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: To Tei Wan, Shek O Road | Length: 7.5km
2. The Dog-Friendly Hike: Wan Chai Gap to Aberdeen
From Wan Chai Gap Park, there are several routes to Aberdeen through the fresh greenery of the Country Park: take the Hong Kong Trail Section 4, or stick to the Aberdeen Reservoir Road for a shorter route, before joining the Aberdeen Fitness Trail to head into Aberdeen Village.
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. Take the Tiu Lung Path hugging the coastline and follow west to Bride’s Pool, where you can catch a bus back to the city.
4. The Advanced Hikers: Kowloon Peak
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. Colloquially known as Suicide Cliff, Kowloon Peak offers some of the most stunning views across the Kowloon peninsula. Don’t worry, it’s only named for its tricky path and the killer effect it’ll have on your muscles the next day. Popular with urban photographers and adventurous hikers alike, this is one for the advanced hikers out there.
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 the first, Ham Tin, doubles as a campsite perfect for backpackers ready to brave mosquitos and tropical climate. Boats leave Ham Tin Beach at sporadic intervals, so you can skip the hike back by heading straight to Sai Kung Pier.
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. Give your visit to one of Hong Kong’s iconic attractions a healthy twist, hike up and avoid the queues for the tram. Victoria Peak is also 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
Don’t be fooled by the short distance: Lion’s Rock is a steep climb and not necessarily the quickest. Approached from Lion Rock Park Community Garden, it’s only 1.6 kilometres to the peak, which will give you a brand new perspective across Kowloon and the Island with breathtaking views (and breathtaking steps, too). Exit or start via Lion’s Pavilion for a slightly longer hike.
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 unmarked by urban architecture making it an excellent spot for taking pictures when the sun goes down. Continue on to Mui Wo to catch the ferry back to Central.
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 as the second highest peak in Hong Kong. Once you’ve seen the sunrise, you have the whole day to explore the Buddhists and Confucian temples along the nearby Wisdom Path and Ancient Trail, or visit Hong Kong’s iconic Big Buddha at Ngong Ping.
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.