It occurred to me recently that the Hong Kong government puts zero effort into publicizing the SAR’s incredible array of outdoor activities.
The reason for this is simple… people spend more money in the concrete jungle where there are ATM machines than they do out in nature.
Luckily for you, this guy *points to self with both thumbs* has no hidden agenda working to keep you locked in a money trap for the sake of the Hong Kong economy.
Oh no, no, no… I want you to see the absolute best this city has to offer, and believe it or not, that means leaving the buildings behind and spending relatively little money.
A few days ago it felt like someone had flicked a switch and declared summer is officially here. For me, the heat and humidity now rule out any hike that doesn’t incorporate or end in a body of water.
This particular waterfall trail is, without a doubt, my favorite in all of Hong Kong. Not just because of the epic views and gushing falls (seasonal), but because there’s not one, not two, but three waterfalls to find along the way.
How to get there
From outside Kam Sheung Road MTR (purple line) take bus 64K towards Tai Po. The bus will take you up a large steep hill, at the top of which is the stop for ‘Kadoorie Farm’. Either get off here and walk a little further up the road, or alight at the next stop which is opposite the hike’s entrance.
It’s best to bring your own food and drinks on this adventure, as there isn’t much civilization en route.
When you reach the first set of falls, make sure to keep exploring onwards and upwards as there are two more (and more impressive) falls. Don’t feel like turning back? Follow the trail all the way to Tai Po market and MTR home from there.
2: Race Pooh sticks in Sha Tin
Nestled amongst a backdrop of steeply rising mountains and sliced down the middle by the sizable Shing Mun River, Sha Tin is unlike any other Hong Kong urban area.
Start off by exploring Sha Tin Park, which sprawls on either side of the waterway. Kids and grown-ups can enjoy dropping sticks off the numerous bridges, before racing to the other side and seeing whose comes out first (A.K.A Pooh sticks).
How to get there
Sha Tin sits in the middle of the light blue line, approximately 30-40 minutes from Central. You’ll exit the MTR here into a busy shopping mall which you must weave your way through to the backdoors that allow access to the park/river.
In the middle of the park, you’re always sure to find men and women filling the air with traditional Asian tunes from their erhus.
Once you’ve finished exploring the park and parallel river, stroll over to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum to explore one of the cities largest exhibitions.
3: Lose yourself in nature, peace, and tranquility at Kadoorie Farm
A short bus ride transports you to the luscious, magical, and mountainous rainforests of Tai Mo Shan, where the steep slopes have been cultivated into a working farm, through which visitors can amble enjoying the fresh scents of nature.
Following the cascading streams upwards, you’ll soon find yourself lost amongst colorful sub-tropical flora, before emerging at the top to an epic birdseye view of the valley below.
From outside Kam Sheung Road MTR (purple line) take bus 64K towards Tai Po. The bus will take you up a large steep hill, at the top of which is the stop for ‘Kadoorie Farm’.
Take your own food, as the farm’s cafe is mediocre at best, but beware of the unabashed baboons who are ready to fight over your lunch. If you like organic, fresh, local produce, make use of the farm shop for select groceries from eggs to rice.
4: Explore the white sands of Hong Kong’s premier marine sanctuary
One of my favorite natural playgrounds in all of Hong Kong! Several white sandy beaches, lapped at by crystal clear waters, can be found within a stone’s throw from the sleepy hamlet – where drinks, food, and even kayaks can be procured.
Prefer a challenging hike instead of relaxing all day at the beach? Check out nearby Wan Tsai Peninsular for some awesome off-trail exploration and the chance of seeing a wild python.
How to get there
From Sai Kung Town bus terminus (accessed via minibus from Mong Kok’s Dundas Street) take minibus 7 to Hoi Ha Wan. After 30-40 minutes of rocking and rolling through the Sai Kung countryside, you’ll be dropped off right near the beach.
The main stretch of sand can get quite busy on weekends and holidays. To avoid the main crowds, walk through Hoi Ha Wan, taking the second path on your left instead of the first.
5: Cycle round an island lost in time
If you haven’t been before, shut down your computer and go to Cheung Chau now! This little island is where the locals in-the-know like to go. Escape the often maddening city crowd and take a ferry back in time.
Sure you could walk around this traditional fishing island in a day, but to make the most the ALL its beautiful beaches, spend a few nights at one of the many hotels – or – rent a bike for what will be an awesome days bicycle beach-crawlin’.
How to get there
From Central Ferry Pier no. 5, take the 40-minute fast ferry or one-hour slow ferry (with an outdoor deck).
The island is famed for its mango desserts and great seafood, so make sure to get your fill of both. One of our favorite beaches on the island is a tiny stretch of secluded sand in the South called Pak Tso Wan.
Bikes can be hired for aprox 20HKD a day at B&B Cheung Chau.