If the iconic skyline of Victoria Harbour with its skyscrapers is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Hong Kong, you are not alone. However, the city’s reputation of a concrete jungle, be it excitingly lit by neon lights, shouldn’t put you off in case you enjoy spending time being surrounded by lush greenery. How about a quick myth-busting fact about the city for a start? Did you know that about seventy five percent of Hong Kong’s almost 1100 km2 is the countryside?
If you are into hiking, Hong Kong has it all – from stroller-friendly family walks spanning just over half a kilometer to endurance-demanding long hiking trails cumulatively stretching over the length of 100 kilometers.
It is fairly easy to find all the relevant information about hiking in Hong Kong on the internet. Indeed, there are all sorts of websites/apps out there – starting from the dedicated government resource to individual thematic blogs by various avid hikers – so you will have no trouble finding something that suits your needs most. That is not least because the spectrum of those trail categories is truly wide.
The Hong Kong hiker is spoilt for choice and the variety really caters to all its types. History buffs can traverse ancient trails or roam leisurely along some heritage trails and get themselves lost in time (not otherwise as the road markers are there and tourists, local and foreign alike, stay well-informed at all times). Sports enthusiasts will enjoy long hiking trails or those specifically designated for jogging, fitness and mountain biking; there are even some fabulous rock-climbing spots for those of you eager to flex an extra muscle. Nature lovers will appreciate the beauty of the city’s picturesque landscapes along country and nature trails, scenery routes and tree walks. Those after something exceptional can even join an ecotour. If none of the above is your cup of tea, indulge in a pleasant saunter along some great family walks or stroll along magnificent promenades imbibing the fresh sea air.
Hong Kong has much more to offer than its reputation as a financial hub may seemingly suggest. The hustle and bustle of local markets humming with vendors incessantly touting local customers in narrow lanes, the honking of the colour-coded taxis and minibuses, whiffs of food coming from tightly packed eateries lining up streets – all these contribute to unique urban vibes you get from this sublime city. This raises a question: what do you do when you soul craves for a switch from the raving beats of the city?
And Hong Kong has you covered with its numerous regular ferry routes to more than dozen outlying islands, each of which will make a great day trip. You can start by heading to those located close to the centrally situated Hong Kong island, such as Lamma and Cheung Chau, and then spin your island hopping out to the likes of Po Toi, Tung Lung Chau, Tap Mun (Grass Island), Yim Tin Tsai and Ap Chau. Following this order will produce the effect similar to a gradual urban detox as the former have most of the facilities available elsewhere; whereas the latter ones boast great views accentuated by the isles’ relative wilderness in combination with only most basic amenities.
Hong Kong’s public transportation system is exceptionally efficient 24/7 and regular ferries constitute a crucial part of the network so you will have little to worry about. The piers are conveniently sprinkled all over the city and the main ones are located at major interchanges.
Hong Kong deserves a chance to present itself to you as a diverse city, which undoubtedly it is. Why not experience it for yourself? How about heading to the nearest pier or going for a leisurely walk enjoying your own company or someone by your side this upcoming weekend?