very fresh seafood. You can buy seafood and they will cook it for you upstairs at the cooked-food market...

... now, if you are just there for a snack, have a try at the very local cha chan teng 陳新記 Chan Sun Kee. I'd skip the pork bun though... doesn't compare to the real thing that can be found in Macau

Busy on a Sunday
Once you are done snacking, head back to Ap Lei Chau Main street and make a stop at #60. This is a 120 years old grocery store.

Then further down on Ap Lei Chau Main street, you will find this fish ball store at #31, and Foo Hing at #34, where you can buy traditional Chinese snacks behind the clothing stall

Once done, keep going down the road until you reach Ping Lan street, and head left towards the waterfront park and promenade. Follow the path left and you'll see the Hung Shing temple on your left which is worth a quick peek. Then, you can leisurely go back to the ferry

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Shatin walk: The Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre, and Lake Ad Excellentiam


2.5 hours

Difficulty: 4/10

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 0.5 liter

Appreciation: 6/10. The Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre is ok, not much of a view from there actually. The Chinese University of Hong Kong's grounds are very nice. Short walks. You can go straight to Chinese U if you want a relaxing hour in a nice setting. Maybe a picnic?

Transportation: Shatin MTR, Exit B for the Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre, and University MTR Exit C for Lake Ad Excellentiam

Why it's worth it:

For the Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre
Make your way to Shatin MTR station, Exit B, turn left as you come out
Go to the end (basically, follow the crowd) and down the ramp, to the right
After the ramp, turn-left...

... and back in the same direction you came from, but next to the ramp

You'll arrive at a signpost, about 30 seconds later which points the direction to To Fung Shan. Climb up the stairs next to the white building on the picture

Right. Always go right basically

After about 15 minutes walk, you'll get to this roundabout. Head right on 'To Fung Shan Road'

Another 5-10 minutes farther, you'll see these stairs with a gate. Gate is open, climb the stairs, it is a shortcut.


When you are done, just retrace your steps back to the MTR

Take the MTR to University station (2 stops away from Shatin), exit C

Just follow the path along the football field

There you go, Lake Ad Excellentiam. Velly pletty...