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5 hikes you should try in Hong Kong

While Hong Kong is synonymous with skyscrapers, shopping and sophisticated bars and restaurants, there is another side to the city which is beloved by residents – its gorgeous greenery which makes for fantastic hiking. On any given weekend, Hongkongers take to the hiking trails to combine getting active with enjoying some chill time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are so many hikes to choose from for all abilities from easy hikes suitable for the whole family to challenging climbs to put you through your paces. Here’s a selection of hikes which will give you very different experiences and get you out and about in different parts of the city.

Dragon's Back is on most people's hiking bucket list
Dragon’s Back is on most people’s Hong Kong hiking bucket list

Dragon’s Back

This is one of those hikes on everyone’s Hong Kong bucket list – you really should do it at least once if you live here. It is a relatively simple ridge line hike meaning with only a few parts with rough steps and some climbing at the start it can make a good family hike and it has stunning scenery. You can start the hike at the beautiful Hong Kong Trail Section 8 entrance on Shek O Road and 20 minutes of hiking will give you a view over Shek O beach in the east and Dragon’s Back in the north east. Continue to the viewing platform on Shek O Peak and then if you want to conquer the dragon, follow the rolling ridge from Shek O Peak to Wan Cham Shan. You can continue on to Big Wave Bay as your final destination. Estimated time for the full hike is about four hours.

Getting there:

Walk from MTR Shau Kei Wan Station Exit A to Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus. Take bus 9 or the minibus with the sign ‘Shek O’ next to the bus terminus. Alight at To Tei Wan, Shek O Road.

Lamma Island is good for family hiking
Lamma Island is a great family hike destination

Lamma Island

The Lamma Island Family Trail is a great introductory hike for the family if you are not sure how the little legs will cope and want a test run before tackling a more challenging hike. This hike between the two villages on Lamma is fairly flat. It also has the advantage of giving you an excuse to get on the water with a ferry ride to and from Lamma and the chance to have a meal in one of Lamma’s cool little restos when the hike is done. You can start at either Sok Kwu Wan or Yung Shue Wan and soak in the island atmosphere. Estimated time is 1.5 hours to two hours.

Getting there:

Take a 30-minute ferry ride from Central Pier 4 (MTR Hong Kong Station Exit E1, walk through ifc mall and the footbridge) to Sok Kwu Wan or Yung Shue Wan.

Lantau Peak is a popular hiking destination
Lantau Peak is not for the faint-hearted but is a rewarding experience

Lantau Peak

The second-highest spot in Hong Kong, Lantau Peak is on every serious hikers must-do list. It’s particularly popular as a place to watch the sunrise but you need to set off about 4am to catch a 6am sunrise. You can starting from the Lantau Peak Sunrise portal near Wisdom Path, follow the instructions on the signs. December to February is considered the best time for photography as there are fewer clouds and less haze. Estimated time is two hours.

Getting there:

MTR Tung Chung Station, Exit B. At Tung Chung Ngong Ping Cable Car terminal take a 25-minute cable car ride to the Ngong Ping terminal. Then follow the signs and walk along the Lantau Trail for approximately 25 minutes.

MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B. From the bus terminus next to the MTR station, take bus 23 (the journey takes about 50 minutes). Follow the signs and walk along the Lantau Trail for about 25 minutes.

The Ping Shan Heritage Trail lets you combine history with hiking
The Ping Shan Heritage Trail lets you combine history with hiking

Ping Shan Heritage Trail

This is a hike in the New Territories for history buffs in Ping Shan, Yuen Long. Hong Kong’s first-ever heritage trail features historic buildings belonging to the Tang family – the early settlers of this area and the first and most powerful of the ‘Five Clans’. Highlights along the 1km trail feature the city’s oldest pagoda, a temple, a gallery and an old colonial police station. Estimated time is about two hours.

Getting there:

MTR Tin Shui Wai Station, Exit E. When you arrive at the ground floor, cross Tsui Sing Road and you will see Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda.

Sai Kung Peninsula is popular for hiking
Enjoy the picturesque Sai Kung peninsula

Sai Kung Peninsula Hike

This hike covers Section 1 and part of Section 2 of the MacLehose Trail, providing one of the best ways to see the volcanic columns of High Island. The route also passes the High Island Reservoir and Long Ke Wan, which have been voted as two of Hong Kong’s best scenic sites. Section 1 of the trail takes you into the lower half of the Sai Kung East Country Park. Most of the route consists of flat roads and concrete paths which makes it an option for a family outing but it is not a short hike with the overall 14km hike estimated at seven hours.

Getting there:

From MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2, take bus 92 to Sai Kung Bus Terminus. Then at Sai Kung Town, take bus 94 for Wong Shek Pier and get off at Pak Tam Chung Station; or take bus 96R for Wong Shek Pier (this route only operates on Sundays and public holidays) from MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2 and get off at Pak Tam Chung Station. After getting off the bus at Pak Tam Chung Station, you’ll find the Pak Tam Chung Barrier Gate. Walk along Tai Mong Tsai Road for five minutes to the starting point of the trail.

Remember when hiking to take appropriate precautions. Plan your route in advance, wear appropriate clothing and carry water. Ensure you have the correct fitness level for the hike you are attempting and remember not all areas have mobile phone reception. The Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has comprehensive safety advice.

Go to discoverhongkong.com for more hiking trail options.

Do you have a favourite hike that you think should be on our list? Tell us in the comments below!

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