There are tons of different options to be hiking next to the Hong Kong trail, section 5 in this case, but completely out of the crowd. This is one of them, with a bit of adventure.
- Beauty/fun: 6/10. Near enough to hear the “hikers” on the concrete, but completely within the bushes or streams. Here a friend said the sentence “this is not hiking but mountaineering in HK!” 😛
- Difficulty: 4.5/10. It can be easier if you do uphill the main (mostly dry half of the year) stream uphill, red line. Doing it downhill and with not confident climbers, I would suggest taking a 10m rope with you to help in some of the “falls” (all less than 5m long so that you can retrieve back your rope). If it is wet in the upper sections or starts to rain in the middle of the descend, find an exit or get ready for full small canyoning experience 😀
- The map with two options in opposite directions.
Blue line: First the most adventurous way. Take bus or taxi up to the petrol station in Wong Nai Chung Gap. The stairs on the very right of it are the starting point.
You can take different routes here, in our case we went through a bushy path
Till you connect with the catchwater in the Tai Tam country trail. Continue walking North-NE direction and soon you will be traversing some rocky sections, dirt path, etc. Nowadays significantly more visited and therefore clear.
You will find even some ropes set in not specially difficult section. Soon you will arrive at a cliff, not really dangerous at all, although it could look so initially. I had someone with vertigo completely freaked out here once and we needed to go back again in opposite direction. Very nice views of the city below.
From there go down through the “sled”
back again to the catchwater.
As soon as you arrive at the connection with the Hong Kong trail section 6 you will find the creek you will be walking down.
The first fall tend to be dry but slippery and with a rope (latest checked on 15/4/17) to go down through.
The aim is clear. The reservoir below. Slow descent. The rope was completely decomposed already. Remember to bring yours for extra safety.
The stream seems to be little hiked and the vegetation can be dense in some parts.
Some areas with big boulders.
No matter how dry the upper part is, finally you will find some water in the creek. You can avoid getting wet just crossing right and left to the easiest paths.
Sometimes among the “bamboo forests”. In the lower section, you will start to see some sand. You are close to the reservoir.
Here you can just walk SW direction and soon you will find the next stream to go up through. You can see them in the Opencyclempas. Something like this.
Once up into the stream you will see a nice waterfall.
And an easy stream to ascend almost till Tai Tam Reservoir road and Parkview a little higher.
You could end up the hike here or just have some more out of the beaten track fun. Marked on the map above the path proposed. There are some sections where you can take a rest in boulders.
But mainly you will be walking through clear paths with dense vegetation around. Being able to hear the crowds on the concrete paths around, but completely on your own (a big group in our case).
Views to the reservoir below.
And again the path that connects with the road, Mount Parker’s in this case.
From there you can walk down to TaiTam Road from where to take transportation back. Or in the marked path (blue) above, we went North direction and down through a bit of more out path and stream to Braemar Hill, for a long hiking day.
Red line: As mentioned before, you could do the hike in opposite direction. This will be little easier as the main stream to traverse would be uphill.
Take bus or taxi up Tai Tam road to the stairs that will take you to the start of Boa Vista trail.
Continue on the trail till you see this turn (with the pipe already).
The ribbons will guide you downhill through the forest. Dense but easily “navigable”.
Connect with the Mount Parker road. Go down less than 100 meters and exactly in this curve starts the path.
Enjoy the non-crowded central Hong Kong island trails! A little video of what you will see.