Let's be honest, any normal semblance of travel isn't happening soon, even with the world's first two-way travel bubble between Hong Kong Singapore opening up in November. Let's set our sight back on all the fun to be had in Hong Kong. This urban jungle has more to offer than glitzy skyscrapers, and here to prove it are the two adventurers of GetHigh HK.
Despite their playful name, this isn't a CBD brand, but two women on a mission to share the greener side of Hong Kong. Their site and IG is not only an excellent resource for your next big hike but a stunning snapshot of HK's more hidden treasures. Just be ready to sweat for your reward. We caught up with the two die-hard explorers on all things outdoorsy.
For expert advice on getting vertical this weekend, keep reading below.
How long have you both known one another?
We have known of each other almost all our lives as we went to the same schools growing up. However, we only got close during university, where we studied the same course - International Business. In 2018, we happened to have similar schedules and decided to make the most of our days off during the winter by going hiking. Since then, our friendship has been built on one crazy experience after another, from stripping down in shady Moroccan hammams, raving in abandoned island shacks, to exploring mountains in Sapa with the H'mong people.
What does a typical day for you look like?
We both have full-time jobs that are really time-consuming. At the same time, Get High is our passion project, so we spend almost every free moment thinking about it and texting each other with ideas excitedly.
Both of us are hyper-organized, so between our multiple todo lists and colour-coded spreadsheets, we manage to balance both our full-time jobs and Get High. We also love going out and meeting new people, so we really strive to embody the ‘work hard, play hard lifestyle’. In the process, we get to meet some wonderful entrepreneurs and that’s how most of our GetHigh collabs get started!
How did your playful name come about?
Though the admittedly risque connotation (wink), the name actually stemmed from a really innocent place! Almost every time we hike, we end up getting lost. But the adrenaline and sense of satisfaction we feel when we find the spot we’re looking for is incomparable. Being up on a mountain top, looking over our gorgeous city is a sense of bliss that we can only describe as a ‘high’. With our goal to share this experience with others, we thought this name would be a great way to spark curiosity, and it really was!
How did your love for hiking take hold?
We started hiking together when we were university students, itching for something new to do besides partying every weekend. In 2018, we both decided that our New Year’s resolution would be to do one hike a week. Very quickly, we realized that our days out in nature were really wholesome and left us feeling euphoric. We wanted to share this feeling with others and that’s how GetHigh came about.
How do you keep a balanced, active day-to-day lifestyle?
Given our busy work schedules, it’s definitely not easy. However, we have a passion for fitness and do our best to make time for it. We have dedicated our Saturday mornings to hiking, and we also attend various fitness classes during the week, including cardio-dance workouts, HIIT, spinning and yoga. We love dipping our toes in anything new, it makes the habit of keeping fit lots of fun!
What's the best thing about Hong Kong outdoors?
The best thing about the outdoors in Hong Kong is accessibility. There is nowhere else in the world that you can be hiking or doing water sports as well as working or going to university all in the same day. We love how easy it is to add a few doses of nature to our fast-paced and busy lifestyles.
What's the most rewarding outdoor activity?
The most rewarding outdoor activity is probably kayaking around Sai Kung Geopark. It was the highlight of our summer this year. It’s definitely difficult as we were paddling against the current for almost five hours, but we discovered what is probably the prettiest beach in Hong Kong - Whiskey Beach!
It is only accessible by kayak or private boat, so it isn’t overcrowded. The waters are crystal clear, and the sand incredibly soft and smooth. P.S. directions to get to this beach, as well as caves in and around Sharp Island can be found on our website.
What do you recommend for beginner outdoor adventurers?
Devil’s Peak or Brick Hill are both quick and easy hikes that are incredibly rewarding. They’re quite accessible via public transport, and the hikes take no longer than an hour. They also lead you to panoramic views of Hong Kong, and are great spots to view the sunrise and sunset too!
For something a little further out, Cape D’Aguilar is a gorgeous little adventure. It’s a flat walk that lasts around two hours, and once you get to the marine reserve, you can climb up onto the cliffs to feel the cool breeze and catch a glimpse of the waves crashing onto the rocks!
What's your pick for a hike that'll whip even the most experienced of hikers?
Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff are some of the most iconic spots for watching the sunset in Hong Kong. However, after the sunset, the climb back down can be super challenging! It is a tough, hour-long descent, for which you’d definitely need a torch. While there are several routes you can take to go up or down, one particular route that involves the use of ropes can definitely whip up even the most experienced of hikers. For hikers that aren’t as experienced, we’d recommend taking the less steep route with steps (recommended on our website), and ensure you have a headlamp or torch to help you out.
What makes Hong Kong Home?
80% of Hong Kong is covered in mountains, nature parks, outlying islands, and coastlines. At the same time, it is known for its hustle and bustle, skyscrapers, bars and restaurants. Hong Kong is home to us because it’s probably the only place in the world that lets us strike a balance in the best way possible, and live the kind of lifestyle we’ve always dreamt of.
Alongside the busy, fast-paced lifestyles we live, we get to escape the city and let our minds be at peace. We’ve also got our little village of friends and family that keep us grounded, and we couldn’t be more thankful.
What's next for Get High HK?
This summer, we expanded our website to include water activities as Hong Kong summers can get too hot for hiking. Recently, we have also begun organizing events that involve hiking and other relaxing activities, such as yoga and meditation.
We plan to hold these regularly, and we also have other hiking and fitness events lined up! In the future, we are aiming to launch our own line of fitness accessories that would meet the needs of our community and audience - user-friendly and aesthetic. These should be out for sale very soon, so stay tuned and #sharethehigh.