A Travellerspoint blog

Trailing to the Bitter End.

The Hong Kong Trail Sections Seven and Eight.

sunny

It was a beautiful day: blue skies and clear views. Top temperatures of the day were predicted to be around 25 degrees, so not too hot for walking. I got up early and set out soon after, as the last two sections of the Hong Kong Trail are the longest ones.

To get to the start of Section Seven I went by MTR to Sai Wan Ho Station, exited through exit A, and took bus 14 to Tai Tam Reservoir North. If you are ever in Hong Kong, I'd highly recommend taking this bus route all the way to Stanley, as it crosses over the top of the Tai Tam Tuk Dam and the views are amazing. Unfortunately, I had to get off just before it crossed.

From the bus stop, I walked about 100 metres back the way on the same side of the road. There's no pavement here, so it is necessary to walk with caution. I saw the path sloping down on my right and began Section Seven.

Section Seven is seven and a half kilometres long and goes from Tai Tam Road to To Tei Wan. For most of the way this trail follows a flat concrete path through the forest and next to a catch-water. It's very easy to walk on and there's plenty of shade from the surrounding trees. Every so often there are little bridges and waterfalls along the route, though the waterfalls were just trickles on this walk.

Catch water.

Catch water.

Catch water.

Catch water.

Catch water.

Catch water.

Reflections in the catch water.

Reflections in the catch water.

Selfie on catch water.

Selfie on catch water.

Bridge.

Bridge.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Jungle Path.

Jungle Path.

I've read lots of blogs by people who did the whole Hong Kong Trail in a day and they complain about this section describing it as samey and endless. I wasn't in as much of a hurry as they were and I stopped to enjoy the spectacular views from here over Tai Tam Harbour. On a sunny day these views were pretty breathtaking. It's possible to see Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir Dam, Red Hill, Tai Tam Tuk Harbour and, in the distance, Stanley.

Tai Tam Harbour through the flowers.

Tai Tam Harbour through the flowers.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir Dam.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Harbour.

Red Hill.

Red Hill.

Red Hill.

Red Hill.

Stanley with zoom.

Stanley with zoom.

Stanley with zoom.

Stanley with zoom.

Selfie with harbour.

Selfie with harbour.

I noticed a few interesting buildings in the distance and took shots of these with my camera zoom, which is quite powerful. Some of these I am sure are part of the Tai Tam Heritage Trail near Tai Tam Harbour. One of them looked like an elaborate temple, but turned out to be Red Hill Shopping Centre. Red Hill is a low level residential area built on a peninsula in Tai Tam Harbour.

Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters and Chimney Shaft on Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail

Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters and Chimney Shaft on Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail

Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters and Chimney Shaft on Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail

Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station Staff Quarters and Chimney Shaft on Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail

Zoom shots of buildings on Tai Tam Raw Water Pumping Station.

Zoom shots of buildings on Tai Tam Raw Water Pumping Station.

From a distance this looked like a temple. I photographed it with my zoom and discovered it was a shopping centre.

From a distance this looked like a temple. I photographed it with my zoom and discovered it was a shopping centre.

As well as the views, there were lots of lovely flowers on route. There were also masses of butterflies. I especially liked the black ones with bright blue edges to their wings, though none of these would pose for me.

Butterfly on Indian hawthorne.

Butterfly on Indian hawthorne.

Beautiful Flowers. I think this is shell ginger.

Beautiful Flowers. I think this is shell ginger.

Beautiful Flowers. I think this is shell ginger.

Beautiful Flowers. I think this is shell ginger.

Sunshine through the leaves.

Sunshine through the leaves.

Spiky Plants. I think it is screwpine.

Spiky Plants. I think it is screwpine.

Spiky Plants.

Spiky Plants.

At one point there were stairs off this path leading down to a lovely little village and a beautiful temple. I really wanted to investigate both of these, but it was too big a diversion when I had two long sections of trail to do. I might go back some day and walk the lower path nearer the sea.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple taken with my zoom.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple taken with my zoom.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple with zoom.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple with zoom.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple with zoom.

Lin Hook Sin Koon Temple with zoom.

Flight of birds near the temple.

Flight of birds near the temple.

Lan Nai Wan Village and Red Hill.

Lan Nai Wan Village and Red Hill.

Lan Nai Wan Village and Red Hill.

Lan Nai Wan Village and Red Hill.

Lan Nai Wan Village with zoom.

Lan Nai Wan Village with zoom.

Lan Nai Wan Village with zoom

Lan Nai Wan Village with zoom

View over a village.

View over a village.

At the end of Section Seven I did go off the trail slightly to visit a lovely little beach. This was very pretty, but there was a lot of rubbish on it, especially around the bins, which were overflowing. Government beaches, which have lifeguards, toilets, changing rooms and shark nets are all closed at the moment, but this was not a government beach, so there were people here enjoying the beach.

Village by the beach.

Village by the beach.

Boats on the beach.

Boats on the beach.

Boat on the beach.

Boat on the beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

To Tei Wan Beach.

From the beach to get to the end of Section Seven, you have to go up some steep stairs. In one blog the writer claimed she had climbed seven hundred stairs here. I thought that was just her exaggerating and making a joke. Sadly she wasn't. From the beach to get to Shek O Road, I had to climb over seven hundred and fifty steps. It nearly killed me. My biggest motivating force was I needed to go to the loo by this stage and I knew there were toilets at the start of Stage Eight.

The start of the seven hundred steps looks harmless enough.

The start of the seven hundred steps looks harmless enough.

The Seven Hundred Steps.

The Seven Hundred Steps.

The village and beach viewed from the steps.

The village and beach viewed from the steps.

At the top of the stairs I arrived at Shek O Road and the start of Section Eight. I was exhausted from the climb up from Section Seven. I visited the loo and then found a shady spot at the start of Section Eight where I could sit and drink lots and lots of water. A bus arrived when I was sitting there and lots of hikers started their climb up the mountain. They gave me pitying glances as they passed, because I looked as if I had walked about ten steps then collapsed. When I felt a bit cooler and no longer dehydrated, I began my ascent.

Section Eight of the Hong Kong Trail is also known as The Dragon's Back and it's one of the most popular hikes in Hong Kong. This section is eight and a half kilometres long and goes from To Tei Wan to Tai Long Wan. In English Tai Long Wan translates to Big Wave Bay which is a beautiful village with a beach that is popular with surfers.

Dragon's Back sign.

Dragon's Back sign.

View on the climb up.

View on the climb up.

Climbing up to the Dragon's Back.

Climbing up to the Dragon's Back.

Steps up Dragon's Back.

Steps up Dragon's Back.

I have walked Dragon's Back before, but then I did it with fresh legs, I was a bit worried I'd be too tired to get up the hill having already walked around eight kilometres. After quite a few steps, I arrived at a viewing point with views over Tai Tam Harbour.

Dragon's Back Viewpoint on climb up.

Dragon's Back Viewpoint on climb up.

View from Viewing Point.

View from Viewing Point.

I continued to the point where the trail splits. If you go to the right, you climb up the mountain. If you go to the left, you go around the mountain on the flat. The two paths meet later on. I went to the right up the mountain as that's the way the Hong Kong Trail goes. I remembered a very steep set of stairs up. I kept thinking I hope I have the strength to get up those. I've started a new technique where I avoid looking at how much I have to climb and just concentrate on the bit directly in front of me. I kept thinking just get up these steps and then there's just one last steep bit to go. To my surprise when I came to the end of the stairs I was at the top and that had been the steep bit I had been doing. I was delighted. What's more it was really easy compared with the seven hundred and fifty stairs up from the beach.

From the top of the mountain there are beautiful views over Shek O Peninsula, the village of Shek O and its two beaches. There are also views over Shek O Golf Course. I spent some time soaking these up.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Golf Club.

Shek O Golf Club.

Shek O Golf Club.

Shek O Golf Club.

Shek O Golf Club and peninsula.

Shek O Golf Club and peninsula.

Shek O Beach.

Shek O Beach.

Selfie with Shek O Peninsula.

Selfie with Shek O Peninsula.

The Dragon's Back Path undulates like the back of a dragon so you go down a bit, up a bit, down a bit, up a bit etc the whole way along, but it's not as hard as it sounds because the ups and downs are small and not too steep.

Dragon's Back Trail.

Dragon's Back Trail.

Dragon's Back Trail

Dragon's Back Trail

In some areas the path is rocky.

In some areas the path is rocky.

After a while the views are overlooking Big Wave Bay on one side and Tai Tam Harbour on the other.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

Big Wave Bay viewed from The Dragon's Back.

The highest point on this walk is Shek O Peak at 284 metres. This is where you will find the trigonometrical marker. On the hill just beyond this is the Dragon's Back viewing point. From here you can enjoy the views in all directions.

Marker at top of Shek O Peak.

Marker at top of Shek O Peak.

Shek O Peak board and view.

Shek O Peak board and view.

Shek O Peak board.

Shek O Peak board.

It was windy on top of the mountain. Can you tell?

It was windy on top of the mountain. Can you tell?

Dragon's Back Viewpoint.

Dragon's Back Viewpoint.

After the viewing point, you begin your descent. The way down is quite uneven and you have to be careful not to turn your ankle here. Eventually I arrived at an intersection with the earlier path that skirts round the mountain. Last time I looped back left here by mistake and the views were spectacular. This time I went right following the Hong Kong Trail through the forest. This was pleasant and shady with the occasional view, but it wasn't as beautiful as the other way.

Intersection of the round the mountain and over the mountain paths.

Intersection of the round the mountain and over the mountain paths.

Pleasant Shady Forest Path.

Pleasant Shady Forest Path.

View from Forest Road Section.

View from Forest Road Section.

At the end of the forest path I came out onto a road. There was a sign post telling me to go right and that I just had two and a half kilometres left to do. The path to the right was actually part of Cape Collinson Road and very easy to walk on. Through the trees I could see a huge hillside cemetery. There was a view point on route that looked over Siu Sai Wan and Tseung Kwan O.

Siu Sai Wan and Tseung Kwan O.

Siu Sai Wan and Tseung Kwan O.

Siu Sai Wan and Tseung Kwan O.

Siu Sai Wan and Tseung Kwan O.

I was a bit annoyed because after walking for quite a while, a new sign told me there were two and a half kilometres to go. I was getting tired by this point so I wanted the distance to go down not up. The same thing happened again later. At Cape Collinson rest garden a sign told me one and a half kilometres to go. I walked for around 500metres and reached a sign that said one and a half kilometres to go.

Cape Collinson Road.

Cape Collinson Road.

Cape Collinson Road.

Cape Collinson Road.

Rest area on Cape Collinson Road.

Rest area on Cape Collinson Road.

Sign posts and trail markers didn't quite agree.

Sign posts and trail markers didn't quite agree.

Hong Kong Forest Track Mount Collinson Section.

Hong Kong Forest Track Mount Collinson Section.

The last bit of the path down into Big Wave Bay was very uneven and hard to walk on. I was just desperate to get the walk finished by this stage. I knew my last marker was number 100. I reached 98, struggled on to 99 and finally, just before the last steps into Big Wave Bay, reached marker 100. It was over I had finally made it. Yippee!!!

Marker 97, getting near.

Marker 97, getting near.

Marker 98, nearer still.

Marker 98, nearer still.

Marker 99, almost there.

Marker 99, almost there.

The 100 Marker.

The 100 Marker.

I made it to the 100 marker.

I made it to the 100 marker.

As I have said before I don't think sticking rigourously to a trail is for me. I prefer to wander all over the place. However, this trail has challenged me in a positive way. For example on Section Five I successfully did more climbing than I thought I could do and on Section Seven and Eight I walked longer than I thought I could do. Sometimes it's good to challenge yourself.

I walked down to Big Wave Bay Beach. On my first visit here the beach was closed due to COVID and had police tape around it. This time it is closed due to COVID again and has a really ugly huge plastic barricade around it. I found this really sad.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Big Wave Bay Village.

Barricades and Beaches.

Barricades and Beaches.

Big Wave Bay Beach across the barricade.

Big Wave Bay Beach across the barricade.

Big Wave Bay Beach taken with a zoom to avoid the barricades.

Big Wave Bay Beach taken with a zoom to avoid the barricades.

Wet Suits Big Wave Bay.

Wet Suits Big Wave Bay.

Surf Boards Big Wave Bay.

Surf Boards Big Wave Bay.

The restaurants in Big Wave Bay were nearly empty, the shops hiring wet suits and surf boards were doing no business. I thought the whole place was sad to see like this. The closed beach has taken all the life out of this village. I was glad to jump on a number 9 minibus and head home.

Posted by irenevt 07:16 Archived in Hong Kong

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

Lovely walk. i'm tired out, going for a nap.Thanks.

by alectrevor

Haha, glad you enjoyed it.

by irenevt

I liked the windy selfie. Congratulations on finishing the route. I would never have gotten up 700 steps although I do prefer going up to going down. Sounds like a major accomplishment to me . . .

Where to next?

by Beausoleil

Thank you, Sally. Yesterday I climbed Lion Rock, quite a famous mountain here. I may fit in one or two more hikes then it will be too hot to do them. I got a bit sunburnt yesterday on my hike. Thanks for visiting. Hope all good with you.

by irenevt

You did it!!! :D

I liked the dragon picture in the Dragonbacktrail sign :)

by hennaonthetrek

Yes, I made it. There were advantages to doing a trail. It forced me to do routes I would normally count as too hard or too long.

by irenevt

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login