Day 3 to 13
For the following 11 days we will enjoy a varied programme of walks and sightseeing, including at least one free day for you to explore independently. Here is an example of some of the walks that we hope to include in our programme during our time in Hong Kong:
The following days may not necessarily take place in accordance with the order of this itinerary. This itinerary is intended to give you an idea about the areas and activities that we hope to include in this holiday. The order in which they will take place will be dependent on local conditions and may vary with each departure date.
Kowloon Park, Coastal Walk along the Avenue of Stars & the 1881 Heritage Building
Not a park as we might expect – but a visit to Kowloon Park where there are flamingos, modern statues, indigenous plants, Chinese garden and probably Tai chi dancers. Then on to Nathan Road where there are skilled tailors ready to make overnight made to measure dresses, suits or shirts. We head to the coast to walk along the Avenue of Stars and to watch the busy shipping lanes across Victoria Harbour. Next to the Ocean Terminal where food courts supply meals from numerous nationalities and where the locals eat. The “1881” Heritage building is a must to visit – built nearly 140 years ago for the Marine Police Headquarters – it retains a Greenwich Meantime ball tower, records of Japanese occupation and history of Hong Kong. Nearby there are the Space and Art museums. On the way back to our hotel the flower and bird markets are visited. Come evening we return to Victoria Harbour to view, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the finest illuminated waterfront in the world – with a laser show timed to music.
Star Ferry, Hong Kong Park & Tram to The Peak
A must for any visitor is a trip across Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry. We walk past some of the finest high rise buildings to visit the colonial era, of 1847, St John’s Cathedral (once the tallest building on Hong Kong and now like a model!). Near the Cathedral is Hong Kong Park with an intriguing tea museum housed in a British Army Officers’ building. An aviary so large that numerous birds can fly within its protective cover is a must to visit before taking the vernacular tram to The Peak. At The Peak there are iconic views across Hong Kong island. We take in the views before returning to central Hong Kong for a tram ride to the Western Central Market (a traditional British food market) followed by viewing Chinese medicine and dried fish markets. After dinner a visit to a night market in Temple Street completes the day’s activities.
Sai Kung Country Park & Kung Shek
A day of coastal, woodland and paddy field trails. We walk in the National Sai Kung Country Park for a beach walk with some fine coastal views. Then into woods before reaching areas previously used as rice paddy fields. A ferry boat then whisks us to Wong Shek before making a tour of the fishing town of Sai Kung. This evening dinner is at a local restaurant. This walk is 6.5 miles (10 kms). - along concrete paths, coastal sandy beaches, woodland, disused paddy fields, sections of steps and a steady hill trail. Descents and ascents: 150m.
Tai Tam & the Dragon’s Back Trail
Victorian engineering splendour is reflected in the area of Tai Tam, Hong Kong Island’s largest ‘green lung’, where a pleasant walk takes a route past a major water catchment area of dams, bridges, pump houses and reservoirs. Followed then by a tourist “essential” visit to Stanley Market. A second trail along the Dragon’s Back (said to be the finest urban hike in Asia) allows for island and city views. Tai Tam Victorian water catchment area - we walk for 2.5 miles (4 kms) down a roadway system for a descent of 150m. Dragon's Back - we walk for 3 miles (5 kms) with hill climb and descent of 180m.
Aberdeen Harbour & Lamma Island Coastal Walk
No visit to Hong Kong can be complete without taking a sampan out on Aberdeen Harbour. Following Aberdeen we take a ferry boat to Lamma Island for a coastal walk with a chance to swim in the South China Sea. After dinner on the island a night ferry trip takes us back to Hong Kong. Todays walk is 6.5 miles (10 kms) with ascents and descents of 100m.
Bride’s Pool Walk, Hakka Village & Plover Cove Country Park
Bride’s Pool walk – about which your tour leader will explain the mythology, passes rocky trails, streams and pools before taking a wooded route and then on to our first view of China as we overlook the City of Shenzhen. Next comes a Hakka (refugees from China) village – now mainly abandoned with ghostly dwellings. This area within the Plover Cove Country Park offers some of the finest country scenery of the tour. Bride's Pool: Walk is 10 miles (16 kms) along trails that include steep paths, wooded areas, open countryside and stone steps. Ascent and descent of 300m.
Po Lin Monastery, Asia’s Largest Buddha & Tai O Trail
A cable car trip to Hong Kong’s second highest (934m) peak for a visit to Po Lin monastery – where monks are likely to be heard chanting. Time to take a vegetarian lunch at the monastery and wander up to the largest Buddha in Asia. Next we take a hilly trail that leads to Tai O – amongst the last of traditional stilted fishing villages remaining and a photographers paradise! Then across the island for dinner before returning to our hotel. This walk is 9 miles (14 kms). The trail is taken partly on roads and for most of the route by footpaths - covering three hills of about 50m climb each over a height of about 400m with descent to sea level.
Central Hong Kong, Man Mo Temple & Cheng Chau Island
A second opportunity to visit the central area of Hong Kong where we start at Possession Street where the British navy first landed. Followed by a walk along the original ‘Hollywood’ Road to visit a traditional Chinese temple: the Man Mo Temple. Once a place of intrigue as the British listened into conversations by Chinese seeking to cause insurrection. The route then goes along Gough Street where there are many shops selling old and new ‘antiques’. The longest escalator in the world is then followed down to the ferry piers for a boat to Cheung Chau Island for a coastal walk, swim opportunity and dinner on the island.
Ping Shan Heritage Trail, Yuen Long & the Wetland Park
Having seen modern Hong Kong, buildings of the colonial era and much of the countryside we now have an opportunity to visit traditional Chinese buildings and to appreciate their culture and education. We follow a heritage trail at Ping Shan – pass the largest Pagoda in Hong Kong then visit the town of Yuen Long. For the afternoon a visit to the Wetland Park where there are board walks and hides to view migratory birds together with butterflies.