I did this walk in October – in sweltering, hazy heat. We thought it was going to be another short, couple of hour jaunt (much like the Kowloon hills) but it wasn’t. Looking at the pictures you can see just how bad the visibility was. The views still look picturesque; but on a clear day they must be stunning. The trail takes you up and along the very crest of Hong Kong island: one your left you can see the towers and landmarks of Victoria Harbour, to the right green hills slope down to Tai Tam Reservoir and the South China Sea. The very best view is from Jardine’s Lookout – a spot probably named after a rampaging former colonial Chief Executive. Sadly, there wasn’t a monkey in sight.
That weekend, as I huffed and puffed and dripped with sweat, there were a lot of runners zipping past us, all lycra and wrap-around shades. There was an event on, they were doing something maniacal like jogging the length of Hong Kong and South East China, and I am truly in awe of anyone who can run up a mountain. But, personally, I prefer a slow hike with lots of refreshing pauses – to appreciate the views, of course, not at all to rest my gasping lungs.
Overall the walk took around three and a half hours (including stops). It felt very remote in parts, as we stood atop the ridge overlooking Hong Kong, but it ended in a public park filled with grannies doing Tai-Chi. In Hong Kong, you know you’re near civilization, or at least a 7/11, if there are old ladies doing Tai-Chi. Out of interest, to start the walk you take the Stanley-bound bus from Central to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir and walk up the road until you reach a dirt track marked ‘Wilson Trail Section 2’. I’ve attached a photo of the petrol station next to the bus stop – not just for any would-be walkers reading this but also because the petrol station offers (giggle, giggle) ‘Easy Joy’. That’s nowhere near as good, however, as the petrol station near my work which offers – honestly – a ‘Quick Lube’.