A very superficial advantage to China’s influence on Hong Kong is all the holidays we seem to get and last week we got a double whammy. Wednesday was National Day, celebrating 65 years of the PRC (and when many of the protests came to a head), whilst Thursday was the Double Ninth (Chung Yeung) Festival where it is customary to climb to a high point in the city for good luck. Our Mandarin teacher told us about Lion Rock in Kowloon and I couldn’t resist the chance to hike up there. You can never get enough panoramic views of Hong Kong!
The hike started way before the trail did, simply because it’s so difficult to find! I was sweating before I go to the walk, which worried my slightly. Following this very helpful blog, I made my way up there, armed, as usual, with some water and a bit of picnic food. I got the feeling I was a little underprepared when people hiked past me with sticks, over-complicated hats, huge bags and other equipment I’d never seen before. I felt as if I’d turned up to someone’s wedding in a onesie.
Not letting my lack of ‘proper’ gear put me off, I climbed up. It was tough – probably the toughest hike I’ve done so far (out of about 3 or 4!) especially the final push up to the rock itself which is mercilessly steep. I was so glad I persevered though as I was rewarded with an exceptional view once up there. It was quite cloudy but I imagine on a clear day you could see right across Victoria Harbour to the Island. Even on a misty day, the views were astonishing.
You can climb onto the rock itself (it really does look like a lion) but I was shattered so just settled for sitting next to it. I cracked open my picnic, appreciated the view then began the much easier climb back down.
And for all their fancy equipment and special clothes, I still made it down before most of the walkers. And my legs didn’t ache the next morning. Though the McDonalds I had after it probably helped a bit…
To reach Lion Rock, head to Wong Tai Sin MTR station and take Exit B3. Then follow Shatin Pass Road all the way up to the beginning of the hike, which is marked with a brown ‘Lion Rock Country Park’ sign.