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 (bus stop is just down the stairs on the right. Make sure you spot the bus going to Island Resort)
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:

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
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.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Wanchai to Stanley via Black's Link, HK Trail Section 4, Violet Hill, and the Twins

Duration:  11km (4h30)

Difficulty: 8/10. Lots of steps and for distance.

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 2 liter. 70% shaded. 

Appreciation: 9/10. First kilometer is very very nice (look behind you!), but the rest is a bit boring.

Exercise Area: Yes

Transportation:  Wan Chai MTR exit 'A3'. Return to Admiralty/Central right at the end of the trail, across Stanley Gap Road via bus 6, 6A, or 6X. Or, go to Stanley for a bite with any bus (right on your left on Stanley Gap Road, at end of the trail)

Why it's worth it:

Right off Wan Chai Exit A3, cross and head right on Johnston road. 

After about 30m on Johnston road, head left onto Lee Tung street

Cross Queen's road and go up Spring Garden Lane.
You will see stairs in front of you

Take the stairs all the way up and head left onto Kennedy road

Cross Kennedy road at the pedestrian crossing. 

There will be a flight of stairs on your right with a signpost.
Get up the stairs. You will be going up on the stairs then path, for about 300m 

You will then cross the Bowen Road Fitness Trail at Orchid Valley (there are toilets there). Keep going straight and up, on  Wan Chai Green Trail

You will eventually reach Stubbs Road (about 350m), cross the road, and go up on Black's Link. 

Black's Link

Blac's Link will eventually merge into HK Trail Section4.
Just follow the path straight for a total of about 50-55 minutes and you will get to Wong Nai Chung Gap. 

Cross Wong Nai Chung Gap road and just follow the road around and under the bridge.

Immediately on the other side of the bridge, you'll see the petrol station with stairs just before it, which you must take.

Then head left at Tai Tam Reservoir Road after you climbed the stairs.
The brown-red buildings you see at a distance is Hong Kong Parkview Estate

After the pond on the right and just before you get to Parkview, there will be a trail map and stairs on the right. Take the stairs. The path will get you all the way up Violet hill. Take a look behind at intervals for views of the city. (BTW, there are toilets at the pond)

Only major fork that you should pay attention to at this point.
Head left towards Tsin Shui Wan Au 

Down from Violet Hill, with Repulse Bay on your right and the Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir visible on your left

The last fork before the Twins. Cross the small bridge (Tze Kong Bridge) and head right and up the stairs on the right towards Stanley. The Tze Kong Bridge stone marker is encircled on the picture above. From that point on, you cannot get lost; it is a straight path with no forks. You will go up 950 steps, then down a bit, then back up to the second twin. Then finally down towards Stanley, which you will not reach as the trail stops at Stanley Gap road. There, you will have many bus options back to the city or to Stanley.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Zimmerman's Loop Section 6 : Long Dragon’s Back Walk (龍脊段)

Duration:  8.7km (3h30)

Difficulty: 5/10. Some steps at the beginning over a 125m ascent, but that's it. You can do the harder but more scenic version here: 

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 1.5 liter. 30% shaded. 

Appreciation: 7.5/10. First kilometer is very very nice (look behind you!), but the rest is a bit boring.

Exercise Area: Yes, at the very end.

Transportation:  Get to Shai Kei Wan MTR. Then take bus #9 and get off at To Tei Wan - Dragon's Back stop. Return from one of the numerous buses at the Island Resort bus terminus.

Why it's worth it:


About 275m into the hike, you will get to point market with a big 'X' on the map above. You head right and up to stairs to climb the "Dragon's back"

About an hour-and-a-half into the hike, your path will intersect Hong Kong Trail Section 8, take a right onto it.

About 1.2km farther, you will reach the point on the map above marked with an 'X' where you will want to follow along the railing (on the left).
Afterwards, it is quite simple; just follow the path (Pottinger Peak Country Trail-There will be markers with a 'C' every 500m) until you reach Cape Collinson Road. Then turn immediately into Dragon Trail, which will take you all the way to Island Resort

Island Resort. Bus terminus is under the housing estate.

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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!