Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wilson Trail Section 1 (The Twins & Violet Hill)

(5 kilometers)
2.5 hours

Difficulty: 7/10. 631m elevation gain

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 1.5 liter

Appreciation: 8.5/10. Great views

Transportation: CTB bus 6 from Exchange Square. Get off at "Wilson Trail, Stanley Gap Road". Do not take 6x; while it will get you within 1km of the trailhead, there are no sidewalks so it is not a good idea. Return via CTB bus 6 at Wong Nai Chung Gap Road

Why it's worth it:

The "Wilson Trail, Stanley Gap Road" stop. Abundant signage of the trail-head can be found here. Take a moment to reflect on the history of the Country Parks and trails of Hong Kong...

Then start your climb up. There will be a lot of steps!

Keep going on the right of Water Catchment sign and keep going up

Be sure to look behind you from time to time!

After The TWins and about halfway into your hike, you'll arrive at this major crossroads.
Wilson 1 is across the bridge and then up on your right. If you just realized that this hike was more than you could chew, you can always follow the catch-water trail on the left after the bridge; it will get you to the same place. Although it much easier, it is also much less scenic

ParkView estates are in sight on the right

Last crossroads on the trail proper, stay on the right. You are about 1.5km away from the bus stop.
When you hit the road, head left on Tai Tam Reservoir Road and go all the way down to Wong Nai Chung Gap Road. You'll see the bus stop there which will take you back to Exchange Square

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Central, High West (西高山, or Sai Ko Shan) and Victoria Peak loop

(updated 2021-04-11)
(10 kilometers)
3.5 hours

Difficulty: 5/10. 571m elevation gain

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 1 liter

Appreciation: 8/10. Great views of the Victoria Harbour on a clear day 

Transportation: Hong Kong MTR station

Why it's worth it:

Exercise Area: Yes
Starting at the IFC mall, exit to the escalator

Then, pretty easy, just go all the way up the escalator...

All the way! Until there's no escalator anymore...
You'll arrive on Conduit road. Head right on Conduit Road

You'll do maybe 1k on Conduit Road

Until you reach Hatton Rd on your left. Take Hatton Road up

Pretty easy at this point, just follow the Morning Trail signage

All the way up to the flat portion where there's a pavilion where Hatton, Harlech and Luggard roads meet. 

Go through the park past the pavilion and in the opposite corner, you'll see the path to High West.
There's no way out. So, you will go all the way up to High West peak. Nice 360 degrees views on a clear day!
Then back down to the pavilion here. 

Back at the pavilion, take Luggard Road for about 10m, you'll see steps on your right. Take them, they go up to Victoria Peak Garden. That's about a 15 minutes walk up

Just stay on the left

This pavilion overlooks the garden below

Once you are done admiring the garden, go through it in the diagonally opposite direction and down the path

Then first left...

Quite beautiful... Erik Satie's music as background music would go quite well here...

On your first left in this park, take the stairs

Going by the old gates. The "commercial" Peak is not far away

There ya go...

Go down on the left of the Peak tower, by the washrooms. From that point on, quite simple, just keep going down.
Can't get lost. You're "back" to the city...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

West Dog's Teeth (Kau Nga Ling - 狗牙嶺)

(Updated: 2021/01/02)
Duration: 7.5 kilometers (4 hours)

Difficulty: 8/10. There's scrambling so if you are afraid of heights, not a good one for you!

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 1.5 liter. 20% shaded.

Appreciation: 10/10. Very scenic

Transportation: MTR to Tung Chung, then bus #11 or #23 (gets quite busy on weekends). Or ferry to Mui Wo, then bus #1 or #2. Get off at "Shek Pik Police Station" (Police stand. Right before the dam. Or, next one right after the dam if you missed it. There are toilets right after the dam)
Return via various buses at Big Buddha or via cable car to Tung Chung.

Why it's worth it:

Map & Details: 

Exercise Area: No
Get off at "Shek Pik Police Station" (police stand). That's the stop right before the Shek Pik reservoir.

From the stop, retrace your step in the direction the bus came from (so, opposite the dam). There's a sidewalk all the way on the left.

After about 500m, you'll arrive at the Country Park entrance.
Go past the barrier and keep walking towards the first bridge, about 100m away

Take the bridge and just follow the path. There's no really any other way but for the well delimited path

Some stairs... keep going... the path will meander. 

About 1 hour into the hike (~3.3km), you'll arrive here. That's where you leave the path and start your ascent on the "teeth" proper (the ridge). On your right, there's a red sign warning not to climb the rock, danger, blah blah, and white markings on the rock. Well, that's where you're climbing buddy! The next 500m or so is quite heavy scrambling. 

The rest is pretty straightforward; while there's no "official" path, the ground is beaten from the many hikers that have taken it and you won't get lost. Furthermore, you're on the ridge so, there isn't anywhere else to go. Look back from time to time as it is very picturesque!

Final destination (Da Big Budha/Ngong Ping) will be on your left while you're climbing the ridge

This is the rock formation that will mark the end of your climb for today.

About 5.3km/2h 40min in, you are virtually done climbing (just a tiny bit more, and easy).
Keep going towards the top, don't take the path that is going down. The rock that you see up at a distance...

... is this rock. You are done climbing. And you are now on Lantau trail.
The stairs on your left will lead you to Ngong Ping, the end of your trip. There are a lot of stairs though...

Almost at the end. Go straight

Budha in sight. Buses and the cable-car are not far behind.
A superb trail!

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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!