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Encircling Hong Kong Island’s Coastlines on Foot (Part One) July 2021

Traversing Hong Kong Island’s stunning Coastline n foot offers the ultimate visual treats; check out CityLife Hong Kong Island Coastline route for your next excursion. We start with a invigorating walk along the whole Victoria Harbour
 
 
 
It is safe to say many have wanted to walk the coastline of Hong Kong Island - all of it? And why not? Though only 79 square kilometres by area, Hong Kong is blessed with over a long and meandering coastline of 65 kilometres long. More impressively, the coastline is endowed with amazing geographical diversity, and a microcosm of Hong Kong's natural beauty. Whether it is a magnificent harbour, sandy beaches, rugged coastlines, wooded headlands, sea channels, quite bays or shelter coves, the Island's coastline embodies them all.
 
 
The challenge, though, is being able to walk along the coastline as closely to the water as possible, possibly with a view of the water, as there are quite a few manmade and natural obstacles that stand in the way. These obstacles include buildings or facilities built right on the water but without waterfront easement, off-limits sites, and rugged headlands and rocky bluffs with no walking paths.
 
 
 
Still, with rigorous planning and a deep knowledge of the island's coastline, it is possible to plot out a circular route that allows the intrepid hiker to cling to the coastline as much as possible, especially along Victoria Harbour on the northern part of the island. The Hong Kong Government has done an admirable job of beautifying the harbourfront and making it continuously pedestrian, with just a few sections here and there blocking waterfront access. Steadily, the harbourfront is being transformed into a vibrant, pedestrian friendly, living space framed by one of the world's most spectacular skylines. As to the other parts of the island, thanks to other waterfront promenades, hiking trails and coastal roads, a willing hiker should be able to traverse most of the island's coastline and be rewarded with a dizzying variety of sensory treats.
 
 
CityLife has just done that – a walking tour around the whole island, with points of interest identified along the way. Due to its length, the tour is divided into four sections, each of which is worth a full day's hike. The tour is designed to go around the island counterclockwise, starting from Shau Kei Wan on the island's eastern part. Each segment offers a different environment as to its scenery, setting, and ambience, ranging from vertical built environments, to picturesque sea channels and old fishing harbours, to expansive beaches and luxury neighbourhoods of the glamorous southside, and to sleepy bays, pristine beaches and rocky shorelines formed from the relentless, pounding waves over an eternity. It's as good an excursion as any to showcase what makes Hong Kong such a fantastic place to live , and visit! This month we start with section 1, a walk along the city's magnificent Victoria Harbour.
 
 
 
Section 1 – Northern Hong Kong Coastline – Victoria Harbour (from Shau Kei Wan to Kennesy Town); distance: approximately 14-15 kilometres; Time -around 5 to 6 hours
Our route starts from the waterfront adjacent to the Hong Kong Coastal Museum (temporarily closed for renovation) and going eastwards until we reach the Victoria City Boundary Stone on Sai Ning Street in Kennedy Town.
 
 
 
 
1.Shau Kei Wan Typhoon Shelter: The route starts from Tam Kung Temple Road, named after one of the city's most well-known Tam Kung temples which organises a raucous celebration on Tam Kung's birthday every year. The street runs into the promenade along the typhoon shelter. A large public park, Aldrich Bay Park, which houses a running track, a children's playground, and nice setting out areas, is worth a visit.
 
 
 
Sai Wan Ho Waterfront: The promenade extends to Sai Wan Ho, passing through Grand Promenade, and onto Soho East, a street along the waterfront lined with trendy restaurants and bars. The Sai Wan Ho Ferry Pier offers old-style ferry rides to Lei Yue Mun and Kwun Tong. The view of the mountains across Kowloon and the impenetrable wall of buildings is something to behold.
 
 
 
 
Quarry Bay Park and Quarry Bay Promenade: a long stretch of scenic waterfront overlooking the eastern part of Victoria harbour. The boardwalk is a haven for joggers, tai chi practitioners and those that just want to enjoy the waterfront. You can pop onto the Alexander Grantham Fireboat or bring your pet to the dog run at the end of the park.
 
 
 
North Point Promenade and Ferry Piers: After passing thought the waterfront underneath the Eastern Corridor Expressway, the waterfront ends for pedestrians for about half a kilometre as several buildings take up the waterfront access. Walk along Java Road and go back onto the Northpoint Promenade and Dog Park where the ferry piers are. The promenade is less than 400 metres long and then the waterfront is impeded by several large residential developments and an industrial area in Tin Hau. You'll have to go back out to Java Road again for almost 1.3 kilometres until you reach Causeway Bay Fire Station on Electric Road.
 
 
 
Causeway Bay waterfront /Typhoon Shelter: The promenade along the typhoon shelter is taking shape nicely. The road fronting the typhoon shelter is a favourite bike route on Hong Kong Island. The Noon Day Gun, which goes off once a day, is near the end of the typhoon shelter, Continue along the waterfront, passing by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club along Hung Hing Road, and you'll reach the newly opened Wan Chai Temporary Promenade, which has fast becoming a local attraction.
 
 
 
Wan Chai Temporary Promenade: While most of the waterfront is complete, the eastern end starting from the Yach Club remains to be built, which should include a dog run. In any case the promenade is now colourfully adorned with anime characters plus nicely landscaped seating areas showcasing well-known landmarks of Wan Chai. Both the promenade itself and the roof top of the Wan Chai Ferry Pier are great spots for photo-taking, offering panoramic views of the harbour and the mountains behind.
 

 

Harbourfront Promenade: The Wan Chai promenades extends onto the Harbourfront Promenade, circumventing the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Golden Bauhinia Square. The promenade starts with the Ani Com Park, which continues the anime theme of the entire waterfront. The section linking Wan Chai to Central is now fully open , with tasteful landscape, aesthetically pleasing seating areas, and fun cartoon characters livening up the promenade. The spacious Tamar Park in the background offers a welcome respite for those weary.
 
 
 
Central Harbourfront: This iconic stretch of the waterfront at the heart of Victoria Harbour is a beehive of activities. The Observation Wheel looms above the waterfront; the open area has turned into a chaotic but fun haven for busking by singers of all stripes. The 10 ferry piers serves as the city's hub for ferry and boat traffic ranging from the famed Star Ferry, to mostly of the outlying island ferries, to public piers for pleasure crafts, and even hosts a highly enjoyable and educational Hong Kong Maritime Museum to boot . And views of the harbour and the skyscrapers looming above are unmatched anywhere.
 
 
 
 
Central and Western District Promenade – Sheung wan, Sai Ying Pun and Western Sheung Wan. The promenade continues after the ferry piers, passing underneath The Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal before connecting to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park. The expansive grassy park is popular with children and adults. Further on, the waterfront which continues in front of the Western Wholesale Food Market, is usually busy with joggers and strollers. Here the views become more expansive as the harbour widens, and several spots along the way make for excellent photo-spots to take in the sunset. The popular Western District Public Cargo Working Area, dubbed Instagram Pier, is now closed to passersby, so you'll have to walk along Fung Mat Road and back to Shing Sai Road to get to Kennedy Town , still enjoying the harbour view along the way.
 
 
Kennedy Town Praya: The last segment takes the weary traveller to Kennedy Town which has been rapidly transformed int a tonic neighbourhood of high rise waterfront apartment buildings, trendy eateries, and a popular boardwalk. The waterfront ends at Victoria City Boundary Stone on Sai Ning Street which you can get to along the waterfront, with a detour by-passing the China Merchants Wharf along Sai Ning Street. If sunset is your thing, you can walk along Victoria Road to get to Sai Wan Swimming Shed and Jubilee Battery right on the coast to enjoy fantastic sunsets and to begin our next section which will takes is to Aberdeen and beyond.
 

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