One day, two mountains in Hong Kong

May 24, 2023 09:55
Photo: Hong Kong government

Heavy rain poured again this morning in Guangdong and I was stuck at a building near the East station to catch the first high-speed train back to Hong Kong.

A security guard approached this puzzled backpacker who looked lost in his first trip back to the mainland for three years. Within the first minute of our exchange, he switched to Cantonese and offered me some good travel tips.

“Better take the subway down to the West Kowloon station entrance and you can grab a McDonald bun there,” he said, seemingly noticing the hungriness on my face.

“I am going to Hong Kong for hiking next week too.”

You must be kidding me! This is the most unfriendly season for hiking because as seen in the past week, Hong Kong is either rainy or super hot. Oh boy, at least four more hot months to suffer.

The guard, short but firmly built, says he will travel alone after he bought a cheap hiking package from Taobao. Apparently he has a goal in mind.

“I want to complete the MacLehose Trail in four days as my hiking club mates did,” he said.

Gone are the days when mainlanders came to Hong Kong for luxury goods such as gold and jewellery. Thanks to the high-speed train cutting short the time of travel substantially, they can now come here on their off days.

Spending one night in Chung King Mansion allows him to walk a portion on MacLehose and Wilson trail.

Though he complained that Chung King Mansion is just too small , but he would not mind because he could not find a similar hiking experience in Guangdong and Greater Bay Area.

“Hong Kong is so convenient,” he said. “I can visit a few districts in one day.”

He recalled taking the train from Shenzhen to Shatin and riding the bus to Sai Kung for a few hours of hiking before going back to Mong Kok for beef noodle and walking back to Tsim Sha Tsui and resting for tomorrow walk.

With more travelling to Hong Kong after reopening earlier this year, he is now trying different routes to Hong Kong.

Travelling by bus is his favourite because he can stop in Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung or different parts of the west side of Kowloon for a different cultural adventure.

“Next time take a bus to Hong Kong. It is only half price than the high-speed train,” he said.

How I wish I had not booked the return tickets in advance and could listen to his advice. I thought it would be fun to host him, or rather join his tour in Hong Kong.

But perhaps not in summer. I am looking for places to stay out of the heat this year.

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EJ Insight writer