Hong Kong: beyond the high rise

Like many, I never fully appreciated what Hong Kong has to offer (besides shopping and dining) until recent years. Now I finally know what I have missed out on for all those years!

When I contacted my new friend whom I met on a hike last year, we decided to try out Sai Kung since we it was new for both of us. Our original plan was to take a bus from Sai Kung town centre to Pak Tam Au and do the Maclehose trail section two. However, after some consideration, we opted for an easier section (one) of the trail and started from Pak Tam Chung instead.

Although the day started out with an overcast, the sun did show its face in the afternoon and it got quite hot as we walked around the High Island reservoir. It is rare to see clear blue skies in Hong Kong these days because of pollution, so even though the clouds cleared, it was still quite hazy.

While we were having our packed lunch at a picnic spot, we spotted a cow wandering on its own; initially, we worried that it was going to come towards us but it never did. We were surprised to see a cow walking freely (in Hong Kong) and were worried about its safety especially when we saw taxis speeding along the road!

The trail around the reservoir was relatively easy because it was mostly flat but the scenery didn’t change a great deal until we reached the East dam. After over 2 hours of walking, we decided to make a pit stop at the beach past the 300-year-old, Pak Lap village.

Well, the pit stop turned out to be our end point because we loved it so much that we almost didn’t want to leave! The beach is sandy, secluded and even the water quality seems decent! There is a cafe by the beach and we decided to have a beer (not sure it was the best thing to do after a hike!) while the owner and his friends played volleyball on the beach. It would have been nice to carry on after the pit stop but we realised that the sun was setting and we needed to leave before it got dark.

I have heard a lot about the beautiful beaches in Sai Kung but I was still surprised to see such an unspoilt part of Hong Kong. I probably wouldn’t have time to do Sai Kung again on this trip but it will definitely be on my agenda next time. I also think we should be grateful that the British protected the most beautiful part of Hong Kong before they left; if not, Hong Kong would probably end up like other cities in China… an urban concrete jungle!


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