Hiking in Shenzhen
2012-April-13 Source: Szdaily web edition
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I'm living a hiker's dream in Shenzhen, a city rich in outdoor locations with hills in surrounding areas and long coastlines in the east.

Beaches, islands, reefs, geologically significant rocks and boulders, caves and nature reserves are all worth planning into your future hiking routes.

Situated in the subtropical part of China, Shenzhen has a warm, monsoon-influenced and humid climate, meaning hikes in the summer are best planned for mornings or evenings to avoid noontime heat. Torrential rains are also to be avoided from May to November. When summer ends, though, the change is very noticeable — hikers new to the area should expect sudden drop in temperature from November to February. Frost is very rare, however.

The city's most grand and popular hiking activity is the annual 100-kilometer walk event, organized by doyouhike.net. Launched by 52 people in 2001, the activity has a 12-year history. More than 30,000 people from across the country participated in this year’s event, themed "With You All the Way."

The long, overnight hike had two routes. One started from Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in the evening and finished at Dapeng in the east. The journey totaled 99.97 km and took experienced participants 16 to 24 hours to finish. Another route, of only 34.2 km, started at Dameisha the next morning and finished at Dapeng.

The trail's length is attractive to those who want to test their limits or break personal records, as the overnight walk is very tiring.

The San-Shui Trail is another extreme route to test one's endurance. It starts from Shuizukeng and ends in Sanganbi, located at the border mountain of Shenzhen and Huizhou. At a length of 17 km, the trail includes 30 hills. A hiker is either climbing uphill or clambering downhill for the entire route, which offers very little flat ground.

Many local hikers describe the San-Shui Trail as a difficult route not to be attempted by beginners. There is no water supply along the route, which adds to the difficulty. It can take about eight hours to finish in winter and 12 hours in summer.

The coastline from Dongchong to Xichong at Dapeng Peninsula is a classic hiking trail and known for its beautiful views. National Geographic magazine named it one of the 10 most beautiful hikes in China.

Dongchong and Xichong are both small fishing villages in Nan'ao, Dapeng Subdistrict, Yantian District. Hikers pass beaches, islands, reefs, rocks, caves and bridges along the 10-km trail. It can take about four hours for beginners to finish and offers an easy, accessible route.


If you want to enjoy mountain views, Maluan Mountain Trail is another recommendation. The Maluan Mountain Nature Reserve in Yantian District occupies about 25 square kilometers, reaching elevations of about 500 meters.

Maluan Mountain is a good trail for foodies, as it passes farmhouse restaurants run by residents of old villages on the mountain. The trail's difficulty level is moderate.

Before setting out on a mission, hikers should be equipped with appropriate gear and safety knowledge. Skid-proof shoes are a must, and long sleeves and pants are recommended to avoid sunburn. Hiking with a group of at least three is always preferable to hiking alone or with only one companion.

Avoid wild fruits or mushrooms, as they are very likely to be poisonous. Some areas could be out of cell phone range, so it is a good idea to prepare an alternative such as a walkie-talkie.

(By Tina Chen)

Editor: Miranda
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