The Maclehose is the longest marked trail in Hong Kong. It is a 100-kilometre trail that crosses from east to west across the New Territories. You can get to the start of the trail without a car, using either a taxi or public transport. The latter is cheaper, and the method I took. Most public transport simply requires an Octopus card.
The trailhead of the Maclehose is at Pak Tam Chung. I plugged in ‘Pak Tam Chung’ into Google Maps, and the app directed me to take the train from our hostel in Yau Ma Tei to Wong Tai Sin MTR Station. Outside of the underground station, there are many bus stops on either side of the road. We had to take bus 1 or 1A towards Sai Kung Bus Terminus. Just be careful of going in the opposite direction — if you see bus 1/1A going towards Rhythm Garden, that’s the wrong way.
Once you’re on the bus, you can enjoy a view of tranquility in the New Territories as your bus climbs up the roads to a higher elevation.
The bus will eventually end its route at Sai Kung Bus Terminus, next to a small jetty with boats and seaside restaurants. It’s a pleasant area to walk around and enjoy the waterfront view and amenities, and public toilets too.
There is a convenience store just a few steps away from the bus terminus, where one can procure last minute supplies (such as bread) for the hike ahead. A couple of minutes’ further is Sai Kung Café & Bakery, reputed to have some of the best pineapple buns in Hong Kong. Their coffee is nothing to shout about, and their egg tarts (HKD 13), while creamy, were not served warm. Their pineapple buns (HKD 10), however, were delicious. With butter (add HKD 6), even more so.
Bus 7 towards Hoi Ha goes to Pak Tam Chung to the Sai Kung Bus Terminus. It comes about every 30 minutes, so you might have a bit of time to explore the immediate vicinity while waiting for the next one.
Get off at the Pak Tam Chung stop. Many people and students come here just for short day hikes or barbecues. The visitor’s centre is nearby, where you can get information about the Maclehose Trail and directions to the trailhead.