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Heritage Trails in Hong Kong

May 14, 2018

Sure, Hong Kong may boast some of the best hiking you’re ever likely to find in a major metropolis, but if you like your ambles with a side of culture, explore the city via one of its heritage trails. From architectural deep-dives to history-laced nature walks, here are the routes to try on your next trip. 


Wan Chai Heritage Trail

Onetime fishing village Wan Chai is today one of Hong’s most exhilarating neighbourhoods, with its heady mix of the traditional and hip, old and new. This district is also home to a series of heritage landmarks, which reflect its transformation over the last century. Ideal for archi buffs, this just short of 2km trail ticks off a slew of historical buildings, including the photogenic Green, Blue and Orange Houses –  sensitively restored early C20th tenement buildings marrying Chinese and Western design. You’ll also spot historic Taoist Pak Tai Temple honouring the namesake god of the sea, and the former 1915 Wan Chai Post Office – the oldest of its kind in Hong Kong – complete with pigeon letter holes still intact.


Dr Sun Yat-sen Trail

You’ve ogled the bright lights of Central’s biz district, shopped for antiques and artisan goods in Sheung Wan, and dined by the water in Kennedy Town, but did you know the island’s Western District once served as the stomping ground for Chinese revolutionaries? This historic trail reflects the  formative years of Dr Sun Yat-sen, who went onto to be the first president of the Republic of China. Pit-stops include The University of Hong Kong, and Pak Tsz Lane where members of the movement held secret meetings. Following a recent revitalisation project, descriptive plaques along the way feature the work of local artists.


Ping Shan Heritage Trail

It might be tucked well off the tourist trail, but Yuen Long’s Ping Shan Heritage Trail in northwest New Territories is well worth the trek for a picture of old-world Hong Kong. This signposted amble of around 2 km long takes you through a present-day village which coexists alongside well-preserved heritage sites, originally founded by the Tang clan in pre-colonial days. Highlights include ancestral halls and Hong Kong’s last remaining ancient pagoda.


Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail 

Should you be seeking respite from the urban density of central Hong Kong, hop in a cab to lush Tai Tam Country Park. Backdropped by rolling mountains, this green lung is home to 21 pre-World War II waterworks structures, including granite arched masonry bridges, aqueducts and dams (many still operating today), located across six separate reservoirs. Barbecue sites, paved walkways and accessible nature trails make this a great family option. wsd.gov.hk


Originally written by LUXE for PenCities.

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