Hiking in Hong Kong is much more enjoyable when the humidity isn’t slowly suffocating you with each step you take. Thanks to the cooler weather, hiking has become bearable. Looking for something to do on the weekend? Why not get up early, (fingers crossed the sun is out and the smog is not as apparent), hike up a mountain, and appreciate the breathtaking views of the city.
I went about hiking from Quarry Bay to Stanley on two separate occasions. The first time I began my hike up Mount Parker, I was confident I knew how to get to Parkview (you need to exit the path and walk across a road to begin the next stage of the hike towards Stanley). I made my way up Mount Parker at a steady pace and ended up entering a pathway on the side of Mount Parker Road, which I thought would lead me to the top of Mount Parker quicker. Though this wasn’t exactly the case, I did come across some hidden gems.
Back to the whole me being confident in my directional abilities.. Who was I kidding? I can barely navigate north from south or make it more than two blocks in this big city without getting lost. Obviously, I quickly became lost. Thankfully, I came upon a group of locals who were hiking together and asked (read: begged) for help. I’m not sure if their navigator meant to lead us into uncharted territory, but we ended up trudging through thick brush on an unmarked path. At this point, I was seriously questioning whether I should have just risked it on my own. Eventually we came through the forests and onto the top of Mount Parker – and what a view!
Once I made it to the top, I had no problem hiking down to Parkview. The original plan was going to be to continue to Stanley once I made it down to Parkview, but getting lost cost me a fair chunk of time given that I still had at least 1.5hrs ahead of me. So, I decided to pack it in for another weekend.
The second time around was a success, though I was not fully aware of the intensity of the hike from Parkview to Stanley – make sure to pack lots of water! I barely had any saliva at the end of the hike and was downright miserable.
From Parkview, you make your way up to Violet Hill at which point you can veer off to three different paths; the 1000 steps (leads to Stanley), Repulse Bay, or the Tai Tam Reservoir. If you’re heading to Stanley, just keep straight and climb those steps!
At times, I felt as though these mountains were playing a cruel joke on me – I’d get to the top after climbing what felt like a million stairs only to climb back down just as many and then repeat this process. I actually saw a small kid hiking with his father as well as a dog. I really have no idea how they managed.
These mountains you climb up and down are called The Twins. Silver lining? The views of Stanley and the eventual feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment (note: not felt until after you are replenished with large amounts of water, food, and a glorious shower). During the final descent down to Stanley Gap Road, there are some great views. I was so exhausted I barely cared about taking any photos, but begrudgingly I took a few for the sake of this blog. And because I will probably never do this hike again.
Once you emerge from the trail on Stanley Gap Road, there is a bus stop right in front of you. You can hop on Bus 6, which will take you into Stanley Market. From there you can have lunch by the water or hop on another bus back to the comforts of your flat, like I did.
I figured the next day I would be immobile from such a hike, but my legs were actually fine. I’m going to thank the countless hours I spend at the gym for that relief.
The total approximate time from Mount Parker (Quarry Bay) to Stanley was about 3.5hours at a brisk pace. From Mount Parker to Parview, it took me about 1.15 hours and was much easier in comparison to hiking from Parkview to Stanley, which took about 2 hours because of the never-ending stairs and my lack of water supply.