Clear Water Bay Peninsula

Clear Water Bay Country Park

The Clear Water Bay Peninsula lies to the east of Kowloon. It’s hilly, especially towards the south, where much of the land is protected by Clear Water Bay Country Park. The main hill is the striking, steep sided High Junk Peak, which at 344 metres dominates a ridge that runs south to the tip of the peninsula.

West of the ridge, the coastline is mostly reclaimed land, with Kowloon to the west, Tseung Kwan O nearby. But the eastern shore is far wilder. Here, hills plunge to the sea – which can appear intense, tropical blue – and there are beaches in small bays, notably in Clear Water Bay, which is guarded by 291-metre Tai Teng Tung to the north, the southernmost peninsula to the south.

The long ago deforested landscape is dominated by grassland and shrubland. But there is young sub-tropical forest, especially on the eastern slopes of High Junk Peak – making a fine contrast to the cliffs just below the summit.

High Junk Peak Country Trail

The 6.6-km High Junk Peak Country Trail runs north-south along the peninsula’s main ridge. For most of its length, the trail is easy going, roughly following contours at a little over 200 metres. The trail first heads along and near the top of the ridge, then skirts High Junk Peak, curling along the west slopes. Although the trail here overlooks the reclamations below, with Kowloon and Hong Kong Island across Junk Bay, you can also enjoy wilder views of the hillsides, and the fine profile of High Junk Peak soaring above.

Further south, the trail climbs to near the summit of Tin Ha Shan, then drops to end at Joss House Bay, where you could see the rock inscription and visit the Tin Hau temple.

Alternative routes are possible, including a diversion to follow the narrow, rough tracks up High Junk Peak: the climb is steep and difficult.

Just south of High Junk Peak, there is an trail down to Tai Au Mun – from where you could walk east to Tai Hang Tun to explore the east coast of the peninsula, perhaps by hiking the Lung Ha Wan Country Trail.

Or, a trail drops down to just above Clear Water Bay Second Beach, where you could follow the hike with a swim.

The High Junk Peak Trail doubles as a mountain biking trail – though in places, there are two trails running close by each other, one for hiking, the other for biking. As it’s popular with hikers, the trail is only open for mountain biking from Mondays to Saturdays.

Lung Ha Wan Country Trail

Though only 2.3 km long, the Lung Ha Wan Country Trail makes for a fairly tough hike, especially on a hot sunny day (there is no shade en route). But it’s also a rewarding hike, with splendid views over grassy hillsides dotted with boulders, as well as Sai Kung hills, and islands including the jagged Ninepins.

The route is simple: a steep climb from Tai Hang Tun, before the trail eases to pass over the 291-metre summit of Tai Leng Tung, then down to Lung Ha Wan: if the trail’s wet, it might be slippery in places here.

Tai Hang Tun

Tai Hang Tun is a centre for recreational activities. Here, a section of a small south-facing headland has been laid out like a park, with barbecue sites, short trails, viewpoints, an open area that is designated for kite flying – which is very popular here (a small shop sells simple kites). A gentle tree walk curves through woodland on the slopes of the headland, with signposts giving information on 15 species of plants.

Joss House Bay

Joss House Bay, at the southern tip of the peninsula, is the site of Hong Kong’s main Tin Hau temple, and a historic rock inscription.
 

Martin Williams

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