If you?re looking for a hike with a difference, why not check out one of the beautiful and interesting strolls inside Kam Shan Country Park.
Located in Kowloon district, this is one of Hong Kong’s first country parks. Covering 3.37 square kilometres, the park takes its name from its highest peak (Kam Shan) which is 1,211-feet high. Keen hikers can climb to the top Kam Shan and enjoy fantastic, panoramic views over Hong Kong Island, as well as Tai mo Shan to the north, Sha Tin and Lion Rock to the east and Tsing Yi and Tsuen Wan to the west, plus the peace that comes from being away from the city.
The park also sees stage 6 of both the Maclehose Trail and the Wilson Trail passing through, each of which cross the hills towards Shing Mun Reservoir and offer stunning views of the surrounding areas before continuing on into the New Territories.
A large majority of the park is made up of four main reservoirs (Kowloon, Shek Lai Pui, Kowloon Byewash and Kowloon Reception Reservoir). Shek Lai Pui offers a range of jogging trails, and for those simply looking for a relaxing afternoon walk can take their pick from Kam Shan Family Walk, the Kam Shan Tree Walk, plus numerous other short-walking routes. If you fancy making a day of it, why not stop at one of the many picnic or barbeque sites along the way for lunch.
One of the park?s main attractions, of course, is its large population of monkeys, something which has given the park its nickname – Monkey Mountain or Monkey Hill. In fact, it is thought that over three-quarters of Hong Kong?s monkeys live in the park.
The wild monkey?s you?ll find in the park are called Rhesus and Long-tailed macaque monkeys, thought to have descended from monkeys released by pet owners in the 1920s. Though these creatures may look cute, they have long since lost their fear of humans and you can be sure they?ll latch on to you if you?re carrying food, or get too close. Signs everywhere warn against feeding the monkey or getting too close. You?ll also find the monkeys grooming each other.
And not it?s not just monkey?s you?ll spot ? there are also several wild boar that roam the area.
Kam Shan Family Walk
Start/end: Kam Shan Road (inside the country park)
Duration: 30 minutes
How to get there: Take bus 72 (starting from Cheung Sha Wan or Tai Po) or 81 (Start from Jordon or Sha Tin). From Sham Shui Po, which is the nearest MTR station, take bus 81 to Tai Po Road and get off at Kowloon Reservoir.
Walk along Kam Shan Road (inside Kam Shan Country Park) for about 20 minutes, and you?ll arrive at the starting point of the Family Walk. The walk should be sign-posted and it offers views over Kowloon Reservoir, Smugglers’ Ridge and Lion Rock, before finishing at the Morning Walkers’ Garden where local residents come early in the morning to exercise.
Photos by Hannah Ball and courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org