Does the thought of spending recreational hours outdoors give you the heebie-jeebies? Does your daily commute pretty much consist of going up and down lifts and escalators? If so, you’re missing out on a lot. It’s time to vary your repertoire, and we’re here to help. Explore a beautiful, natural world all within leisurely access on Hong Kong’s reliable public transport. There are little bits of reward along the way, too, to keep you going – fresh air (!), beaches, volcanic landscapes, and endless surprises.
Take a break from the inebriated Lan Kwai Fong jungle and inhale Mother Nature’s essence, instead. We’ve picked 5 easy hikes to get you started… Ready?
This is Hong Kong’s most popular trail – even children and dogs love it. With coastal scenery and easy access from the city, Dragon’s Back (so-called due to the trail’s undulating spinal ridge) provides stunning views of Shek O, Tai Long Wan, Stanley, Tai Tam, and the South China Sea.
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.
From the end point: Take the minibus or a taxi to Shau Kei Wan. From here, public transport is available to other destinations.
Average Hiking Time: 2hrs
Peak Circle Walk
The world-famous panorama of Victoria Harbour from The Peak never gets old. Some of the best views are on the Peak Circle Walk, which winds around the highest point on Hong Kong Island. It sometimes gets foggy up at this height; enjoy the heightened Tim Burton-esque atmosphere. Highlights include Mount Austin Playground, the Neoclassical Governor’s Gate Lodge, and antique, made-in-England cast iron lamps strewn all over the trail.
To the starting point: Walk from MTR Central Station Exit J2 to take the Peak Tram from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus on Garden Road.
From the end point: Take bus 15 at The Peak Plaza down to the Central Exchange Square Bus Terminus.
Average Hiking Time: 1hr
From coves with shockingly clear waters and traditional fishing villages to a rugged landscape that bears vestiges of volcanic eruptions, Lamma Island is a medley of delightful surprises. There are big, clear signs everywhere; look for ‘Lamma Island Family Trail.’ Begin the hike with a frozen pineapple treat. Highlights include the Tin Hau Temple, the ‘kamikaze’ caves, Hung Shing Ye Beach, the wind power station, the Lamma ‘smoke stacks,’ and of course the colourful, crowded commune in Yung Shue Wan. End the hike with a fabulous seafood meal.
To the starting point: Take a 30-minute ferry ride from Central Pier 4 to Sok Kwu Wan.
From the end point: Take a ferry from Yung Shue Wan pier to Central. From here, public transport is available to other destinations.
Average Hiking Time: 1hr
Hong Kong Wetland Park and Tsim Bei Tsui
Get up close and personal with Hong Kong’s astounding biodiversity at the this world-class wetland-themed park, then explore coastal Deep Bay — the nexus of natural wetlands in Hong Kong. At this incredibly photogenic hike, you’ll be treated to stunning tableaux of lush mangroves, vast mudflats and soaring waterbirds. Yes, this is Hong Kong.
To the starting point: From MTR Tin Shui Wai Station, take LRT 705 to Tin Shau Station (via tunnel) or Wetland Park Station (via footbridge) to the Park. After visiting the park, take a taxi to Tsim Bei Tsui.
From the end point: At Shing Uk Tsuen (Fuk Shun Street), take minibus 74 to MTR Long Ping Station or Yuen Long Town Centre.
Average Hiking Time: 1.5hrs
The Peak to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir
Offering majestic views of densely-packed skyscrapers against a backdrop of lush greenery, this is the quintessential Hong Kong hike. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city’s iconic skyline before descending into the south side’s woodlands. Highlights include riotous flora (along the walk, look for plates with descriptions), the staggering view of western Hong Kong Island from Lung Fu Shan lookout, and of course, the glistening emerald waters of the Pok Fu Lam Reservoir. Paydirt!
To the starting point: From MTR Hong Kong Station Exit A, take bus 15 from the Exchange Square bus terminus to The Peak Galleria.
From the end point: After reaching Pok Fu Lam Road from Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road, there are a number of buses which take you southwards to Aberdeen or Stanley, or northwards to the MTR stations of Kennedy Town and Central.
Average Hiking Time: 2.5hrs