Hong Kong Hotspot: Effort, Reward and a Trek to Paradise

My ship has sailed.
My ship has sailed.

HONG KONG UNIVERSITIES are approaching their mid-semester break, and that generally means one thing – travel. But with midterms approaching, that leaves them little time or resources to fly out.

Not to worry, because Hong Kong’s contrasts extend well into nature, and while many of its nature getaways are on outlying islands, Sai Kung East Country Park is within an area of the New Territories half an hour’s bus ride from the nearest MTR station.

The catch? The trek is hilly, and in many cases does not comprise a single slope but multiple. There is an easy way to get there – one bus stop deep in the forest drops you off at a trail about 15 minutes’ walk from one beach, and a taxi will take you to a 10-minute walk radius of another – but, of course, taking that full exhausting hike will give you the full sense of reward when you reach your destination, not to mention the breathtaking views on the way. And it goes without saying that the most breathtaking views coincide with the most punishing weather – when the weather is clear in September, the temperature often exceeds thirty degrees.

But the view is no less majestic in the transitional seasons … provided you choose the right day. Weather tends to be more erratic, with frequent tropical storms and typhoons. But they also provide one perk: they also act to purify the air. Once the skies clear, provided that the storms haven’t been violent enough to leave natural hazards, the view gets all the more spectacular. Match that with the perfect weather and ‘paradise’ is not that far away. If only exams were further …

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