Hot Spot

2 minute read
Aryn Baker

TRAIL HAPPY Hong Kong has a well-worn reputation as a shopping and dining urban wonderland. Less known is the fact that the hilly territory is also a runners’ paradise. Perhaps no other major metropolis boasts as many car-free, scenic trails within easy reach of public transport. The island’s verdant slopes provide ample shade and stunning vistas; the only trick is finding long and level trails that won’t leave runners flattened before they reach their high.

Bowen Road is the quintessential Hong Kong dog-walking, jogging, and pram-pushing path; its five well-paved kilometers hug the hillsides above the financial district of Central. Best avoided on the weekends when it becomes a pedestrian traffic jam, Bowen Road really shines at night. Nocturnal adventurers are rewarded with eye-level views over the top floors of the city’s most famous buildings, and voyeuristic types can snatch glimpses of Hong Kong domestic scenes through brightly-lit apartment windows. A $5 taxi ride from Central will bring you to either end of the path.

For spectacular daytime views, Lugard Road circles Victoria Peak with four kilometers of paved path, complete with viewing platforms, picnic areas and physical fitness stops, so you can take a breather while working out on the parallel bars. Take a bus or a tram to the peak; the path starts just behind the Peak Caf. Ambitious runners who don’t mind a thigh-busting uphill hike can link Bowen and Lugard Roads via Wanchai Gap and over to Barker Road, adding another two kilometers.

From the Quarry Bay subway station, it’s a stiff stroll up Mount Parker road to the rarely-frequented Sir Cecil’s Ride. The three-kilometer-long, narrow dirt path snakes its way west, ducking through thick forest. If your timing is right, you will emerge just as the sun sinks behind the skyscraper-studded retail district of Causeway Bay.

For runners who insist on absolute flat, the Happy Valley Racecourse has a 1.4-kilometer track, complete with showers and locker rooms. Just don’t go on race day, unless you can keep up with the horses.

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