Hong Kong - Jan 7 & 8, 2017

Couple of Shanghai Skies pilots went down to Hong Kong for a "winter flying" weekend. Weather was a nice change to Shanghai - 20-25 degrees, nice sun and blue skies. Shorts and T-shirts were back.

We flew in quite late on Friday night and checked in the hotel in Wanchai after midnight.

Day 1 - Ma On Shan

Early wake up on Saturday and we headed to Ma On Shan - which is one of the "mini XC" sites in Hong Kong. Its a really nice site with large take off suitable for top landings and interesting terrain with high peaks to the north.
Hong Kong is always an amazing place to fly - as its a city mixed with great country parks and several good flying sites. It is also one of few places where you can actually go flying by taking Hong Kong subway (MTR). This time we also decided to take MTR to the nearest station from the site, it required changing trains 5 times, but was quite efficient after all. Final few kms by taxi to the Ma On Shan country trail.

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Ma On Shan requires a 30 mins hike through a moderate trail to get from country trail car park to the take off. Its not too demanding and we enjoyed the hike. Half way up we could already see gliders soaring the Pyramid hill. We caught some breath after the hike, prepared and were airborne around 1pm. We missed a good couple of hours of flying as locals had been already in the air from late morning. Nevertheless we enjoyed soaring and thermaling for an hour (2h for Pascal) and headed down to landing in the farmers paddock. Quite a narrow and technical landing, especially in nil winds, but all of us managed to land safely and on the spot. In the meantime we could witness the dread of tandem and student pilots landing on the trees and crashing into the ground.. really quite a scary sight.

Satisfied with our flights we headed back to Wanchai for some dimsum and beer. Early sleep to be ready for Sunday in another site - Shek O (dragon's back).


Day 2 - Shek O

We took a cab to Shek O and climbed through the wild trail to the take off. Quite a steep hike, but shorter then Ma On Shan - 15 mins to the top. Weather was great, blue sky and light breeze and we were hopeful for some dynamic flights, as hawks were thermaling on the ridge and sustaining the height.

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Light wind take offs on quite steep slope were easier than expected and there were tens of tourists cheering us (or stressing us) during the process. Unfortunately it wasn't enough going on on the ridge to sustain altitude and all 3 of us landed after a short flight. We packed up and went for a small lunch in Shek O village. Really nice Thai salads and sitting in pleasant sunny weather.

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After that we decided to head back up for another flight, so we took a minibus to the start of the trail and hiked up again. Unfortunately there was absolutely no wind at that time and after some consideration we decided to give up and hike down. Quick bite in Wanchai and off to the airport back to Shanghai.

Short - but always pleasant - visit to Hong Kong - totally recommended weekend escape from the freezing weather of Shanghai.
If you are interested to try one of Hong Kong flying sites - plenty of useful information on Hong Kong Paragliding Association website.