We decided to go for a hike in Hong Kong.
When I was younger, I spent quite a lot of time in the island city visiting my Por Por (grandma). During these previous visits, the closest thing we came to a strenuous hike was carrying full shopping bags up mall escalators when the lifts were full. So it was nice this time round to see the ‘other side’ of this Asian metropolis.
We met up with Stephen – a travelling yogi, Mesi met in Hungary (by the way, he writes a great blog on www.myfiveacres.com) – and his friend Theresa, who suggested we accompany them on the ‘1000 steps walk’. The trail starts in the middle of the island and goes all the way to the south near Repulse Bay in Stanley. It was beautiful, and utterly surprising. Only 20 min away from the hustle and bustle of the harbour – the malls, the traffic, the concrete jungle – you find yourself in the middle of a REAL jungle. Green for miles around, I couldn’t believe this was the same Hong Kong I grew up with.
Halfway through the walk, we met a French man who had lived in HK for 14 years. He summed it up well – you can’t find this anywhere in the world: an international, world class city with stunning, natural scenery separated from each other by less than half-an-hour.
Later in the week, on the suggestion of my Budapest buddy Jeremy, we headed up to Sai Kung – an area dotted with limestone islands that you can traverse by boat. We hired a junk captained by a quaint, ageing Chinese lady and over a few hours, visited a islands, villages and a beach. Wouldn’t say it was as spectacular as other island chains in Asia, but again, it was fascinating to see a side of the country that I didn’t even know existed before this trip.
It was good reminder for me that you can always explore, even in places you think you know well.