Hong Kong was a British colony for many years. No surprise, hiking trails have been established here over the decades. And the Hong Kong citizens themselves do enjoy walking, so the tradition lives on. Good news for us!
If your image of Hong Kong is one of skyscrapers only, you're biased. The fact is that, among the densely populated financial centers of Asia, Hong Kong stands out in nature. Main asset of Hong Kong, from our point of view of course, are the Country Parks. These safe havens for nature were established in the seventies by Murray MacLehose, the governor who fought corruption and obstructed democracy. Four main trails, and more smaller trails, explore these Country Parks.
You are never faraway from the large population areas, and still, nature will present itself from the wild side: “hills” up till 1000 meter, beautiful coast line with sea inlets and quiet beaches, forests and shrub lands. Attractive also are the exotic small villages (yes, not far from towering skyscrapers) where you often can find a place to sleep. Hong Kong partially consists of islands, the best known is Hong Kong Island itself, and the largest of them is Lantau.
The four main trails are the Hong Kong Trail (50 km), the MacLehose Trail (100 km), the Wilson Trail (78 km) and the Lantau Trail (70 km). Often, it is possible to divide your trail in neat portions return to your hotel and the bustling city life at night, have a good sleep, and turn back, tidy and well fed, to your last evening's trailhead by public transport. Alternatively, you might enjoy camping in the outdoor. Most villages offer some kind of overnight staying, including temples.
There are many more smaller trails, indicated on the maps. Check out Roz's website (see links section below), if you want to find out more.
Hiking is possible year round, but during the hot season - June till September - you will sweat your bones out, if not washed away already in one of those plunge sessions. Dry weather or pouring rain, do carry lots of water on your hike.
We can recommend Pete Spurrier's guide to the four main trails: “The Serious Hiker's Guide to Hong Kong”, available in the English bookshops. Maps can be purchased from the Map Publication Centers. Best are the excellent Countryside Series, showing the main trails and smaller trails. In the field, the waymarking is up to date.
So, unpack at the airport, jump on the Star Ferry, and take a break halfway your business trip. And if you liked it, pray for the survival of the Country Parks.
- Hong Kong City Pack Guide
- Hong Kong in the City Pack series from AA Publishing; covering an extensive selection of world-wide cities in a handy, pocket-sized laminated format. The guides provde a detailed overview of each destination, with each city organised by district to allow for practical use on the city streets. An introductory section introduces readers to the... Read more
- China Key Guide
- China in the Key Guide series from AA Publishing; exploring a range of international destinations and recently been re-launched with full colour pages. Thorough and detailed in style, the guides are targeted at an older audience, exploring the principal sights, walks, activities, restaurants and accommodation of the destination. A detailed... Read more
- Also available from:
- Stanfords, United Kingdom
- Beijing Walks - Exploring the Heritage
- Beijing Walks in the Odyssey Guides series; aimed at travellers particularly interested in the culture and history of their destination; the guides focus on the atmosphere, customs, and distinctive character of a country, region or city. As the only English language publisher based in China, Odyssey Guides specialize in Asian destinations,... Read more
- Hong Kong Step by Step Insight Guide
- Hong Kong in the Step by Step series by Insight Guides focuses on providing tailor made walks and tours around the city. The guide features fourteen route recommendations that link up better known sights and take you off of the more beaten track; they are written by local experts who have personally selected places to eat and drink en-route and... Read more
- Large general road map covering China with an inset of Beijing at larger scale.Cartography has subtle shading for elevation with spot heights clearly marked. All major roads are shown, including highways, trunk roads, tracks, and also road numbering and distances shown in kilometers. Railways, ferries, airports are also marked, as are... Read more
- Mount Gongga Glaciers
- Mount Gongga Glaciers on a detailed, contoured map at 1:25,000 published by the Chinese Institute of Glaciology and based on surveys carries out in early 1980s and aerial photography from December 1996. The map has contours at 20m intervals, enhanced by shading, plus graphics and/or colouring for exposed rock, scree, moraine, crevasses,... Read more
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (50K)
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China on a double-sided topographic map at 1:50,000 from its official Survey and Mapping Office, with bilingual place names and English language map legend. The map has contours at 50m intervals, enhanced by relief shading and altitude colouring, plus graphics to show cultivated areas and woodlands.... Read more
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (100K)
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on a topographic map at 1:100,000 from its official Survey and Mapping Office, with bilingual place names and English language map legend. The map has contours at 50m intervals, enhanced by relief shading, plus colouring and graphics to show swamps, mangrove, mud areas, cultivated land and woodlands.... Read more