Hiking in Hong Kong: 8 Trails With the Most Picturesque Views

Hiking in Hong Kong: 8 Trails With the Most Picturesque Views

Work off those dim sum calories along these hiking trails in Hong Kong, from the famous Dragon’s Back to lesser-known trails like Tai Long Wan.

Most people continue to remain unaware that there’s more to Hong Kong than just delicious dim sum and awesome shopping! If you’ve been to Hong Kong but haven’t hiked there, you’re sorely missing out. Many locals hike religiously EVERY weekend! You will be amazed by the breathtaking panoramic views, isolated beaches, as well as the diverse flora and fauna Hong Kong has to offer.

There are four main hiking trails for you to explore: the Hong Kong Trail, the Lantau Trail, the Maclehose Trail and the Wilson Trail. Numerous other smaller tracks leave you with an endless array of choices to mix and match, as several of the trails overlap. In addition, the public transport system is extremely efficient, so you’ll have no difficulty accessing these hiking trails by train, bus, boat, or taxi. It’s cheap, reliable, quick and easy!  

Ready for your hiking adventure? Lace up your shoes and let’s go!

1. The Dragon’s Back – Stage 8 Hong Kong Trail 

Image credit: Wikimedia

Ah, the Dragon’s Back! The undisputed favourite – be it for locals or tourists. Boasting beautiful coastal scenery and easily accessible from the city, the Dragon’s Back is a popular trail for all levels of hikers. Start from Shek O Road near to Tei Wan Village, then make your way up to Shek O Peak. The sightseeing platform at Shek O Peak is a whopping 284 metres high and you can catch your breath right here. Have a relaxing time admiring the stunning views of Shek O, Tai Long Wan and Tung Lung Island.

Image credit: Mark Lehmkuhler

You can even fly kites at Shek O Peak amidst the cooling breeze! For the adventurous daredevils, take the plunge and paraglide off into blue skies and fluffy clouds. For those who are purely hiking, make your way over to Pottinger’s Gap and end off at Tai Long Wan Village, located next to Big Wave Bay Beach. What better way to conclude your hike than with a refreshing splash in the ocean? Take a dip and recharge or relax along the beach at one of the outdoor cafes! Reward yourselves with a delicious seafood feast at any of the restaurants along the coast as well.

Hiking tip: This route is moderately difficult and the hike will take around 4 hours. Remember to stock up on food and water before embarking on the hike. Bring your swimsuit along!

Get to the starting point: Walk from MTR Shau Kei Wan Station Exit A to Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus. Take bus 9 or the minibus with the sign ‘Shek O’ next to the bus terminus. Alight at To Tei Wan, Shek O Road.

2. Sunset Peak (Tai Tung Shan) – Stage 2 Lantau Trail

Image credit: Discover Hong Kong

Lantau Island’s two star attractions – Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak – are a must-visit! Sunset Peak is the second highest mountain on Lantau Island, and it’s known for its gorgeous sunset views that will take your breath away. The sunsets are so picturesque that they’ve even appeared on Cantopop star Eason Chan’s albums!

Image credit: Johnlsl

Alternatively, for a safer descent, you can catch the sunrise instead! It’s equally mesmerising and you’ll just want to stop and stare at this sight forever.

Hiking Tip: If you’re heading here to catch the sunset, remember to bring a flashlight along because it will be dangerous descending from the peak in the dark.

Get to the starting point: Take exit B of MTR Tung Chung Station. From the bus terminus next to the MTR station, take bus 11A, (or bus 3M from Mui Wo bus terminus if you take a ferry to Mui Wo), to Pak Kung Au. Turn left to the pavilion and then go onto the Lantau Trail, which leads to Sunset Peak.

3. Lantau Peak (Fung Wong Shan) – Stage 3 Lantau Trail

Image credit: Leo.Wan

The highest point on Lamma Island, Lantau Peak is another hotspot for catching the sunrise or sunset after a gruelling hike. You can spend the night at a hostel in Ngong Ping before setting off at 4am. The climb will take around 2 hours, so you’ll reach the peak at 6am in time for sunrise! December to February is the perfect period to catch the sunrise because there are fewer clouds. At 934 metres high, the views from Lantau Peak are superb. As you ascend, you can see villages on the south side and the airport on the north.

Image credit: Eddie Yip

Even if you climb up on a cloudy day, or if it gets too foggy at the peak, you will still be intoxicated with happiness at conquering this hiking trail. The hike will be challenging – but completing this hike will leave you with unforgettable memories and a sense of satisfaction for sure! You can also choose to combine your trail with sightseeing, starting or ending at the famous Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery.

Hiking tip: The descent is known to be dangerous and steep, so take it slow and try not bust your knees.

Get to starting point: Take MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B. From the bus terminus next to the MTR station, take bus 23 (the journey takes about 50 minutes). Alight at Pak Kung Au.  

4. Tai Mo Shan – Stage 7 and 8 of Maclehose Trail

Image credit: Bailey Cheng

Tai Mo Shan used to be a volcano but has since become extinct! In the past, Tai Mo Shan used to be famous for a type of green tea, called mist or cloud tea, which grew on the mountainside. At 957 metres, it is Hong Kong’s highest peak! Ascending the mountain will give you a bird’s eye view of Kowloon reservoirs and of the Tsuen Wan skyline. You can even spot mainland China in the distance!

Image credit: Johnlsl

The best part? You can even hang out with baby cows roaming around the mountains freely. How adorable is that! Snakes are also commonly spotted as well so do keep a look out for them. Views from the peak are so ethereal, you will feel as if you’re drifting away on a bed of clouds.

Hiking tip: Don’t rush to get to the top immediately. Slow down, take deep breaths and just get lost in the moment.

Get to the starting point: Take the MTR red line to Tsuen Wan, Kwai Hing, or Tai Wo Hau Station. Take a cab to Lead Mine Pass.

5. Tai Long Wan – Stage 2 of Maclehose Trail

Image credit: Mike Lehmkuler

The Tai Long Wan hiking trail is one of Hong Kong’s best kept secrets. It is 12 kilometres long and starts at the end of Sai Wan road, passing through beautiful coves like Sai Wan and Chek Keng along the way. It’s the perfect destination for a getaway because it’s still relatively unknown to tourists, and you can escape the noisy and busy streets of Hong Kong. Tai Long Wan comprises four pristine beaches – Sai Wan, Ham Tin, Tai Wan and Tung Wan.

Image credit: Mike Lehmkuler

End your hike at the beach destination of your choice for a relaxing time! Sai Wan and Ham Tin are relatively more popular, with various accommodations and restaurants. Tai Wan and Tung Wan are more remote, remaining untouched by any business or tourism facilities, and are hence a hotspot for surfers and campers. Grab this chance to camp under the stars after a rejuvenating hike! You’ll be able to forget about all your worries and stress, and just bask in the soothing sound of crashing waves and tranquil serenity.

Hiking tip: If this is a one day trip, leave early in the morning. I recommend staying there for two days in order to fully enjoy the area. Camping equipment can be rented from the restaurants.

Get to the starting point: Take the village bus 29R at Chan Man Rd (the stop is in front of McDonald’s), get off at the last stop, Sai Wan Ting (literally West Bay Pagoda) and start the hike there.

6. Sharp Peak

Image credit: Sch0705

At 468 metres tall, Sharp Peak has attracted many experienced hikers to take the challenge because of its winding paths and unique contours. Just like its name, it is known for its sharpness and steepness, and can be seen from literally any point in Sai Kung. There are three ways to get to Sharp Peak: from the North Ridge, East Ridge and South Ridge. The trail from the North Ridge is the most difficult. Going and returning from the South Ridge is definitely the most desirable option if you are not an experienced hiker.

Image credit: Sch0705

The trail goes like this: Pak Tam Au > Chek Keng > Tai Long Au > Nam She Au > Sharp Peak > Mai Fan Ten > Tai Wan > Pak Tam Au. Start from section 2 of the Maclehose trail. The front sections are relatively easy; just be prepared for a steep ascent at the later sections. Don’t worry! The climb might be difficult, but the visually stunning views of aquamarine waters and the undulating hills will make every single drop of sweat worth it.

Hiking tip: It is an arduous and treacherous hike with loose gravel paths so wear good hiking shoes. You also have to clamber or use your hands at some parts along the trail, so bring thick hiking gloves.

Get to the starting point: Bus 94 from Sai Kung Town, get off at Pak Tam Au.

7. Lion Rock Peak – Stage 5 of Maclehose Trail

Image credit: Tyler Sprague

Just take a look at that gorgeous view of Hong Kong’s skyline and night lights from Lion Rock Peak! This hiking trail is not as well-known as the Dragon Back’s trail, but promises equally amazing views. The entire hike will take about 3.5 to 4 hours, depending on your fitness level. It is more suitable for experienced hikers because of the steepness of the climb, but beginner hikers are welcome to take the challenge! Lion Rock Peak is a great vantage point to see the whole peninsula of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. If you hike up on an especially clear day, the views will be absolutely stunning.

Image credit: Tyler Sprague and Weixiang

Also, did you know that you can spot monkeys hiding in the trees along the hiking trail?! They may look adorable… but do not attempt to touch them or take selfies with them because you never know if they might attack. In addition, if you are worried that you might not be able to complete the entire hiking trail, fret not! There are many exit routes along the trail, so you can choose where to end your hike. Nevertheless, if you’ve already made your way there, GO BIG OR GO HOME! Hiking would not be a rewarding experience if it wasn’t challenging, am I right?

Hiking tip: You will need to use your hands on the last section of the climb, so do bring hiking gloves!

Get to the starting point: Get to Wong Tai Sin MTR station, Exit B3. (Follow this page for more detailed instructions)

8. High Junk Peak

Image credit: Yeung Ming

The High Junk Peak Hiking Trail may seem long but it is actually relatively easy! It boasts beautiful views of Clearwater Bay’s pristine beaches and aquamarine waters from above. The entire hike will only take you about 2–3 hours, depending on how many water breaks and selfies you choose to take. Perfect for a refreshing afternoon exercise session! The trail goes as follows: Ng Fai Tin > Sheung Yeung Shan > Miu Tsai Tun > High Junk Peak > Tin Ha Shan > Po Toi O.

Image credit: Weixiang

The hike ends at Po Toi O, a local fishing village where you can take a break and reward yourself after an exhausting afternoon. What better way to give yourself a pat on the back than a scrumptious seafood meal? Eat to your heart’s delight and enjoy the cooling breeze by the coast to conclude your day.

Get to the starting point: Take Exit B1 of Hang Hau Station, and head towards the bus terminus. At the terminus, hop on Green Minibus 103 to Ng Fai Tin stop (let the driver know).

So what are you waiting for? The next time you head to Hong Kong, make sure you hike up these mountain peaks for the BEST panoramic views of the city skyline! Trust me – that feeling of satisfaction you get after conquering a gruelling hike is so exhilarating, you won’t be able to express it in words. *winks*

Also Read: Food Guide: 12 Great Places We Ate in Hong Kong

About Author

Carissa Ng
Carissa Ng

Carissa is fascinated by the complexity of globalisation, and the interdependence of diverse cultures. Her mind constantly drifts off to dreams of travelling around the world, because she wants to explore every continent and city. She is also a sleepyhead-sloth who has a huge weakness for rainbows, sushi, all things Korean, and adorable chubby babies.

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