Hong Kong is an incredible place, there’s always something going on. Here’s a summary of a regular weekend I had while living in the big city.
Friday – Hiking The Dragon’s Back
In the early morning, I woke up for class at my university – the City University of Hong Kong. Being my only class of the day, I finished it early, and headed back to my dormitory. On my way back, I met up with a few friends who said they planned on going hiking today. Perfect, I’m all about the great outdoors.
At 11 we met up outside our residences, and I found out we’d be hiking the Dragon’s Back Trail – a long 8 kilometer hiking trail on the South side of the Hong Kong Island. We jumped on the MTR, caught the train to the island, and then caught a bus around the back of it, where it let us off at a stop in the middle of nowhere. We climbed a stone staircase, and were on our way.
The hike took about 3 hours, and was actually really fun. We had some stops along the way to take pictures of the amazing views of Shek O (a small beach village) and the southern part of the island. The trail was called the dragon’s back because it moved from mountain to mountain, moving up and down like the back of a dragon… I wouldn’t call it a difficult hike by any means but it did have some fun moments.
The path eventually started declining until we happened upon a smaller beach village known as Big Wave Bay. After grabbing some ice cream and speaking about ourselves in the third person, Ryder and his friends decided to go to the beach.
The waves weren’t too large, and the water was cold at first, but boy it was a fun time. We spent the time body surfing the waves as they came in, and diving into the bigger ones. The sun was setting, and everyone started walking back into the shallow shore, while my friend Inez and I stayed out in the deeper area to dive into one last wave.
The 6 foot wave swelled about 30 feet before us. I was 20 feet behind Inez, and she was running to dive into the wave as I followed suit. All of a sudden, before the wave crashed in the swell, these three (I kid you not) meter long fish appeared swimming inside the wave, right towards Inez. I yelled out her name, but she had seen them, screamed so loud, and was running towards the shore. I ran initially too out of fear, but after that couldn’t stop laughing at the sight we had just seen. It was horrifying, but also a really cool experience… Needless to say we stayed out of the water after that.
Saturday – Riding The Rollercoasters at Ocean Park
I woke up with a pretty bad cold, which was strange, but I sucked it up and met my two friends Karma and Francesca to head to ocean park – Hong Kong’s best theme park – to make our recently purchased season passes count.
After a long MTR ride, missing three busses, and the bus stop by a good kilometer, we had arrived, and caught the cable car into the other side of the park. Karma and I being veterans at this place knew where we were going, so on a surprisingly hot saturday, we decided to check out the raft ride first. This is the kind of ride where you sit in a circular raft, and you go down a water channel The sign at the ride said “You will get wet, you may get soaked”… I got the latter.
To dry off, we went on a couple roller coasters, including my favourite: “Hair Raiser”. After that, we checked out the drop zone, which scares me every single time, and a couple more rides. By that point my cold was getting to me, and I wasn’t feeling it, so we came home, hung out with some people, and had a chill night in (as everyone else we knew went out to a warehouse party).
Sunday – War Games in the New Territories
We decided last minute to go to a thing called War Games. I was a little confused as to what it was at first, but it’s basically airsoft guns (which look incredibly like real guns) with no orange-tipped ends, or safety regulations on power, shooting plastic BBs, that look like a heavy duty machine guns.
We started the day by waking up at 8, eating some quick breakfast, and then headed to Yau Ma Tei where we were met with a crowd of gun-carrying, camouflage wearing, backwards-colourless american flag bearing wargames enthusiasts.
We boarded a minibus and took it on an hour long journey into the new territories, and after driving through a dodgy area, arrived at a bunker filled with guns, and lots of war equipment. We took 30 minute to unpack, get ready, and put on all our coats, camo pants, load our mags, and try shooting our guns… then we went to war.
Wargames is basically paintball, but with airsoft. People take it super seriously, and it’s done on an honour system, so if you get hit – you throw your hands up and say that you’re out. I didn’t think the honour system would work, but even though the BB’s weren’t painful, it still was not pleasant being hit with them – after a few hits, you were done.
The first game was an absolute disaster. They basically dropped us into a forest, and we had no idea what we were expecting. Ryan, Kristine, and I were wiped out within the first 5 minutes while hiding in a bush. That was probably the worst, as who ever got us out would not stop shooting despite our Cantonese cries to stop. I got hit all across my hands, face (with a mask) back, arms, and chest. Ouch.
The next game we were ready, but still got taken out by a sniper that snuck around the back… We can do better.
Our next game rolls around and we’re ready, we’re in the zone, and 10 minutes in, we get hit by a sniper through the woods. Darn. We’ll do better next time.
The third game rolls around – we’ve got a bigger team, and it’s working to our advantage. Kristine and I army crawled through the forest and got a few hits. We lasted until the end, which was a big accomplishment for us. We’re starting to get the hang of this thing.
Our group moved out of the forest arena and into a more dangerous field. Filled with broken down cars and metal barriers, the sound of the BBs pinging off the metal barriers was terrifying. We worked as a team taking the other team by force within two minutes of the game – we sure were proud.
We broke for a nice lunch and afterwards were ready for our last two areas. In the first, I never saw the other team, only heard the pellets whizzing past my head as I ducked. At one point Kristine and I were full on scaling an incredibly steep dirt hill as we were taking fire – so much fun. I spent most of the time in this arena hiding in long grass, and firing wildly into the forest.
The last arena seemed the biggest, because it was half on higher ground, half on lower ground, with a series of very deep trenches (I could walk upright without being seen). I spent the first game getting hit, and the second game getting revenge.
Overall an absolutely amazing, fun, and very exercising experience. I’m covered in cuts from the bushes, and sore from jumping down into trenches, army crawling through bushes ,and rolling to avoid automatic rifle fire, but I’d definitely do it again. What a great weekend.