Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hong Kong Mini Grand Canyon, Po Lo Shan - Pineapple Mountain (菠蘿山)


75 minutes

Difficulty: 3/10

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 1 liter

Appreciation: 6/10. Don't have too high expectations, the "Grand Canyon" is quite small. I also don't like the return access which is via an infrequent minibus

Transportation: Red light rail #505 to Leung King Light Rail MTR station from Siu Hong MTR station on West Rail line. Return via minibus at Ha Pak Lai

Why it's worth it:
Take the West Rail MTR line and get off at Siu Hong. Then take red light rail #505 and alight at Leung King. Cross the tracks, and you will be in front of Leung King Plaza. 

Go around Leung King Plaza (on the right)

You'll see a little walkway that gets you to a road, where you head left.
No major risk of getting lost there, the village is so small.

Just walk along the road...

... until the road curves to the left and, to your right, you'll see a path going up the hill.
That's the beginning of the trail.

The PLA area gates might be closed, just go around. From that point on, you just have to follow the main trail (don't divert via any side-trail which may be going up mountains or hills). You'll go up for maybe 30 minutes and then down towards the canyon.

And eventually the path will get you here. Be careful at the edges

Once you're done, keep going, following the path down towards Ha Pak Lai.
You'll get to this point where the PLA is informing you that you essentially have gone all rogue and illegal.
Head right

Then left here towards the village and the minibus terminus.
The terminus is a good 10 minutes walk away

The beach, on your right, along the way to the minibus.
Quite dirty and stinky, but good for sunset pictures

There you go, minibus stop. Usually busy on weekend around sunset time

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Short urban walk to Garden Hill in Sham Shui Po. The night photographers' hangout (嘉頓山)


15 minutes

Difficulty: 2/10

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 0.5 liter

Appreciation: 8/10. Good views of Kowloon and a great place to watch the sunset. Really easy to access.

Transportation: Exit D2 of Sham Shui Po MTR

Why it's worth it:

Real easy; get out at exit D2, Sham Shui Po MTR (Green line)

Then go straight on Kweilin street (the Golden Computer Center is right on your left at the exit)

After about a 5 minutes walk, you'll get to Castle Peak road, with the Mei Ho house in plain sight.
The hill behind is Garden Hill. Cross the street

The Garden bakery, from where the hill gets its name by the locals

Once across the street, head right to go around the fence, then left on Berwick street so you can reach the Mei Ho house

Right before the house, you'll get to this point, there's even signage on the wall pointing to the right direction.
You'll then arrive to the stairs on the left that will take you up Garden Hill

Enjoy the view!

Lots of peeps there at night!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Wild Hong Kong touring Dragon's Back

Seems that Google fixed my Blogger problem. That was quick; just 1 day after I reported it. Would have been nice if they would have let me know however. But hey, Blogger is free so, I can't complain too much.

Anyhow, here are some developments of late: I have gotten a few requests to organize hiking tours and while I can do this, this is certainly not the focus of this blog. I figured it would be better to leave that part to the pros.

So, when I got a new follower a few months back under the name "Wild Hong Kong", I was curious and did some Googling. Happens to be the Hong Kong Eco-Tour business of Rory Mackay, who specializes in Hong Kong hiking, kayaking, cycling, and canyoning tours.

I met Rory and told him there was an opportunity for mutual benefit in what I was doing with HikeHongKong and what he built with WildHongKong.
Hence the referral to his site. 
In the end, I get a cut (full disclosure) and you get a discount (5%)

However, before I could recommend Rory's tour, I wanted to make sure I tried them myself. So I did this past Sunday. It has been raining like crazy for the past 2 weeks so we were lucky for clear skies, which is best for Dragon's Back.

Right off the minibus stop, weather was perfect. Not too hot.

Admiring the view of Shek-O beach from Dragon's Back (Rory on the right)

Postcard-perfect view on a sunny day

As I said, it's been raining hard for pretty much every day and streams which are usually trickles were full
I found Rory's tour to be very nice; he obviously knows the trails, but he was also very knowledgeable in answering questions the group had about Hong Kong, the various sights we would encounter, and about the flora and fauna (I learned a few things myself about these gigantic spiders that we sometimes see on the trails. No worries though, they keep to themselves).

All-in-all, a great day and probably the best way to have a condensed "best of Hong Kong's outdoors" experience for a person or a group visiting Hong Kong.

If you are in Hong Kong for a few days, plan a tour with Rory to see the wild side of Hong Kong that is less frequently covered by the tourists (the more frequently covered wild side being Lan Kwai Fong, but that's another story altogether)

Instructions to get the Wild Hong Kong discount:
When you have decided on a tour, proceed to booking by clicking on 'Make a Booking', fill out all the required information, and then make sure to use your HikeHongKong discount/promo code HIKEHONGKONG2016 in the field 'Promotional Code' at the bottom right of the page. This will get you a 5% discount on your tour.

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!