Snippets: Best Hikes You Must do in Hong Kong | Tips on walking the trails of Dragon’s Back, Lion Rock & Sunset Peak

What’s the hype about the hikes? We have been visiting Hong Kong for ages, and it is always known for being a shopping paradise and food haven. Unknown to many, Hong Kong has so much more to offer. One of these will be the nature hikes which the small territory offers.

When you mention hikes in Hong Kong, the first walking trail that would come to mind is most likely Dragon’s Back. This is perhaps the most iconic of Hong Kong’s hiking routes. And if you have not done this yet, you should most definitely make time when you visit Hong Kong next.

Another hiking trail which I do strongly recommend would be hiking up Lion Rock. Just behind the Kowloon peninsula, the sweeping view of the Hong Kong city skyline atop Lion Rock would be worth the steep climb up. To convince you further, CNN had named this Hong Kong’s most beautiful climbing destination.

If you have time for a third hike, perhaps a walk on Lantau Island to Hong Kong’s third highest mountain Sunset Peak should be your top choice. This walk will bring you out to the far west of the city, and get you some time to explore the charming small town of Mui Wo.

More on Dragon’s Back

Getting to the Start Point: Starting from Shau Kei Wan MTR Station, take bus no. 9 from the Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus. Bus frequency is high and available daily, and alight at the To Tei Wan bus stop along Shek O Road. The good thing for non-locals is that the buses are equipped with notification systems to inform you the upcoming stop, although you can also track your journey easily via google map as well.

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The Walk: Once you have arrived at To Tei Wan bus stop, you are now at the starting point of Dragon’s Back trail. Within 20 minutes of climb, you would reach the mountain ridges of Dragon’s Back with sweeping views of Shek O Peninsula. At a peak of 284 meters, the Shek O Peak is about another 15-20 minutes walk from the start of the ridge. From here, you will be soaking in the views of southeast Hong Kong, and the urban developments of Chai Wan district behind the mountain slopes.

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The problem with the Dragon’s Back trail is that the highlights are all within the first hour of the hike, with the remaining 2-3 hours of walk to Big Wave Bay a tad too boring – a common feedback I heard from friends whom have done this hike. At Big Wave Bay, you can enjoy some suntanning at Hong Kong surfers’ paradise.

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Returning from the End Point: To return to civilisation from Big Wave Bay, take the famous local red minibus which directly stops at Shau Kei Wan MTR station. Make sure you board the bus that reads “Shau Kei Wan”, and just pay a flat fee of HKD12 and enjoy the bus ride back to the MTR station after your 4 hours hike.

More on Lion Rock

Getting to the Start Point: Take the MTR to Wong Tai Sin Station, and exit at the Temple Mall North shopping mall. From here, the trick is to get to Chuk Yuen Road before getting to the starting point of the hike at Lion Rock Park. As the initial part of the climb from the MTR station to Lion Rock Park could be quite a steep walk, do make full use of all the available public infrastructures including, taking the escalator inside Temple Mall North to level 2 of the mall, walk towards the lift at the far north of the public housing (located between Wong Tai Sin Estate’s Kai Sin House and Tat Sin House) and take the lift to the top floor which would open up to an overhead bridge across Wong Tai Sin Road to the Upper Wong Tai Sin Estate (Wing Sin House). From here you take another lift, which will bring you to Ngan Chuk Lane. You have just saved yourself perhaps more than 50 meters of climb with an escalator and 2 passenger lifts. From Ngan Chuk Lane, walk westwards towards the Lion Rock Park. A small signage on a narrow stairway marks the start to the gruelling climb up.

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Do note that for Lion Rock hike, there are many tips online which include advising hikers to start the hike by taking a taxi ride from Wong Tai Sin MTR Station to Sha Tin Pass. This is strongly not advisable as most taxi drivers are no longer willing to drive their way up to Sha Tin Pass now – for reasons which I shall not bore you with.

The Walk: The climb from here to the peak at Lion Rock is roughly 1km. Although you should not underestimate the steep climb from here to the peak, which is marked by a well laid out stairway all the way up to Reunification Pavilion (aka Hong Kong Memorial Pavilion). Once you have reached the pavilion, head east and be prepared to complete the climb with some big steps marked by large boulders. The views from the peak of Lion Rock (at 495 meters) are extremely rewarding, with the sweeping views of the Kowloon Peninsula and the city skyline of Hong Kong Island forming the best backdrop for any photos up here.

Returning from the End Point: Once you are done with your photos, make a u-turn and head back down the same way up. If you are looking for a different route to complete this hike, walk further 1.8km east to Sha Tin Pass and back down to Wong Tai Sin MTR Station.

More on Sunset Peak

Getting to the Start Point: Take the MTR to Tung Chung Station, and change to either bus services 3M or 11. You can board the bus at either Tung Chung Bus Terminus or the bus stop in front of Fu Tung Plaza. Alight at Pak Kung Au after 12 stops, and from here, walk up-slope for 20 meters before arriving at the starting point to the Sunset Peak hike.

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The Walk: The first 45-60 minutes will be uphill, and perhaps the toughest climb in the entire hike. From the starting point, do expect a 2km steep climb as you ascend from Pak Kung Au (340 meters) to Sunset Peak (869 meters). The initial walk might be slightly boring, although after gaining heights in the climb, you will be enjoying clear views of south-western part of the Lantau Island. After the peak, continue the hike towards Nam Shan and Mui Wo. Along the way you will pass by the century old Lantau Mountain Camps built by the British as holiday accommodations. Continue the walk along the clear path towards Nam Shan and further onto Mui Wo. Mui Wo is a small coastal town on Lantau Island, which I will strongly recommend you to explore. Some sighs includes the Luk Tei Tong Watchtower, Silvermine Bay Beach, and the various local eateries near the Mui Wo Ferry Pier.

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Returning from the End Point: From Mui Wo, you can take various buses back to Tung Chung MTR Station, although this will take you more than an hour. An easy way to return to the city will be to take a ferry from Mui Wo Ferry Pier to Central Pier No. 6. On the fast ferry, this journey can be done under 40 minutes, and you are back at Central, Hong Kong Island. Check the New World First Ferry’s website for the latest on the daily ferry timings.

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