It has been almost exactly 3 months since I arrived in Hong Kong. I have been freelancing for a company called Asia Pacific Adventure, an outdoor company that takes school groups out of their comfort zones in the countryside around Hong Kong. I have just worked for the busy fall season, and now it is my time to move on again. But before I do, some highlights.
I cannot write a list of highlights without first mentioning Lamma island. It is a bit touristy on weekends, but it is also home, and a wonderful one at that. On my doorstep there are stunning trail runs across the mini ridgeline, mountain bike trails hidden in forests and beautiful beaches to swim in; there are boulders to clamber on and the sea to kayak on. There are no cars on the island, and it is a small community. In only 3 months I have quickly settled into this lovely island..
Dragon’s Back Hike/Big Wave Bay
I have really enjoyed hiking and running around trails in Hong Kong. The dragon’s back hike is a gentle walk with great views on Hong Kong island. Whats better, you finish at the beach, Big Wave Bay. True to it’s name, there are some big waves here, and it is possible to surf. Having not surfed for more than a year, it felt amazing to be in the water again. I missed the wilder side of the sea!
I haven’t climbed much while I have been in Hong Kong, instead I have been enjoying the opportunity to do some other things in the outdoors, but it would be hard not to mention this place… a nice crag with some good climbs and an incredible view over the city. Totally unique.
Pat Sing Leng
This trail is only 12km long, but it packs in the punches as a ridgeline known locally as the “8 Immortals”. I tried to run this trail on a hot, sunny day, which did not make it easier for myself. It was 2hours and 46minutes of tough running and hiking, but stunning views across the islands of Hong Kong and into China. I would definitely recommend this.
Tung Lung Chau
This is an island that we go to with work a lot, and it is beautiful. A small island, with no public ferries during weekdays, and only one man who lives on it full time. It has some beautiful climbing on the sea cliffs, and some great hikes. You have to be prepared to rough it a bit, with only 2 long drop toilets on the island, but it is definitely worth it.
The Lantau Trail
Little did I know until I arrived that Hong Kong is actually made up of something like 263 islands! The Lantau trail is a 70km hike around the biggest island of Lantau. It comprises more than 2,500m of climbing and two friends of mine, Gabby and Lei, and I decided we would try to complete this challenge in a day. We were lucky, the day we picked was perfect walking weather, sunny with a few clouds, not too hot, with a cool breeze. We set off from home at 6am, so we could catch the ferries from Lamma to Lantau.
We had a relaxed day, stopped on the top of Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak for photos, stopped to check out the big Buddha statue, atte ice cream and generally just had fun. It took us 8 hours to do the first 18km, and almost all the climbing. We ate in Tai O, and set off hiking again into the dark…we completed the next (and much easier) 52km in 9 hours, and returned to the ferry pier from which we had started at 8.45 that morning at 2am. The last 5km were tough and slow, and both Gabby and I started hallucinating (I thought I saw a beautiful painting of a horse on a tree, only to find it was a plastic bag!), but we made it, still smiling! It was an amazing day and an amazing challenge that concluded with a night trying to sleep at various ferry piers before we finally made it home at 7am. It was an awesome 24hour adventure.
Although there are many more things worth mentioning, it is always the people that make or break a place, and luckily for me, the people I have met in Hong Kong have been amazing. I almost feel like I cannot write any more than that. Everybody here has an interesting story and wonderful smiles. Without them this experience in Hong Kong would have been a very different one. Thank you to all you guys who have made my life so much fun.