Image courtesy: Hong Kong Tourism Board
Hit the outdoors in Hong Kong for fun, fitness and friendship. Here, you have to simply follow the trend of running and runtheMTR to discover a fascinating way to explore the city alongside its lifeline, the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) public transport system. Sounds different and rather interesting, isn’t it? Here’s more…
Image courtesy: runtheMTR
The idea came across to runtheMTR when Canadian Hong Kong expats, Marj and Gillian Pritchard came up with a novel way of exploring Hong Kong city by going quite literally “off the track”. What they did on Mother’s Day, the mother-daughter duo of Marj and Gillian Pritchard swapped traditional gifts for a planned ‘Island Line Run’. The route followed the popular Island Line from Kennedy Town (on the western side of Hong Kong Island) to Chai Wan (on the eastern side) along the scenic harbor front. It turned out to be such a refreshing success that the two pondered if it were possible to follow all the MTR lines in Hong Kong by foot. It turns out that the idea is indeed one of the best ways to explore Hong Kong, Your daily exercise and health regimen with double up with exploration and not a single plan will get “derailed” even while on holiday!
Image courtesy: runtheMTR
With just two stations, the Disneyland Resort Line is the shortest MTR track. It’s easy, short and full of novelty. Enjoy running around the meticulously manicured Disneyland property, soaking up its magical atmosphere. Choose between the classic on-road ‘Mickey Route’ and
the adventurous off-road ‘Goofy Route’ that goes off on a few trails to cover the distance between the two stops. The 3.5km on-road stretch begins at Sunny Bay Station and follows the flat pavement of the road. Before you can really say you’ve warmed up, you’ll find yourself at the green arches of Disneyland.
From there, you can hum along to your favourite Disney song as you run the last kilometer to Disneyland station. Sounds fun already.
Worth the detour: We suggest you add some frolic to the run with a day inside the feng shui-approved theme park. Go ahead and say hello to Mickey and friends (it’s a big hit with adults and kids both). Give a delightful treat to the adventure junkie streak of yours by experiencing Disney’s first-ever Marvel-inspired ride. Join Ironman as he protects the city in 3-D motion simulation. Later, cool down with a leisurely walk around the tranquil Inspiration Lake.
Most Challenging Route
Take up a challenge to run the West Rail Line. It is certainly the most challenging route spanning marathon distance of 52.6km from Tuen Mun till Hung Hom. Most of the run is flat, but be prepared for a testing 480m climb between Tsuen Wan West and Kam Sheung Road stations through Tai Lam Country Park.
Image Courtesy: runtheMTR
Watch out for: The run is very interesting with sights and scenery of bustling commercial streets to beautiful country parks and waterfront promenades. Before you set off, take in the religious architecture at Ching Chung Koon’s Palace of Pure Brightness in Tuen Mun. Count the trains crossing overhead as you follow the MTR route to Yuen Long (known for its organic farms). After Kam Sheung Road station, you climb through Tai Lam Country Park and move till Route Twisk.
Worth the detour: After climbing up the Route Twisk, join part of the MacLehose Trail and turn up Tai Mo Shan Road. The most spectacular sight will present itself – you can have a wholesome meal in the clouds (Tai Mo Shan is Hong Kong’s highest peak), head for yum cha at Duen Kee Chinese Restaurant. Part of the DIY (Do It Yourself) charm of this local eatery is finding yourself a table, pouring your tea and then digging into the delicious fresh dim-sums.
Strike a pose: On a clear day, grab a selfie with Tai Mo Shan in the background. It’s a popular picture point.
Most Unusual Route
Many visitors like to try unexplored routes and the South Island Line throws everything at you in just 11.4km. The route begins in Admiralty, the heart of the financial district, and ends at South Horizons station on Ap Lei Chau, one of the world’s most densely populated islands.
Watch out for: Say hello to all the corporate-attired professionals walking around when you begin your run in the Admiralty. It won’t be long though before you climb through the Aberdeen Country Park, where it’s just as common to spot wild boars! Of course, you must not feed them and stay a safe distance. Interesting, isn’t it!
Worth the detour: The Aberdeen Fish Market is one of Hong Kong’s oldest and most traditional industries at work. You can pause for a moment to notice the little fishing boats and can also pick up fresh-catch of seafood. Make a pit-stop at Ap Lei Chau Cooked Food Market and enjoy a pocket-friendly meal at one of the food stalls.
Strike A Pose: This route features a 300m climb through Aberdeen Country Park, a shorter 50m climb between Lei Tung and South Horizons station, and then a section of trail running along Lady Clementi’s Ride overlooking the Aberdeen Reservoir. You can also see the Ocean Park Seahorse Topiary carved into the mountain.
Make your outdoor plans in Hong Kong by logging onto: https://www.discoverhongkong.com/in/index.html