Top 5 Weekend Hiking Trails in Hong Kong

Posted: Oct 6 2016Last Updated: Oct 6 2016
Dragon's Back
6 October 2016 - Hong Kong is not only known for its sky high property prices, extravagant skyscrapers and shopping malls, but also swathes of country parks, mountains and wetlands which account for a surprising 73% of Hong Kong’s land area – who knew? For those looking to take a pause from the hustle-and-bustle of city life, hiking trails abound around Hong Kong, with the most notable ones being: the Maclehose, Wilson, Lantau and Hong Kong trails, which add up to an impressive 300 km! So take a short break from the city and see what nature has to offer - you don’t need to leave civilization too far behind, with most trails being easily accessible by MTR and buses – and connected to your mobile phone network (if you really must!).
To help you get started, here are 5 recommended hikes that offer stunning scenic experiences along the way:
1. Peak Circle Trail, Hong Kong Island
The Peak, Hong Kong
This easy family trail is best for taking in the world-famous Victoria Harbour view from The Peak. Located right outside The Peak Tower, this one-hour shaded walk circles around the highest point of Hong Kong Island through Lugard Road and Harlech Road. 
Start at Lugard Road and cross over the first bridge built over the city’s steep hills. After about 20 minutes into the walk, you will be greeted with a captivating view of Hong Kong’s skyline, which stretches across Kowloon, Victoria Harbour and the Outlying Islands on a clear day! 
Distance: 3.5 km
Average hiking time: Approx. 1 hour
Directions: Take bus #15, #15C, minibus #1 from Central; or the iconic Peak Tram from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus on Garden Road in Admiralty to get to The Peak. 
For those looking for a more challenging way to get to The Peak, consider hiking up from the north side of HKU campus (near Run Run Shaw Building) via The Morning Trail on Hatton Road and Lung Fu Shan Fitness Trail! This adds about 1 hour to the hike. 
2. Discovery Bay and Mui Wo Trail, Lantau Island
Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and natural beaches, Discovery Bay is more than an expat residential area. It is also an amazing hiking destination where hikers can enjoy an idyllic or challenging walk to Mui Wo subject to individual preferences and fitness levels. 
Start your journey at DB Pier along Discovery Bay Road and you will soon find yourself at the Lookout Point, admiring the lovely vista of DB Marina Club, Yi Pak Beach and Hong Kong Disneyland or the Central District of Hong Kong on a clear day. You can then continue along the path heading up the steep summit of the 465m-high Tiger Head Mountain or through the peaceful Trappist Haven Monastery (a medieval-style architectural monument built in 1950) to reach Silvermine Bay Beach and Mui Wo.
Alternatively, you can begin your hike from Mui Wo, which is considered more exhausting due to the need to climb up long, steep staircases – instead of down - to reach the desired viewpoint.   
Distance: Approx. 4.5 km
Average hiking time: Approx. 2.5 hours
Directions: Take the ferry to Discovery Bay at Central Pier 3, or take bus #DB01R from Tung Chung MTR Station Exit D to Discovery Bay Plaza. For those who wish to start at Mui Wo, hop aboard the ferry at Central Pier 6 or take bus #3M from Tung Chung MTR Station Exit B. Click to check ferry schedules for DB and Mui Wo
3. Dragon’s Back, Hong Kong Island
Dragon's Back, Hong Kong
Located on the east side of Hong Kong Island, Dragon’s Back is a popular urban trail that receives high praise and regular mentions in both local and international travel guidebooks. It’s not hard to understand why - incredible coastal scenery, easy accessibility from the city - this undulating trail is definitely not to be missed. 
Dragon’s Back rolls along the spinal ridges between Shek O Peak and Wan Cham Shan, which is reminiscent of the shape of a dragon’s backbone. When you reach the 284m-high viewing platform, take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking panoramic view of Shek O, Tai Tam Harbour, Stanley, Redhill Peninsula and Mount Parker! You can either continue along the Hong Kong Trail, or stroll through the shaded paths to Shek O Beach or Big Wave Bay Beach for ice cold drinks or a barbecue! 
Distance: Approx. 8.5 km
Average hiking time: Approx. 4 hours
Directions: From Shau Kei Wan MTR Station Exit A, hop on the #9 bus to get to To Tei Wan; or walk up to Tai Tam Gap from Chai Wan, passing through the Cape Collision Cemetery along the stairs to reach the trail starting point. 
4. Lamma Island Family Trail, Outlying Islands
Lamma Island, Hong Kong
Just half an hour away from Central, Lamma Island has always been a favourite destination for day-trippers and weekend walkers. This pleasant hiking trail leads you along a lovely coastal path that allows you to absorb the island’s charm and appreciate its 6,000 years of fishing history.
Walk through the colourful arts and crafts shops on Yung Shue Wan Main Street. Either head straight towards Hung Shing Yeh Beach to get a taste of the laid-back island life; or hike uphill to take a closer look at the striking 71m-tall Lamma Winds turbine before ending your journey at one of the famous seafood restaurants in Sok Kwu Wan Village. For a local tip, don’t forget to stop by ‘Ah Por Tofu Fa’ for some daufu fa (tofu pudding), a refreshing homemade treat with tangy ginger sauce and a sprinkle of sugar.
Distance: Approx. 9 km
Average hiking time: Approx. 2.5 hours
Directions: Take the ferry to Yung Shue Wan at Central Pier 4. Click here to check ferry schedule.
5. Sharp Island, Outlying Islands
Sharp Island, Hong Kong
Sharp Island, or Kiu Tsui Chau, is an elongated island in southeastern Sai Kung, situated within Hong Kong’s world-famous Global Geopark. With the highest point standing only 136m, this unique island is connected to the nearby inshore islet Kiu Tau by a tombolo. If you happen to catch the low tide, be sure to stroll along the spectacular natural sand levee to explore the islet and the natural wonders scattered on the beach - giant boulders that look like Hong Kong style pineapple buns (yum!). Remember to check the tidal level before crossing the tombolo or you might have to swim your way back!
Directions: Take bus #92 from Diamond Hill MTR Station Exit C2; or minibus #101M from Hang Hau MTR Station to Sai Kung Town, then board a kaito at Sai Kung Public Pier to reach Sharp Island (approx. $30 per person for a return trip). 
Have fun exploring a different side of Hong Kong, and if you can’t get enough, consider moving to one of these nature loving districts by clicking on the following links: 

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