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Hiking Trail Guide: Best Places to Hike in Hong Kong

ICON-GUIDE

As temperatures in the city start to fall, there’s no better time to dust off the walking boots on one of the city’s numerous hiking trails. Many visitors are surprised to learn that Hong Kong boasts scores of islands, many with beautiful, wild expanses where you’re often the only person out walking, especially on weekdays. 

“Hiking is a very popular pastime in Hong Kong and there are a huge variety of trails for walkers to discover

FROM FLAT UNCHALLENGING ROUTES TO STEEPY SLOPES

1. Dragon’s Back Ridge 
 
Dragon’s Back is well suited for beginners, one of the easier places to hike, but with that said, the views are not compromised. This hike takes about 1-2 hours and ends on beautiful Big Wave Beach where you will see surfers shredding waves.
 
How to get there:
The starting point of the Dragon's Back Hike is located at To Tai Wan. The easiest way to get there is: Take the Island Line MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station. Take Exit A3 and look for Bus No. 9 at the Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus.
 
Difficulty: ★✰✰✰✰

 

 

2. MacLehose Trail: Stage 1 & 2

 

This hike is more difficult than Dragon’s Back but is one of the most beautiful in Hong Kong. Accoladed by National Geographic as one of the world’s 20 dream trails, you can take in views of the High Island Reservoir in the dam area or admire exposed columnar jointed rocks formed when a supervolcano erupted. The trail also features the famous Tai Long Wan beach.

 

How to get there:
- From MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2, take bus 92 to Sai Kung Town, then taxi to East Dam.
- From Sha Tin New Town Plaza Bus Terminus, take bus 299X to Sai Kung Town, then taxi to East Dam.
- From MTR Hang Hau Station Exit B1, take green minibus 101M to Sai Kung Town, then taxi to East Dam.
 
Difficulty: ★★✰✰✰
 
 
3. Sunset Peak
 
Sunset Peak (869 m), featuring gorgeous sunset views, is the third highest mountain in Hong Kong and proves to be a rewarding yet difficult climb. The expansive scenery from the top is unforgettable and impressive. Visit in autumn or winter to find stunning, shiny seas of silvergrass along the trail.
 
How to get there:
From MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B, take bus 3M, 11, or 23 at Tung Chung Bus Terminus and get off at Pak Kung Au.
 
Difficulty: ★★★★✰
4. Lion Rock - MacLehose Trail: Stage 5 
 
Lion Rock is one of Hong Kong’s most famous and iconic hikes. Hiking Hong Kong is more fun when monkeys are around to be seen, which is an added bonus to Lion Rock’s unbeatable views. Begin this hike at Gilwell Campsite. By the time you reach the top of Lion Rock, you will find a breathtaking view of all of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
 
How to get there: 
Take the MTR to either Diamond Hill MTR Station or Won Tai Sin MTR station (Exit B3). From there you have 2 options to get to the start of the trail: walk an hour to the start of the trail OR take a 10-minute taxi 
 
Difficulty: ★★★★✰
 
 
5. Lantau Peak
 
Be prepared for some steep incline! Lantau Peak is the second-highest summit in Hong Kong. You can start the hike from the Big Buddha, checking the attraction off your list as you get a major hike in. One of the best sunrises Hong Kong mountains has to offer, many climbers make their way up this challenging route hours before dawn just to get the best spot on the peak.
 
How to get 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.
 
Difficulty: ★★★★★
 
 
One day when you sure won’t have the trails to yourself is October 7th, the Chung Yeung Festival. You will be surprised by how busy some of the best hikes in Hong Kong can get. This special day is marked by families congregating to engage in the age-old practice of worshipping their ancestors. It is also popular to hike up to the city’s high points on this day, as it’s believed this will bring good luck. Many people like to take a picnic and eat a special cake called ‘Ko’ as the name in Cantonese sounds similar to ‘high’, so people eat them in the hope of being promoted to higher positions. 
 

As with many traditional customs, it dates back to ancient dynasties, in this case the Han Dynasty from 202 BC to 220 AD. Legend has it that a soothsayer advised a man to leave his town with his family for higher ground. He did so and on returning discovered that all the townspeople had been slaughtered, while he and his family were saved, hence the story became a tradition for blessings of health and safeness.

 

Hiking is a very popular pastime in Hong Kong and there are a huge variety of trails for walkers to discover, from flat and unchallenging routes, perfect for younger families, to some which would test even hardened and experienced hikers.

 

While concierge at Hotel ICON would be delighted to help advise on the best routes and options, depending on your ability and timeframe, there are also many government websites and even apps outlining choices for those who love exploring the great outdoors. For more, visit http://www.discoverhongkong.com/in/see-do/great-outdoors/hikes/index.jsp

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