Amsterdam’s bicycling culture is huge; cyclists have their own lanes and traffic lights. I’m pretty sure a requirement of living in Amsterdam is that you must own a bike, otherwise it’s off to the outskirts of the city for you. Because cycling is such a popular form of transportation and because the city itself is quite small, renting a bicycle during your stay in Amsterdam is a great way to spend a few hours or even an entire day exploring!
This is a great hike if you live east on the island or Kowloon, as it is one stop across the harbour from Quarry Bay on the purple line. It’s also ideal if you’re looking for a quick hike; you want to get up a mountain, get some exercise in, see some great views of both the island and Kowloon skyline, and then get out. I mean, your schedule is booked solid from now until your last days in this city that never sleeps, so you need to squeeze in as much as possible every single waking moment of your time here. Am I right, or what?
I have been wanting to do this hike for quite some time, but was waiting for a clear day to appreciate the views a bit more. Since clear days come few and far between in Hong Kong, we decided to just try our luck one morning when we didn’t have much planned for the day. At the top of Lion Rock, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking, panoramic views of Kowloon and the Hong Kong Island harbourfront (if the smog isn’t in full force that day).
After leaving the Gili Islands, we went back to Ubud for one night as we didn’t get a chance to do the Mt Batur sunrise trek when we were there earlier. I love hiking and didn’t want to miss what was to be an incredible hike up during the night (which I had never done before) in order to see the sun rise up behind the massive mountains of Agung and Rinjani on Lombok.
I highly recommend you visit a few tour stalls before settling on a price. We were being quoted between 550,000 – 750,000 IDR ($50 – $71 CDN) per person from a few companies. Then we came upon one tour agency that offered us 600,000 IDR for both of us. We were so glad we took the time to look around before making a final decision; this price was half the cost of all the other companies and the itinerary was the same. The name of the trekking tour company was Pineh Trekking and we had no complaints during our trek.
Spending some time bumming out on the beach on Gili T is a great escape from the fast-paced lifestyle of Bali, but if you’re like me, laying around every single day can become a bit boring. Thankfully, you can rent bikes on the island for next to nothing – we paid about $3 CDN to have our bikes for the entire day and there are bike racks in front of most shops on the main strip to park your bike for a few hours while you enjoy a refreshing beverage. Or two.
After spending three nights in Kuta, I was ready to leave the craziness behind and head to Ubud. From all the hype that I had heard from others about Ubud, I was really excited to spend some time there. Afterall, Eat, Pray, Love had portrayed this area as a haven for soul-searchers and those wanting to escape their big-city routine life. Though I found Ubud to be much more enjoyable than Kuta, there were a few things that surprised me. And not in the jumping up and down sorta way.
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.
When it comes to hiking, I like getting lost in the lush mountains (for a reasonable, I-know-eventually-I’m-going-to-find-my-way-home amount of time), walking up and down dirt trails, and having that general “I’m not actually in Hong Kong right now.. Am I?” feeling. Unfortunately, this hike did not live up to these expectations.
I had never been to Cyberport before (waaaaaay too far west on the island and its name was never too enticing; sounds very bionic and bizarre), so I wasn’t sure what to expect. My friend who arranged the hike assured me that it would be relatively easy, as we had all been out the night prior and that there was a waterfall. The waterfall alone sold me and off we went to the Wan Chai bus terminal to hop on a Citybus to Cyberport. We made a relatively educated guess as to where to get off the bus and from there set out to find the start of our “hike”.
Unfortunately, this was not the hike I had in mind – Cyberport Waterfront Park is very much man-made with concrete paths everywhere. While this was disappointing, we did happen to come across a gated off section that led down to a beach area. Here we also came upon the waterfall, though it was not one in which you could really swim in.
Lamma Island is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. It’s a great mash-up of traditional Chinese life and Western modernity. This is a popular day trip destination for tourists and other expats, as it was quite busy with other hikers. To get there, you need to take the MTR to Central Ferry Pier and hop on a ferry for about 30 minutes.
We decided to do the “family trail” hike, which takes you across the island between the two largest villages. This trail provided a good opportunity to see the east side of the island without breaking into a sweat. We got off at Yung Shue Wan to begin the trail and we ended at Sok Kwu Wan.