TRAVEL GUIDE 2017
Never one to spend an excessive amount of time in shops, SHAMUS SILLAR instead gets acquainted with Hong Kong’s great outdoors via three easily accessible half-day nature walks. Hiking in HongKong
#1 HONG KONG TRAIL (Sections 2-3) Location: The Peak & Pokfulam Country Park Length: 15-20 km (around four hours) Level: Easy to moderate
What is it? The Hong Kong Trail is a 50km walking track that meanders around the forests and ridges of Hong Kong Island. It’s divided into eight sections; Section 1 starts at Victoria Peak (“The Peak”), whose famous panoramas have attracted visitors since the mid-1800s. Tackle each section individually, or devise your own route that takes in several sections at a time. I did the whole of Sections 2 and 3, together with some bits of 1 and 4. What’s good about it? Singapore might be one of only two cities in the world that has a rainforest within its city limits – Rio de Janeiro is the other one – yet not even it can rival HK as far as immediate contrasts between towering steel-and-glass cityscapes and dense forests go. I was lucky enough to get a misty morning, too, which only heightened the distinction. Who’s doing it? It depends on the section; close to the Peak, you’ll find plenty of tourists and locals (especially couples), along with expats training for long-distance running events.
What’s at the end of it? If, like me, you finish at the end of Section 3 or 4, you’ll find yourself on the south side of Hong Kong Island. Plenty to do here: get on a junk in Aberdeen, explore up-and-coming trendy district Wong Chuk Hang, or get a bus further east to Stanley to see themarkets and grab some lunch. How do you get there? You can get to the Peak on the famous Peak Tram – a fun start to the day. Alternatively, walk up from Central (30 minutes); this is a tough climb, but it’s a great way to get the heart started for what’s to follow.
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