The first “off the track” location I visited in Hong Kong was the “Tiger Mountain” (虎山) located in “Tai O” (大澳). Everyone came to Tai O to experience the lifestyle and culture of fishing village, I was rather surprised that there’s such a hiking trail hidden at the back of this fishing village. The hike was rather short and not too physically demanding.
When you reach Tai O bus terminus, look for the signboard that guide you towards “Tai O Historic Hotel”. Along your way, you will see “Shao Lin Centre” on your right, and of the left of the entrance you will find a small staircase with signboard stating “This way to the Tiger Mountain”. Follow the steps and hike your way up. You will walk pass a few cemeteries so just be aware, be careful and be respectful. At normal pace you can probably reach the peak in 30 minutes of so. The climb wasn’t that steep, most of the trails are proper stairway so it’s fairly easy to get to the top.
There’s a small hut at the top for you to rest. It’s a very nice view on top as you get to see the ocean at one side and greenery on the other side leading towards the fishing village of Tai O. Besides that, if you are lucky, you will be able to see “Chinese dolphin” swimming and playing in the sea. Aside from dolphin watching, there’s nothing much to do on top, but the breeze and the serenity alone is enough of a reward for your hard work.
To descend the mountain, just follow the original path of where you came from. This is indeed a refreshing experience for me. My first hike in Hong Kong ended up a fruitful and rewarding one, and this was the first time I’m experiencing what the nature can offer in Hong Kong, something different from the usual concrete jungle. So the next time when you pay Hong Kong a visit, try and see if you can spend some time here.