ASIA, HONG KONG, LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL

Hong Kong Visual Diary: Cycling at Tai Mei Tuk

2nd August 2017

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Mountainous backdrop, fresh air, crystal clear waters. Welcome to Tai Mei Tuk in rural Tai Po!

Tai Mei Tuk, better known as Plover Cove, is a great place to spend a day with friends or family, or alone with a dog, to do all sorts of fun activities including  hiking, barbecue, boating, cycling and droning (I think drones should be banned there).  One of Hong Kong’s hidden gems, Tai Mei Tuk is best known for its natural beauty, rich history and culture, and off-the-beaten track cycling routes and hiking trails, offering brilliant views out over the sea with numerous islets, natural reservoir, mountainous backdrop and old villages.   My village in Tung Tsz is located just 10 minutes away, you can easily tell why Tai Mei Tuk is my favourite place to go cycling.

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Cycling has been my favourite weekly leisure-time exercise, there are no gym facilities or park gym in rural Tai Po, I would suspect the nearest gym is a few miles away.  I love cycling in my own company at my own pace, listen to my favourite iPod playlist, enjoy the views and longer dose of fresh air.  I ride my trusty bike Tokyobike CS, which I bought as an investment choice, from Bike The Moment Store in Kwun Tong.  An easy classic-style town bike that combines style and practicality, and it’s incredibly light.  My vava vroom!

As mentioned earlier, my village is located in Tung Tsz below the foothills of Pat Sin Leng mountain range, which stands a mid-way point between two cycling attractions; Sam Mun Tsai and Tai Mei Tuk.  And I’d use my home as a pit stop for toilet break, who would want to use the village’s public restroom with a hole in the ground?  A HOLE IN THE GROUND, particularly for ladies, who would dare squat in an uncomfortable manner, unless you’ve pre-packed a SheWee for long cycle journeys or hiking trips.  Me, no.

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I would always encourage my friends to leave the hectic life in the city and venture into a more open scenic view in rural Tai Po.  It costs only $80 (£7.50) to hire a bike for up to 4 hours which isn’t that bad.  Bearing in mind, there are restaurants, snack cafes and barbecue sites (and proper public restrooms) for a more civilised environment.

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This is the most photographed view point from the end of the Plover Cove dam, my window through paradise, a breathtaking panoramic views over the reservoir, coastline scenery, Pat Sin Leng mountain range, a glimpse of the Goddess of Mercy white bronze statue, and hardly any people around!  The dam gets packed on weekends, so I’d suggest come here on weekdays for the leisurely quiet ride and watch the sun as it disappear gradually below the horizon.

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A wonderful friend of mine Stephen Cheng (as pictured above with his dog Alfie), is an accessory designer and founder of Kleks Design, kindly gifted me this lovely unisex backpack.  I’d been looking for a practical, non-branded work backpack that would fit my purse, water bottle, camera and lenses, collapsible reflector and random junk.  This backpack is perfect, it’s stylish, comfortable, durable and practical with multiple pockets and adjustable straps, fits everything I need on the go.  Also great day bag for cycling, shopping and commuting to work.

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|| My top iPod playlist ||

London Grammar – Wasting My Young Years, Stay Away, Interlude, Truth Is A Beautiful Thing.

Hurts – Wonderful Life, Better Than Love, Miracle, Exile.

Others: Kieza – Hideaway, Years & Years – King, Calvin Harris feat. HAIM – Pray to God, The Chemical Brothers – Go, Bat For Lashes, Moon And Moon, Iamamiwhoami – Chasing Kites.

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|| Other places to see and cycle in rural Tai Po ||

People normally take the Tai Wai to Tai Mei Tuk (via Sha Tin) route, which is a 23km, one way, that’s a 3 hour bike ride for a slower pace rider.  There are several bike hire kiosks located in Tai Wai, Sha Tin, Tai Po and Tai Mei Tuk, and fees is varied from location to location.  I’d recommend spend a whole day in Tai Mei Tuk.

Tung Tsz – check out Shuen Wan Temple and its stunning architecture.  Tsz Shan Monastery and Goddess of Mercy statue on Universal Gate Road, visitors are required to book a month in advance. (click HERE for Goggle map)

Organic strawberry Farm on Ting Kok Road – perfect pit stop for strawberry picking with family and friends after a long day of cycling.

Sam Mun Tsai – passing through the ugly luxury apartments of Beverley Hills, you’ll find a tranquil fishing village and floating village with small cafes and seafood restaurant, there’s a walking path leading to Ma Shi Chau Nature Trail, a protective area for ancient rock formations from the Jurassic period. (click HERE for Google map)

Sha Lan Village – a small secluded village next to Sam Mun Tsai with a private pebbled beach (as pictured above), my short cut through the village back to the main cycle path on Ting Kok Road towards Tai Mei Tuk or Tai Po town center.  Perfect spot to catch your breath, catch freshwater crabs, or soak your feet in the water.

|| How to get to Tai Mei Tuk ||

Best way to get to Tai Mei Tuk is by bus from Tai Po Market MTR station, or get a taxi.

Catch a 20C mini bus or 75K double decker bus from Tai Po Market MTR station to Tai Mei Tuk bus terminus, the journey takes approximately 30 minutes to 45 minutes to reach the destination.  Expect long queues on busy weekends.  Alternatively, take a taxi or Uber.


 

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