Hiking trails in Hong Kong to check out

Hong Kong is blessed with trails aplenty for those seeking a respite from life in the concrete jungle. Avid outdoors person David Ho gives you some suggestions on where to go, from the popular to the less-known

Dragon’s Back

The view of Shek O from Dragon’s Back.

It’s the Year of the Dragon so Dragon’s Back would be an apt hike to do. This beginner-friendly trail has lovely views and is popular during summer as it ends up at Big Wave Bay, where one can cap off the day with some surfing, a hot meal or just a chill beach day. As a bonus, Shek O beach is within walking distance too if you want to beach hop.

High West

Going up to Victoria Peak is always lovely. But if you are craving a twist to the usual route on the Morning Trail to the Peak, you can make a detour to High West, another peak that is west of Victoria Peak. Once you reach the pavilion on Harlech Road, walk through the exercise area and follow a small flight of stairs headed down. Go down the stone path until you reach a small clearing and go up the steps there. You will eventually reach the peak of High West where one can even see Tai Mo Shan on a clear day.

Violet Hill and the Twins

Now this is admittedly one of the more, if not the most, arduous hike on the Hong Kong island side. Luckily there are stunning views aplenty for you to have a reason to call for a photo break. With the starting point located between Parkview and Wong Nai Chung Reservoir, this hike on the Wilson Trail is not long at just 4.8km but is packed full of steep ascends and sharp descends, with a section containing a good 1,200 steps up. This is a great cardio workout for those that want to stay on Hong Kong island. There is the reward of ending up at Stanley for some pizza and beer (or tacos if you do this on Taco Tuesday) at the end of it.

Ap Lei Pai

Now, this one is a bit of a hidden secret. After going out exit B of Lei Tung Station, head up Mount Johnston via a hidden starting point in the clearing behind two yellow booths. It’s a steep but short climb up Mount Johnston, where you will already be rewarded with some stunning views of the sea and even Lamma island. Continue on and you will see the sandbar that connects to Ap Lei Pai. Head downhill to the sandbar and go all the way to the back of Ap Lei Pai, where you will encounter a picturesque lighthouse and even a natural rockpool. Heading back, one has the option of a sampan ride back, retracing your steps back through Mount Johnston, or do some coasteering from the sandbar all the way to Aberdeen.

Lion Rock

One of the most iconic hikes in Hong Kong, this is the perfect place to watch the sunset and see the city lights. This is a fairly easy and straightforward hike, but do be careful around the steep cliffs as there are no barriers and watch out for venomous snakes at night.

Pineapple Mountain

Known as the Grand Canyon of Hong Kong, it is known as Pineapple Mountain as the area looks a lot like the yellow crust of a pineapple bun. This hike in the Tuen Mun area is worth it for the canyons that make it a photogenic delight.

Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff

Despite the frightening name, this hike is one of the most epic in Hong Kong and has the most stunning views. With a height of 602 metres, it’s also not easy so do come prepared. The path from Fei Ngo Shan Road to Suicide Cliff can be a bit of a scramble so there are ropes on certain steep parts to help hikers move up or down. The highlight is the view from Suicide Cliff, which gives you a full view of Kowloon all the way to Hong Kong island. The cliff here makes for amazing pictures so there is usually a line. But do exercise caution, especially if you have vertigo. The sights from Kowloon Peak close by are also just as worthwhile.

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