Walking the hard way over Mt. Cameron in Hong Kong

One of Hong Kong’s original theme parks is Ocean Park. It’s a combination of Kelly Tarlton’s aquarium, with Rainbow’s End rides. With a new MTR station opening outside, it’s a 17 minute ride on the subway. Let’s walk to it over Mt. Cameron!

Or you could do it like I did, with a 2 hour walk up and over Mt. Cameron, and back down through some of the rainforests covering the hills behind Wan Chai on Hong Kong island.

Walking up Wan Chai towards Mt. Cameron

From the back of Wan Chai, walk up Wan Chai Gap Road. This is steep, pretty much straight up. Thankfully, there’s grooves in the concrete so you don’t slip. Which was important to me, considering I was wearing jandals. Now I know that jandals aren’t really hill climbing gear, but when it’s 26 degrees and raining, I just didn’t want to be walking around in soggy shoes. I hate hot feet, hot sweaty feet, and making them soggy doesn’t improve that for me.

You’ll then reach a park. I saw people doing exercise which was pretty cute. I thought, thankfully, I’d made it. Turns out, I’d made it about 20% up the hill! This was a little disheartening. On the plus side, my body was getting a workout that I hadn’t had in ages! Onwards up Mt. Cameron.

At the end of Wan Chai Gap Road is where the mist started. You’re now up so high that you’re in the clouds. I didn’t mind, the heat got a little less hot, the air a little less sticky, and walking conditions got better.

The rich part of town – Middle Gap Road

From here, it’s the start of Middle Gap Road. This is the road where some of the most expensive houses in Hong Kong exist. You may be wondering – surely how much could a place cost? Well, a five bedroom house costs $157K NZD. In rent. Per month. That’s only a cool $1.9M NZD per year to rent.

Ironically, because of this, all the houses on Mt. Cameron were surrounded by vast barbed wire fences, and guards. It made me feel like they were very expensive prisons.

Next, at the end of Middle Gap Road was the start of Hong Kong Sec Trail 4. This was a pretty rural area, there was just no one around. It was kinda scary really, in the sense that in Hong Kong there’s everyone everywhere. Someone’s always in your grill, and you just kinda get used to it. So when you’re the only person on a trail going down the side of a mountain, it makes you wonder, why isn’t anyone else around? Oh yeah, signs saying, watch out, Dengue Fever’s a thing, so wear long clothing. I’m wearing a t-shirt and shorts, and jandals. Should have bought some DEET.

Getting lost on Lady Clementi’s Ride

Furthermore, that was one of the nicer trail bits I was on! At the bottom of Mt. Cameron was the start of Lady Clementi’s Ride. This makes it sound fancier than it was, which was basically a water canal on the side of a mountain. No fences, if you fell in the canal, there’s 2m of sloped concrete to try and scramble out of. Oh, and still no one around.

Then I continued to followed Google Map’s instructions. Put on the headphones. Listened to Future Island’s Ran. It was pretty pleasant, saw some interesting butterflies. Reached the turnoff in Google Maps. It was straight into a bush down a hill! I was not amused. That was not a turn off. So then I decided to keep walking along Lady Clementi’s Ride until I saw another track. I turned off which then turned into a steep scramble down the side of a hill, then into dense bush, that turned into denser bush. My spider senses were tingling saying, hmm, this doesn’t seem like the normal way to get to Ocean Park.

Finally freedom

Finally I turned around, went back up the hill, back to the main path / water canal, and walked along that until the end, where I saw a tunnel. Oh, so that’s where death lives. Thankfully, it was also near the road, which I had never been so thankful to see. A quick walk down the hill, and back to civilisation of BMWs and Mercedes Benz and Teslas driving by.