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Getting a MTB permit as a tourist

6 years 8 months ago #2353 by Ozdunc
G'day folks,

I'm coming to HK in a couple of weeks as my wife has some work up there. I'm planning to bring my bike. I'll probably stay for about 6-7 riding days ( week days only).
I've read I need a permit and had a look at the PDF - but I don't know where I'll be staying and don't have a HK id.
Any ideas what to do to get one. Do you still need to send it in via snail mail, or is there somewhere you can rock up and get it stamped on the spot?
Does anyone actually check?

Cheers
Duncan

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6 years 8 months ago #2355 by bikesteve
Go direct to the office location that is on the application form on a weekday and they will usually be able to issue the permit on the spot. -Take along your passport number as well.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ozdunc

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6 years 8 months ago #2360 by YW-Slayer
I've noticed quite a few forum posts about this recently. Maybe the relevant portion of the website should be updated to reflect this?

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6 years 8 months ago #2361 by tom

.
I've noticed quite a few forum posts about this recently. Maybe the relevant portion of the website should be updated to reflect this?


Yeah, I was thinking the same and it's surprising that the search feature of the forum is rarely exercised. Kudos to bikesteve for his always very patient responses no matter how often he repeats them here.

The hkmba website needs a good trawling through. Much of the content needs a good refresh. Many of the contributors in the past have gone quiet, moved from hk, or heaven forbid now write for triathlon magazines....eeeek.

Its mostly just me taking care of the site for the past year or more (and it shows from the front page inactivity) and it tough to find time or motivation to dig into thoroughly. Anybody out there want to help out with the website content by writing stories, fixing or updating content?? I am probably the least picky web editor ever who thinks spelling mistakes and grammar errors actually make the stories more genuine and authentic ;)

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6 years 8 months ago #2362 by YW-Slayer
I'm happy to contribute by writing/amending a few sections, though I haven't actually ridden all of the trails in HK yet (having said that I am probably quite familiar with Shek O by now). I have near-zero web editing skills though.

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6 years 8 months ago #2363 by tom

YW-Slayer wrote: I'm happy to contribute by writing/amending a few sections, though I haven't actually ridden all of the trails in HK yet (having said that I am probably quite familiar with Shek O by now). I have near-zero web editing skills though.


Hi YW-Slayer. Its a deal!
Dont worry about the back end (its Joomla based) of the site as I can take care of that (mostly copy and paste work with minor styling ). I suggest that you just pick a section that you would like to update, say the Dragons Back or permits, either scrape the text from the site or I can email you this, update it with your improvements including photos, links, etc and send it back to me in whatever format you like to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (I will reply with my personal email address thereafter) and I will apply the updated text.

The entire HKMBA site was cobbled together without spending a single $ on web design, translation, graphic design, etc . We only paid for hosting. Much of the base HKMBA content (trail guides, MTB in HK, etc) was produced about four years ago by a few guys in their spare time, a couple of them whose native tongues are not English nor Chinese (Julien from France and BeardedBlunder from Wiggan). Julien is now based in the US and BeardedBlunder is more interested in triathlon.

Chinese content is something were are dying to have but its difficult to get. If there is anyone out there who is willing to translate existing text or add new stories in Chinese then please step forward!

This site is the first non-sponsored result returned from google.com.hk if you search for "Mountain Bike Hong Kong" so your contributions to the site will not go unnoticed and will benefit the entire community.

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6 years 8 months ago #2368 by YW-Slayer
Great! I'll scrape the text and sort it out. Don't have any photos yet but may have to take a few.

My Chinese-language writing skills are close to laughable, so I'll see if a mate of mine who is into MTBing will be interested in helping to translate 1 or 2 sections after they've been updated.

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6 years 7 months ago - 6 years 7 months ago #2484 by Ozdunc
Thought I'd better let you know how I got on getting a permit.
The afcd offices are in Cheung San Wan Road, Kowloon. Get off at the Sham Shui Po stop on the Tsuen Wan line. It's pretty different here to HK island, but it's worth a mooch around. anyway I digress.
Take exit A out of the station and turn left and walk about 300 m up the road to a major junction, opposite you will see a big gray building these are the offices. Don't go in the health care entrance, that's the first one you see, go in the main one with a big 303 above the door. Then try and find a lift that goes to the 5th floor. Once found take the lift, get out at the 5 th and enter the afcd reception. There you will be met by a nice gentleman who will make you wait 5mins whilst he sorts the post into different sized envelopes and writes them down in ledger.
Eventually hand him your paper work, he will look at it wondering what exactly he's been given. Once you inform him that's a mtb permit, he tells you to return in 2 weeks to pick it up.
You inform him that you are only in the country for 4 days and you'd like to go mtb today. At this point his English fails him, so he resorts to alternating staring at the form and staring at the ceiling. This goes on for several minutes, giving you the chance to perfect your 1000 yard stare.
Once he realises you are going nowhere, he goes to get someone else. After another few minutes a nice young lady will appear and inform you that it takes 2 weeks to process the permit, and you repeat yourself, but this time the stare is perfected, and she breaks. A phone call is made and you are escorted to the inner sanctum of the afcd on the 6 th floor, where a small spotty youth just into long trousers takes your form, and 5 mins later -bingo. Blue slip in hand, I ready to make my exit. Not so fast young Jedi, you are not yet schooled in permit application protocol -it takes 2weeks you know, and it will be sent to the address on the form. Great, says I, can the address be in Sydney. Ah, no it must be a hong kong address...
At this point you must just cut and run, thanking said youth profusely.

You're so excited you rush back to lkf, but its after midday so you decided to ride dragons back. A solid 50km ride for about 7km of dirt and a heap of steps.

So the long and short of it is, you can get a permit immediately, but your going to have to be pretty dogmatic about it, as you're breaking a bureaucratic system, so practice that stare and keep your cool.
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6 years 7 months ago - 6 years 7 months ago #2485 by YW-Slayer
Wow, didn't know it was going to be such a bother. At least you managed to get out, though. And thanks for letting the forum know. Further action and discussion with the AFCD may be in order on the locals' part.

The Dragon's Back section was also updated just yesterday with suggestions so that people can get to it without having to ride 50km from Central, although that is still listed as an option. The Ridge Trail is actually not too bad as a quick and dirty XC-type practice track as one can do loops of the Ridge. For me, a one-way ride between both parts where it intersects with the Contour trail takes around 12-13 minutes). It's slightly more fun, IMO, than the Wan Tsai peninsula. Agree that the Contour has way too many steps though, and that it is definitely NOT the best-ever track, whether in HK or otherwise.

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6 years 7 months ago #2486 by ang
Thanks for the info. They probably don't have a procedure to stamp the permit on spot. Glad that you got it right away :laugh:

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