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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!