By now it should come as no surprise that Hong Kong is home to some of the best hiking spots in the world. There’s a trail for every traveller and with the wealth of options to choose from, it can understandably get overwhelming to know which one to set foot upon. Whether you’re looking for a way to get your steps in or you want to conquer a challenging climb, here’s Compare Retreats’ comprehensive guide to all the best Hong Kong hikes.
1. The Beginners Hike: Dragon’s Back
No list of Hong Kong hikes would be complete without Dragon’s Back. An iconic and scenic trail, Dragon’s Back was named as TIME Magazine’s Best Urban Hike in Asia and for good reason too. Conveniently located on Hong Kong Island, the hub of the city, Dragon’s Back is a favourite amongst both the local community and tourists for its’ easy, uncomplicated route and stunning overview of southern Hong Kong. For a low-impact activity that finishes on a beautiful beach for all your lounging around desires, we recommend checking out Dragon’s Back.
Starting Point: Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus | Length: 50km
2. The Dog-Friendly Hike: Wan Chai Gap to Aberdeen
Bring your canine pals along for a moderately challenging trek over the weekend. The Wan Chai Gap Road takes you from the markets of Wan Chai into an urban jungle tucked away from the city. The steep trail into the hike might be intense at first so make sure you fuel up a restaurant or cafe. Wan Chai Gap Road merges with Bowen Road Fitness trail which makes for a great trail for running but if you’ve brought along your dog, opt to continue on until you reach Wan Chai Gap Park which is pet-friendly with tons of open space for you and your dog.
3. The Historical Hike: Lai Chi Wo Hakka Village
Hong Kong has a rich history and some of it can be found the trails scattered across the fragrant island. Before leaving for this Hong Kong hike, you’ll want to read up on Lai Chi Wo, a 300-year old Hakka village. The village is home to one of the last existing feng shui woodlands, the God of War temple and an amazing landscape of mangroves and vegetation. To learn more about Lai Chi Woo, take the Geopark tour which will immerse you in the historical side of Hong Kong’s trails.
4. The Advanced Hikers: Suicide Cliff
If you’ve grown tired of Dragon’s Back (though with those views, who could?) or need a Hong Kong hike that’s more difficult to satiate your adrenaline rush, head over to Kowloon side for a hike that lives up to its name. Don’t worry, it’s only named for its risky path and the killer effect it’ll have on your muscles the next day. Suicide Cliff is actually one of the few cliffs which make up Kowloon Peak that overlooks the Kowloon Peninsula, making it an adventurous trail and popular spot for urban photography.
5. The Gym Junkies: The Twins
Skip stair climbers at the gym, if you’re travelling to Hong Kong and want to combine seeing some of the best Hong Kong hikes with working out, The Twins and Violet Hills is the perfect fitness hike. The Twins is also named 1,000 Steps but the Parkview to Stanley trail actually exceeds this number- so prepare for an intense day of exercise.
6. The Overnight Campers: Tai Long Wan
Gem of the Sai Kung peninsula, Tai Long Wan feels less like you’re in Hong Kong and more like the tropics of Thailand. There are three adjacent beaches and one of them, Ham Tin even doubles as a campsite perfect for backpackers and the survivalist ready to brave mosquitos and the hot city weather. If you arrange for a boat beforehand on Sai Kung pier, you can skip the hike back.
Starting Point: Sai Wan Pavilion | Length: 12km
7. The Adventurous Explorers: Po Toi
If you’ve been in Hong Kong for a while, chances are you’ve probably witnessed a fair number of the best hiking views that Hong Kong Island and Kowloon have to offer—so the lesser-known Po Toi Island should be on your list for something a little different. The island is basically one large trail with many picturesque viewpoints along the way to offer you something unique on your travels. Asides from its beautiful coastal scenery, Po Toi is also home to a renowned seafood restaurant, Ming Kee Seafood Restaurant with the best Chinese calamari.
8. The Iconic Hike: Victoria Peak
It’s a right of passage, whether you’re in Hong Kong for two days or two years: The Peak is one of the must-do activities. If you want to give your visit a healthy twist, hike up and avoid the queues for the tram. Likewise, if you want a different experience, try a night hike:
Victoria Peak is great as a night hike as you’ll avoid the stream of tourists and get a great panoramic view of the skyline in the dark.
9. The Short Hike: Lion’s Rock
At only 1.8 kilometres, this is the shortest hike on our list—don’t be fooled, it’s a steep climb and not necessarily the quickest. It’ll give you a brand new perspective across Kowloon and the Island with breathtaking views (and breathtaking steps, too).
10. The Sunset Views: Sunset Peak
For the sunset picture that rivals everyone else’s, Sunset Peak is a tough but gratifying climb. We’ve given you tons of Hong Kong hikes with stellar skyscraper views but you’ll forget they exist on Sunset Peak. The view is unscathed by city living making it an excellent spot for taking pictures when the sun goes down.
11. The Early Risers Hike: Lantau Peak
If you can’t wait to get your hike in, Lantau Peak offers some of the greatest views of the sunrise. It’s the second highest peak in Hong Kong and at its foot, you’ll find several Buddhists and Confucian texts, all great for morning motivation.
12. The Ultimate Hike: Maclehose Trail
For those with a vocation for conquering new heights, The Maclehose Trail is a 10-stage climb that runs through the New Territories. Named one of the best hikes in the world by the National Geographic Society, this Hong Kong hike takes you completely out of the urban area with its quiet countryside landscape. The trail takes around 5 to 6 days to finish, but once you’re done you can truly say you’ve seen it all.