My long walk to work was fun - but I'll stick to the MTR, reporter Ada says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 April, 2014, 2:57am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 April, 2014, 2:57am

I stuff a pair of flat shoes into my handbag, put on some light make-up, don sneakers and set off for work.

It's a normal day at the South China Morning Post, but the commute is a little different; I'm swapping the MTR for a walk to the newsroom in Causeway Bay from my home in Taikoo Shing.

I pick a loose-fitting linen top and comfortable trousers, and take extra care when I apply my make-up so my eyeliner and mascara won't smudge by the time I get to work.

Watch: How long does it take to walk 6 kilometers in Hong Kong?

With a camera on my chest to film the experience and carrying a device to measure air pollution, I set off at 2.50pm - I'm on the afternoon shift - and follow King's Road to Victoria Park before turning into Leighton Road. I get to work an hour and 25 minutes later - three times as long as the usual commute.

A smartphone app reveals I took 8,410 steps on the 6.2 kilometre journey. It calculates that I burned 222 calories, equal to the energy I'd get from eating half a bag of potato chips.

I'd say it was a pleasant walk, on flat roads, with temperatures of about 20 degrees Celsius. There was little sweat or aching muscles. The walk gave me a rare chance to take a fresh look at the city, admiring buildings, shops and the skyline. The streets weren't too crowded until I got to North Point.

But I was annoyed by the numerous road crossings. Some were split into two, forcing walkers to stand on islands in the middle of the road, the exhaust fumes in our faces.

To my surprise, the pollution monitoring device I borrowed from the Clean Air Network showed the second-highest reading of tiny particulates in Quarry Bay, at about 44 micrograms per cubic metre - just above the World Health Organisation's recommended maximum of 40. The reading briefly jumped to 70 in Causeway Bay when two smokers walked by, but fell to about 20 on Leighton Road.

The morning rains must have cleared the air.

As for the walk itself? It was better than expected, but I can only imagine it being messier in the heat and humidity of summer. Would I do it again? I think I'll stick with the MTR.