App of the week

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2012, 11:58am

Enjoy Hiking


Rating 9/10

Just like the app, hiking in Hong Kong is free and there are few better things for your body and mind. Besides the benefits of a slow, steady calorie burn and a steady pace of exercise in your own rhythm, hiking awakens a sense of adventure.

I like hiking and Enjoy Hiking is full of new possibilities. This bilingual app is produced by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

The trails can be searched by type - family walks, nature trails, country trails, long trails and others - or by region. The "others" category includes a War Relics Trail and the Lung Fu Shan Fitness Trail, which runs up The Peak near Pinewood Battery. Because the trails are cross-referenced I'm uncertain how many are mentioned, but there are enough to keep you busy.

Pick a trail and you get a simple map showing the route and landmarks along the way together with the option to see a hybrid satellite/map view. Tap for trail information, which includes the basics such as starting and finishing points, distance and estimated time to complete the trail, plus a full description. Possible bus numbers to take you to and from the hike are also provided, but this information is only useful if you know where you are going; it doesn't tell you where to get off.

The notes give a detailed description of the trail, including historic points of interest, and observations about the views you might expect. The style in which these sections are written suggests that it was done by someone who also enjoys hiking.

As this is a government-sponsored app, you can be assured that there is a useful information section covering everything from how to walk, to what to pack in your bag: sewing kit, map packed in a plastic bag, a whistle, compass, emergency food, notebook and much more.

One thing I can now dispense with is my old faithful hiking book.