Many people who visit Hong Kong do so to experience the culture, visit the historic landmarks, and sample the local cuisine. However, Hong Kong is also a wonderful place to visit for those who enjoy the outdoors, as the urban areas are surrounded by diverse and beautiful landscapes. Hiking is one of the best ways to explore Hong Kong's stunning countryside, and there are multiple hiking trails to walk. Here is a traveler's guide to hiking in Hong Kong.
Dragon's Back Hike
According to Planetware, one of the best hikes in Hong Kong is Dragon's Back Hike. It is a moderate urban hike that is five miles long and takes approximately three hours to complete. This hike is popular because it is accessible and offers excellent views of the coastline and the Southern Island. The trail begins on Shek O Road at To Tei Wan, then heads along the Hong Kong Trail to Shek O Peninsula Viewpoint. As you continue to walk, you will come across an exposed platform where you can enjoy coastal views. The walk then heads uphill to Dragon's Back. On the return journey, follow the signs to Big Wave Bay.
The Peak Trail
If you are a first-time visitor to Hong Kong, then The Peak Trail is one that you should complete as it has some of the best views of the city and Victoria Harbor. Peak Tower is a lookout that offers 360-degree views of the surrounding area. A short and accessible walk to take is around the base of the tower. However, you will only get the best views by taking the full walk up to the tower, and this is a two-mile hike that takes around an hour. It is recommended to do the hike in the late evening so that you can enjoy the night views of the city skyline.
Monkey Trail Hike, Shing Mun Reservoir
The Monkey Trail Hike runs through the Shing Hun Country Park, and it is one of the best hikes to enjoy if you want to get up close and personal with the local wildlife. As the name of the walk suggests, one of the animals you will see along the way is monkeys, specifically Rhesus Macaques. Visitors must follow the clear rules on how to deal with the monkeys. There are several routes through the park, but the most popular is the one that runs along the Shing Mun Reservoir. It is an easy hike of just over two miles.
Ping Shan Heritage Trail
Completing the Ping Shan Heritage Trail is a great way to appreciate the outdoors and Hong Kong culture at the same time. It is also one of the easiest and most accessible walks on the list, so it is a great option for families visiting Hong Kong. The urban walk is less than a mile long, and it takes you past some historically significant landmarks, such as the oldest pagoda in Hong Kong and the Tang Clan Ancestral Hall, which was constructed in 1273.
Tai Long Wan, Machelose Trail Stage 2
For those who prefer to enjoy longer hikes, a fantastic option is the Ping Shan Heritage Trail, which is 7.5-miles long. It is an out-and-back hike that you should set aside half a day to complete, and it is on the Sai Kung Peninsula in the New Territories. On the out journey, there are some challenging ascents, while the journey back is mostly a descent back to the starting point.
Time Out recommends taking a day trip to Lamma Island to hike. Lamma Island is only 30 minutes from the main island by boat, and it is a wonderful island to explore. There are various routes that you can take, but a pleasant walk takes you out of the village to the Wind Power Station and then via Hung Shing Ye Beach to Sok Kwu Wan. The walk is just over four miles and takes approximately 2.5 hours to finish.
Tung O Beach Hike
A beautiful coastal hike to enjoy during your time in Hong Kong is the Tung O Beach Hike. The trail begins at Sok Kwu Wan and heads to the beach via a scenic lookout point on a high ridge, where you can enjoy views along the rugged coastline. Just before you reach the beach, you will pass through Tung O village. It is possible to do an out-and-back hike to the beach or to hike in a loop that returns to Sok Kwu Wan via Mo Tat Wan. If you take the loop, the walk takes around 2.5-hours to complete.
Violet Hill and Twin Peak
One of the most popular hikes for experienced hikers who can cope with the challenges of varied terrain and steep elevation is the Violet Hill and Twin Peak Hike. Despite its length of only 3.4-miles, it is a difficult hike that takes just under three hours. The walk begins at Violet Hill, then heads to the two famous mountain peaks. There are more than one thousand steps at the peaks, along with steep stairs and dirt roads. Those who have completed this trail say it is worth the effort, as there are spectacular views of the Southern and Central islands, Ocean Park, and Tai Tam Reservoir.
The Sunset Peak trail is a 4.3-mile walk that takes most people around 3.5-hours. Sunset Peak is Hong Kong's third-highest peak, and it is known for offering the best natural views in the evening. The trail takes you through the highlands and along the Lantau coastline. Along the way, you can explore the Lan Tau Yang stone shacks. If you want to enjoy sunset views, it is best to start the hike at around 3 pm and take along a torch for the return journey as it gets dark quickly.
Devil's Peak gets its name from the pirates who lived there during the Ming Dynasty. The peak was also used in the 20th century by the British Army as a nautical passage to Victoria Harbour. At Devil's Peak, there are the remains of batteries and a redoubt. Therefore, this is an interesting trail for both outdoor lovers and history enthusiasts. Other sights along the walk, which is just over two miles long, include a lighthouse and abandoned stone houses.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn