Take a hike

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 June, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 June, 2003, 12:00am

AS YOU read this I'll be hiking up a mountain somewhere in the south of Spain. If you aren't as lucky as I am and are stuck in Hong Kong over the summer, don't despair. You can still have a get-away-from-it-all hiking holiday.

More than 70 per cent of Hong Kong is country park land and once you get far away enough from the buildings, you can easily pretend you are somewhere else.

To make it even more fun, why not make a weekend of it and spend the night away from home, You could go camping, or stay at a Youth Hostel.

If you haven't spent the night at a Youth Hostel, you are missing out. It's easy, cheap and there are seven hostels scattered around Hong Kong, with a couple on Lantau Island, four in the New Territories and one on Hong Kong Island.

The Jockey Club Hostel, at the top of Mt Davis path on Hong Kong Island is the largest with 169 beds. And if you feel like really roughing it, five of the hostels have tent grounds. All of the hostels have self-catering kitchens and barbecue pits, so bring your own food along for a feast.

Accommodation costs about $30-$40 per person per night or slightly more if you are sharing.

The hostels get busy over the summer, so call a week in advance to avoid disappointment. Reservations can be made by phone - 2788 1638 - or online at www.yha.org.hk/eng/.

The more time you spend planning your camping trip, the better it will be. Aside from working out where you are going to sleep, there are many other things to consider. Planning your route is crucial. Ordinance survey maps are useful as they show you not only the main paths and roads, but also the contour lines - so you know what you are letting yourself in for. Or better still, pick up one of the many good hiking books on the market (Hong Kong Hikes, by Tinja Tsang and Christian Wright), which give guidelines about the difficulties of the paths and the time it will take to complete them.

Make sure you bring everything you will need with you, as there won't be any 7-Elevens along the way. But be careful not to bring too much, as you will have to carry it. It is essential to take lots of water - even if it is heavy. And remember to wear a hat.

Before you set out, tell your parents where you are going and carry a mobile phone with you in case you run into trouble.


1. water

2. map

3. mosquito repellent

4. flashlight

5. mobile phone

6. suntan lotion

7. a hat

8. matches/ lighter

9. food

10. Swiss Army knife (it's not an adventure without one)