There's no doubt that while Hong Kong is an exciting place to visit, its pace can become a little overwhelming, and apart from closing yourself in your hotel room, there aren't many places to escape.
But the New Territories, just an hour away from the bustle, is one of those places and is an oasis for locals and visitors who just need to recharge their batteries … even though it itself is becoming a metropolis.
Prior to the 1980s, the New Territories was made up of duck farms, fields and old villages in peaceful countryside. Now a 1008 sq km region stretching from Kowloon to the border of mainland China is the answer to a growing population. Government housing projects have mushroomed through the New Territories, particularly in towns along railway and subway lines. Sleepy villages have become concrete jungles virtually overnight.
Walk Hong Kong organises walking and hiking tours so visitors may explore the real Hong Kong, generally away from the shopping centres and crowds. They also offer two urban walking tours to help visitors familiarise themselves with the city's historical development and with the many markets used by local residents.
Urban Walks are easy and are on mostly flat pavements on the Kowloon Peninsula; but there are some hills on Hong Kong Island.
Rural Walks and Hikes follow a variety of paved country park roads, paved and unpaved tracks. Walks are often out of sight of public roads and developments, but not usually more than two kilometres from a public road. Hikes tend to be in the more remote areas of the mainland New Territories and Lantau Island, far from urban developments and public roads. The objective of both is to enjoy peace and quiet and take in spectacularly views along the way.
The owners have designed a variety of half and whole day walks and hikes to suit all levels of ability and fitness. They recommend appropriate footwear, personal protection and essential supplies.
The New Territories in Hong Kong.
Walk Hong Kong's Deserted Beaches day hike is around $90 per person, including picnic lunch.
Virgin Atlantic has flights to Hong Kong starting at $1133. Valid for travel until September 19, 2007, and again between October 15 and November 14, 2007.
Prices correct at September 6, 2007.
For more information
Walk Hong Kong
Ph: 0011 852 9187 8641
Hong Kong Tourism Board
Level 4/ 80 Druitt Street
Ph: (02) 9283 3083
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Ph: 1300 727 340