The perfect way to end a hike is to dip into a restaurant and gorge in guilt-free calories. It’s important to replace those liquids you sweated out, and last time I checked beer and wine are both liquids. Fortunately, Hong Kong is blessed with an abundance of both but also with great food and beverage establishments conveniently located near the end.
Here are a few for your next weekend excursion:
1. Sunset Peak – Pui O/Lower Cheung Cha Beach
Sunset Peak is one of Lantau’s two highest hills. Take the ferry to Mui Wo, turn right out of the ferry past the bicycles until you reach a roundabout. Turn left up the hill and walk along the road for around 20 minutes until you see the wooden arch declaring “Lantau Country Park”. Walk under the arch and follow the trail as it ascends up Sunset Peak. It’s a fairly straightforward path to follow, with only one potential wrong turn – if in doubt, do not turn right on the trail, take the left option. You descend down the other side via steep steps to Pak Kung Au.
From Pak Kung Au, you can wait for a short taxi or bus ride. Head to Pui O or to Lower Cheung Cha Beach. There is one restaurant on Pui O, Treasure Island, that sells and array of Western food. Or on Lower Cheung Cha, there are a few options like Bathers or Lantana for a massive 18” pizza.
2. The Twins – Stanley
For a short trek, The Twins has to be one of the most difficult hikes in Hong Kong. Start at Park View and hike up over Violet Hill. Descend down a long path, where you’ll be treated to views of rolling hills. You will also spy the first Twin. When you reach the bottom of Violet Hill, you cross a small bridge and turn right. The first Twin is a relentless thousand steps. It feels like it will never end, but I promise it will. Then, after a short descent, the second Twin begins. After conquering the two huge hills, head down the steep exposed slope to Stanley Gap Road.
On the road, there is a bus stop with regular buses to Stanley. Taxis come by too. Or, you could walk down the road. There is no pavement, so if you do walk, take care negotiating the narrow road because passing buses take up most of the space. In Stanley, head to the promenade for one of many restaurants. There are showers and changing rooms on the beach if you do not want to subject the other customers to your post hike sweat.
3. Dragon’s Back – Big Wave Bay/Shek O
Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan, then out of exit 3 look for the bus station. Ride the No 9 to To Tei Wan, Dragon’s Back. The hike is not very challenging by Hong Kong standards, but you will have beautiful views of the beaches below. You will eventually end up at Big Wave Bay. You can grab food there, or continue to walk along the road to Shek O, which has incredible Thai Restaurants, among others.
4. The Immortals – Ting Kok Road
The Immortals (Pat Sin Leng) are among the most stunning hikes in Hong Kong. The long undulating ridge offer fantastic views and a challenging walk. Take the MTR to Fanling then hope minibus No 52B. A short walk uphill along concrete, followed by a steep ascent up a trail and then you’re on the ridge line. Once you finish the Immortals and head down back into the forest, via a set of stairs, turn right at the fork and keep heading down until you hit Bride’s Pool Road.
Turn right and walk along the road. You’ll find yourself on Ting Kok Road, filled with bars and restaurants with Chinese, Thai and Western cuisine.
5. MacLehose Stage Two – Ham Tim
Do the MacLehose in reverse from Pak Tam Au. The path is well marked with MacLehose signs. It is relatively flat, follows the coast for a bit and then there is a gentle rise. At the top of this rise, you can turn left and clamber up Sharp Peak, or descend straight to Ham Tim beach.
There is a small hut at the end of the beach that does great food and beers. You can then take a speed boat back along the coast to Sai Kung or hike out. The speed boat’s schedule is fairly haphazard and goes only when it is full. It is subject to weather, so can be cancelled at the last minute. But the risk is worth it because the beach is one of the most stunning locations in Hong Kong.