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5 Hong Kong Hikes to Try on Your Next Visit

There's more to Hong Kong than plush hotels and fine dining. In places like Lantau and atop Needle Hill, Hong Kong is for hikers.

Yes, Hong Kong is a concrete jungle, but there is also plenty of green in this city. In fact, there are over ninety named trails across Hong Kong, with more smaller trails scattered across the countryside. With well-paved hiking paths that offer stunning vistas, more and more travelers are drawn to the countryside rather than the metropolis. Whether you’re in need of some exercise or hoping to shoot some landscape, five Hong Kong hikes rise above the rest.

Kowloon Peak

For the best view in Hong Kong, forget “The Peak” and head to Kowloon Peak instead. The highest mountain in a series of mountains that straddle New Territories and Kowloon, Kowloon Peak offers a view of the entire Kowloon Peninsula, Victoria Harbour, and the northern part of Hong Kong Island.

To get to the view, you first need to conquer the steep hiking path. The best way to go up is from the trail near the intersection between Fei Ngo Shan Road and Clear Water Bay Road. On your way up the path is the popular Suicide Cliff, a rock outcrop with a sheer drop.

Sunset Peak

ABOVE: Abandoned houses at Sunset Peak on Lantau Island.

There is more to Lantau Island beyond the Big Buddha, Disneyland, and the Ngon Ping 360 cable car. To get the most out of Lantau Island’s countryside, a hike up Sunset Peak is essential. The trail goes past a cluster of abandoned stone houses known as the Laan Tau Mountain Camp. They were built over a century ago by expats as holiday homes. They were in use until the 1950s, but the new roads to Mui Wo has diverted traffic and they have since fell into disrepair. And, while they’re not the best for lodging anymore, hikers still like them in their photos.

Given its name, it’s not hard to tell that Sunset Peak is a popular spot to watch our sun go down. For those visiting during September, you will be treated to a sea of silver grass that spans across the entire hill as far as eye can see. Lantau Island is also famous for its wild buffalo and cattle roaming around the island.

Dragon’s Back

Although it has become a popular route, Dragon’s Back is among the easiest hikes in Hong Kong. The name Dragon’s Back comes from the trail’s position along the entire mountain ridge on the Shek O Peninsular.

The hike is mostly flat apart from the initial and ending stairs, making it beginner friendly. The best view point is the huge rock outcrops to the right of the southern section of the trail at the start. The reddish rocks offer a clear view of Shek O Village, Shek O Country Golf Club, and the bay.

For those who want to extend their trek, hikers can make it all the way to Big Wave Beach, a popular surfing destination.

Needle Hill

ABOVE: Needle Hill is known as one of the three “sharpest” peaks in Hong Kong.

With so many mountains in Hong Kong, it’s natural that their shape would become significant. Needle Hill is dubbed as one of the three sharpest peaks of Hong Kong, and is so named due to its needle-like shape. The hike is part of the MacLehose Trail Stage 7 that begins from Shing Mun Reservoir, a scenic easy hike itself and a great place to spot monkeys.

The initial ascent is unshaded and steep. However, the panorama of the reservoir with the city view of Tsuen Wan is breathtaking as a summit. The hike continues north parallel to the Shing Mun River towards Shatin with a trail that brings you right to the Shatin East Rail Station exit.

Long Ke Wan

One of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong, Long Ke Wan is a short hike from the East Dam of Highland Reservoir deep inside the Sai Kung Geopark. From the East Dam, you can wander down to see the hexagonal columns that formed 140 million years ago, when Hong Kong was an active volcanic zone.

The hike to the beach is forty-five minutes long, with the full view of Long Ke Wan along the way leading to a long flight of stairs down. If you really don’t want to hike out, there is also the option to get a speed boat back to Sai Kung Town.