A Sunday spent hiking in Hong Kong is a perfect end to the weekend.. however if you're not the biggest fan of sweaty Sunday's, or always seem to spend most of your Sunday nursing a hangover from the night before, here are some hikes which are relatively short and easy. Just the perfect amount of exercise to clear your head and not leaving you in regret over yet another wasted Sunday. (I've thrown in a few post hike restaurant recommendations for good measure).
Sai Kung - Sai Wan
It's not the easiest place to get to (unless you live in Sai Kung).. but the hike itself is very pleasant with some magnificent views, and after around an hour walking you will end at the beautiful Tai Long Wan beach. If you're feeling particularly lazy you can even cheat and get a speedboat from the beach back to Sai Kung rather than hiking back to the bus stop! There's lots of restaurants in Sai Kung town to enjoy as well, last time I was there I had a particularly excellent meal at
Caribbean cuisine, so think jerk chicken and coconut cocktails, mmm...
Go for a dip in the rock pools behind the beach
The view, best enjoyed on a clear, sunny day when the water glows turquoise
If you live in Kowloon, getting the red minibus from the bottom of Dundas Street in Mong Kok is definitely the quickest way I know of. If there's a group of you, getting a taxi from Sai Kung to Sai Wan Pavilion will work out not much more expensive than getting the 29R bus (which I've found to be somewhat unreliable in the past). The road up there is very windy.. If you're hungover, be prepared.
Discovery Bay to Mui Wo
You can start this from either side. As both Discovery Bay and Mui Wo have an excellent selection of bars and restaurants you can decide which way to go based on where you want to spend your evening post hike (perhaps not the best hike if your looking for an entirely healthy Sunday..) My Mui Wo favourite has to be the China Bear, I've also heard great things about the Turkish restaurant Bahce, I will have to check it out at some point. If you want to finish in Discovery Bay I cannot recommend Thai Restaurant Koh Tomyums enough! The best Thai food I've had outside of Thailand. It was cheaper than I was expecting for Discovery Bay as well, the bill came to around $340 each for which we shared starters, several mains and two bottles of wine between three. Not bad at all! Don't forget to redeem your bill for free ferry tickets back to Central upon spending over $120 at any restaurant in the D'Deck. (Every $120 spent gets you a free ticket). Back to the hike.. it takes around an hour and a half, whichever side you pick there will be a section which is quite uphill, but it's still pretty easy going.
Escape to the mountains
Approaching Mui Wo
There are ferries that run between Mui Wo and Discovery Bay, if you decide you want to go back to your start point, check out the times here.
You can opt for either the long route around the whole island, which takes approximately 2.5-3 hours, or you can just walk from one side to the other which is around 1 hour long. Whichever you choose, the trail is quite flat. Lovely Lamma is always enjoyable! I may as well throw another recommendation in and keep with the theme.. Lamma Grill does a great selection of western food, you can sit along the waterfront to eat. Best enjoyed at sunset. I'm also a big fan of The Waterfront Restaurant, where I've had many a good curry. (One of the best I've had in HK actually!)
This view over dinner is why you should aim to be in Yung Shue Wan in time for sunset
Tai O Infinity Pools
Again, not the easiest to get to for most, but the hike itself isn't too strenuous bar from the uphill part leading to the pools. Better still you can have a dip in the infinity pool before heading back to Tai O (the walk back is easier then getting there..) I've mentioned this hike a few times on my blog, so for a more detailed description of how to get there see my previous blog post here.
Cooling off in the Infinity Pool
Note: Last summer they stopped people from swimming in the pool, I'm not sure if this is still in force or not. Does anyone know?
The cliched Hong Kong hike. The views of Hong Kong are great, the trail is relatively easy and it leaves you off at either Big Wave Bay (for the surfers) or Shek O beach (where there's a great BBQ area). This is probably the longest hike on the list, taking approximately 2 hours.. however it's the easiest to get to, especially if you're an islander with the trail starting near Chai Wan. Get the MTR to Shau Kei Wan, go out exit A3 and take the number 9 bus which will drop you off at the beginning of the trail.
Reap the hiking rewards at Big Wave Bay