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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!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Lei Tung to Ap Lei Pai (鴨脷排) via Mount Johnston (Yuk Kwai Shan-玉桂山)

3.63km total. 3 hours

8/10. Steep but short and not too much elevation (266m). Not recommended if you are afraid of heights. There are ropes to help if you feel uncertain on your feet.

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere.

Water needs: 1 liter.

Appreciation: 8.5/10. Really easy to access. Nice views.

Exercise Area: No.

Transportation: Lei Tung MTR station, exit 'B'

Why it's worth it: 
Take the MTR to Lei Tung (Ap Lei Chau) and get out at Exit B. You'll see the bus terminus. Behind it, you'll see...

... 2 little cabin for the bus service 'management'. Walk in between...

... then hop over the ledge on the left. Following the large blue pipe.

About 20 seconds later, you'll reach this point with 3 flight of stairs. Take the leftmost. By the time you do the trail, they probably will have cleared these trees that fell during the last typhoon.

At the top of the stairs, head left at the fence and go around it to another flight of stairs.

Quite simple at this point, just follow the path. It will get quite steep but there are ropes to help you up.

Top of Mount Johnston (at about 25 min into the hike)

Keep following the path, you will see Ap Lei Pai and more ropes going down. Quite steep here too...
Keep going. At the bottom, you'll cross the little natural bridge and go up on Ap Lei Pai. The path is on the right.

You'll go up and down for a while and you'll reach this lighthouse. Nice place for a picnic (don't litter!). Once you are done, just retrace your steps back to the MTR.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Shek Pik to Tai O via Fan Lau (分流)

17.5km total. 6 hours

6/10. Mostly flat. Added one point for length. While the total ascent is 452m, it is spread over the 17.5km.

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere.

Water needs: 1.5 liter.

Appreciation: 8/10. First half is a bit boring walking on concrete path. However, second half has tons of beaches, the Fanlau fort, and finishing in Tai O.

Exercise Area: No.

Transportation: Either from Tung Chung via bus 11 or 23 (but it is very busy on weekends), or from Mui Wo (Ferry #6 from Central) via bus 1. Exit at Sha Tsui stop. Return the same way from Tai O; 11 or 23 to Tung Chung, or 1 to Mui Wo.

Why it's worth it: 


The Shek Pik stop is right after the Shek Pik dam. The bus might be going down to the jail first.
Exit at Sha Tsui, climd the stairs (there's a toilet there), and head left on Wang Pui road.

Keep following the signs pointing to Fan Lau Fort

This fork is after about 10-12min walk. Head right, staying in the direction of Fan Lau Fort.

After about 1:30 hour walk on the concrete path from the bus stop, you'll reach this point where you leave concrete and join a proper hiking path. You can't miss it with the pavillion at a distance.

Head left towards View Campass/Obelisk. This is a loop so you will be coming back here in about 20-30min.
You will go by a pavilion. This is where the path will look back. Head left.

The obelisk; a bit underwhelming.  

Loop is completed... Head left now towards the beach...

You'll reach this fork. You can go straight which leads to the beach (30 seconds walk). Once you are done at the beach, retrace your steps and go to the other path, towards Fan Lau

The beach.

This is the fork where you were, head left now. 

Just a minute or two latter, you'll reach this point, head left and you'll see signage atop a few steps pointing the direction to Fan Lau on the right. That's where you want to go.

Left towards Fan Lau

You'll see a fork, a beach on the left, and a map. Head left towards the beach.
You will be on Fan Lau Country Trail

Walk on the beach. The path resumes about 20m right of the very obvious rock formation's alignment.

AFter about a 5-10 min walk from the funky rock, you'll reach the Fan Lau Fort on your left.
Once you are done at the fort, keeping going on the path. About another 10-20min walk, you'll reach a fork where you can go towards the beach or away, head towards the beach (Fan Lau Sai Wan). 

Fan Lau Sai Wan (分流西灣). Take the little bridge on the left. And then up the path.

Afterwards, there's just one path to go all the way to Tai O. You'll reach a rice farm. Just keep going in the same direction on the path. You'll soon be at the edge of the sea. That's the path to Tai O.

Arriving at Tai O. Bus terminus will be on your right.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Dai Shek Stream (大石石澗)

10km total. About 1km in the stream

10/10. Would strongly advise not to do that stream unless you have a lot of experience stream-trekking, are comfortable with rock-climbing, and will be extremely watchful of loose rocks. There has been a few fatalities on that trek. It is the most dangerous one I have taken part of, due to the loose rocks which can not only cause one to fall, but also, is dangerous for people following. Out of our party of 8, 5 fell or slid during that trek. With one falling about 3 meters.

Cel phone coverage: Sparse.

Water needs: 2 liter.

Appreciation: 9/10. Lots of waterfalls. 

Exercise Area: No.

Transportation: Tsuen Wan West MTR, Exit A1. Bus 51, Shek Kong Village stop. Return via bus 51 at Route Twisk.

Why it's worth it: 

Tsuen Wan West MTR. Go out at exit A1 and up to the bus terminus. Take bus 51. 

After about 20-25 minutes bus ride, alight at the 'Shek Kong Village' stop. Then retrace your steps a bit...
… and cross the road as the "path" is on the left side.

After 5-7 minutes walk, you'll see a bunch of small concrete pillars on the left, at a turn in the road, as well as a rain catch.
This is where you enter. Walk on the concrete catch.

There's a sign stating the obvious. At this point, if you feel uncomfortable continuing, DON'T !
There is no shame in aborting. Don't be peer pressured.

Keep on the catch-water concrete structure. It will stop, keep straight. You will see a red ribbon, go slightly left.
You should hear the stream.

Refer to the big slanted tree. In any case, the stream is right ahead of you. 
Careful, slippery

Ribbons. Not always very visible because the colors are worn-off

Another catch-water structure on the way down to the stream. 
You are about 30m away from the stream, which you should hear clearly by now.

You should be entering the stream about here. 
No real chance to get lost. Just go up the stream and stay right at any of the forks
Bypasses are generally quite obvious but beware of loose rocks. Always keep 3 points of contact, and test your anchor points; make sure it is firmly secured to the ground and not brittle. Most of the tall waterfalls are bypassed on the right.
Climb on the right of this one. Most of the holds are actually roots
Climbing on the right. This gives you have good idea of the difficulty level.
Still bypassing on the right.
After a few more easier waterfalls, the stream dies out and you basically will be just walking on rocks. Just keep going straight up and you will get out of the woods and close to the top of a hill.
Climb the hill just enough so you can see behind to your right...
… you should see poles/pylons. The trail is there. On a weekend, there should be quite a few hikers there. You may have to bushwhack your way there but it is at most 150m.
You are mostly home-safe! Go right on the path, towards the weather-radar station's dome. Then, follow the path all the way down to Road Twisk (about 5km) where you will see the bus 51 stop which will bring you back to Tsuen Wan/Tsuan Wan West MTRs