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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

High Island Reservoir Dam loop via Po Pin Chau (破邊洲) and Pak Lap (白腊)

Duration:  6km (2h to 3h depending on the amount of picture taking)

Difficulty: 5/10. 232m elevation gain. Easy but be very cautious walking by the cliffs.

Cel phone coverage: None

Water needs: 1.5 liter. Not shaded. 

Appreciation: 10/10

Exercise Area: No

Transportation:  From SaiKung, takes the Taxi to the East Island Dam. Stop at the blue "anchor" (High Island Reservoir Monument - 紀念碑(萬宜水庫)). Return on cab to SaiKung or, via Minibus 9 between 3pm and 5pm, in front of the monument . About $125 cab fare one-way.

Why it's worth it:

The taxi will drop you off at the blue 'anchor' stone, just before the High Island East Dam. Take the stairs just 75m before anchor.

The path is well marked, you cannot really go wrong.

About 15 minutes, 420m into the hike. #1 on the map above.

Another 200m. #2 on the map above. You are climbing towards Po Pin Chau.

Watch where you step!

Po Pin Chau in all of its glory. Retrace your steps when you are done marveling at its beauty...

Back at the fork marked by #2 on the map above, go left this time.

After another 50m or so, you will reach this fork. If you go straight, it is the most-walked path but then you will miss some of the nicer views. Head left for the scenic, yet a bit bushwhacky path. 

Just keep following the path which hugs the coast. All the way to the stone sculptures/assemblies.

Go down on your right, while still staying on the path following the coast.

Cross the stream, and keep on the same path to the left.

About 3km into the hike, almost at Tsat Chung pebble beach

Across Tsat Chung beach, and up the hill.

Then pretty much just follow the path until you reach Pak Lap. Head left for a quick peak at Pak Lap beach, and some food there...

When you are done, cross Pak Lap village (there's a concrete path)

Then, pretty obvious path that will take you up back on Sai Kung Man Yee Road (Mac 1), head right and loop back to your starting point.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Ap Chau and Crooked Island (吉澳) heritage & Geopark walk

Duration:  2km (2h at slow place with picture taking)

Difficulty: 3/10

Cel phone coverage: None

Water needs: 1 liter. Not shaded. 

Appreciation: 8/10. Some very nice and unusual views. Ap Chau is visited mostly to take pictures under the rock arch. Crooked Island is more interesting. 

Map & Details: 

Ap Chau / Duck Island

Kat O / Crooked Island

Exercise Area: No

Transportation:  These islands, in the North-Eastern part of Hong Kong, are very remote. There is a single ferry going there and back once a day. The 2 hours boat trip each way is scenic and will have you go by the "famous" Devil's fist rock formation from a distance (Devil's Fist hike). Returns tickets from Ma Liu Shui (Walking distance from University MTR station) are HKD $90. Details are here: https://www.td.gov.hk/en/transport_in_hong_kong/public_transport/ferries/kaito_services_map/service_details/index.html#k19. Tickets can be purchased at the Ma Lui Shui pier. It does get really busy on weekends so be early or risk not being able to get tickets!

Why it's worth it:


This one is an easy walk over 2 small islands. Rely on the maps above for directions. 

University MTR exit A. Exit and go left
Stop by the sign right at the exit on the left

Around and over the highway

Over the highway again, down the stairs on the left, then through. Then go through the parking lot. Once you are through all the roads, head left

There's a makeshift ticket stand under the blue glass awning. That is where you get the tickets.

You will have 1.5 hour at Ap Chau which is plenty to circle it and climb to the viewpoint. 
You have a bit more time in Kat O but the island is larger so, be mindful of time if you do not want to get stuck there overnight!

Additional information: 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Ma Shi Chau (馬屎洲)

Duration:  8km (3h)

Difficulty: 3/10. Half of it is stone path. The other is flat dirt path and beach. 150m elevation gain.

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 1.5 liter. 20% shaded. 

Appreciation: 9/10. Very nice and unusual views.

Exercise Area: No

Transportation:  Tai Po Market MTR station. Take either bus 74K or Green minibus 20k, get off at Sam Mun Tsai Village.

Why it's worth it:

Green minibus 20K at Tai Po Market MTR station

Sam Mun Tsai village where you will get off the bus. There is a roundabout.
Note the Royal China Aqua Garden restaurant in the back

Just off the bus, back a few meters, there are stairs.
Take them and go left on Sai Mun Tsai road.

After you have exited the village, you will start an easy and short climb on the first hill of the day. Tombs will be on your left and right everywhere... 

... and very nice views.

Left here. 

Left here again. About 15 minutes into your hike.

Tombolo between the two hills.

Head right after the tombolo. There is a path along the shore.

Leave the shore at this point and go back on the path on the left. You will just keep going on the path and along the shore until you reach a very big rock (there's a rope to climb it). That's the viewpoint and the end of the trail. Retrace your steps all the way back to the bus stop.

Hike Hong Kong Web Site

HikeHongKOng on Facebook

Please, don't litter!

Hiking is about communion with nature. So please pickup after yourself. There's no excuse to leave plastic bags, water bottles or any rubbish on or around the trails; if you managed to bring it, you can manage to bring it back!