One book to hike them all
Hiking guidebook by Hong Kong Outdoors founder Martin Williams, who has chosen 25 of the best day walks in the Hong Kong countryside. Combining journeys by car or public transport with walking, the trails take you across rugged hills and through forested valleys, past reservoirs and waterfalls, temples and ageing villages, long abandoned forts and lonely islands.
Three walks showcase the wonderful wilder side of Hong Kong Island, covering the Peak to Pokfulam in the west; a route over Dragon’s Back to Shek O in the southeast; and Parkview to Tai Tam via hills and wooded vale.
Walks cover other islands too – with one each for easily overlooked Po Toi, popular Lamma Island and Cheung Chau, far flung Tung Ping Chau, and compact Peng Chau.
There are five walks on Hong Kong’s largest, most beautiful island. Two start at the Ngong Ping plateau, with one dropping down to near the island’s north coast, while the other ascends Lantau Peak, then heads for the lower hills in the southwest. A walk leads along Lantau’s southwest coast to the almost deserted hamlet of Fan Lau; there are short strolls at the southern and east coasts, and a hike through the hilly southeastern peninsula.
Almost half the walks are in the mainland New Territories, north of Kowloon. One includes a steep climb to the top of the iconic Lion Rock; there’s a circuit of nearby Shing Mun Reservoir; a loop through the “jungle” of Tai Po Kau; a walk up Hong Kong’s highest mountain, Tai Mo Shan, followed by a ravine and waterfalls; and a visit to the fascinating Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden.
Leaving the central highlands, there’s a chance to explore rural heritage, and head to the eastern New Territories, to walk through the Sha Lo Tung basin, hike to the heights of Ma On Shan, stroll the coast by Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, revel in the beautiful landscape of Tai Long Wan, admire the valleys and waterfalls of Bride’s Pool, and hike to the almost uninhabited coast of northeastern Hong Kong.
Published by John Beaufoy Publishing. Available in leading Hong Kong bookstores, including Bookazine; Kelly and Walsh in Pacific Place and Landmark; Hong Kong Book Centre on Des Voeux Road Central; the University Bookstore at HKU; Joint Publishing, Chung Hwa Book Co and The Commercial Press stores; and (if any left) Vibe on Lantau.
Also at online stores.