Difficulty : 3/5
Distance : 4.7 km
Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Saturday, 20 January 2018. It was the day before my 10KM challenge run at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon. I didn’t want to tire myself out, but I still wanted to get my heart rate up, so I convinced S, who was nursing a dislocated shoulder, to do this quick and medium hike with me in Sai Kung East.
Again, we were chasing the clock since we decided to have leisurely lunch and take our sweet time. It takes forever to get to the start of this hike from Hong Kong Island, so by the time we started it was already 4.15pm. That means we finished the hike in around 1 hr 45 min since we just missed the last bus which left at 6pm.
We did the usual route to Sai Kung Town Centre:
- MTR Hang Hau Station
- Minibust 101M to Sai Kung
Starting Point : Pak Tam Road Yee Ting (we did the trail the other way ’round)
- Green Mini Bus 9 or 7 from Sai Kung Pier
- Get off at Lady Maclehose Holiday Village near the Yee Ting Campsite
Finishing Point : Sai Kung Sai Wan Road
To our surprise there were quite a few people in the middle of nowhere doing this trail with us. There were even elderly folk heartily hiking which gave me a bolt of energy thinking, ‘If they can do it, I can do it too.’ Or more like I was ashamed out of being lazy.
The first part goes all the way up the hill, thousands of steps nonstop. I had to take one 3-5 minute break to catch my breath and maybe a couple more to drink water as by that point I was already excessively sweating, heart rate up and all. The jacket had to come off.
Uphill doesn’t feel like it gets easier after hiking regularly for years. I thought it would be a piece of cake right now like, shoulder-brush running up the hill. Not so!
Leaving Luk Wu, at the top of a flight of stone steps, exhilarating open vistas to the right are Chek Keng Hau, Sham Wan Tsai, Wan Tsai Peninsula and Tap Mun. At Luk Wu Plateau, a tableland nestled between Pai Ngak Shan and Tai Cham Koi… (hiking.gov.hk)
We intersected several other pathswhilst traversing Luk Wu Country Trail (Luk Wo on Google Maps). The Pak Tam Country Trail was one of them. We crossed a couple of rivers / streams along the way as well – dry as it hadn’t been raining. Towards the end, you can extend your hike to the beaches of Tai Long Wan or head up Sharp Peak if you’re looking for a challenge.
You’ll see grand panoramic vistas of High Island Reservoir. [Following] a meandering path, your eyes will feast on views of Tai Mun Shan, Sharp Peak, Tung Wan Shan and the sweeping waters of Tai Long Wan.
I was initially scared that we wouldn’t find any transportation at the end of the trail. I had no idea what time the last bus was leaving, and in fact we saw it on its way out. I tried to hail it but it was full, and no other was going to take its place. (Check the schedule here: Village Bus 29R – Sai Kung Town Centre to Sai Wan Pavilion)
Instead of walking god-knows-how-many kilometres back to the next road with public transportation, we followed the human voices to Sai Wan Pavilion, where we waited with around 3-4 groups of people with no cellular service / signal. That means we couldn’t call an uber / taxi.
Thankfully, a few taxis came and we were able to hitch a ride with a couple who had extra seats. (We had probably only waited around 10-15 minutes!) The guy even paid more than his fare share of the trip after initially refusing to talk to me in English. Thanks, man!
From Sai Kung Town Centre we just took a taxi back to the MTR station and rode the train home. We managed to catch a friend’s birthday dinner (albeit slightly late!) and I woke up at 3am to run in the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon. But that’s another story for another post…