Tuesday 23 June 2015

HK Nature Walk - Sai Kung High Island Reservoir Hike

For many years, I associated Hong Kong with only shopping and good food. After a short visit in 1991, I passed over Hong Kong in favour of other Asian holiday destinations because it was too 'similar' to Singapore and there was probably 'not much to see'.

I take my words back. My sister moved to Hong Kong in 2013. My first visit in November 2013 after so many years changed my mind about the place. It was still good for shopping and eating, and there were lots of walking and hiking trails too, not to mention a large nature reserve excellent for birdwatching.

When I arrived at the airport, a Hong Kong Tourism Board booklet which says "Your Guide to Hiking and Cycling in Hong Kong" caught my eye. Hiking in Hong Kong? I was surprised. The book had trails of different difficulty levels all over the island and on the mainland. Since I wasn't one for shopping, I was thrilled.

My sister and friends arranged for a weekend day hike to the East Dam of the High Island Reservoir at the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region, part of the Hong Kong Global Geopark of China. The plan was to hike to the East Dam, have lunch, and then hike back.

Take bus #94 from Saikung Town to the start of the trail
near the reservoir. 

The walk started UPHILL...

Starting point. This is part of the MacLehose Trail.
This trail is the oldest and longest, running 100km east-west
through the New Territories.

Cow dung - quite a common sight along the way.

High Island Reservoir. Our destination, East Dam,
was located between the leftmost 2 peaks.

This reservoir was built in the 70s. It was the biggest in the city. 

Finally at the East Dam!

The volcanic rock in this region was hundreds of
millions of years old. 

Long Ke Wan. We went over the hill after the East Dam
and found a lovely and quiet beach.

The entire walk was supposed to take about 5 hours. But we took too much time taking photographs along the way and took about 4 hours to arrive at the East Dam! It would be nightfall if we were to hike out again and we were too tired.

Tip: Call for the green taxis of New Territories. Make sure you take note of the telephone numbers of the Green Taxi companies when you are in Saikung Town. They can drive all the way to the East Dam to pick you up, or send you there.

Some of my friends had seafood at Saikung Town to reward themselves after the long walk. The rest of us went back to town for a feast. Walk more to eat more!

Look out for more articles on outdoor Hong Kong!