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Uniquely HK

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Hong Kong Outdoors Guide – Spring 2022

Amidst the spread of a Covid pandemic in the city, there is no better place to be than the outdoors where the likelihood of transmission is minimal, especially in wide open outdoor spaces of which Hong Kong has in abundance. 
And the early spring weather in Hong Kong, mostly mild temperatures and frequent sunny skies, is ideal for exploring and enjoy the myriad outdoor activities available. 
So, whether it’s a day trip to a quiet outlying island, a lovely spring hike with stunning views, a relaxed family walk through shaded foliage or enchanting reservoirs, geological exploration of fantastic rock formations, or strolling through tranquil urban parks, you are spoilt for choice. Our choices this month include both our favourite destinations and others that are quiet and off-the-beaten path for those that enjoy solitude. 
 
Islands
Tung Lung Chau: This pristine island lying just off the Clearwater Bay Peninsula is a real hidden gem. Reachable only on weekends and public holidays, Tung Lung Island is famous for rock climbing along its northeast coastline. There is an old, abandoned fort with a camp site nearby. A scenic footpath offers unimpeded views of the sea and the peninsula across. It won’t take long before you are disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the city just minutes away. Catch the ferry at Sai Wan Ho at the pier inside the Aldrich Bay Typhoon Shelter near Grand Promenade or at Sam Ka Tsuen Ferry Pier in Lei Yue Mun. 
Po Toi: Located Just south of the Stanley Peninsula, Po Toi offers primitive but navigable hiking trails leading to panoramic views of the sea and neighbouring islands, cliffs and rocks and spectacular rock formations along the rocky shore. There are ferries available from Aberdeen and Stanley, mostly on weekends and public holidays. A seafood restaurant awaits the hungry after a day’s adventure. Aberdeen Pier on Aberdeen Praya Road. 
Tap Mun (Grass Island): This unspoilt island and fishing village off Sai Kung Peninsula is out of the way but well worth a visit. As you step off the boat, you can almost feel time slowing down as Tap Mun’s traditional fishing village still ticks to the old rhythms of life. It’s an easy one-hour walk around the island. You’ll see cows still roaming the fields and little fishing boats bobbing nearby. There are a few stores and restaurants: be sure to try the fried rice with local sea urchin roe. To get there, either take a ferry from Ma Liu Shui or catch a bus from Sai Kung town to Wong Shek Pier for the 30-minute kaito ferry ride to the island. 
 
 
 
Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark: Without doubt Hong Kong’s geological crown jewel, the Hong Kong Geopark, located in the northeast part of Hong Kong, showcases spectacular coastal rock formations and other unique geological features. Grouped under eight areas, the geopark covers two of Hong Kong’s major rock formations: Volcanic rocks and sedimentary rocks. The best example of sedimentary shale formation is probably in Tung Ping Chau located in the most north-easterly part of Hong Kong, within swimming distance of Shenzhen, itself a favourite weekend spot for locals. 
For viewing truly spectacular volcanic hexagonal columns and basalt columns, exposed by millions of years of relentless erosion from pounding waves, go visit the Geopark’s islands in eastern Sai Kung such as Sharp Island, the Ninepin Islands as well as the East Dam area of High Island Reservoir. Please go to http://www.geopark.gov.hk/en index.htm for details. 
 
 
 
Hiking
Ma On Shan Country Park to Sai Kung via Ngong Ping and Pyramid Hill
Ma On Shan Country Park comprises a series of scenic mountain ranges that offers a wide range of hiking experiences, from the arduous ascent of Ma On Shan peak to more moderate trails traversing the park. One popular hike that offers gorgeous views of the town and Sai Kung to the east runs from the entrance to the Country Park in to Sai Kung, passing through the Ngong Ping and Pyramid Hill before descending to Sai Kung town. 
 
 
Start at the Country Park BBQ area then follow the Ma On Shan Country Trail towards Ngong Ping, a narrow and flat grassy plateau that offers excellent views of both Ma On Shan and Sai Kung. Proceed to the summit of Pyramid Hill before descending towards Sai Kung, exiting the trail at Chuk Yeung Road the Sa Sha Road back to Sai Kung. On a clear day, you can seemingly see forever. 
Take village bus NR84 from On Luk Street, near Ma On Shan MTR station, and get off at the BBQ area, or catch a taxi as the bus is infrequent. 
 
Sunset Peak, Lantau Island (Lantau Trail Section 1 to 3)
Part of the vaunted Lantau Trail, the hike from Mui Wo to Sunset Peak is a challenging one for the physically fit, featuring steep ascents but offering panoramic views of seas and mountains. Start at Mui Wo and follow the Lantau Trial Section 1 until you reach Nam Shan and a large BBQ site. Past Nam Shan marks the beginning of Section 2, a strenuous trek that takes you up Sunset Peak (869 metres) and its mesmerising view of Lantau Island and the South China Sea. Descend to Pak Kung Au where you can take a bus back to Tung Chung or Mui Wo or continue hiking to Ngong Ping, via another steep ascent of Lantau Peak, the island’s tallest mountain at 934 metres, before dropping down to Ngong Ping for a well-deserved rest in the village.
 
 
Take Central Ferry Pier No. 6 to Mui Wo; Return by Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car to Tung Chung or Lantau Bus 2 to Mui Wo or Bus 23 to Tung Chung. 
Pok Fu Lam Reservoir to Hong Kong University: A nice, relaxing scenic walk just minutes away from the city. Start at Pok Fu Lam Reservoir and walk along the Peak Trail towards the Peak. Enter Lugard Road at the Peak and enjoy the splendid views of the city and the Harbour. Walk along Harlech Road past the picnic area and walk down on Hatton Road where the relics of Old Pinewood Battery remain before walking down to Hong Kong University with plenty of heritage landmarks such as boundary stones and heritage buildings along the way. You may wish to detour and hike up High West and be rewarded with spectacular views of the South China Sea before descending back to HKU.
Take New World First Bus / Citybus Route No. 4, 4X, 7, 30X, 37A, 40M, 90B, 91, 94. Take Bus No.  13 back to Central. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cycling
Nam San Wai: 
One enjoyable way to explore this important wetland reserves that offers unspoiled rustic scenery of mudflats, farms and fishponds, languished rivers, tall reeds and mangroves and tree-lined paths is by bicycling. The 20-kilometre ride starts from MTR Yuen Long Station where you can rent bicycles and make the short journey to nearby to Nam Shan Wai. Once there you pass through the mangroves and marshes of Nam Shan Wai – easily one of the most idyllic and picturesque rides in Hong Kong. 
Mui Wo and South Lantau: Lantau Island offers plenty of cycling options. The bike ride around Mui Wo is arguably the most popular in Lantau, especially for the whole family. You can rent the bicycles at Mui Mo near the ferry terminal. The ride around Mui Wo taking you to Silvermine Beach, Mui Wo Village, and the Silvermine Waterfall is easy and unhurried. Mui Wo is also a good departure point for rides along Lantau Road to Pui O, Sheung Sha Wan Beaches, Shek Pik Reservoir and Tai O. The 23-kilometre ride to Tai O plus the return trip fits comfortably into less than a day. Or for a real challenge, drop to bottom gear, stand up in the pedals and ride over ‘The Beast’ – the 341-metre pass across the island to Tung Chung.
 
 
 
 
Reservoirs
Kowloon Group of Reservoirs, Kam Shan Country Park: The four reservoirs - Kowloon Reservoir, Shek Lei Pui Reservoir, Kowloon Reception Reservoir, and Kowloon Byewash Reservoir, are located in Kam Shan Country Park, with the Kowloon Reservoir the largest. Close to the city, this park offers something different: monkeys! Dubbed Monkey Hill, it is located in western Sha Tin District north of urban Kowloon. Popular with locals and visitors alike, the park is a sanctuary for macaque monkeys, with hundreds roaming around. Besides watching monkeys, the park is rich in flora and offers relics along the way.  Both the Kam Shan Tree Walk and Kam Shan Family Walk are gentle trails suitable for the children and the elderly. 
Take Kowloon Motor Bus 81 from Jordan and get off at the Kowloon Reservoir bus stop on Tai Po Road.
 
Tai Lam Chung Reservoir, Tai Lam Chung Country Park 
Arguably Hong Kong’s most picturesque reservoir, Tai Lam Chung Reservoir was constructed after World War II by damming four sides of the valley. The result - a reservoir dotted with emerald islets that were remnants of the hilltops once there. You must try the Thousand Islands’ Hike which offers a panoramic view of the reservoir and the country park. The hike, which starts from the village of So Kwun Wat Tsuen near Tuen Mun, is a relatively easy, involving a steady and gradual uphill walk from the village. The paved path eventually merges with the MacLehose Trail Section 10. Your destination is the “Reservoir Islands Viewpoint. 
Take Minibus 43 from Tuen Mun San Hui near the San Hui Market and alight at So Kwun Wat Tsuen. 
 
 
 
 
 
Urban Parks
Jordan Valley Park: Located on the valley slopes of Kowloon Peak (Fei Ngo Shan), this 6.3 - hectare urban park in Ngo Tau Kok features a full range of outdoor and indoor facilities which include two large grassy lawns, several themed gardens, a green house, children’s play area and elderly fitness corner, and an international standard radio-controlled model car circuit, among others – perfect for taking a morning stroll or just enjoying the expansive scenery. 
 
Hong Kong Park: Hong Kong Park is a sprawling urban park, nestled among skyscrapers between Central and Admiralty. Nicely landscaped, it features a large children’s playground. There is an airy aviary with a collection of exotic birds and a large greenhouse. Check out its historic buildings including the adjacent Flagstaff House Tea Ware Museum. Address: 19 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong. 
 
 
 

 

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