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Bowen Road Fitness Trail

Monday mornings are sometimes a tad difficult for me to be gung Ho and climb up mountains so I decided to take a taxi up Bowen Drive to the start of this easy, short and sweet trail.

Difficulty: 1/10 it’s a straight, concrete walk

Duration: 1 hour at a glacial pace

How to get there: I took a cab to the start of the trail up Bowen drive on Kennedy Road as there are no buses that ply there.

The other option is take a number 15 bus from admiralty MTR exit C2 and alight at Hong Kong Adventist hospital on Stubbs road and cross over to the start Bowen road trail. Number 6 to Wong Nai Chung and then walk to the star of the trail on Stubbs road.

Also you can walk up the steep slope of Wan Chai Gap Road which connects to the Bowen road fitness trail.

There’s the green mini bus number 9 that goes from Magazine gap road that passes Bowen road.

The easiest would be to take the 15 number bus and alight at Hong Kong Adventist hospital on Stubbs road or cab it up to Bowen drive on Kennedy Road.

I started near the Bowen road gardens and a board also gave the trail.

Whilst I walked on this trail I got lovely views of the high rises of Hong Kong . There are many sitting areas too on route if one needs to rest.

I walked down this trail and passed by the Wan Chai Gap Road intersection following the sign that stated Lover’s rock and Bowen road.

There was a lovely park and toilet facilities available too.

I continued on the trail and came across statues and pictures along the way.

On the way I across a board that stated Lover’s rock and climbed up the stairs to the top. What lovely statues adorned this path.

I continued up another flight of steps and I was graced by a rock structure of the mighty thallus 😁.

I got some lovely views from that point and walked down to continue on the trail.

I came across another flight of steps and climbed them too.

I soon came to the end of the trail near Stubbs road and decided to walk back to where I started.

This is a very nice trail if you want to run as I passed by loads of runners along the way. Also it’s perfect for kids and babies in strollers ( if you take the cab to the start of the fitness trail or push up the stroller Bowen drive or alight at Stubbs road and start there)

This is a very short 3 kilometre trail so you can walk back to where you started or walk down wan Chai Gap Road and have a cup of coffee at Eric Kayser the boulangerie.

Do try this trail. Sometimes it’s nice to try something short and simple.

Happy hiking !

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Stanley East Catchwater Walk ( via Tai Tam Reservoir)

I saw a hill in the distance and that beckoned to me to come climb it and so I did and found an interesting short walk along the Stanley catch water path.

Difficulty: 2/10

Duration: 1 hour

How to get there: Take the number 14 bus from Sai Wan Ho MTR exit A and alight at the Tai tam reservoir stop.

As soon as you enter to the left there’s a flight of steps, that’s the trail.

This is the only difficult part .., the steps. Post that it’s just a concrete straight walk.

There are beautiful views of Stanley whilst you walk along this path.

Got to see some beautiful flora and fauna.

Was able to spot the Pacific view complex and the Manhattan heights from the trail and the lovely expanse so blue.

Along the way there were some trees which blocked the path ( due to the super typhoon Mangkhut) so I treaded carefully as I didn’t want to end up in the water below.

I continued along the path.

Sadly came across a dead porcupine along the way.😥

I continued on my way and reached the end where I had to take the steps down to Stanley Gap Road.

I continued walking down the road to the number 14 bus stop. However there is a bus stop on Stanley Gap Road itself with loads of buses going to admiralty and central and also back to Stanley.

This is a short and sweet hike. Wouldn’t recommend taking a stroller. You can take kids but I’d suggest wait till the trees are cleared. This is a lovely trail if you want some solitude and time for yourself.

Happy hiking people!

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Ngong Ping Rescue trail ( 15 km. Action Asia Event Lantau twin peak trail run)

So my husband and I are participating in the 15 km Ngong Ping AA trail run on 7th October 2018 so we decided to do a trial of the trail.

Phewwwww it is tough.

Difficulty: 9/10 never ending stairs

Duration : we did it in 3.5 hours ( race cut off is 5 hours)

The route:

854m elevation gain, 859m elevation loss – Max elev 588m)
A hill climb giving you a good workout thru Tung Chung and up the 360 rescue cement and wooden stair trail under the cable car towards Ngong Ping direction turning left on nice dirt single track trail around Nei Lek Shan (the highest elevation 588m) to the Ngong Ping water CP1 (447m), then down thru the Tei Tong Tsai monasteries thru Shek Mun Kap and following the walking track back to Citygate.

We followed the map giving on the Action Asia Events website.

We continued following the directions on the map.

And then the never ending climb began .

We could see the cable cars passing at a glacial pace above us whilst we trudged along the path, I waved ‘the queen wave’ to the passengers in the cabins above. 😁

And then there wooden steps to climb which felt like we were climbing up a ladder.

Finally we could see the calm gigantic Buddha statue in the distance. It felt great.

We continued on the beaten path back taking a left as per the map.

Got to see some lovely structures along the way.

And off we went till we reached Citygate outlet mall where he race ends on 7th October .

We did it well in time despite clumsy me twisting my ankle 90 degrees and fall flat, grazed knees , palms et al. But we continued.

Hopefully we can do it on the main day.

Do try this hike. It’s a super duper workout and real test of physical and mental strength.

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Lung Ha wan Country Trail ( Tai Leng Tung Peak) ~ Clearwater Bay

Decided to explore trails near Tseung Kwan O and so I woke up a friend on a bright Saturday morning and pulled her along with me on this picturesque, beautiful hike.

Difficulty: 5/10 because of the climb and scorching sun

Duration: 2 hours at a medium pace

How to get there: From Sai wan Ho MTR I took the train to Quarry Bay and then changed to the PoLam ( purple) Line. I alighted at Hang Hau MTR exit B2 and then crossed over to the Nan Fung Plaza and then we took the green mini bus number 16 to Tai Au Mun Road ( the driver was very sweet and told us to get off ) and we walked towards Lung Ha Wan Road.

It was a 25 minute walk to the start of the trail. But along the way we took a slight detour to see some ancient rock carving.

The views were absolutely breathtaking, the expands of blue sea and sky.

We continued back to the road and walked till we reached the start of the trail.

There were toilets but sadly covered with leaves due to the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut. There was a tree that blocked the start of the trail but that didn’t deter us from crawling underneath it.

It was a long climb up in the scorching sun.

But it was absolutely worth it. The sights whilst we climbed were beautiful.

We continued our climb till we reached the top .

The descent wasn’t much. In fact the climb up was longer than the climb down making this trail a bit arduous. However we came across a sweet couple with their tiny tots and pet dog too along the way.

We finally reached the Clearwater Bay Country Park, stopped for our tea break and more chatter and continued on a 20 minute walk to the bus stop. We got the 103 M minibus that took us to the Tseung Kwan O MTR.

All in all a lovely hike. I enjoyed every bit of it though I came back burnt but I love the sun, the hills and the sea and this was a combination of all three making this hike absolutely worthwhile.

You can take kids however it’s better to do so when it’s not too hot and it’s cooler.

But do try this … it’ll take your breath away.

Happy hiking peeps!

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Mount Fuji ~ a fantastic experience

‘A wise man climbs Mount Fuji once, a fool climbs it twice.’

I don’t think I want to be that fool but you never know.

What a decision to make to go to Japan on my first solo trip ever and decide to hike up the highest volcanic mountain Mount Fuji.

I decided to contact Fuji Mountain guides which is an accredited hiking tour and takes groups up Mount Fuji. You can even rent hiking gear from them too.

So I flew to Tokyo a day before the start of the hike and chose the Hyatt Regency just outside Tochomae station which was the meeting point of the group on 2nd August at 6.45 am.

Sleep was my enemy the previous night and I landed up at 5.55 am at the meet up point out of sheer excitement and nervousness too.

We were a mixed group of 18 with people from Germany, Denmark, France, USA and Canada with a Puerto Rican guide who lives in Tokyo and an an American guide who is born and brought up in Tokyo.

So yes it was nice meeting absolute strangers who looked like they had hiked loads of mountains before. But I wanted to hike up Mount Fuji and nothing was going to stop me, not even a very low heart rate, low cholesterol levels, low protein levels and what not from a body checkup( which I came to know a few days before the hike scaring me a teensy Weensy bit) .

We took the bus to Gotemba station picked a few more hikers to make the total 18.

We then reached the Mount Fuji Subashiri 5th station  and started our ascent.

At first I felt a bit dizzy and weird cause the heavyweight of my backpack was killing me.

I had never hiked with a backpack filled with clothes and water and other knickknacks needed for hiking. As a result the bag weighed over 7 kilos.

But I decided to go slow and steady. After coming this far how could I turn back.

We climbed the rocky paths all greyish black, flora and fauna of varied colours sprouting up from the ground. Rocks covered some of the path.

It was an uphill climb….if you’ve seen the picture of Mount Fuji you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

We did take a stop at the 6th station then climbed up further and further toll about 4.30 pm till we reached 3400 meters height of Mount Fuji at the Fujisan mountain hut where we were assigned our sleeping area and given lovely hot Japanese dinner and then were told to hit the sack by 7.30 pm as we had to awaken at 2 am to again start the ascent to the summit of Mount Fuji and also to experience the first sunrise of the world at 4.55 am.

It was really cold at the top where we spent the night.

2 am we were up, all washed and ready with our winter hiking gear, our head lamps and some water to climb the beautiful, majestic Mount Fuji. The cold winds grazed our faces, teeth chattering, fingers numbed by the cold in spite of the cold, myriads of hikers with their headlamps lit the way. It was a pretty sight. Our group took a detour and we climbed through a path less travelled.

The sky full of stars looked so beautiful. I spotted the polar bear up in the sky and the moon looked resplendent lighting our dark path.

We trudged and trudged and we could see a line of orange covering the darkness across the sky.

We knew the sun was near. Finally we reached the summit and waited patiently for the sun to rise and when it did, everyone cheered . It was an overwhelming and inexplainable feeling. I got to experience the first sunrise in the land of the rising sun.

It was magnificent. We stayed up there for over 30 minutes but it was extremely cold.

Finally we descended to the hut for breakfast and had to then descend back to the fifth station. Oh man that was a killer.

It was like skiing through slopes filled with rubble and rocks and if you missed you fell. I fell twice and the second time I found it extremely tough to stand up as the backpack was heavy. Luckily my hiking rods supported me on both days of this hike.

A sweet Japanese man tried to teach me skiing on these slopes of Mount Fuji but to no avail. His efforts went in vain. I was doing a jig more than skiing. But I did reach the 5th station. I couldn’t feel my feet. My thighs and calves ached.

But I Did It.

I climbed up Mount Fuji 3776 meters high and it was the best feeling ever.

I can’t imagine that I could do it but I did. Thanks to the almighty whom I constantly called out to every step of the way and I only ensured that positive thoughts filled my mind. I was afraid of the altitude sickness, the upset stomach which followed me up ,the early morning climb and the low heart rate scare. But I am fine and back in Hong Kong sharing my experience with you all.

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Pottinger Peak Country Trail ( via Shek O Road to Siu Sai Wan – Leaping Dragon)

Summer holidays have begun and how do you entertain an 8 year old sod…take him hiking. So today my son and I decided to do a short hike before I packed him off to summer school.

How do you get there: Take the MTR to Shaukeiwan and exit at A3. Then take the number 9 bus to the Tai Tam Gap correctional institute stop and walk up the steps of the Shek O Country Park.

Duration: 1.5 hours

Difficulty level: 2/10 a bit sloped but otherwise extremely easy

Take the Big Wave Bay path and keep walking straight.

We came across a sit out area at the initial start of this trail.

We then walked through the Mount Pottinger catch water path and followed the sign that stated Siu Sai Wan.

We saw loads of butterflies along the way and got some lovely views.

We then took the route stating Cape Collinson and climbed up the steps.

We continued up the path.

We reached a sign that stated view compass so went there and got a view of the lovely sights from Pottinger Peak viewing point.

The views were spectacular. We continued downhill via the steps that we sighted. It was a long way down.

Finally we reached down and then we took a right and got some lovely views again.

We then found another set of steps and walked down. Came across a resting area.

We continued down the slope and then came across another flight of steps.

We got some lovely views again and walked down the steps to a mini temple too.

We finally reached the end and the board stated Leaping Dragon Trail.

We took the right and walked towards the Island Resort where there’s a bus depot. There are loads of buses that one can board. However we took a cab home.

This was a lovely , non strenuous-hike and I enjoyed spending time with my son.

A must try family hike which is pet friendly too.

Happy Hiking!

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Mount Parker to Hong Kong Park View Via Wong Nai Chung path

It was a sunny Monday when I decided to do this trail. It’s a pretty tough hike as there are loads of steps to climb but the views are fantastic.

Difficulty: 7/10

Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes

How to get there: Take the MTR to Taikoo and exit at exit B or Quarry Bay Exit A.

You need to walk up Mount Parker green trail.

Keep walking and then you will come to a set of steps climb that, it’ll take you to the Cecil Rides path.

Keep climbing upwards. You will across tiny places of worship created along the trail. It’s lovely.

When you come to the Cecil’s Ride board take the right and keep walking till you come to a stairway to heaven literally on your right.

Came across a lovely stream along the way and recorded this sight.

Keep climbing.

You will come to the Radio station sign. Keep following the path and cross the bridge to climb another set of steps.

The views are lovely. The sky, the harbour …. just magnificent.

Came across a humongous centipede that hid in the grass.

Keep climbing … yes that’s the only way if you want to get the best views.

Lovely flowers and red leaves along the way.

You will then come to boards pointing in different directions. Follow the Wong Nai Chung Gap board.

There are distance posts indicating that you’re on the Hong Kong Trail as well as the Wilson Trail.

Keep walking. You will see the hills in the distance.

The sights are fantastic even in the heat. Yes it was extremely but I enjoyed this trail.

Finally came to a plaque which gave details about Jardine’s lookout and world war history.

Finally came to the end of the trail. Then walked towards the Wong Nai Chung Gap Road and took a bus to North Point.

This was an absolutely stunning hike. Tough but doable. But yes not for the faint hearted and not for those who can’t bear the heat.

Happy hiking!