In our #HomeKong series, we highlight experiences that spark and re-awaken love? for our city. Times might be tough, but we can still lead a fun and active lifestyle – all while re-discovering the wonderful things that make Hong Kong special.
January is the busiest month for fitness, with hordes of people keen to burn their holiday weight gain and meet New Year’s resolutions. But if the thought of being cramped into a group fitness class like it’s rush hour on the MTR doesn’t appeal to you, you’re in luck. The weather’s just perfect for an outdoor sweat without being crippled by excessive heat, humidity or rain.
Here are the best HK hikes that showcase not only our beautiful scenery, but also our rich history and how, from some pretty dark times, our people came through and turned Hong Kong into the city we know and love today.
This mountain peak boasts a craggy rock formation that resembles a lion’s head – hence, the name. It’s also the eponym behind the “Lion Rock Spirit” – our people’s core values. First embodied by the city’s poorest who, together, rode through the daily challenges of making a living (beginning to sound familiar?), it’s been passed on from generation to generation, making HK the global powerhouse it is today. We’re all in this together, through the ups and downs!
Back to this hike – the peak features arresting views of both HK Island and Kowloon. You’ll literally feel like you’re on top of the world. Strike a pose and Insta your little heart away! Nice reward for a couple of hours’ walk.
To the starting point: Take the MTR to Wong Tai Sin station. Walk on Sha Tin Pass Road (about an hour) to the start of the Lion Rock Peak trail.
From the end point: Take the long, steep staircase down to Lion Rock Park. Welcome back to civilisation – feel free to hail a cab or walk back to the MTR station, following the signs.
Average Hiking Time: 2+ hours
A classic and arguably HK’s most popular trail, this one’s easy enough for children and doggies, too. With coastal scenery and convenient 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: 2 hours
The Peak Circle Walk
The world-famous panorama of Victoria Harbour from The Peak is the Hong Kong money shot everyone needs. 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: 1 hour
Nam Sang Wai
These wetlands are where the Kam Tin and Shan Pui rivers intersect. The mudflats are particularly great for observing migratory birds, mudskippers and small crabs. You’ll no doubt marvel that the landscape dotted by mostly abandoned farms and tranquil fish ponds surrounded by tall reeds, feels worlds away from Hong Kong. Yet, you’re still here.
To the starting point: Take the MTR to Yuen Long Station, Exit G2, at Sun Yuen Long Centre bus stop (on Long Yat Road). Take bus 76K or minibus 36, 37, 38, 75, 76 to Hung Mo Kiu. Walk along Nam Sang Wai Road to the starting point.
From the end point: From Nam Sang Wai Road, take a bus or taxi back to the MTR.
Average Hiking Time: 3 hours. You’ll want to stop for lots of pics, and maybe a picnic.
This heritage trail gets its name from the famous Ming Dynasty-era pirate Cheng Lin Cheong. When the British took over the New Territories in 1898, they stationed two gun batteries at the hill’s southern slopes. The area was once again used as World War II bunkers. Today, most of these military barracks are now crumbling and overtaken by vegetation. A history lesson, workout, and unique view of the harbour – all-in-one.
To the starting point: Take the MTR to Yau Tong, Exit A1.
From the end point: Retrace your steps back to the MTR.
Average Hiking Time: 2 hours.