Some cities are just made for running, and in spite of the hot and humid weather, Hong Kong is surprisingly one of them. Whether you’re pounding the pavements to train for a race or just for fun, running is a great way to improve cardiovascular health, elevate your mood and improve physical endurance. To celebrate Global Running Day, Compare Retreats’ Editor and avid runner Rebecca Cairns is rounding up her favourite running routes in Hong Kong for the perfect summer night’s sprint.
1. Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade (4KM)
Recently renovated and reopened, the promenade is often inundated with tourists snapping a shot of the harbour, so it’s best to leave this Hong Kong running route for an early morning or a late night run. Starting at the historic Clock Tower, follow the line of the water East past the new Rosewood Hotel, up the ramp, and onto the Hung Hom Promenade. Ideal for beginners who are taking a bit of a slower pace through the crowds, this four-kilometre run has plenty of places along this route to stop for a drink refill or bathroom breaks.
See also: The Ultimate Wellness Guide To Hong Kong
2. Hong Kong Island Harbourfront (3KM)
For Hong Kong Islanders, this is probably one of the most accessible running routes in Hong Kong. From Tamar Park to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, runners can enjoy the fresh (or, humid and damp) harbour air and views across Kowloon and the west side islands on promenades lined with palm trees (excepting the short jaunt through the Shun Tak’s centre’s parking bay). This route averages three kilometres, which makes it perfect when you’re short on time.
3. West Kowloon Cultural District (2KM)
Relatively new, and still being opened, West Kowloon Cultural District has been under construction for several years now, but the new promenade and Art Park were opened earlier this year. The downside to this Hong Kong running route is it involves a lot of looping to get in the distance (from one side of the park to the other is one kilometre), and it’s accessed either by walking alongside the building site in West Kowloon, or crossing the busy Western Harbour Crossing overpass, after coming out of Kowloon Exit E. However, you’ll be rewarded with a near-empty park and some of the best, uninterrupted views of Hong Kong’s skyline.
4. Bowen Road (5KM)
This running route is a Hong Kong classic. Bowen Road has been a favourite among Hong Kong runners for years, and with good reason: the flat, paved surface means it’s a great record-setting route for road runners, plus the slight elevation about Wan Chai offers amazing views of the city. Start at Bowen Road Park, and head east along the path until it meets Stubbs Road — double back on yourself to make it a neat five-kilometre route.
5. Happy Valley Race Course (1.3KM)
Excepting race days, Happy Valley Race Course is open 5am to midnight every day for public use of the track for running and walking. It’s paved, relatively flat, and surrounded by Happy Valley skyrises that overlook the course, it has an awe-inspiring feel to it. At 1.3-kilometres per loop, it’s over three times longer than an average running track, so keep that in mind for your pacing.
6. Tai Tam Reservoir (8KM)
This running route in Hong Kong is a stunning trail through lush country park, but a rather hilly one that will definitely test your calf and hamstring strength. Much of Hong Kong’s races are trails, so this is the ideal route to practice if you have a race with steep terrain coming up, but would still rather stick to a tarmac path. Start at Quarry Bay Mount Parker for a solid eight-kilometre route. When you end at Tai Tam Country Park South Entrance, there are buses you can get back to Shau Kei Wan.
See also: 5 Boot Camps In Europe For A Fitness Fix
7. Shatin Waterfront Promenade (9/18KM)
This running route in Hong Kong is one of the best for long-distance runners, and much quieter than the city-centre routes. Running along the Shing Mun River in Shatin, start on the waterside promenade at Tai Wai and follow the path all the way to Ma On Shan. One of the perks of this running route is it follows the MTR line, so you can adapt your distance to your needs: stop after a couple of kilometres, do the full distance to Ma On Shan, or double back on yourself and get in an almost half-marathon length run. You can run along both sides of the river here, which makes it perfect for keeping those longer runs interesting.