As I mentioned before (I think), I work alternate Saturdays, which they call 長短周 here. I don’t like that name. 長周 makes sense, because it implies that the week is longer than normal. But 短周 to me means a four-day week, while they’re talking about a normal five-day week. When people first asked me the question “你今個禮拜係長周定短周?”, I literally froze and had to think about it for a while. My mind just immediately jumped to ‘what, when do we ever get a four-day week?!‘. Finally, a week after my first day of work, I’m starting to get used to that question. That being said, I still don’t like it.
Since empty Saturdays are rare to come by, I had a bunch of errands planned to get done today. Post office, banks, computer service centre… all these places that are open half-days on Saturdays on closed on Sundays. Of course, me being me, I ended up going none of these. Instead, I decided to go for an unplanned walk – wherever my legs take me. Okay, not completely unplanned I guess. I brought my journal out so I could do some writing when I find a nice cafe with a view (my target being the Peak). However, I had no idea how to get there… so in that sense it still kind of counts.
I started out with what I did know – Bowen Fitness Trail, right next to where I live. It’s a great pedestrian-only trail for running, and I’m pretty excited to go back when I have time (which might not be for a while). Following some of the signs, I found my way to the Wan Chai Police Museum. At this point, I was already half an hour away from home, and the museum is also at a much higher elevation. Since I was there and the museum was free anyway, I decided to go in for a look. It’s quite a nice museum actually. Lots of replicas and model equipment, and you get to appreciate the history of this British-influenced police force. I have no pictures aside from the one outside the building, since I decided to honour their “no pictures” rule today.
Across from this museum is a small park with a stall selling snacks, so I asked the person there for a trail that would take me up to the Peak. His face pretty much said ‘uhh, what are you, crazy… nobody hikes up to the Peak from here‘… but, he was a kind man and directed me along a vehicle road. He told me there aren’t many cars anyway, and he was right. Using a Google Maps, I eventually found an entrance to a path that would merge with Hong Kong Trail. That trail can lead you all the way down to Aberdeen, or up to the Peak. It’s also a ridiculously easy walk, which is why it takes so long. Obviously you’re gaining elevation to get to the Peak, but I barely felt it on that 6 km hike. Pretty much anybody could accomplish it if they wanted to.
Picture above are all the signs I saw along the path (in order). It’s really a completely natural trail, with lots of shade. Of course, where there’s shade, there’s mosquitoes! (I meant to bring out insect repellent, but left it on my table. I do that too often). Anyway, I couldn’t believe that there exists a beautiful natural area in the middle of Hong Kong Island! It’s such a hard island to fathom. 話大唔大, 話細唔細. I mean, it’s small enough that it only took me around 2 hours to get up to the top from Wan Chai. But at the same time, the island is big enough to conceal a huge region of greenery, and I never even realized this region existed! This is a time where I literally walked the walk, and it makes a substantial difference compared to just talking the talk. I’ve seen Hong Kong on a map many times before, but if I didn’t get myself lost in the middle of the island, I’d never actually understand it.
I’ve been to the Peak of Hong Kong enough times that it’s lost its touch on me. Of course, I still enjoy the beautiful view from the top, but I’m definitely not going to go visit the wax museum or shop around there. Instead, I just sat in a coffee shop and did what I love – write! I’m glad I didn’t end up bringing out my journal for no reason.
I wrote for a good two hours, then started my descent at around 6 PM. Going down was really easy – I just went via the Old Peak Road, then followed the Mid-Level escalators to get to the Central MTR Station. If my phone wasn’t dead at that point, I might have walked all the way home, but I was feeling very disconnected so I decided to just get home ASAP. Along the Mid-Level escalators is also an MTR Faresaver where you can get a small discount if you take the MTR on the same day. Normally I would have a picture, but as I just mentioned, my phone was dead 😦 It was almost 8 PM when I got home, and I was completely exhausted, but it was well worth it.
For you guys wanting to plan your own hike…
Hiking times (ignoring all the time I wasted being lost):
Home – Wan Chai Police Museum: 30 minutes
Wan Chai Police Museum – The Peak: 100 minutes
The Peak – Central MTR Station: 60 minutes