Saturday, August 29, 2009

Crossing the Dragon's Back

The Chinese love a good name, and what could go wrong with a name with the word 'dragon' in it? Dragon's Back refers to a ridgetop on the eastern end of Hong Kong island in Hong Kong, and it provides ones of the best hiking trails you can find in today's urban Hong Kong.

As part of a bigger pan-island hiking trail, known as the Hong Kong Trail, Dragon's Back is the last stage of the trail, and the longest. Lying within Shek O park, the route goes through some forested land, mini waterfalls, and the trail along the ridge rewards you with stupendous views of the coast and islands. And best of all, the trail ends at Big Wave Bay, a beachfront getaway for many urbanites, providing cold beers after a satisfying hike.

The hike is simple enough, taking 3+ hours at a leisurely pace. However, there is no cover at the ridge, and so if you're doing it in summer (like me), be prepared to be grilled. Getting to the trail head is easy as well; take MTR to Shau Kei Mei station, and look for the NWF Bus 9. The cost is something like HKD6.90 and you can ask the driver to stop at the trailhead. There are also minibuses (at HKD10) that ply the route whenever it fills up. We actually took the minibus back from Big Wave Bay.

Hong Kong is known for shopping and eating. But try out hiking the Dragon's Back!

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