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When talking about visiting HK, people usually mention about shopping, dining and the nightlife. But you may like to know the best of HK is in fact the natural beauty that covers 90% of its area. They have been a mystery over the years that even most local people do not know much about the hiking spots in HK. When people are talking about traffic congestions, overcrowded urban areas, serious air and water pollution, they seem to have forgotten about the natural beauty which could still be found in HK.
The Bride's Pool
Take minibus 20C or bus 75K from Tai Po Market Station, get off at Tai Mei Tuk, and starts hiking from the Plover Cove Country Park Information Centre to Pak Sin Leng - Mountain of the 8 gods. From there, you can see the amazing beauty of Plover Cove.
Don't miss the Bride's Pool; which is a waterfall, trail. It takes you to all the northeast natural reserve of HK, the scene is just spectacular!
Ma On Shan ~ 700 m
Hiking from Ma On Shan, Heng On MTR, will bring you to Sai Kung. It is quite challenging and may take up to 6 hours.
Sai Kung Peninsula - The backyard garden of HK.
Let's begin with watching some videos produced by HK Tourism Board and students who studied in HK before; introducing the Sai Kung and Plover Cove area. The videos also introduce the beautiful Grass Island. You can find more information about it in the Specific Areas section.
1. High Island
This hike will take you to the 2 finest beaches in HK. First, you may take the MTR green line to Choi Hung Station, get off from Exit C1 and take the mini bus no. 1 to Sai Kung, and from there take a taxi and tell the driver you are going to Sai Wan via Sai Kung Sai Wan Road.
Another way is to get off at Shatin Station, from there take the bus no. 299 to Sai Kung, and take a taxi and tell the driver you are going to Sai Wan.
Remember you are now in the New Territories so you need to take a GREEN taxi to go to Sai Wan.
Besides, you can take a shuttle bus leaving from the Sai Kung Stadium (opposite of Park'N supermarket, near to the minibus stop) all the way to Lo Tei Tun (Sai Wan) if you are going on SUNDAY.
From Sai Wan / Lo Tei Tun, you will see a sign as the entrance to the trail to the beach.
Start your hiking at Lo Tei Tun. If you head East you will reach Tai Long Wan; and if you head South, you will be in Long Ke - the most beautiful beach in HK, also more quiet than Tai Long Wan. If you think the hiking is too short, you may walk back to Sai Kung when you return.
Still the best beach in HK in 2014.
Long Ke Beach
If you are looking for something more interesting, you may try the Luk Wu Trail starting from Pak Tam Chung Park and you will see a cliff jumping waterfall on the way to the beach.
Dare to jump?
When you return from Tai Long Wan, you can take a detour to go to the North from the seaside restaurant (Hoi Long) at Ham Tin Beach and taking the Maclehose Trail no. 2. On the way you will see some spectacular views of the mountains in the North side of Sai Kung. After about an hour you will reach Che Keng Pier where you can take a speedboat ride to go to Wong Shek (Yellow Stone) Pier and you can take a bus back to Sai Kung or Diamond Hill MTR in Kowloon. On the other hand, you can walk for only 30 more minutes without taking the speedboat; and you will hit the highway at Pak Tam Au - the end of Maclehose Trail no. 2. Where you can take a bus or minibus back to Sai Kung or Diamond Hill as well.
Same as Feng Lau, some selfish village people have block the route between Lo Tei Tun to Sai Wan during the week. You may only be able to access Sai Wan and the rest of Tai Long Bay in the weekends.
2. Nam Shek (Sharp Peak)
Nam Shek is a very beautiful mountain in the East of HK, Nam Shek Beach is also one of the best beaches in HK because it is really hard to get there and therefore it is free from pollution. It is recommended to go there by a boat because the hike is quite dangerous indeed. You can also go to Nam Shek by taking a boat from Ma Liu Shui (University MTR, Shatin) to Ko Lau Wan and start hiking from there.
3. Double Haven
From the border of HK to the "Guilin' of HK. Double Haven is known as the most beautiful area of HK so people called it the Guilin (a very famous scenic area of China) of HK. To go there, you will need to take the MTR to Fanling Station, then get on a minibus which goes to Luk Keng. Get off at the end and start hiking along the water shore. The other side of the water is Shenzhen, China.
4. Clear Water Bay
This is the part from Hang Hau, Tseung Kwan O to Po Toi O in Clear Water Bay Peninsula, Sai Kung. Go to Diamond Hill MTR, change to bus no. 91 and get off at Clear Water Bay Beach Terminal; find the trail 10 minutes walk away from the terminal. At the end of the trail, you will see a big Tin Hau temple which was built 800 years ago; and rock carving created at about the same time. .
Tai Lam Reservoir
Known as the thousand islands lake of HK, Tai Lam reservoir is actually a man-made creation. In a clear day, you can see the 'thousand islands lake'; if you are not going in a clear day like I did, you can still have fun in a very big cave there. Go to Dragon Centre, Sham Shui Po, take bus no. 52X and get off near Poseidon Coast, Siu Lam (after Siu Lam Prison). Take Siu Lam Road and in 5 minutes you will arrive at the reservoir.
By the end of the trail, you will see the Yuen Long area and the entrance to Tai Lam Tunnel.
The Peak ~ 500 m
It is a short but interesting hike from the University of HK to the Peak. Since you are not going to the Peak by the Peak Tram, nor a bus; you feel like you are not a tourist. Also it is a good chance to visit the University of HK.
Going to the University of HK is easy. Take the MTR to Admiralty Station, Exit at Exit F to the Pacific Place, and from the bus stop there get on bus no. 40 or 40M until it stops at the University of HK bus stop.
Walk all the way up to Hatton Road through the university, begins hiking at Hatton Road and after about an hour, turn to Harlech Road, follow the sign and finish at the Peak Tower. You will realize that the best way to see the city below is not at the Peak Tower, but the hiking track that you have just gone through. No need to squeeze yourself in between the crowd at the tower anymore.
You can go on to the South of HK Island from the Peak, starting from the little downward path left of the Peak Restaurant; outside the Peak Galleria.
South West of HK Island / North West of HK Island
Tai Mo Shan ~ 1,000 m
Tai Mo Shan is a must visit because it is the highest spot of HK. Hiking begins at Shing Mun Reservoir.
Go to the West Rail line to Tsuen Wan West Rail Station, and take the mini bus no. 94S (only runs on Sunday) to Shing Mun Reservoir. Shing Mun Reservoir also has a waterfall which is known as the most interesting waterfall because you can actually climb and swim with it. From Shing Mun you can go all the way up to the highest point of Tai Mo Shan. It takes 6 hours so better start early.
The hiking to Tai Mo Shan also leads you to probably the most beautiful place in HK if you start from the other side. Start your hike from Tai Po to the Highest point of HK - Tai Mo Shan (3300 ft). You will pass through the "No.1 Waterfall" - Ng Tung Chai Waterfall. The waterfall is really high (sure not comparable to Niagara). You may swim if the weather is suitable. The waterfall itself is amazing, but the surrounding is also something you should never miss. Ng Tung Chai is the only place in HK you can find the most variety of wild life. On the way, you will also pass through a Taoism temple - Man Tak Yuen, one of the biggest in HK.
To Ng Tung Chai: MTR East Rail to Tai Po Market Station, take the bus no. 64K from there, and get off at Ng Tung Chai bus stop. At the bus stop, you will see a signage in Chinese, follow the arrow and you will be in a small village in 10 mins. From the village, look for another Chinese sign (its quite hard to find). Follow the arrow again, and you will be in Man Tak Temple. Just keep going up from then.
Lion Rock ~ 500 m
Lion Rock can be seen from almost every part of Kowloon, and from the Peak on the Island. It is the symbol of HK. Keeping the people below safe and happy. Climbing up the lion is very challenging, it is not recommended for anybody. Before you reach the Lion Rock, you will see another rock - The Widow Waiting Her Husband. It was a woman carrying her baby, desperately waiting for her husband to come home. She didn't know her husband was drowned from catching fish in the sea. She had been waiting for too long that she and her baby turned into a rock...
Anyway, if you want to go there, take the bus no. 86 from Shan Shui Po, and get off at Worldwide Garden bus stop in Shatin. Head to Hung Mui Kuk BBQ site and starts your journey
Monkey hill is a hill full of starving monkeys, but they will not come close to you unless you have fruits in your hands. It is a funny experience if you love monkeys. Again, take bus 72 or 81, from Sham Shui Po, get off at Kim Shan Park.
Lantau Peak ~ 900 m
Lantau Peak, or the Phoenix is the 2nd tallest hill in HK (934M). It is in Lantau Island. Take the MTR to the Tung Chung Station, and then you will have 2 choices. 1, take the cable car ride - Ngong Ping 360; or take the taxi from the bus terminal, stops at Pak Kung Ngau near Tong Fuk. The hike takes about 4 hours. After you reach the Buddha you can keep going West to Tai O - the Venice of HK.
If you want to do a sun-rise / sun-set (overnight) trip at Lantau Peak, which is a very interesting thing to do; you may stay at the Lantau camp houses built by missionaries in the past. Each of them is good for 4 people or more and it is only HK$ 200 per night. http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/sunsetpeak-volunteer
More about hiking in Lantau in the "Beaches" and "Lantau" sections.
It was 6'C when we went there.
Lantau West - from Shek Pik to Fen Lau, the edge of HK aka the paradise in HK, then further up to Tai O
Before I begin: It has been mentioned in quite a few blogs and guides that there is a 'natural' infinity pool somewhere in between Tai O and Shek Pik Reservoir in Lantau Island. People (mostly foreigners) have been dipping into the pool and taking amazing pictures where the sky and the horizon are meeting with each other. I don't know what else I could say besides calling those people being stupid and ignorant at the same time. The so called 'infinity pool' is in fact a reservoir which provides water to the households in HK. I mean, how can there be a 'natural' pool which has a straight artificial edge? How 'natural' is that? Isn't it so obvious that it is a man-made reservoir? Even worse, there is indeed a warning sign telling everyone swimming is not allowed in the pool. Other than being a 'stupid and ignorant foreigner' once again, I cannot think of any other explanation. If you don't care about that the people in HK will be drinking water which also has your dead skin in it; I don't have anything more to say then.
MTR to Tung Chung, change to bus no. 11, get off at Shek Pik Reservoir, and start hiking to Fen Lau - where yellow Chinese water meets blue HK water. The beach is SOOOOOOO nice. You thought only Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia has paradise? Wait until you have come to this place. As it is so remote. I will suggest an overnight camping trip for this place, otherwise you wouldn't have enough fun. The whole hike takes about 4 hours, its highly recommended!
Notes in January 2014 - Because of some selfish village people who claim having the control of all the country parks in HK from late 2013; they begin to take action against the Country Park Ordinance by blocking a number of hiking trails outside their premises. The route between Feng Lau West to Yi O has been destroyed in January 2014. You can still walk through but all the signs have been removed. Unless you have a very good sense of direction and have the help from GPS, it may be very hard for you to continue your hike to Yi O and Tai O from Feng Lau at this moment.
The so-called Infinity Pool (Please read this for everyone) - There has been people talking about (even on Trip-advisor) a natural Infinity Pool (Man Cheung Poo) somewhere in Lantau, actually if you take the right trail at the intersection at the end of the drainage here, you will be led to a pool where there is a dam at the edge, which makes it like an infinity pool with the view of the Pacific. However, everyone knows nature doesn't build a straight dam, so it is in fact a reservoir; and if you are swimming in there, you are swimming in our drinking water! If you wanna be a nice visitor, please take my advice and never dip into that infinity pool. In fact, there are warning signs telling you not to do that.
Lantau East (Chi Ma Wan Peninsula) - From Bui O to Mui Wo, 5 beaches in a row
MTR to Tung Chung, change to bus no. 3M or A35 and get off at Bui O, walking to the direction of Mong Tung Wan. The beaches are not as good as the one in Lantau West, but the hiking is more challenging and the scene is more beautiful.
Sure there are many more hiking spots worthy to check out in HK (See "Specific-Areas" section). There are many hiking guides written in English for everyone which could be found in most bookstores here also.
March, 2017 (Version 6.0);
since January 01, 2007
Best viewed in 1024 x 768 resolution; IE 11 / Safari / Chrome / Firefox - By Lorencio H M Shiu; all rights reserved MMVII - MMXVIII
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