Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nam Sang Wai farm and wetland

(5 kilometers) Between 2 and 2.5 hours depending on walking speed.

Difficulty: 1/10. 

Appreciation: 2/10, 6/10 if you love birds because there are a lot. We thought it was a bit boring.

Transportation:  Take the MTR to Yuen Long, exit G1 or G2, then take Kowloon Motor Bus 76K on Long Yat Road across from the MTR station. Get off at Hung Mo Bridge bus stop at Castle Peak Road (紅毛橋 HUNG MO KIU stop).
The loop brings you back to the Yuen Long MTR station.

Why it's worth it: Well, I'm not sure it really is because there are so many nice outdoor spots to hike to that are nicer, but anyway.


 Once at teh Yuen Long MTR, exit G1 (you'll then have to cross the street) or G2 (you won't have to),
then take Kowloon Motor Bus 76K on Long Yat Road across from the MTR station.

Get off 76K at Hung Mo Bridge bus stop, at Castle Peak Road (紅毛橋 HUNG MO KIU stop).
Walk towards the bridge in direction of traffic.

You will turn left at the first road.

At this point, just keep on Nam Sang Wai road and follow the river until the very end of the road (about 4k).

You will then keep going on the dirt road. It can get very muddy when it rained.

At the blue house, head right.

You'll have to take the row-boat, HKD $5.

After the little boat crossing, you'll arrive on Shan Pui Road. Head right and continue until you reach Yuen Long Kau Hui Road and turn left. It will bring you back to the MTR.
The MTR is right by those buildings so you can't really get lost.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

MacLehose section 7&8

(17 kilometers) Between 5 and 6 hours depending on walking speed.

Difficulty: 8.5/10. Climb the highest mountain in Hong Kong, Tai Mo Shan, at 960 meters.

Appreciation: 7.5/10. You must absolutely go on a clear day to enjoy the views as you are going to be quite high and risk being in the clouds otherwise.

Transportation:  4 minutes green minibus 94/94a ride from Kwai Hing MTR. ( Stop at 'Wo Yi Hop Road, Opposite Mrs. Wu York Yu Health Centre' (94) or 'Wo Yi Hop Road, Outside Lei Muk Shue Estate Redevelopment Project' (94a). The path starts in front of the Lei Muk Shue Shopping Centre. Or, you can walk there from Kwai Hing (about 1.5k).
At the end of Section 8, you'll end up on Route Twisk right next to a bus stop where KMB bus 51 (郊野公園 COUNTRY PARK stop) will bring you to the Tsuen Wan West MTR station (about 15 minutes).


Why it's worth it: 
Out of Kwai Hing MTR Exit B, you should be able to find green minibus 94 or 94A easily.

Take 94/94A to Lei Muk Shue Shopping Centre.  

Or walk there from Kwai Hing. About 1.5k.

Map to the trail head.

Cross Wo Yi Hop Road, climb the stairs, go by the pumping station and up the paved road.

You'll be walking for about 10 minutes to an intersection at the  end of the road, right  by the reservoir.
Turn right. You'll walk another 100 or so meters to the BBQ site which is the beginning of Section 7.

Go over the dam.

Turn right just after the dam.

After 25 meters or so, you'll be at the  Section 7 trail arch. That's where you want to go.
Don't make the mistake of going on the paved road.

Just follow the MacLehose signs and distance posts (every 500 meters) and there should be no problems.
This fork is about halfway into section 7.

End of section 7. Washrooms and a little gazebo to take a quick break.
When ready,  go on to section 8 behind the washrooms.

Last point which may be misleading, about 150 meters after the start of Section 8; you will turn right.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tung Chung to Tai O

Between 3 and 4 hours depending on walking speed (took me 3 1/4)

Difficulty: 3/10. Pretty much flat and paved all the way. Not a 1 because it's 15k long.

Appreciation: 8/10. Nice walk with a some history and good food.

Transportation: Tung Chung MTR to get there. In Tai O, you can take the ferry back to Central or return bus to various locations (including back to Tung Chung)

Garmin GPS route: 

Why it's worth it: 
(300 years old Camphor Trees in Sha Lo Wan, Tai O's "uncles" dishing out the snacks, ocean and mountain views, 300 years old Yeung Hau temple in Po Chue Tam.


Tung Chung MTR Exit A.

Cross all the cab stops towards the apartment towers  in front of Exit A.

Refer to Point 1 on the map. You will be on a path that parallels Tai Tung Road until it reaches Shun Tung Road.
Do not turn right into the tunnel, instead, turn left.

After about 100 meters, there will be a tunnel on your right. Take it.

Bunch of steps right in front of you. Don't take them, follow the path on the left.

Click to enlarge.
After the tunnel, walk about 200 meters and take the catwalk over  Chung Yan Road.
Keep walking for another 200 meters or so, you'll go past housing estates on your right  and get to another  catwalk. Don't take that one, just keep going straight.

Just before the end of Tu Yung Road, you will turn right at a sign post  indicating the way to Hau Wong temple.
Down the stairs, turn left.

In general, just follow the signs indicating Tai O.

About 1 kilometer in, in a small village.

Just added this one because it may be confusing. But again, just follow the signs that indicate Tai O. From this point on, in it smooth walking without real possibilities of a wrong turn until Sham Wat Wan, 9 kilometers along the way.

Sham Wat Wan. The ladies there at the village will surely remind you that there's food to be had if you are hungry. If you don't plan to stop, keep walking on the road through the village and over the bridge.

About 100 meters after the bridge, there will be a path on your right with signage indicating Tai O,  take this path on your right. From that point on, it's very easy to follow the Tai O signage all the way to Tai O. In Tai O, you can't really get lost. The buses are after the 2 bridges in the town.

Monday, January 2, 2012

MacLehose Section 6

(4.6 kilometers) Between 45 minutes and an hour depending on walking speed.

Difficulty: 3/10. Quite easy, really short.

Appreciation: 4/10. Kinda boring but if you like monkeys, you'll see plenty! If you want full bragging rights for MacLehose, you gotta do it.

Transportation: Many ways to get to the starting point from many MTR stations. Check bus routes 81 (Jordan Road next to Austin MTR, Nathan road next to Prince Edward MTR), 86 or 86B for the most convenient one ( Stop at 石梨貝水塘 SHEK LEI PUI RESERVOIR
At the end of the trail, just follow my instructions to get to Wo Yi Hop Road where you will be able to catch buses going pretty much anywhere you need (city bus 278, 278x, 248p, etc, or green minibus 94/94a to Kwai Hing MTR) or even walk to Kwai Hing MTR which is about 1km away.

Why it's worth it: 
Click to enlarge
The Sheik Lei Pui Reservoir bus stop were you will get off.
Go under the bridge.

You will be walking for about 150 meters and then turn left towards the reservoir. 

Follow the path over the birdge by the reservoir, then over the dam.
Pretty straight forward from that point on. Just follow the MacLehose signs.

This section is quite short. Just highlighting the intersections where you may  be unsure where to turn.

Done already? Yep. After the incredible beauty of the previous sections,this is a bit of a downer.

But let me get you back to civilization.  Follow Shing Mun Road road.

You'll reach an intersection where a path veers sharply and goes down. That's the path you want to take.
Just follow that road down until you reach the pumping station.
There will be a flight of stairs down to  Wo Yi Hop road where you will find a bus stop.

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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!