China News Service, Hangzhou, February 21 (Bao Mengni) "My family and I have reached a consensus that we will not go home to visit relatives during the Chinese New Year. I will accompany them in a 'staggered' period after the peak period of Spring Festival travel." This year's Spring Festival holiday, in Zhejiang Hua Zai (pseudonym), a "post-90s" girl who works in Hangzhou, did not go back to her hometown in Shanxi. Instead, she walked the MacLehose Trail in Hong Kong and fulfilled her "first wish of the New Year."

  As a famous hiking trail in Hong Kong, the MacLehose Trail starts from Sai Kung in the west and ends at Tuen Mun in the east, running through the New Territories of Hong Kong from east to west, with a total length of 100 kilometers. Starting from arriving at the starting point of the hike early on the third day of the first lunar month, the trip took Hua Zai four days and three nights.

Hikers on the MacLehose Trail. Photo provided by interviewee

  In order to balance the relationship between "concentrating on hiking" and "putting her family at ease", she reports three times a day in the morning, noon and evening, and the rest of the time is in a "no such person" state. Due to the professional nature of e-commerce operations, Hua Zai's daily work "front line" is stretched for a long time, and the "7×24 hours" online state made him quite tired. In her view, the Spring Festival holiday is a rare opportunity to escape from busy work and pursue personal hobbies.

  "The MacLehose Trail is a hiking route that we have been looking forward to for a long time, but we have never been able to find a suitable long vacation to implement it. In early January, a few hiking friends and I hit it off and started preparations quickly," she said. Whether it is going through customs clearance procedures intelligently or purchasing a Hong Kong phone card, the process is very smooth.

  Why MacLehose Trail? The wilderness on the east coast, the rolling mountains in the middle, the river valleys and ponds in the west, and the bay scenery along the way are very fascinating. While taking into account the beautiful scenery of mountains and seas, this route is very challenging due to its many rugged mountain roads.

  To Hua Zai's surprise, there were many enthusiasts hiking the MacLehose Trail during the Spring Festival holiday. For example, on February 12, there were more than a hundred tents set up at Ham Tin Bay Campground. She learned that most of these tourists were from the mainland, and among them were the "silver-haired people."

  "I took my family to visit relatives a few years ago. Our family is relatively free. My wife and children are enjoying the holidays at home. I have no objection to me going out for hiking and relaxing." 59-year-old Dashan (pseudonym) said that there were more than ten people traveling with him. Among the "comrades" near the retirement age line, the oldest one is 70 years old.

  Different from the young people who are working hard for their careers, this middle-aged and elderly outdoor hiking team from Nanjing, Jiangsu Province have more free time at their disposal and richer travel experience.

Meals cooked by the mountains. Photo provided by interviewee

  In the evening, Dashan and his friends took out picnic equipment and fresh ingredients, and treated the young people they met by chance with a steaming home-cooked meal. This is the care the elders give to the younger ones, and it is also the tacit enthusiasm of "people of the same mind".

  Regardless of whether they are young or old, many mainland hiking enthusiasts end their Spring Festival trip by shopping and tasting delicious food in Hong Kong city.

  It is understood that during the Spring Festival holiday that just passed, about 1.436 million tourists visited Hong Kong, of which about 1.255 million were from the mainland. The number of mainland tourists visiting Hong Kong exceeded the level of the same period in 2018.

  According to Ah Jin (pseudonym), a Hong Kong hiking enthusiast, the popularity of the MacLehose Trail hiking tour during the Spring Festival holiday shows that Hong Kong’s natural scenery is being recognized by more people. This also means that many mainland tourists are willing to exercise in the form of physical exercise. The charm of Hong Kong.

  "Actually, many Hong Kong people travel to the mainland during the Spring Festival. My friend just returned from a self-driving trip to Tibet." Ah Jin believes that the boom in travel during the Spring Festival is a reflection of the "two-way travel" between Hong Kong and the mainland. (over)