Lastly, of course, the companions! Friendship! Only crazy people like these will accompany me to cross off my bucket list in such a crazy weather. It will be one of the memories that I treasure the most ;)

It’s a mountain-and-beach kind of day!

March 14, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Dragon’s Back - ‘Best Urban Hiking Trail in Asia’ by Time (Asia Ed.)

Dragon’s Back – ‘Best Urban Hiking Trail in Asia’ by Time (Asia Ed.)

So it’s Reading Week! Reading Week basically is a week off in HKU for students to study/revise/catch up with school work; or actually a week off for students to play/travelling/do something that you like! Didn’t want to waste my Reading Week doing nothing so I planned a hiking trip to the Dragon’s Back hiking trail. Why did I decide to go hiking? First, it’s free! (except you need to pay for transportation) Second, you get nice views of some of Hong Kong’s beautiful beaches like Shek-O and Stanley! Lastly, you get to burn some fat you’ve gained, or are soon-to-gain during Reading Week. Summer is coming, so you better get your summer body ready! ;) I sort of “forced” a few friends to accompany me for the hike, so here’s the summary!

Dragon’s Back Hike

Difficulty level: 2/5 (strong wind and moderately steep stairs)
Distance: 8.5km (from To Tei Wan entrance to Big Wave Bay)
Time consumed: 2.5 – 3 hours
Tips: Do prepare some snacks to eat during the hike. We thought we could finish the hike in less than 2 hours so we did not prepare any and we ended up starving until we reached Big Wave Bay.

What to prepare

Check the weather forecast for the day you are planning to go for the hike, you can check it at http://www.hko.gov.hk. You might want to give the hike a pass if it’s gonna rain that day. Remember to check for the wind and visibility too!

Dresscode
Well, sports attire of course? Wear according to weather though – layer up during winter; and apply sunscreen during summer. On the hiking day itself, remember to have breakfast, bring enough of water, make sure your camera/phone is fully charged, and you are good to go!

Treated some of my friends to breakfast at St. Johns – one of HKU’s residential halls

Treated some of my friends to breakfast at St. Johns – one of HKU’s residential halls

 

How to get there

Take the MTR Island Line and stop at Shau Kei Wan station, exit at A3 to get to Shau Kei Wan bus terminus.

Mandatory shots at the MTR station

Mandatory shots at the MTR station

There are two ways to get to the starting point of the hike:

(i) Take NWFB bus no.9 from Shau Kei Wan bus terminus to To Tei Wan station, HKD6.90, approximately 25 minutes.

(ii) Take the red minibus (towards Shek O, 石澳direction) one street away from Shau Kei Wan bus terminus to To Tei Wan station, HKD7, approximately 15 minutes.

Introducing the hikers: (from left) Me, Chang, Mindy, Yin Huan, Pei Ling and Wei Xian.

Introducing the hikers: (from left) Me, Chang, Mindy, Yin Huan, Pei Ling and Wei Xian.

The no.9 bus stop is quite easily spotted at the bus terminus, as shown in the picture above. While for the minibus, you have to cross the road in front of the no.9 bus stop. There will be a lot of minibuses at the junction, just search for the one going towards Shek O.

You do the math – with only HK$ 0.10 difference between bus options, we of course opted for the red minibus and also reached the starting point earlier. However, you will have to be able to speak a little bit of cantonese to the driver if you choose to take the minibus and also “enjoy” the roller-coaster-like journey to the starting point (have you heard of Hong Kong’s crazy red minibuses?). Or else the big bus No. 9 get’s you there only 10 minutes later than expected, and will probably make you less dizzy.

 

The hike

To Tei Wan entrance

To Tei Wan entrance

After alighting, you should be able to see the entrance to the hike, it is quite obvious, just beside the road.

Be sure to check the map and use the loo before you start the hike.

Be sure to check the map and use the loo before you start the hike.

Follow the signs to Dragon’s Back. It’s 2.5 km to the highest peak. The trail is well-marked, unpaved and rocky, with loads of ups and downs and some shade but mostly not.

picture11 picture13 picture12 picture14

It will take about 30 – 45 minutes to reach the peak of Dragon’s Back. At 284 metres high, the hilltop sightseeing platform on Shek O Peak is the perfect place enjoy the surrounding sceneries. If you are lucky enough, you can even see people paragliding there!

At the highest peak of Dragon’s Back Trail.

At the highest peak of Dragon’s Back Trail.

Turning left, about another 1.5 km will lead you down to the end of the trail at Shek-O Road. Turning right, you continue your journey to Big Wave Bay by passing Tai Tam Gap. Continue walking and enjoy the fresh air in the jungle. Just follow the pathway in the jungle, it’s pretty easy. After around an hour, you will reach a paved road, which will lead you to Big Wave Bay.

The Dragon’s Back Trail ends when you reach this checkpoint junction.

The Dragon’s Back Trail ends when you reach this checkpoint junction.

picture18

 

You will pass some clear signs leading to Big Wave Bay, a.k.a Tai Long Wan. Waves reach several metres high in all seasons in the unobstructed bay, making Big Wave Bay a surfer haunt. You can also fuel up at nearby stores/cafes.

Big Wave Bay

Big Wave Bay

 

When you’re done with playing around at the beach, you can take the left turn when walking uphill from the beach. Walk until the end and you will reach the bus terminus. There are also two ways back to Shau Kei Wan MTR station: (i) NWFB bus no.9, HKD6.90; (ii) Red minibus (towards Shau Kei Wan direction this time), HK$ 10.

The uphill walk from the beach

The uphill walk from the beach

 

The after-hike

Well, Malaysians are always hunting for good food in Hong Kong. We, of course indulged ourselves in some good food after a hectic hike. The bunch of us was craving for some Malay food, but since authentic Malay food is kind of difficult to find in Hong Kong, we decided to try out Indonesian Food, recommended by our Indonesian friend. We went to a restaurant called Warung Chandra in Causeway Bay, just opposite of the Indonesia Consulate.

Nasi Kuning Campur

Nasi Kuning Campur

Nasi Campur, Lontong Ayam, Nasi Goreng

Nasi Campur, Lontong Ayam, Nasi Goreng

Cendol

Cendol

 

The hike up to Dragon’s Back was indeed a rewarding one.

First, IF YOU WERE THERE DURING A NICE WEATHER WITH HIGH VISIBILITY, for sure, you’ll be able to see a clear panorama view of Stanley and Shek O . Too bad we were there on a wrong day, we couldn’t see clearly the breathetaking scenery. *sigh*

First, IF YOU WERE THERE DURING A NICE WEATHER WITH HIGH VISIBILITY, for sure, you’ll be able to see a clear panorama view of Stanley and Shek O . Too bad we were there on a wrong day, we couldn’t see clearly the breathetaking scenery. *sigh*

 

 

Second, the flora and fauna there are…… nice? :P

Second, the flora and fauna there are…… nice? :P

 

Lastly, of course, the companions! Friendship! Only crazy people like these will accompany me to cross off my bucket list in such a crazy weather. It will be one of the memories that I treasure the most ;)

Lastly, of course, the companions! Friendship! Only crazy people like these will accompany me to cross off my bucket list in such a crazy weather. It will be one of the memories that I treasure the most ;)

 

 

 

Until next time, have a happy reading week everyone!

Until next time, have a happy reading week everyone!

 

By Grace Sue Chin Heng
From Malaysia
Year 2, Bachelor of Science (Mathematics)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

COMMENTS