Tired of the continuous stream of people, the steel skyscrapers and the huge shopping centres? Do you feel the need to connect to nature again after having spent some time in the busy metropolis that is Hong Kong? I’ve got some news for you! Nature is everywhere in the city and you don’t need to go far to find it! There are endless opportunities to go hiking in Hong Kong and being in nature will give you a very different perspective of this modern metropolis. So put on your hiking boots and join me for these three easy hiking trails in Hong Kong!
1. Dragon’s Back trail
Voted as the best urban hike in Asia, the Dragon’s Back trail is one of the most popular walks in Hong Kong. It is also one of the most accessible ones, manageable for everyone with a minimum level of fitness. The Dragon’s Back was my first hike in the city, so not being sure about signposting and difficulty, I decided to team up with Walk Hong Kong, a company specializing in the most gorgeous hikes in and around Hong Kong.
After a first steep flight of stairs, we walked through the forest of the Shek O’ country park on an easy and well-maintained lush path. Soon enough, we emerged in open territory, with grand views to the west and started walking on the undulating spine of the Dragon’s Back itself, accompanied by gorgeous views over beaches, mountains and Stanley, Hong Kong’s southern coast. Hill up, hill down, but absolutely worth it! Make sure you stop at the Shek O’Peak to catch your breath and enjoy the stunning views out to Shek O’ village and Big Wave Bay. The peak is only 284m above sea level, but somehow it feels a lot higher! In the distance you can catch a glimpse of the skyscrapers of Admiralty.
From here the walk levels out and the trail snakes down the mountain all the way to Big Wave Bay. It’s time for a well-deserved swim and lunch!
(Disclosure: I was a guest of Walk Hong Kong. All opinions are my own.)
- Start: Mount Collinson, Shek O’Road
From Shau Kei Wan MTR station, take bus 9 and get off at To Tei Wan
- Finish: Shek O’Beach
- Duration: 2 hours, one way
- Well signposted, a bit more tricky near the end
- Go on a weekday to avoid the crowds
2. Lantau Peak trail
The island of Lantau is home to the Lantau trail, a 70km long hiking trail across the entire island. The trail consists of 12 different stages. I opted for the third section, from Pak Kung Au to the Big Buddha at Ngong Ping, taking in Lantau Peak which, at a height of 934m, is the second highest peak in Hong Kong!
Starting from Pak Kung Au, you start climbing straight away and you don’t stop till you’re at Lantau peak, about 90 minutes later. You need to be in fairly good shape; the constant climbing in combination with the heat and humidity and knee-high steps does take its toll. But don’t let that discourage you, the views are absolutely amazing (even on a hazy day) and you’ll feel a world away from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong island!
Be prepared for steep steps on the way down until you arrive at the Wisdom Path, a series of 38 poetry-inscribed wooden pillars, and eventually at the Big Buddha, Lantau’s main tourist attraction. From the serenity of the mountains you are catapulted into the middle of tourist mayhem, but I felt proud of myself for having walked all the way rather than having taken the cable car!
- Start: Pak Kung Au. Take bus 3M from Tung Chung MTR station and get off at Pak Kung Au
- Finish: The Big Buddha
- Duration: 3.5 hours
- The trail is well-signposted
- This one might not be one of the most easy hiking trails in Hong Kong for beginners. It’s a rather challenging hike because of the steepness but it’s short time-wise. There is little shelter on the way up to the Peak, which can be treacherous in the scorching sun or very windy conditions.
3. Lamma Island
Hong Kong’s most laid-back island has some great opportunities for walking too. This one is probably one of the easiest walks in Hong Kong.
Starting from Yung Shue Wan, follow the signs towards the first beach, Hung Shing Yeh. From there the Family Trail starts and takes you all the way to the second town of the island: Sok Kwu Wan. Apart from some short steep stretches, the hike (which is more like a walk to be honest) is accessible for everyone. You’ll pass a few pavilions offering views across the island, and a small detour will take you to a second beach, Lo So Shing, before arriving at Sok Kwu Wan.
A nice way to spend the afternoon!
- Start: Yung Shue Wan
- Finish: Sok Kwu Wan
- Duration: 90 minutes
There are a lot more opportunities to go hiking in Hong Kong, but these three relative easy hiking trails should definitely be put on your list!
Next time I’m in Hong Kong, I’m planning on walking the Sai Kung peninsula to take in the gorgeous beaches! If you’ve been, feel free to share your link in the comments!
Did you do any hiking in Hong Kong? What other trails would you recommend?
Great article Els, hiking is indeed a very popular pastime in Hong Kong and as you nicely highlight there’s some wonderful trails of varying length and degree of difficulty. Most of my hiking was on the Maclehose Trail which runs across the New Territories from east to west, the main event along this one is Oxfam Trailwalker, a charity event which takes place every November – happy hiking !!
Thanks Ben! I would’ve loved to do the Maclehose trail (or at least a part of it). I heard about the Oxfam Trailwalker, should check more into that, who knows maybe one day… ?