Trail marked by a hiker along the way to Nam She Tsim
Hiking in Hong Kong
Hiking is one of the most fascinating activities in Hong Kong.
Though not exactly fitting to the subject of Higher Education
System in Hong Kong, it is surprising to learn that Hong Kong is
three-quarters wilderness and only one quarter urbanized area. The
many smooth hills, rocks, and islands mix with skyscrapers and the
ocean forms an infinity pool together with the blue sky.
Altogether, this renders hiking in Hong Kong a truly unique
No matter which place one wants to go hiking in Hong Kong, there is
always some bus stop or subway station nearby. This conveniently
allows to spontaneously organize and rapidly plan hiking trips. It
is useful to both have the name of the hiking destination written
down, and be able to pronounce it in Cantonese such that you can
tell bus drivers to stop at the right time. Maps are not always
helpful and difficult to obtain. Dense subtropical vegetation
sometimes force hikers to backtrace. Yet, with some sun protection
if necessary, one is ready to go.
Overgrown path up Victoria Peak
A local hiking group, the Hong Kong Trampers 
, offers a superb
possibility to explore unseen wilder parts, to find free-spirited
hikers, and to meet people outside of the students' community.
Good hiking seasons are fall and winter. Summer is not only very
hot but also very humid a relative humidity of around 90% which
makes one sweat profusely by just staying outside. The air is clear
and dry in Winter, though it might become a little bit chilly at
times (i.e. just need more than a tee, nothing serious).
Victoria Peak (太平山)
The most well-known hill in Hong Kong offers the best view upon the
urban area of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Escaping the
burger-eating tourists in the fast-food restaurant at the strangely
shaped Peak Tower, one can soon find more tranquil places with at
least as good view when walking around panoramic Lugard Road
, or by walking up the hill as far as possible. There are
interesting trees with aerial roots along the narrow road.
Tai Mo Shan (大帽山)
Sunset as seen from Tai Mo Shan
The highest hill in Hong Kong is 957m above sea level and is a
popular target for hikers. It has been claimed that one can even
see over to Shenzhen in Mainland China on clear days.
Unfortunately, the top of the hill hosts a military radio
station which spoils the experience. Nevertheless, an awesome
route starts at Fo Tan, leads up to Tai Mo Shan and then descends
to Tsuen Wan. The region around Tai Mo Shan is home to herds of
wild cows that belong to no one.
Ma On Shan (馬鞍山)
View from Ma On Shan down on Tolo Harbor
Ma On Shan definitely offers one of the most astonishing views of
Hong Kong. It is located between Sai Kung and Sha Tin valley. At an
elevation of 702m one can see skyscrapers towering above some hills
in between, and also see Sai Kung Country Park, Clear Water Bay,
HKUST, the Sha Tin valley, Tai Mo Shan. It also offers one of the
few steep, more interesting paths in Hong Kong. Warning signs
should always be read because they are reliable indicators for
off-the-beaten trails. If you are lucky, you can see into monkeys
in this area.
Nam She Tsim (蚺蛇尖)
A bull belonging to no-one on the road to Pak Tam Au (北潭凹)
Nam She Tsim is located in Sai Kung Country Park and is also called
Sharp Peak for its blade-like shape. It is in a sparsely populated
region near an old Hakka settlement. From its top, one can see down
to Big Wave Bay. The path to the top is exposed and it is more
comfortable to walk up Nam She Tsim in winter. Sometimes wild cows
take advantage of the existing roads and trails.
Tai Long Wan (大浪灣)
Tai Long Wan, or Big Wave Bay in Sai Kung Country Park is one of
the most beautiful spots in Hong Kong. Small rivers flow into the
ocean here. A (now no-longer, and not that) secret path leads up
the river to small water-cascades with comfortably-temperatured
pools of clean water. These water pools offer a refreshing, cooler,
and foremost cleaner alternative to going for swimming in the South
China Sea (also there are fewer sharks in the pools ...).
Tranquil bay on Lamma Island
Lamma Island (博寮洲)
Lamma Island is worth a visit. The island offers a rare view on
Hong Kong island from the south and finally lures visitors by its
fine seafood restaurants. Also, this island has rock formations
that give clues about Hong Kong's geographical history, and it is
interesting to combine the trip with another day's visit of the
Hong ong Museum of History.
Lantau Island (大屿山
With Hong Kong locals on a trail towards Lantau Peak
Lantau Island offers plenty of trails, and is too large to explore
in only one day. A highlight on Lantau Island are hidden trails
that lead through rocky places along Lantau Peak. Big cargo ships
can be observed from above as well as the surreal Chep Lap Kok
airport that is built completely on reclaimed land. On Lantau
Island, it is very convenient to have a local hiker with you who
can show you the trails.
- Hong Kong Trampers. http://www.hktrampers.com accessed 2011-12-22
- Lugard Road. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lugard_Road accessed 2011-12-22