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Please, don't litter!

Hiking is about communion with nature. So please pickup after yourself. There's no excuse to leave plastic bags, water bottles or any rubbish on or around the trails; if you managed to bring it, you can manage to bring it back!

Wild Hong Kong

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Cloudy Hill (九龍坑山)

Duration: 
3.5 hours, 9km

Difficulty:
6.5/10. One big climb, then down or flat.

Cel phone coverage: Mostly everywhere

Water needs: 1 liter

Appreciation: 7/10. Some good views

Transportation:
Tai Wo MTR station, exit 'B'. Return via minibus 52k to the Fanling MTR station.


Why it's worth it:
----------------------------
Tai Wo MTR, Exit B, at the top of the escalator, end right.
Straight through the mall (don't turn left). That's the exit.

Down the stairs. Follow along Kai Wo Road, until you reach the big road (Tai Po Tai Wo Rd)

Cross Tai Po Tai Wo road using the tunnel. Then follow straight ahead (Ting Tai Rd).
Then head left on Tai Po Tau Road...

Where Tai PoTau Rd meets Tai Po Tau Drive, head right.
You'll see the sign for Cloudy Hill pointing the way

Just about 50m down, take the stairs on the right

That's it, can't really get lost at this point, just keep following the Wilson Trail.
You'll get markers every 500m, and the little hiking guy sign to point the right way

Straight ahead

Follow Wilson trail. So, on the right, behind the gazebo

Waaa! Ho leng woh!
When you arrive at the dam, don't cross it, head left instead on Hok Tau Road.

After about 1.5km, you'll see a road on your left with a sign stating "Hok Tau Wai", turn there.
The minibus stop is about 100m in (no signs though, but a bunch of chairs)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hike HongKong now has a Facebook page!

Dear all,

    I was told that creating a Facebook page was "the thing to do" so, in order to increase the reach of HikeKongKong, it is now done.

I will start putting my top10 hikes there, as well as linking to some of the most interesting hikes from my blog. The Facebook page will become another entry point to the blog and, hopefully, a way to reach ever more hikers.

Check it out and please "like" it: https://www.facebook.com/HikeHongKong/

JC

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ho Pui Reservoir (河背水塘), then Lui Kung Tin (雷公田)

Duration: 
3 hours, 10km.


Difficulty:
2/10. Mostly flat

Cel phone coverage: Mostly everywhere

Water needs: 1 liter

Appreciation: 7/10. The loop around the reservoir is nice. Road walk afterward is average. Milk Farm has friendly goats, and good milk!

Transportation:
Kam Sheung Road MTR Station, exit C. Take Minibus 71 and exit at the terminus in Ho Pui Tseun. Return to Kam Sheung Road MTR via minibus 72 or bus 51 to Tsuen Wan/West MTR on Road Twisk.

Details: http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/2031755036
(The end of the hike is incorrectly mapped. You should end at Road Twisk and take the bus or minibus there)

Why it's worth it:



---------------------------
Kam Sheung Road MTR Station, exit C

The minibus stop is about 100m from exit C

Take it all the way to the end stop. About 10-15minutes

At the Ho Pui terminus. Go through the village



You'll eventually hit Ho Pui Tsuen road, head left
After about 400m on Ho Pui Tsuen road, you'll see the campsite. Turn right and past the open gate.

Go via the Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk. Quite easy, you'll loop around the reservoir.
Then come back to Ho Pui Tsuen and head right.
Before you do so however, you may want to stop for a drink at the organic farm

2km onto Ho Pui Tsuen, you'll reach the Tsing Tam Reservoir. Quite pretty.
Keep going on another 3km and you'll see the Milk Farm Co. on your left.

You can get fresh milk and some cup noodles. Once all rested, keep going on Ho Pui Tsuen until you reach Road Twisk. Bug stop will be on your left and will bring you back to the MTR



Monday, February 20, 2017

2 million page views to date, 120,000 page view a month!


Glad you guys find the blog useful!

Amazfit Pace fitness smartwatch review

http://amazfit.sjv.io/c/355768/303465/4713

(Note that Amazfit sponsored me my Amazfit Pace)
http://amazfit.sjv.io/c/355768/303465/4713 
(35% off with the MYFRIEND code on checkout)
I received a package last week. It was an Amazfit Pace fitness smartwatch sent by the fine folks at Amazfit. So, here's my review after putting it through some tests.

It does look as good as the pictures makes it to be. I was afraid the built would look and feel cheap but it doesn't. Solid watch, and quite lightweight.
My humble opinion is that it looks much, much better than an AppleWatch. But then again, I always thought that the AppleWatch looked ugly (all of them) and cheap (but for the very expensive models).

I took the Pace hiking on West Dog Tooth, on Lantau. I set the GPS on the Pace and started MapMyRun on my Samsung S7. We were done after 3.5 hours, and I stopped both the Pace GPS and MapMyRun. I had used up 15% of the Pace's battery, while my S7 was 50% drained.

It was a very good performance, if I compare the Pace to my Garmin Forerunner 410 of a few years back which was drained after 8 hours of GPS use. Based on the 3.5 hours for 15%, the Pace would could likely do in excess of 20 hours of straight GPS use. Now, if you are going to run or hike this long without a recharge break, you're a freak! But for the rest of the world, that's plenty.
If you are going to use it for its watch-mode and notifications only, the battery should last you a full week.

I initially thought that the heart rate monitor was inaccurate but it turned-out that you have to tighten the strap quite a bit to get an accurate read. Once tightened, I got an exact pulse rate.

In terms of GPS accuracy, it seems to be fine; I compared a 6km mountain hike I did that I recorded on both the Pace, and on my Samsung S7. Results were quite similar. I am sure that the higher-end GPS watches might be more accurate, but I don't think it would be very significant for the average hiker/runner.

I tried the sleep monitor as well, which does what it is supposed to do. However, I don't think there's much to hope for in terms of wrist-based sleep monitors in general beyond telling you that you don't sleep enough.

One thing that will need to be fixed is that the watch reports distances in miles and there's currently no way to change that. Provided most countries in the world are using the metric system, I am assuming/hoping that we'll see an update soon. 
(UPDATED 2017-03-04: Firmware update just fixed this)

From the Amazfit app that you can download on the Play store (or whatever Apple equivalent), you can pick from a number of watch faces, which get updated in real-time. Not a lot of faces to choose from, but they are all nice enough and show the key information you'll need to see.

The Pace comes with a charging dock and a USB cable. It will recharge in about an hour.

It is a fitness watch and what it does, it does quite well. It is also quite nice in a subdued-yet-edgy, artsy-not-geeky, sportsy-casual kind of way.

I was given the watch but it is now my main watch and at the current selling price-point, I would definitely recommend it.


Price is right and at a 20% discount if you register for their mailing-list ($130 USD, quite inexpensive).
(Check it out and if you buy from the link below, I get a commission)
http://amazfit.sjv.io/c/355768/303465/4713
(35% off with the MYFRIEND code on checkout)

Details, straight from Amazfit:

  • Run Tracking: Track your runs and capture distance, time, pace, heart rate, calories, speed, cadence, maximum/average moving pace, max/avg moving speed, max/avg cadence, altitude, elevation gain, elevation loss and min/max altitude.
  • Phone-Free Music: Connect wirelessly to Bluetooth earbuds, load up your music to the internal storage, and run phone-free.
  • GPS: Track your route and distance with built-in GPS.
  • Notifications: Receive notifications for incoming calls, messages, emails, and other apps.
  • Heart Rate: Optimize workouts with automatic heart rate monitoring and continuous heart rate tracking.

  • Battery life: 5 days regular use / 11 days basic use
  • Water resistance: IP67, resistant to water and dust
  • Heart rate sensor: Optical (PPG)
  • GPS + GLONASS

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Amazfit Fitness Smartwatch

http://amazfit.sjv.io/c/355768/303465/4713

Pace: A reasonably good-looking smartwatch with features you'd expect. I don't have one yet.
Price is right and at a 20% discount if you register for their mailing-list ($130 USD, quite inexpensive).

(Check it out and if you buy from the link below, I get a commission)
http://amazfit.sjv.io/c/355768/303465/4713

Details:

  • Run Tracking: Track your runs and capture distance, time, pace, heart rate, calories, speed, cadence, maximum/average moving pace, max/avg moving speed, max/avg cadence, altitude, elevation gain, elevation loss and min/max altitude.
  • Phone-Free Music: Connect wirelessly to Bluetooth earbuds, load up your music to the internal storage, and run phone-free.
  • GPS: Track your route and distance with built-in GPS.
  • Notifications: Receive notifications for incoming calls, messages, emails, and other apps.
  • Heart Rate: Optimize workouts with automatic heart rate monitoring and continuous heart rate tracking.

  • Battery life: 5 days regular use / 11 days basic use
  • Water resistance: IP67, resistant to water and dust
  • Heart rate sensor: Optical (PPG)
  • GPS + GLONASS
Actually, they have another product, the Moonbeam, for the ladies, which I think has quite a nice design. Hard to assess the built quality from just the picture but then again, the price point is quite low so it is not like investing in an AppleWatch!

http://amazfit.sjv.io/c/355768/303465/4713


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Short loop to Sharp Peak (Nam She Tsim - 蚺蛇尖 )

Duration: 
4.5 hours, 10km.


Difficulty:
10/10. Hands required to climb some of the sections. Do not attempt if you are afraid of heights or don't feel comfortable scrambling. About 450m climb in total

Cel phone coverage: Partial coverage

Water needs: 2 liters

Appreciation: 10/10. One if not the most scenic hike in Hong Kong.

Transportation:
Take bus 96R from Diamond Hill MTR exit C on Sunday or public holidays an exit at Pak Tam Au. Take speedboat or ferry at Chek Keng Pier to Wong Shek Pier and return via 96R.


Why it's worth it:
------------------------
Take 96R at Diamond Hill MTR station, drop off at Pak Tam Au.The trail head is on your right, across the road.
There are toilets there shall you need them before you start. Have a quick look at my map. Not too hard to get your bearing. That is Maclehose section 2 by the way


First fork, go right.

Then a left towards Chek Keng

At Chenk Keng, hang right. The path on the left goes to goes to the pier and the youth hostel

Between milestone M40 and M39, about an hour in, you'll reach a little pavilion and a bench. That's where you break-off of Mac 2 and go up towards Sharp Peak. This is where the fun begins. You just have to follow the most direct path to the peak, Can't miss it. And yes, those steep patches are to be climbed...

Top of Sharp Peak
On the way back down, you can bypass the first 2 steep pitches. From the top, just continue opposite from where you came from. It is a lot less steep. Then, you get to this point, turn right. A bit of bushwhacking, and you'll be back to the trail.


Keep going until you get in the vicinity of the second scrambling pitch, head down and left instead. Then, there will be another bypass path on your right, as per the picture. You'll end-up right at the foot of the second pitch. You'll still have to scramble down the 3rd pitch but it is a bit easier. Then, it is smooth sailing back to Mac 2, retrace your steps towards Chek Keng

You'll get to those stairs. No signage that indicate anything. Take them and you'll get to the Chek Keng pier.
There are speedboats to take you to Wong Shek pier. $150 to charter one. Wait a few minutes for other hikers to join and make it cheaper