Hiking Travel Tips

Hiking in Hong Kong – Dragon’s Back

The Dragon’s Back hiking trail is on the eastern end of Hong Kong island. I recommend this trail because it is pretty easy to walk and the scenery is marvelous. Even the kids can join.

Here are some photos of the scenery along the trail. It was a bit smoggy the day I took the photos. It would look more beautiful if the sky was clearer.

Duration: about 2 hours.

How to get there:

Take MTR to the Shao Kei Wan Station. Head to the bus terminal to take bus No. 9. Get off at the Cape Collision stop, where Tai Tam Gap Correctional Facility is situated. Next to the correctional facility, is a stone staircase leading up to the trail. Follow the trail and the sign “Dragon’s Back” (龍脊), and you will be well on the way.

After about 1 hour’s walk, you will come to the top of the mountain, commanding a beautiful view of the sea and mountain. Going downhill, follow the direction going to the “Shek O Road”. Once you arrive at the Shek O Road, at an area called To Dei Wan (土地灣),  take bus No. 9 in the opposite direction and you will be back to the Shau Kei Wan MTR station.

Travel Tips

Tourist buses start running in Hong Kong

Since 15 December 2008, ten open-deck buses have been running across Hong Kong to take tourists to some of the city’s hottest spots, such as the Peak, Convention Centre, Lan Kwai Fong, Star Ferry Pier, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok. The new service is run by a UK company, and offers tourists the freedom to get on and off the bus at any designated stop they like.

There are eight languages available in which tourists can listen to the introduction about different spots. One adult ticket costs HK$320. Buses run every 30 minutes.

Travel Tips Where to Eat/Drink

Eat sea food in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Sai Kung is famous for seafood.

If you want to go to a quieter place and a nicer environment for seafood as well as for a bit of sightseeing, you can think about going to Po Doi O near Sai Kong. The place is a bit remote though. You can go to Po Lam MTR Station on the Tseung Kuen O line. Take exit A2 for the bus terminal and take mini bus No 16. The destination of the bus is Po Doi O. The journey is about 15 minutes. If you take a taxi from Po Lam station, that will cost you about HK$60.

Huddled in a bay, Po Doi O is actually a small fishing village. It is so small that you can tour the whole village probably in 10 minutes.

There are two seafood restaurants – Fat Kei and Seafood Island. I’ve tried Seafood Island. The food is just so so but you get to sit at the pier to eat. That is something special. I heard the food at Fat Kei – the first restaurant you will encounter when you go into the village – is better.

The scenery around Po Doi O is beautiful, so it is a worthwhile trip, even though the seafood there may be not that gorgeous.

Transport Travel Tips

You will need this card

the Octopus Card used in HK

If you plan on staying in Hong Kong for at least a few days, then it may be worth it buying an Octopus Card – a value stored smart card – for riding train, bus, ferry, tram and for payments in supermarkets convenience stores and food chains.

Most of the Hong Kong residents have such a card, because it is just so convenient. 

You will surely use Hong Kong’s MTR train when touring Hong Kong. So buy the Octopus Card at any of the MTR train station ticketing offices. 

Initially, you pay HK$150 for an adult card, with HK$50 as the deposit. When you leave Hong Kong and return the card, you can have your deposit back, as well as the remaining value on the card. 

You can later add up to HK$1000 to the card. A machine for checking your card balance is available at each MTR station. The remaining value also shows on the small screen on the turnstile when you exit a station.

A convenient way to recharge the Octopus Card (besides using the ticketing office or the recharging machine at each of the MTR stations) is go to the conveneince stores 7 Eleven or Circle K, which are many in Hong Kong. Give the staff your card and tell them the amount of money you want to recharge (minimum HK$50), hand them the money, and it is done! You will get a receipt when the process is completed. 

You can find more info about Octopus Card here.

Travel Tips Where to Visit

Cyberport, a place to chill out

Cyberport was intended to be the Sicilon Valley in Hong Kong, or a new IT international centre. What has it become today? Just a luxury residential project commanding ocean view, four office blocks, a five star hotel Le Meridien and a retail and entertaiment complex hardly visited by the locals. Over the years since the launch of its first and second phrase development in 2003, few IT companies have moved in. To fill up the office space, non IT or creative industry related businesses are now allowed to move in.

When I was there two weeks ago, I noticed that Hong Kong Univeristy’s continued education school SPACE has rented space in Cyberport as its classrooms.

On the other hand, flats in the luxury residential project Residence Bel-Air have been quickly snapped up. No wonder Cyberport project was criticized as more of a real estate project rather than what is intended for, granted by the Hong Kong government to the second son of Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka Shing, Richard Li, without an open bid – a typical example of government-business collusion.

The above introduction is meant to say that Cyberport, with its failing mission, and open space largely empty, is good for the visit of tourists looking for a calm place in Hong Kong to chill out.

Cyberport is incoveniently located at the Southern part of Hong Kong island, on a 24-hectare site at the Telegraph Bay. Locals rarely go there because of lack of MTR train connection. The place only becomes a bit alive on weekends. This is probably the best time of the week to come to Cyberport.

The place has extensive green space with a campus atmosphere. You can find Starbucks Coffe shop and another coffee shop here, as well as some high-end restaurants which serve the weathly tenents in the Residence Bel-Air.  It also has a food court and a supermarket. So if you look for food choice other than those expensive restaurants, it won’t be a problem.

There is a cinema in the retail and recreation complex, if you look for some entertainment.

To energize the place, the management company organizes outdoor events on Sundays – not every Sunday though. In summer, bands are invited to play in the open space.

you see, not many people there for the band performance

These days (from September 21, 2008) there is a Sunday Market, where some exotic stuff are sold, from organic produce, arts and crafts, clothing to exotic plants and flowers, collectables, and handmade jewelry. Entry fee for adults is HK$20.

Check out here for how to go to Cyberport.