Useful links for Hong Kong hikers
Police Hotline: +852 2527 7177
This could be vital if you find yourself in an emergency situation but only able to connect to a mainland / Macau phone network (as sometimes happens when hiking near the edge of the HKSAR). You can dial the HK police hotline directly when the emergency number (112) would connect you fairly uselessly to a mainland emergency call centre.
Weather & Climate
The Hong Kong Observatory has a very comprehensive website with all sorts of historical data (enabling you to determine how wet / cold is it likely to be in the second week of April, for example) as well as current forecasts. They also have a section specifically for hikers, although it doesn’t seem to add much to the main site.
AFCD Trail Advisories (closures, work, etc)
AFCD Permitted events in Country Parks
This is a list of the events for which AFCD has given permission in the Country Parks. Note that permission need only be sought if the event is a competition, or collects money from participants either as a charitable donation or a fee. Simply taking a large group of hikers down a trail without money being involved does not require permission, regardless of the size of the group.
Hong Kong Biodiversity Online
This is a big searchable database of the flora and fauna of Hong Kong, managed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
Other Useful Hong Kong Hiking & Outdoor sites
Hong Kong Hikers – The website to book hikes for private occasions, corporate days or just want to do something on a particular day to fit around you.
HK Outdoors – an excellent introduction to a whole range of stuff about the great Hong Kong outdoors, managed by Dr Martin Williams, who has been very active in this area for over 25 years.
Hiking Equipment Suppliers
ProTrek – good for Hydrapak reservoirs, Smartwool socks, Black Diamond lights, poles & packs, Nathan hydration vests, Vaude packs, Meindl shoes etc; get 20% discount just by saying that you are a Protrek Member and quoting Paul’s name and phone number (9185 7028). Spending here using Paul’s discount also accumulates points which he then redeems for items to be used as prizes in the lucky draw at our regular parties.
Racing The Planet – have staff who know what they are talking about, but relatively expensive; have Hoka OneOne shoes. Get 10% discount by quoting the code “HC10” (basically applicable to all “Hiking Club” members).
Escapade Sports – also have (some) good staff, but pricey. Customer service is good. One of the stockists (at their Causeway Bay branch) of the Hoka OneOne shoes, as used by Paul, Steve, Maggie, Peter, John P, etc. Get 5% discount by quoting the name “David Matthews” (even if you’re female!).
Lantau Base Camp – in Mui Wo. Run by serious trail runners; good for energy gels etc; also stock Hoka OneOne shoes.
Government Online Bookstore
The Government Bookstore used to be a convenient online way to order the Countryside Series of five maps, covering the whole of Hong Kong; this service has been replaced by an online mapping service (which also offers various digital mapping products). Unfortunately, for those of us who just want to buy paper maps, the effect has been that the new service will only use registered, not standard, mail, which adds $30 to the base price of $65. That being so, it now makes more sense to buy the maps in traditional bookstores and hiking shops (such as Protrek), although you should take care that you are getting the latest edition.
HK Island (Ed. 7, 2015)
Lantau Island (Ed. 7, 2014)
Sai Kung & Clearwater Bay (Ed. 13, 2014)
North East & Central New Territories (Ed. 7, 2015)
North West New Territories (Ed.9, 2014)
The Government Bookstore also sell many other publications, of which the most relevant is “Hong Kong Amphibians and Reptiles”. This contains details of all the snakes that you may find in the territory. Regrettably though it is only very intermittently in print. Look out for it in traditional bookstores too!