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Hiking the Hong Kong Trail Section 5, Hong Kong, China

16th of December 2015

Hiking uphill for city views, quarry views, reservoir views and on the lookout for boats from India and London.

  • Location: Tai Tam Country Park, Hong Kong, China
  • Start or End: Public transport at the start of the trail on the corner of Repulse Bay Road and Tai Tam Reservoir Road. No public transport at the end of the trail near Mount Butler. Best to combine with Section 6 of the trail or walk north towards Quarry Bay.
  • Length: 3.7km (2.3mi)
  • Grade: Hard. Many hills and exposed to the elements.

After completing Section 4 of the Hong Kong Trail it is now time for Section 5. Time to walk along Tai Tam Reservoir Road and find the trail head back into the trees. The road is rather steep so it's a bit of a slog uphill. I take a breather at the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir and further along Tai Tam Reservoir Road.

I depart the asphalt at the point where the Hong Kong Trail and the Wilson Trail meet. This is where the Wilson Trail changes from Section 1 to Section 2 and where it shares a path with the Hong Kong Trail Section 5. The two trails part ways again just before Mount Butler.

There is a rest area at the trail junction so after the application of some sunscreen and hoeing into some trail snacks it's up the stairs on my way towards Jardine's Lookout. It's a bit of a climb, but the path is well maintained which helps.

The further I climb the better the views become.

After many a stair and many a rest to take in the views I reach Jardine's lookout. There are some great views over Hong Kong city, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon from up here.

Sure it isn't the clearest Hong Kong day, but the views from Jardine’s lookout are still worth the stair climbing. I would love to come up here at sunset one day and see Hong Kong light up the night sky.

So who is this Jardine person anyway? And why a lookout? According to Wikipedia the lookout is named after William Jardine, one of the founders of Jardine Matheson Holdings, a conglomerated founded in 1832 with early business dealings in smuggled opium, tea and cotton. So why the lookout? Well, the lookout was used by the company as a vantage point for sighting the first boats from India and London. What did the boats contain? The latest mail, and with the mail the latest news on the world's financial markets. When a foreign boat was spotted a fast boat was sent out to collect the correspondence and then directed to the office in Hong Kong. With the most up to date information Jardine Matheson could make financial decisions before anyone else in Hong Kong. Today the lookout is used to take in the latest views of the ever changing Hong Kong and Kowloon skyline.

From Jardine's lookout I hike to the next vantage point of Mount Butler. So far Section 5 of the Hong Kong Trail has been much steeper and a tougher walk compared to Section 4. But the extra effort is definitely worth it. Look at these views.

There is a very large quarry along the way and good views towards the Tai Tam Reservior. Not much like this on Section 4. After some more huffing and puffing I reach the summit of Mount Butler and take in the views. Time to rest and enjoy.

Ok then. That's enough views. Better take the tree covered stairs down to the end of Section 5 and start Section 6.

Section 5 of the Hong Kong Trail is definitely worth the walk and compared to Section 4 it is amazing. At only 3.7km there is still plenty to see but the majority of it is rather hilly so it does take time. Also, it's exposed and a number of times I had to take my hat off because the winds kept blowing it off.

Now that I have walked up, it is time to walk down. Section 6 here I come.

Gallery

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