One of the world’s most extraordinary cities, where rippling mountains, a kaleidoscopic waterfront and futuristic architecture merge with fabulous food, sizzling nightlife and top shopping.
Travel bucket list idea:
Hike the MacLehose Trail
Hong Kong, China|
Around 40 per cent of Hong Kong is country park, and the exhilarating MacLehose hiking trail runs between the east and west coasts of the New Territories, along the mountains that gave Kowloon its name.
Passing some stunning beaches, and with amazing urban and rural panoramas along the way, this is a part of Hong Kong many visitors miss altogether. The trail is 100km long, but can be tackled in individual stages.
If you only do one part of the trail, Section 2 – which starts at the East Dam of High Island Reservoir and ends at Indian Ocean-gorgeous Tai Long Wan beach. It covers 13.5kms of forests, coast and mountains peaks and takes around five hours to complete, but the effort is rewarded with the chance to lounge on the sands and soak up the sea views.
Getting there & doing it
To get to the start point, take the MTR to Diamond Hill and then hop on the 92 bus to Sai Kung. It’s easiest to take a taxi from here to the Pak Tam Chum Country Park Visitor Centre, but you can also take the 94 bus. The journey takes 90-120 minutes on public transport; a taxi from Centrales.
The trail has ten stages in total, each approximately 10km long. Hiking tours are available but if you want to go independently, Countryside Series maps will help you navigate the various sections; they’re published by Lands Department and are available in all main bookshops.
If you’re walking Section 2, ask the taxi to take you to the East Dam of the High Island Reservoir, rather than Pak Tam Chung). Once you’ve completed the walk, return to Hong Kong island via one of the privately-run speedboats that shuttle between neighbouring Ham Tin Beach and Sai Kung. The route takes in Hong Kong’s UNESCO geopark and can be purchased from the shack on the beach.
When to do it
The trail is accessible all year round, but the best time for walking is between September and December. The summer months are very hot and sticky, January and February can get chilly in the evenings and April showers can make hill-walking a washout in Spring.
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