Natural Hong Kong
Natural Hong Kong is not something one expects to think of when one thinks of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is more than a city of density it’s also surrounded by mountains, islands and beaches adding to its beauty. This means that there are always new places to venture into as well as hidden gems.
Local Hong Kong people hold nature very close to their hearts. The older people will often been seen walking up mountains early in the morning to practice Tai Chi, talk with friends or just go for a brisk walk. Many trails are minutes from housing estates and a ritual of age to be part of that community. Others will sit at pergolas with friends and play mah jong, Chinese checkers or cards.
Every picture over 20″ on the short side will be sold only once in that size.
Natural Hong Kong is protected by the love of locals and expats discovering one of the cities most popular hidden activity.
Talking with many tourists and business visitors they are unaware of the other side of Hong Kong. Natural Hong Kong’s vast collection of hiking trail of over 300 kilometers of designated trails, varying in length and difficulty, traverse the territory and many locals hike religiously.
To really experience Hong Kong get out to one of the four major hiking trails: the MacLehose Trail, Wilson Trail, Hong Kong Trail or Lantau Trail.
The city’s fervent enthusiasm for hiking comes to the fore at the many hiking events held here, including the Oxfam Trailwalker, Moontrekker and the King of the Hills that attract thousands of competitors every year.
Oxfam Trailwalker — which takes place in November — has one of the largest sign-ups ever this year, with 1,200 teams of four already registered.
Having trails in ones back yards and living in a concrete jungle it makes for a great local escape. Expats as well as exchange students are also frequent users of the trails. Most fans just enjoy regular trips to country parks (which make up 40 percent of the territory) and the steady climbs up and down hills each weekend. Here, Hong Kong hiking enthusiasts rave about what gets them moving.
Safety is a major issue as well as nature still runs the show and Hong Kong weather can change very quickly. The Observatory can often tell you it’s raining where you are but they don’t always get it right. Cellphones work in most places but there are no 7/11’s to re-hydrate yourself. In summer that’s a major concern. Don’t be surprised on hot days to see a stream of umbrellas as many people keep them shelf shaded to help reduce effects of the sun.
Getting out is easier than one thinks. There are links below and a new called “Enjoy Hiking” by AFCD is critical for getting to and from the trails.
There are plenty of resources available online for hiking in Hong Kong, such as the official Hong Kong Tourism Board website for outdoor adventures, including tips for the Geopark, the Wetlands and various hiking trails. The gov.hk website is a portal for links to country parks, trails and campgrounds. Check the Hong Kong Observatory website and app for weather updates. Download the AFCD hiking app for iPhone and Android.