OverviewShikengkong is one of the major attractions in Guangdong's Nanling National Forest Park (南岭国家森林公园). The summit is the highest point in Guangdong province. There are 2 roads that reach the summit: one unpaved from Nanling city and the main park gate and a second road that is better paved which leads north into Hunan province. I walked the length of the main road (Nov 29) from the gate (about 25km to the top) and saw a few vehicles pass by within the first 8km of the gate after which there was no traffic. It is possible to hire a car or motorcycle to take you to the top but expect to pay around 300rmb. Prices may be less in high season.
The surrounding hills have some fantastic waterfalls, slick slot canyons and lush hillsides. Some of these attractions are easy to add on to a day hike to the summit. Others would require minor detours. With private transport the whole park can be easily explored in a day. I most enjoyed Qinshui Valley, there is a boardwalk path that follows a series of precipitous waterfalls and potholes. The path is adjacent to the main road and doesn't add any mileage to the main route.
Getting ThereShikengkong is located in the far north of Guangdong province very near the border of Hunan. Guangzhou is the closest large metropolitan with an international airport. It's also close enough to Shenzhen, Hong Kong or Macau.
If coming from the south, you will pass thru Shaoguan and then Ruyuan on your way to Nanling which is a small village on the edge of the Park's entrance. When I visited I took a bus from Guangzhou to Shaoguan (~4 hours), a second bus to Ruyuan and then a local bus to Nanling. All of these routes have many departures per day, perhaps hourly throughout the morning and afternoon.
From Nanling village you are already at the border of the park. The summit can be reached by following the main road for ~25km through the heart of the Nanling Forest Park.
Red TapeVisitors are required to buy an entrance ticket (60rmb in Nov 2012). You will receive a small booklet containing a park map which will direct you to the main park attractions. It is worth noting that the map doesn't accurately represent all the roads in the park and the actual road signs are not always easy to follow.
CampingThe park does not offer camping facilities. Nanling city does have some decent hotel offerings from basic to modern. When I visited, one of the big hotels was hosting a major business conference for some folks from Shanghai and elsewhere.
There is also a basic accommodation about 1km from the summit that offers meals and bunks. After hiking 20km through fog and mist and not having seen a living soul for about 5 hours, I was happy to stumble on this place near the summit for a hot meal and some tea.