The best hiking trails for those new to Hong Kong

The best hiking trails for those new to Hong Kong
Source: Jimmy Chan

People from all around the world travel to Hong Kong, but often not for the city’s natural landscape. This comes as a surprise when you consider three-quarters of the land is dedicated to parks, woodlands, mountain ranges and beaches. But locals and expats alike know that surrounding Hong Kong’s concrete jungle are some incredible mountains overlooking some of Hong Kong’s most amazing vistas. So, grab your hiking boots and let us show you around some of our favorite, beginner-friendly hiking trails.

Victoria Peak Loop Hiking Trail

The Peak Tram Hong Kong

There is no better place to start than with a 360-degree view of the city on the highest hill on Hong Kong island. This 3.5-kilometer (2.17 miles) trail loops around Victoria Peak, overlooking Hong Kong’s skyscrapers and buildings. The gentle route is paved, allowing you to focus more on the sites rather than where you’re stepping. To top that all off, this trail is easily accessible by bus or taxi. But, if it’s your first rodeo, we recommend taking the tram so you can enjoy the city views.

An estimated seven million people visit this trail every year. However, the popularity of this spot hasn’t dampened the life in the area. Effortlessly gliding alongside the peak are large eagles with impressively large wingspans and throughout your hike, you’ll encounter colorful and wild flora and fauna. Now, for those that are put off by the word “popular," we promise, the panoramic views are worth it.

Tung Chung to Tai O

Tung Chung to Tai O Hong Kong
Source: Hong Kong Hikers

Lantau Island is home to some of the most extreme hiking trails in Hong Kong, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything for those looking for something less intense and intimidating! The trek from Tung Chung to Tai O covers 16 kilometers (9.94 miles) and a variety of beautiful scenery. Although the length may sound off-putting, the amazing ocean views of the Pearl River are worth it. And who knows, you might even spot some of Hong Kong’s famous pink dolphins!

The trail begins in Tung Chung (a 15-minute walk from the MTR towards Yat Tung) and ends the quaint little village of Tai O. After the hike, be sure to take a walk around the area. Known as the “Venice of Hong Kong," this quaint and quintessential fishing town holds an immense amount of culture and history giving you insight into the Portuguese occupation, the British influence and later, the Chinese immigration. For a small fee, Tai O village residents will also take you out on their boats along the river to explore more of the town and possibly, get up close and personal with those unique dolphins.

Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve

Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve Hong Kong
Source: Hong Kong Hiking

Hiking to Cape D’Aguilar will be one of the most interesting hikes you’ll embark on in Hong Kong. The rigid and staggering rock structures in the area have formed countless caves and arcs large enough to explore with your friends and family.

Heading toward the marine reserve, you’ll pass one of the only five surviving pre-war lighthouses. Named after Major General George Charles D’Aguilar, who was a British Army officer who served as the Governor of Hong Kong between 1843–1848 – the Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Hong Kong and has been declared a city monument.

Unlike the other hikes mentioned so far, this trail is more remote but taking the MTR to Shau Kei Wan, exiting from A3 and then taking bus number nine will take you to the start of the trail. Because there are no accessible roads, when you get to Cape D’Aguilar you’ll have to walk back the same way you came (about eight kilometers or 4.97 miles, there and back).

Discovery Bay to Mui Wo

Discovery Bay to Mui Wo Hong Kong
Source: Bluebalu

If you’re looking for a less crowded hike, the 10 kilometers (6.21 miles) from Discovery Bay to Mui Wo may be your best option. This trail is perfect for getting some peace and quiet from the city and since it is usually only hiked by the locals in the area, you won’t have to worry too much about constantly dodging other hikers.

The path is concrete but still fully embedded and surrounded by the city’s beautiful, natural landscapes. Before descending into Mui Wo, you’ll witness the scenic shoreline views with small villages clustered together in the mountains. However, get yourself ready for some steps, because there are a lot of those throughout the hike!

The most efficient way to get to Discovery Bay is with the Discovery Bay ferry from Central pier. The 20-minute ferry ride will take you to the Discovery Bay Plaza and from there, the trail is only a five-minute walk away.

Dragons Back

Dragons Back Hong Kong
Source: HKTB

Every Hongkonger has either heard of or done the Dragon’s Back hike, and it’s fair to say that it’s one of the most famous trails in Hong Kong. While it may be talked about a lot, so much so that you might be tired of hearing about it, we promise you when we say that it’s popular for a reason. With stunning views of Shek O, Big Wave Bay and the vast South China Sea, the hike can be easily done from one end to the other in two to three hours. Once you’re done with the hike be sure to reward yourself with. a dip in Big Wave Bay.

You can simply get there by taking the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station, exiting from Exit A and taking bus number nine at the sign “Shek O.” The bus will drop you off at exactly where the trail begins.

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