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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Ap Chau and Crooked Island (吉澳) heritage & Geopark walk

Duration:  2km (2h at slow place with picture taking)

Difficulty: 3/10

Cel phone coverage: None

Water needs: 1 liter. Not shaded. 

Appreciation: 8/10. Some very nice and unusual views. Ap Chau is visited mostly to take pictures under the rock arch. Crooked Island is more interesting. 

Map & Details: 

Ap Chau / Duck Island

Kat O / Crooked Island




Exercise Area: No

Transportation:  These islands, in the North-Eastern part of Hong Kong, are very remote. There is a single ferry going there and back once a day. The 2 hours boat trip each way is scenic and will have you go by the "famous" Devil's fist rock formation from a distance (Devil's Fist hike). Returns tickets from Ma Liu Shui (Walking distance from University MTR station) are HKD $90. Details are here: https://www.td.gov.hk/en/transport_in_hong_kong/public_transport/ferries/kaito_services_map/service_details/index.html#k19. Tickets can be purchased at the Ma Lui Shui pier. It does get really busy on weekends so be early or risk not being able to get tickets!

Why it's worth it:








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This one is an easy walk over 2 small islands. Rely on the maps above for directions. 

University MTR exit A. Exit and go left
Stop by the sign right at the exit on the left




Around and over the highway

Over the highway again, down the stairs on the left, then through. Then go through the parking lot. Once you are through all the roads, head left


There's a makeshift ticket stand under the blue glass awning. That is where you get the tickets.


You will have 1.5 hour at Ap Chau which is plenty to circle it and climb to the viewpoint. 
You have a bit more time in Kat O but the island is larger so, be mindful of time if you do not want to get stuck there overnight!

Additional information: 


Saturday, February 6, 2021

Ma Shi Chau (馬屎洲)

Duration:  8km (3h)

Difficulty: 3/10. Half of it is stone path. The other is flat dirt path and beach. 150m elevation gain.

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 1.5 liter. 20% shaded. 

Appreciation: 9/10. Very nice and unusual views.

Exercise Area: No

Transportation:  Tai Po Market MTR station. Take either bus 74K or Green minibus 20k, get off at Sam Mun Tsai Village.

Why it's worth it:


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Green minibus 20K at Tai Po Market MTR station

Sam Mun Tsai village where you will get off the bus. There is a roundabout.
Note the Royal China Aqua Garden restaurant in the back

Just off the bus, back a few meters, there are stairs.
Take them and go left on Sai Mun Tsai road.



After you have exited the village, you will start an easy and short climb on the first hill of the day. Tombs will be on your left and right everywhere... 

... and very nice views.

Left here. 

Left here again. About 15 minutes into your hike.


Tombolo between the two hills.

Head right after the tombolo. There is a path along the shore.

Leave the shore at this point and go back on the path on the left. You will just keep going on the path and along the shore until you reach a very big rock (there's a rope to climb it). That's the viewpoint and the end of the trail. Retrace your steps all the way back to the bus stop.


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Siu Sai Wan (小西灣) to Shek O (石澳泳灘) via Dragon Trail, Pottinger Peak (砵甸乍山眺望處), and Big Wave Bay Beach (大浪灣泳灘)

Duration:  8km (3h)

Difficulty: 6/10. I rated it a 6 because of a 100m section after Pottinger Peak that is rope-assisted and slippery. If you decide that it is too risky (it is not bad at all), you can retrace your step from Pottinger Peak and walk on Pottinger Peak Country trail towards Big Wave Bay. Without the rope portion, the rating would be 4 out of 10. 

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 1.5 liter. 80% shaded. 

Appreciation: 8/10. Great views, beach, food along at the end, what's not to like!?

Exercise Area: Yes

Transportation:  Take a bus to Island Resort in Siu Sai Wan. There are many getting there (11 or so, Island Resort is the terminus for many). We took 85 from Exit A2 @ Heng Fa Chuen MTR Station.
Return to 
Shai Kei Wan MTR via bus #9 in Shek O. If you do not care about walking to Shek O, there's a minibus from the Big Wave Bay car park that will get you to Shai Kei Wan MTR.

Why it's worth it:

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Just off Island Resort, walk towards the harbor, then head right, between the sports courts and the water facilities. Then right after the sports courts

There are toilets on your right at a distance, and stairs on the left. Take the stairs.

After about 25minutes/1.5km, you will reach this point where there are stairs on the left, take them. Then head right at the top of all the stairs.

Just after this little shop on the left, about 10m in...

... is the Pottinger Peak Country Trail on your left. Climb these stairs up.

Take the first left at the top of the stairs to reach Pottinger Peak View Compass

Enjoy the view at Pottinger View Compass, then retrace your steps...

... and go straight at the intersection where you had turned left.

Pottinger Peak in sight!

Very Instagramable Pottinger Battery
https://www.jstor.org/stable/23889786?seq=1
At this point, if you don't like the idea of going down a slope with the aid of a rope, retrace your steps to the crossroad, and go right. Otherwise, march on!

Keep going and you will see the RTHK broadcast antenna building, go around on the left.

It is a short while after this point that the path goes down and is rope assisted.

About 30 minutes after the RTHK broadcast building and past the ropes, you will reach this point, head left on the path and you will connect...

... to Hong Kong Trail Section 8. Head left where you will see...

... this gazebo. Follow the catch water on your left.

Keep going straight on Pottinger Peak Country Trail for about 15 minutes.

You will reach this fork, with a bench, head right, towards Big Wave Bay Beach.

At the bottom of the stairs, the path veers abruptly to the right a the cliff, with beach in sight. Take the path on the left which will take you to ancient carvings. Then head towards the beach.

Go past the lifeguard tower, through the BBQ site, then walk on the beach and go straight through the village...

... after a while, you will reach the car park, where you can take a minibus to the city, or keep walking towards Shek O. No sidewalks though so be careful.

Keep going straight at the roundabout.

After the golf-course, you will reach Shek O with the bus terminus being immediately on your left. #9 will get you back to Shai Kei Wan MTR. But, why not enjoy some food in Shek O, and check out the beach.


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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!