Invigorating Hike at Dragon’s Back Shek O Country Park on 12Jan2016

bus no 9 @ shau kei wan on 12.1.2016

bus no 9 @ shau kei wan on 12.1.2016

last time i did dragon’s back hike was on 11.3.2013. it was rather hot then!

today weather was quite perfect.

it had threatened with a shower the first evening of our arrival in hong kong. that continued on the morning the next day 11.1.2016, but it was fine weather thereafter.

for this trip we are kind of ok prepared in terms of plans to go places & the logistics of getting around etc, but we were all relaxed & there was no strict schedule to follow, so if it rained then we do something else like on 11.1.2016 morning, instead of going to the peak at 8.30am-

  1. we had a long & luxurious HK$380 dimsum at tao heung mongkok  稻香旺角 &
  2. did the peak circle walk at noon time instead, and cool weather allowed us to do that.
bus no 9 @ shau kei wan on 12.1.2016

bus no 9 @ shau kei wan on 12.1.2016

this morning after experiencing the best polo buns 菠萝包?? & yun yong 鸳鸯 coffee-tea at kam wah cafe 金华茶餐厅f, we took the mtr to shau kei wan.

gang @ hike start point at to tei wan 土地湾2

and then boarded the no9 bus to to tei wan 土地湾 trail head to start our hike.

going up at to tei wan 土地湾

going up at to tei wan 土地湾

a nice climb.

going up at to tei wan 土地湾

going up at to tei wan 土地湾

wooded.

going up at to tei wan 土地湾

going up at to tei wan 土地湾

some steps in case when it’s wet & slippery.

directions

signage

signage for directions.

looking back at stanley

looking back at stanley

looking back we can see stanley.

looking back at stanley

looking back at stanley

and higher up, the stanley peninsula.

on dragon back HK trail2

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

it was not too steep.

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

a very pleasant climb.

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

nature, fresh air & nice surroundings!

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

some climbers.

seaward looking at shek-O

seaward looking at shek-O

& a great view of shek-O & the sea.

seaward looking at shek-O

seaward looking at shek-O

a closer view…

seaward looking at shek-O

seaward looking at shek-O

& that should be tung lung chau island 东龙洲….

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

the view up to the summit.

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

nearer…

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

superb view, if not breathtaking…

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

the summit was beckoning…

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

the winding trail back..

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

that’s why it’s called dragon’s back..

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

almost there…

dragon's back summit

dragon’s back summit

shek O peak = 281m only la…

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

the invisible divide….mountain bike & walkers..

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon back HK trail

looking at tai long wan 大浪湾.

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

tung lung chau island 东龙洲 & new territories 新界.

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

that top of the world feeling? not really la..

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

still, what a magnificient view!

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

looks real nice isn’t it, when you simply crop the photo…like water colour painting..

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

the descent.

on dragon back HK trail

on dragon’s back, section 8 of HK trail

it was an invigorating & enjoyable walk. the cool weather w/o rain played an important part…weather singapore does not have!

it was past lunch & we did not want to go further to tai long wan 大浪湾 or shek O village, so we exited the trail at cape collision road junction with shek O road & took the no 9 bus back to shau kei wan.

the guys were attracted by the shau kei wan street wet market so we walked one round the place before taking the mtr to tin hau station 天后in search of a daipaitong大排档 joint民声冰室 we read about

c.h.e.f andy

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Peak Circle Walk on 4Apr2015

the peak tower

the peak tower

after a nice breakfast at marco polo hk continental club lounge, we set off to victoria peak for our morning peak circle walk on 4.4.2015.^^

victoria harbour

victoria harbour – IFC on the right

crossing the river

victoria harbour – IFC on the right

as marco polo hk is near to the star ferry terminal, instead of walking to tsimshatsui mtr station we decided to take the ferry to star ferry central pier. ferry was hk$2.80pax (hk$2.0 mon-fri). took 9minutes. we found out the next day that it was hk$3.40 (hk$2.50 on mon-fri) on the upper deck. we used our octopus card so it was a breeze.^^ star ferry was voted the best ferry ride in the world by The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). you can see why. you get the skyline of central with IFC towering prominently.

in my last trip i had dinner at rainbow restaurant on lama island, & the free ferry provided by the restaurant took us past the night lights of aberdeen, with enchanting views of deep water bay & repulse bay, forming a beautiful neckless. it was a wonderful sight.

as we were 3pax & it’s a long way from central pier to the peak tram. so we planned to take a taxi which was at the taxi stand at central pier, no waiting. it was a nice journey up victoria peak costing hk$65. the cost of the peak tram was hk$28 single & hk$40 return & you could expect a very long queue on an easter weekend!

in the direction of aberdeen & deep water bay

in the direction of aberdeen & deep water bay

taxi deposited us at the peak market side opposite the peak tower tram station. nice view of aberdeen, deep water bay & repulse bay direction.

the peak tower

the peak tower

the peak tower is an icon. you could see people on the sky terrace. it is exorbitant, hk$83 if you combine with peak tram return, otherwise hk$48 & you can again expect long queues.

we took the peak circle walk. it’s about 3.6km and took 1 hr on a flat paved road. usually we took harlech road,

the last i was here with friends 2years ago in 2013, we decided to go to pak fu lam reservoir & did not take the peal circle walk.

this time we took lugard road as wife wanted to view the hk skyline first. above photo is peak tower from the start of lugard road. usually we see it at the end starting the circle walk from harlech road.

IFC

IFC in direction of kowloon bay & kai tak

central skyline with IFC standing tall in the direction of kowloon bay & kai tak.

view from the peak4

IFC in direction of kowloon bay & kai tak

here you see IFC & across the harbour on tsimshatsui side the taller ICC which houses the elements mall.

IFC & ICC2

hong kong tallest building = ICC (elements mall) & IFC

her’s a clearer shot.

IFC & ICC

IFC in direction of kowloon bay & kai tak

beautiful sight.^^

tsingyi

tsing yi

here we see tsing yi island with the road bridge.

tsingyi2

tsing yi & tsing ma bridge to hong kong disneyland & chek lap kok airport on lantau island

the airport express crosses over near the top of tsing yi, then connect to ma wan via the tsing ma bridge then to lautau island where hong kong disneyland & the big buddha & gong ping 360 cable cars are located and onwards to chek lap kok airport.

no the sky terrace =

not the sky terrace = view from rooftop of peak galleria (free access)

after the walk we went up to the rooftop of peak galleria to have a free view of hk skyline & admire tha paying folks over at sky terrace.

victoria harbour

not the sky terrace = view from rooftop of peak galleria (free access)

we took a taxi to landmark mandarin oriental where we were having lunch at amber. it cost hk$55 & point to point rather than queueing for the peak tram then walk few km.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Dragon Back’s Hike @ Shek O Country Park on 11May2013

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view of Shek O from dragon’s back trail

we came Hong Kong ostensibly to eat & hike, so I better put up something to show we did la..hahaha. 🙂

one thing the Hong Kong weather forecast was utterly unreliable. this day (11.5.2013) was supposed to be a mostly wet day & since we had a bit of showers on 10.5.2013 – the day we arrived – we were expecting maybe we had to do this on Sunday. anyhow we woke up to glorious sunshine, so no excuse! 🙂

we had the free continental breakfast of croissant, bread, fruit, coffee etc at Ovolo where we stayed and set off for our morning hike at Dragon’s Back @ Shek O Country Park, voted the Best Urban Hike in Asia (Times Magazine 22 Nov 2004 Asia Issue). Sam Shui Po MTR was a 10mins walk from our hotel. we took the Tseun Wan line to Admiralty and changed to Island line to Shau Kei Wan and took the A3 exit to the Bus Terminus. Here we were queueing up for the No9 bus to Shek O when a private bus tout got into the good books of our adventurous trip leader who thrives on unknowns, and we got shepherded to a private bus waiting nearby. fortunately we were the last passengers they were waiting & the bus took off rightaway. The price was kind of irrelevant (like HK$7 vs HK$7.90 on the public bus) but I guess it was another experience. why not? – except this bus truly “took off” and was like hurtling through the winding country roads at >70kmh! phew – fortunately this time it got us faster to where we wanted & not some place else..heng ah! (means lucky) 🙂

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we started the hike at 9.11am from the point further down Shek O road (you could also start the hike mid-way at To Tei Wan).

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the ground was a bit wet from the rain the night before. as we got onto higher grounds we captured the first views of Stanley.

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we came to the first fork – the one facing outwards which we took was the dragon’s back trail (4.9km ending at Tai Long Wan).

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and we got a great view of Shek O (top photo & above). 🙂 panning back we also had a better birds eye view of Stanley.

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more views of Shek O! we took quite a few group photos here for memories. 🙂

looking back at the dragon's back trail

looking back at the dragon’s back trail

& the view of the dragon’s back trail looking back. 🙂

view of Tai Long Wan

view of Tai Long Wan

more walking, and Tai Long Wan unfolded just ahead! 🙂

Shek O peak 284m

Shek O peak 284m

and then we were at Shek O peak at 284m. 🙂

mid-way exit to Shek O road at To Tei Wan

mid-way exit to Shek O road at To Tei Wan

we were not planning to go to Tai Long Wan as the return journey would take 5 hrs, so we made a mid-way exit to Shek O road at To Tei Wan Village and that was just a nice 2hrs 5.7km hike. 🙂

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we had some time to kill, so we walked around the wet market at Shau Kei Wan. there were live seafood of all description – the rarer ones like conch 海螺, abalones, razor clams (we only see in restaurants in Singapore), mantis prawns, braised goose (we hardly could find in restaurants here).

as we were still in good time and having already made prior reservations, we decided to make our way back to Tsimshatsui & had a very pleasant dimsum lunch at 迎Joyous One.

we did not do the Peak Circle walk the day before because of the rain. so after lunch & a short walk around Tsimshatsui, our trip leader herded us to Central bus terminus where we took No15 to the Peak. I had taken the Peak Tram the last few times when I went to the Peak. The bus offered a very good alternative really -cheap & excellent views during the journey up. 🙂

small fall along Peak Circle route

small falls along Peak Circle route

we were surprised with this mini falls along Peak Circle Walk as usually there was no water flow but maybe the overnight rain brought enough water. 🙂

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we were planning to do a casually 1hr walk on paved roads with round-island views of Hong Kong skyline (and would have if we had stuck to Lugard Road) . however we got distracted and decided to take Harlech Road & pursue the Pak Fu Lam park & reservoir route. that became another 2hr+ hike over terrain with quite steep slopes & another 5.3km. 🙂

another excuse for big eats! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy