West of Sai Kung in the Central New Territories, land meets water in Shing Mun Country Park. Follow the paved Shing Mun Reservoir path around the park’s centerpiece,, for a leisurely nature walk. The roughly four-mile route is particularly scenic when the water level in the reservoir is high, submerging the roots of the park’s signature paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia) trees.
Leave no trace by carrying out any trash (such as plastic water bottles) and food waste. On sunny days, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and clothing made from breathable materials. For the latest updates on the hiking condition, visit the website of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
Adds Paley, “When the weather is good you can see people paragliding up from the Dragon’s Back. Most people don’t expect that from Hong Kong. They don’t realize how easy it is to be in the city and a half-hour later be walking on a ridge where you can see carpet of jungle sweeping down to a village on the sea, paragliders floating in the air, and surfers riding the waves below. That’s Hong Kong.”