Have you ever just had enough of the high-rise buildings blocking your view of the sun, sky and sea? Do you just want a breath of ‘relatively’ fresh air (because this is Hong Kong after all, and it’s not called the Fragrant Harbour for no reason), space and tranquillity? Add in some exercise and good food and you need not look any further.
Here are some of the most accessible and beautiful hikes that will lead you to some laid back restaurants dotted around Hong Kong.
Let’s begin on the Island:
Dragon’s Back – meander your way along the ‘back of the dragon’ catching endless views of the sea and mountains until you reach Shek O Beach. Once there, grab a bite at Cococabana Mediterranean Seafood Bar for a beach-vibe, or at Shek O Chinese and Thai Restaurant for your Asian food fix. For those of you wishing to enjoy a few drinks, do not miss out on the Back Bar tucked away by the aptly named ‘Back Beach’.
The Twins – many people tremble at the thought of hiking up the 1,209 or so steps that link Parkview to Tai Tam and Stanley. Don’t miss it out though, as you will have breath-taking (quite literally) views and will be wonderfully rewarded with a solid meal by the vibrant Stanley waterfront. Any pubs or restaurants on the waterfront are fun and friendly, and most of all offer one of the best people-watching spots in Hong Kong.
Moving further afield to Lantau:
Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak –Be ready for some long ascents and steep descents with this hike. It’s not the most challenging hike, but the many stairs make it a tough one. It is all made worth it with the vistas along the way, and the hearty meal that can be enjoyed at Mavericks, the reggae-themed beach bar on Pui O Beach. This is the place to relax and cool off by taking a dip in the sea.
Just another boat ride away is Lamma Island:
Family Walk – One for the Sunday amblers is this mostly flat and short walk from one village, Yung Shue Wan, to the other village, Sok Kwu Wan, on opposite sides of Lamma Island. The best part of this walk is knowing that you will have your fill of seafood from one of the myriad brightly coloured seafood restaurants on either end. Rainbow restaurant is one of the most established ones in Sok Kwu Wan.
Rounding it back via Sai Kung:
Tai Long Wan – There are two ways of getting to this idyllic part of Hong Kong, the easy or the rewarding way. The easy way includes speedboats from Sai Kung Village pier, or the tougher way is to hike in, taking in the impressive views by foot. On the hike you can take a short detour to waterfalls, jumping off them and splashing around in the clear water. Once at Tai Long Wan, there are a couple of friendly restaurants just off the beach – do not expect table cloth or air conditioning, but do expect low prices and fun outdoor setting. The leisurely way back is to hop onto one of the speedboats. Make sure to get on before sunset though, as the boats do not operate once the sun goes down.
Just remember: bring plenty of water, bug spray and sunscreen.