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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Wong Nai Chung Gap to Repulse Bay via Violet Hill (紫羅蘭山)

4.3km (1.5 hours)

5/10. Elevation gain is 207m

Cel phone coverage: Full.

Water needs: 0.5 liter. 30% shaded

Appreciation: 8/10

Exercise Area: No

Transportation: Bus #6 from Exchange Square. Return via 6, 6X, many others.

Why it's worth it: 

Take bus #6, stop at 'Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park, Wong Nai Chung Gap Road'. This is a sectional fare so you can get a partial refund on your Octopus by tapping it on your way out. Walk in the same direction as the bus, towards the bridge

Take the stairs on the left, right before the bridge.

Head left at the very top of the stairs.

Keep walking until you get quite close to the ParkView estate (seen on the left on the picture above). You will see a flight of stairs on your right which you must take. Quite straightforward from there for about 15-20 minutes.

You'll get to this fork. Head left towards Tsin Shui Wan Au

Next crossroad. Keep going straight.

At the next crossroad, down the stairs head right, following the catch water for about 3 meters

Leave the catch water and follow the path down on the right, between the 2 sign boards. Last stretch to Repulse Bay

Back to civilization!

Keep going straight.

Left at the round-about

Right after these houses...

... turn right on the next road.

There you are, The Pulse building. Go through...

... and you are at Repulse Bay beach!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

San Uk Ka (Tai Po) to Shing Mun Reservoir (Tsuen Wan) via Lead Mine Pass and Needle Hill (針山)

11km (4 hours)

6.5/10. Elevation gain is 620m 

Cel phone coverage: Full.

Water needs: 1.5 liter. Mostly shaded except for the Needle Hill ascent part

Appreciation: 8/10

Exercise Area: No

Transportation: Tai Po Market MTR exit 'B'. Green minibus 23K. Return via Green Minibus 82M to Tsuen Wan MTR.

Why it's worth it: 
Take the MTR all the way to Tai Po Market station. Get out at Exit 'B', you will see the bus terminus on the right, right off the MTR station. Take the 23K which comes by quite frequently.

You will get out at the terminus (the minibus will actually backtrack, and return on Wun Yiu road). Easy to know you have arrived because everybody's getting off, and there's these children play structures on the left of the terminus.

Keep going on Wun Yiu road.

About 7 minutes and 300m into the hike, head right. Path on the left just goes to the river.

Another 100m farther  and you'll get to this fork, follow Lead Mine Pass on the left. This is still Wun Yiu road.

Left again at the Wilson Trail map (you are on the Wilson trail at this point BTW)
Head right

At Wilson trail W087 marker, 850m into your hike, you'll see stairs on the right which you must take. You will see quite a few paths on the left and right over the next few hundred meters. These go to burial sites. Just keep straight on the path


You'll go by a waterfall, on your right

About 1 hour and 2.7km into your hike, you'll reach the toilets and gazebo at Lead Mine Pass.

Go left at the gazebo, towards Tai Po Kau
You are now on Maclehose trail

Follow Needle Hill/Grassy Hill

Lots of signage, can't really get lost

About 1h45min and 5.6km into your hike, you'll reach this fork with a view of Needle Hill ahead. Head left

Head right

Head left toward Needle Hill

Needle Hill, ever larger in front of you... Quite a few steps but nothing too hard

At the top! Then go down the other side

You've reached the road, with the dam in front of you. You can take the path on the left, or go straight as there's a flight of stairs providing a shortcut. Cross the dam. Then, just follow the paved road all the way

Keep following the road until you reach the Pineapple dam which will be on your right. That is where Green Minibus 82M's terminus is (right in front of the stairs). 82M will get you back to Tsuen Wan. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

IFC mall to Wong Chuk Hang via The Peak and Hong Kong Trail

14km (4.5 hour)

5/10. Elevation gain is 520m. The last 500m has steeper downclimb on loose rocks and mild bushwacking. 

Cel phone coverage: Full.

Water needs: 1.5 liter. Shaded throughout.

Appreciation: 8/10. You will get the classic Hong Kong harbour view from the Peak. Nice one to do when it is hot as the Peak's micro-climate keep it cooler.

Exercise Area: No

Transportation: Hong Kong station MTR. Return via Wong Chuk Hang MTR.

Why it's worth it: 


Exit at IFC1 (the big mall atop Hong Kong MTR station)

You can start at the escalator level, next to the 100QRC building. If you wait for 10:30 am, the escalator should be going up. Just follow the path of the escalator all the way to its end (~15 min, 1 km).

Escalator ends here, on Conduit Road. Head right but stay on the left side of the road.

After about a 300-400m walk, cross the street at the lights and go up on Hornsey Rd

You'll reach Old Peak Road after having walked about 600m.
Head left, take the stairs, and then keep going up on Old Peak Road.

Stay on your right here. Be on the lookout for a city boundary stone which will be on your right, about 50m further up.
This was the boundary of Victoria City in 1903

Another km on Old Peak Road and you'll reach this point, head right. You will go by a big red house on your left.

Almost at The Peak! Just a few meters left...

At The Peak, if you go left past the building, you'll get to the iconic Hong Kong harbour view. When you are done, retrace your step and go back to the top of the steps where you arrived at the Peak.
Take the road on the right, that goes between the Peak mall, and the little house with a red roof.

Just about 15m down on that road, take a right down the path with the fence (not sure why there's a fence there BTW

Very pwetty...
About an hour an 20 minutes into your hike (5k). Take a left.
Take a left here so you can go to the Pok Fu Lam View Compass (5.5k)
Go straight
Nice view of Pok Fu Lam. Keep going afterwards.
Left after the stairs
Left, towards Aberdeen (6.6k)
Right (6.7k)
Follow Hong Kong Trail, on the left (you will see the trail marker stone)
Left, follow the drainage canal
Now, do not miss this one! At 11.15km, between 2:40 and 3:10 hours into the hike. If you miss it, you'll do a big detour. Take the steps down on the right. It is slippery and there's a rope but if you are careful, not very dangerous.
Head right
Follow the sign for Aberdeen Lower Reservoir
Walk atop the dam
At this junction, leave the path and continue following the water retention canal. 12k mark
View of Wong Chuk Hang
Another one not to be missed as it is your exit point to Wong Chuk Hang; At 12.5k or about, keep an eye on the right for an opening that is marked with blue ribbons. It is overgrown and mild bushwhacking is required. But there are tons of ribbons so you should not get lost. Just make sure you get there before nightfall.
Finally! Civilization! Down the stairs...
Take the overpass.
Nice in a retro-futuristic kind of way...
Wong Chuk Hang MTR. Hope that was fun!

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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!