This week for our family field trip we got on our bikes and went cycling in Mui Wo. If you missed last time, we were were field tripping with the best of them at Lake Egret Nature Park, near Tai Po in the New Territories and you can read about our experience here.
This week the intrepid field-trippers were: one mum and dad celebrating their 6th year wedding anniversary (don’t worry, we weren’t relying on this as our sole celebration – we’d been out the night before!) with one 3 year old thirsty for action on a lacklustre Sunday morning. Once again the weather was somewhat inclement but being British and therefore never put off by black clouds looming, we put our best feet forward and headed down to Central Pier 6 to catch the ferry to Mui Wo for a spot of cycling. If you’re a family field trip regular, you’ll know that we’re quite partial to some time in the saddle, and our last foray into the world of family cycling was in Shatin.
So, how did Mui Wo compare to the cycling paths of Shatin?
Hits: We were greeted with island living and definitely a more laid back vibe than Shatin so it makes for a great escape from the stress and the strain of city living. As soon as you step off the ferry you can feel and see that Mui Wo follows a different beat to the city. There are several cycling shops to choose from and lots of different cycling routes to choose. It’s also pretty easy to find your way around. We chose to cycle along the beach path (a good option as it was pretty flat) taking in some good scenery en route and even a playground. Not many cars and safe (apart from when you have a big bus breathing down your neck as you’re pootling around the village roundabout on your ancient tricycle). It only takes about 5 minutes to get out of the centre of Mui Wo and then it’s pretty much pedestrian walkways and cycle paths – so pretty safe. Bikes are cheap to hire and best of all it gets you and your kids out and about in the fresh(ish) air. It’s also good fun – we laughed a lot and also provided much entertainment for the locals on our “BMW” three-wheeler. We particularly enjoyed the beach; Mui Wo is popular for it’s not-so-populated beach, and it didn’t disappoint… we practically had the beach to ourselves and on the way back our little girl couldn’t wait to jump in the sea for a cool down and play in the sand (although this could have been something to do with her Dad’s driving, as we did end up in a hedge at one point). If you prefer to pedal on water, there are also pedalos for hire from outside the Silvermine Beach Resort, which also might make for a good coffee stop although we didn’t try it.
Another suggested route is to pick up the Mui Wo Rural Committee Road which leads away from the beach and aim for the Silvermine Waterfall and Silvermine Cave taking in the Man Mo Temple on the way.
Misses: some of the bike shops were closed on Sunday morning, even though the shop signage stated open daily, so it might be a good idea to phone ahead to check opening times if you’re planning a Sunday outing. Bikes Mui Wo and the Friendly Bike Shop were open on a Sunday morning (after 10am), but choices were limited as to the options for a 3 year old. We ended up on a tricycle from Bikes Mui Wo which although provided much hilarity for Gracie and I, as hubby had to pedal very hard to get us going. On reflection we would have preferred a bike with a child seat, but these were not stocked by either store. There also seemed to be only one tricycle as well, so it could be first come first served. As is often the case it can be a bit of a lottery as to the quality of bike you get… let’s just say our tricycle had been around the block a fair few number of times and had a pretty flat front tyre. When we asked to have this pumped up, the shop owner assured us it was supposed to be that flat for optimum performance… hmm. As always when hiring bikes, check the brakes and gears and make sure the seat is secure by having a cycle up and down before you set off.
Need to know before you go: bike shops may be closed on Sunday mornings. Don’t forget swimsuits, towels, sunscreen and insect repellent if you plan to enjoy the beach.
Bite to eat: There are quite a few eating options in Mui Wo, mainly clustered around the ferry terminal. We liked the delicious thin crust pizzas at The Kitchen, but the other food was a bit oily for my liking. Other places to try include Café Paradiso (although it’s pretty small so you may struggle to get a table); the China Bear Pub; and the Bahce Turkish Restaurant. There’s also a McDonalds and a Park N Shop as you get off the ferry so you could buy picnic goodies if you’d prefer.
Friendly Bike Shop, Shop B, 13 Mui Wo Ferry Pier Road, Mui Wo, Lantau, Hong Kong. Tel: 2984 2278. Open daily 10am-7pm except Tuesdays.
Bikes Mui Wo, opposite Park N Shop, Mui Wo, Lantau, Hong Kong. Tel: 2134 1234. Open daily 10am-7pm.
Merida Bike Shop, Shop 14, Mui Wo Centre, 1 Ngan Wan Road, Mui Wo, Lantau, Hong Kong. Tel: 2984 9761.
Getting there: Take the ferry from Central Pier No.6 to Mui Wo and Lantau Island. Ferry time is 30 minutes (fast ferry) and 50 minutes (ordinary ferry)