A Hiker’s Guide to Hong Kong’s Epic Walking Trails (Plus Directions)

A Hiker’s Guide to Hong Kong’s Epic Walking Trails (Plus Directions)

A step-by-step guide to Hong Kong’s network of hiking trails. From city sightseeing to country parks and coastal routes passing by tranquil rock pools and cliff-jumping coves. Lace up your walking boots; it’s time to get going.

In partnership withHong Kong Tourism Board

Kong is well known for its neck-craning skyscrapers, buzzy
rooftop bars and dim sum restaurants. But step outside and you’ll
stumble upon a network of trails criss-crossing the city and
countryside beyond.

Dragon’s Back tops many lists of Hong
‘s most popular hikes, but we say: get off the beaten
track. To help you, we’ve pulled together some of the city’s paths
less trodden, including breezy coastal strolls and more challenging
hikes. En route, you’ll meander between temples, cool off in
secluded coves and snag views of that iconic city skyline. Lace up
those walking boots…

Step it up: the best day-trip hikes and walks in Hong Kong,
plus directions

Tai Long Wan

Best for: Rest stops in secluded coves.
Swimming and cliff diving optional.

Distance: 12km

This 12km hike traces the coastline of the Sai Kung Peninsula,
past hidden rock pools and blemish-free beaches – including some of
Hong Kong’s finest (and most secluded) sands. Starting at the end
of Sai Wan Road, the first part is pretty fuss-free, all downhill
and flat surface until you reach Sai Wan beach. Take a dip to
combat the heat and humidity before soldiering on.

Feeling refreshed, stroll along the coastline-hugging path that
leads to the beach. Pass the staircase of waterfalls and natural
rock pools – we suggest stripping off here – onwards to Ham Tin
beach. Up next, Tai Wan and further on, Tung Wan. We’re heading all
the way to Tung Wan for some Crusoe-esque seclusion, but each of
the beaches are jaw-achingly beautiful.

Set aside a full-day to hop between the quadrant of beaches or
purchase camp gear and beach barbecue coals from On Kee Store on
Ham Tin to sleep under the stars. If you can, hike the trail on
weekdays, when you’ll seldom see another soul. Weekends aren’t
exactly as busy as Nathan Road, but you will have to arrive earlier
to snag a camping spot.

Short on time? Walk the second part of the MacLehose trail,
starting in Pak Tam Au and finishing on Sai Wan beach. It’ll take
about 90-minutes and is a manageable 6km.

How to get there: Head to Sai Kung Town by
taking bus 92 from MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2. Take the 94
Bus from Sai Kung Central Bus Station, alight at Pak Tam Au, hike
to Ham Tin or Tai Wan Beach.

Sunset Peak

Best for: Unsurprisingly, sunset views.

Distance: 9km

We won’t pussyfoot around, the start of this hike is brutal. Any
Stairmaster training session looks tame by comparison. For roughly
2km you’ll be clutching your water bottle, digging deep and
climbing the stone stairs. Once this strenuous stretch is over,
it’s fairly easygoing. Follow the swaying silvergrass-lined trails – a signature
of Lantau’s high peaks – as you skirt around a smattering of
mountain huts and a coastline decorated with bays and beaches.
Pause (read: pose) to catch the sunset. Several trails snake in
between the rocks at the top of the peak so have a wander and find
your angles before heading back down. Although the descent is
fairly straightforward, it’s best to pack a torch to guide you
down. Refuel at the roadside stalls that line the Mui Wo pier and
bundle on the bus back.

How to get there: Take bus 3M, 11, 11A from MTR
Tung Chung Station to Pak Kung Au.

Lion Rock

Best for: Dizzying views and Instagram bragging

Distance: 2.5km

Hong Kongers will tell you this urban hike is a walker’s right
of passage. Rise early to beat the heat and the crowds, and set off
in search of views that stretch from Victoria Harbour to Sai Kung
(on a clear day). Named after its resemblance to a resting lion,
Lion Rock is the most distinctive of the mountains around Kowloon.
Watch out for the monkeys skipping in and out of the path, and
continue on until you reach the so-called spine of Lion Rock.
You’ll know you’re there when you can see the whole of the city
humming in front of you.

Found conquering Lion Rock’s Peak a breeze? Follow the Fei Ngo
Shan Road until you reach the mountain ridge, where the craggy peak
of Tate’s Cairn has equally spectacular views, sans the crowds.

How to get there: Take the MTR to Wong Tai Sin
MTR Station.

Ping Shan Heritage Trail

Best for: Culture vultures stretching their

Distance: 1.6km

Less of a hike and more of a stroll, Hong Kong’s first-ever heritage trail sweeps
through a cluster of historic buildings built by the Tangs, who
settled in the New Territories in the 12th century, the first of
the Five Great Clans. Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda is first up, an elegant,
three-tiered structure not too dissimilar to a western wedding
cake. Next, dip in and out of the grey-brick and sweeping
tiled-roof buildings that make up the 200-year-old Sheung Cheung
Wai village. Keep going until you reach Ping Shan, where the
humdrum of city life rubs shoulders with the ancient monuments.
Swoon over the fresh produce at Tung Yick Market before meandering
to the Old Fung Tea House. Refuel on dim sum and pour-as-you-please
pu’erh tea, a type of fermented brew.

How to get there: We suggest starting at the
Tsui Shing Lau Pagoda. Take the MTR to Tin Shui Wai Station.

Violet Hill and The Twins

Best for: Serious walkers. We’re not quite
talking cramp-ons and clips, but this steep climb will certainly
set pulses racing.

Distance: 4.8km

Clambered up Nevis and Snowdonia? Read on.

Be warned: the succession of two neck-titlingly steep peaks are
not for the faint-hearted. Begin by firing up your quads on the
ascent up Violet Hill. Covered with blooms in January and
February, it makes for a scenic stop-off point should you need to
catch your breath. On the descent, spot Repulse Bay Beach, cross
the Tze Kong Bridge and follow signs to Stanley Gap Road. You’ll
know you’re on the right track when, gulp, you spy the 1,200 steps
leading up to the Twins. Glug some water, crank up your playlist
and get climbing. Dip in and out of flower-filled fields before the
pathway opens out to glorious views of Hong Kong’s most pristine
shores: St Stephen’s Beach, Stanley Peninsula and Murray House.

How to get there: Take Bus 6 from Exchange
Square Bus Terminus to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wan Chai Gap Road

Best for: Killer calves and views of Hong
Kong’s signature skyline.

Distance: 3km

Short but steep, this trail takes you from the metropolis’
soaring skyscrapers to foliage-filled corridors and rock formations
shrouded in folklore. Start at Hong Kong’s oldest surviving post
office, step inside to gaze at the retro post boxes and pick up a
walking map. Continue on the trail uphill as it traces a steep
stream until you reach a water fountain on the junction with Bowen
Road. You have two options here: turn left to reach Lovers’ Rock, a
phallic stone which women visit to increase fertility or in hope of
finding a husband, or carry on uphill to complete the trail. Get
snap happy here; the city skyline views are impressive.

How to get there: Jump on board buses 6, 10 or
15 from Central and alight at Wan Chai Market.

Lamma Island Family Trail

Best for: Laid-back fishing villages, superb
seafood and coastal scenery.

Distance: 5km

Less of a hike and more of an “easy like Sunday morning” meander
through the lo-fi, car-free island of Lamma. Dotted with artisan
workshops, independent bookstores and laid-back cafés along the
way, the Lamma Island Family Trail links the pier and
Hung Shing Yeh beach. After a quick soak, continue on up the hill
until you can see the pinpoints of the surrounding islands. After
tackling some of Hong Kong’s sweat-inducing climbs, this ascent is
a doddle. Trickling through Sok Kwu Wan, nip in and out of the
rustic, fisherman-owned restaurants to sample juicy just-caught
prawns and chow down on plates piled high with fresh squid and

If you’ve got time, take a slight detour to the Tin Hau temple
at Yung Shue Wan that’s famed for its Western-style lions guarding
the entrance.

How to get there: Hop on the ferry from Central
Pier 4 to Yung Shue Wan.

The Lowdown

Find out more about Hong Kong’s hikes and trails by visiting

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