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05 March 2017 @ 06:06 pm
Sai Wan to East Dam via Long Ke  
One of the most beautiful nature sights in Hong Kong is at the East Dam, where there is the 1.4 km High Island Geo Trail, listed under Unesco as Hong Kong Global Geopark. One would be awed by the spectacular landforms, hexangonal rock columns which is the result of volcanic eruptions hundred million years ago, sea caves, cliffs etc. There is a trail near the Pavilion at East Dam to  Long Ke Wan (浪茄灣), which is also the last part of the MacLehose Trail Stage 1. Long Ke is a beautiful beach with silky white sand and crystal clear water. I always imagine an ideal and romantic date would be a stroll along the Hong Kong Geopark and end with picnic at Long Ke beach. It had been one place I planned to bring my better half to and I finally had the opportunity last weekend.

When Sally told me a while ago she wanted to experience hiking in Hong Kong, I was going through a few options. I could bring her to Dragon's Back, High Junk Peak or something a bit more demanding but would end at the spectacular Hong Kong Geopark andI could also show her the busy Saikung promenade at the same time. I decided on the last option since my dear friend, Juniper was agreeable to leading the hike. Not only did we had an experienced leader, I would also finally be able to show my husband the magnificent Geopark, the High Island Reservoir and Long Ke Wan. The trail from Sai Wan Pavilion to East Dam had always been one prominent to-do on my bucket list.

So last Sunday, we set off on this trail from Sai Wan Pavilion to East Dam at around 9:30am.  This is actually part of the MacLehose Trail Stage 2 but in reverse.

From Sai Wan Pavilion, we walked in the direction of Sai Wan.

As we walked a short stretch along the northern edge of High Island Reservoir, we were treated to this dreamy views of mountains and tranquil water.

Shortly,  this majestic wide mountain on our right which Juniper exclaimed "Oh, that is where we are heading, we will be walking on that mountain."

It definitely looked like we had a long way to trek!

About halfway to Sai Wan, we reached an interception and a map point.  Going straight ahead would bring us to Sai Wan beach while turning right would lead to ...

Long Ke (3 1/2 km and around 1 1/2 hour)

This is the MacLehose Trail distance post.  So we were at MacLehose Trail (Section 2) M029.

The trail from this point on is a rugged one, with big rocks and steps along the way.  See the long trail line running up the mountain.

Some parts with proper steps and ...

some are just mud track with rocks and certain parts can be steep.

It seemed like we had come a long way...

but it was just 500 m from the previous marker!

At higher ground now, we took a group picture with Hong Kong biggest reservoir, the High Island reservoir (万宜水库)。

A more unobstructed view.

We continued along the undulating mountain trail until we hit the next marker...

Yay! We covered the first 1 km!  Though tired from the climbing up and down, we were all in good spirits.

An island of shrub in the middle of nowhere and Juniper thought it's a good photo point.  "P

More climbing and steps ahead.  *shudder*

Finally as we ascended the last leg of Sai Wan Shan, I caught glimpse of the 4 beaches!

It's a pity that it was a foggy day as I am sure this view would be much more magnificent and arresting on a clear day.

So happy that we were finally reaching the top of Sai Wan Shan.

This point where one could see the four beaches on the eastern coast of Sai Kung Peninsula (Sai Wan , Ham Tin, Tai Wan and Dong Wan)  is one of the highlights of this trail.

The top RHS of this map shows the 4 beaches, located along the 3 km long Tai Long Wan or Big Wave Bay.   The map also shows Stage 1 and 2 of the MacLehose trail.

Another shot on this Sai Wan Shan View Compass.

Our hike leader at 314m, marked by the black and white trigonometric station.

And yes, what goes up must come down and here we were making our way down from the peak of Sai Wan Shan.

Not the most easy descend I must say.

We might be tired but could still laugh at each other, think I was trying to blackmail Sally here with an unglam shot of her.  :DDD

And finally, after slightly over 2 hours from the start of our hike, we caught sight of Long Ke beach.

We are going down to the beach.

This part is another beautiful vantage point, the beach leading into the open sea, flanked by rolling mountains on both sides.

The postcard perfect vista.

At Long Ke Vilage where we there is the pristine white beach and also the Long Ke Treatment Centre for drug rehabilitation.

Great expanse of fine and soft white sand is really great place for taking jump shots. :P

Err... you mean there's still more climbing ahead?

And yes, these are the countless steps one has to toil to arrive at East Dam.

Along the way, I took a look at the neat path inside the drug rehabitation centre.

We saw people paragliding above this stretch of beautiful shoreline.

And here we were at the crossroad of MacLehose Trail Stage 1 and 2.

One of the most beautiful walk here when one could see the volcanic rock column wall mural, the clear green and turqoise coloured water and the lush mountains.

Finally we reached our hike destination.

We took 3 hours and 45 minutes.

The rest were all too tired to walk around the geo park and so we adjourned to Sai Kung promenade for a well-deserved seafood feast!