When someone says “Hong Kong,” what do you automatically think of? You probably imagine the skyscrapers, Victoria Harbour, and tons of places to try authentic Cantonese cooking. One thing you are certainly forgetting about would be the miraculously beautiful sights from atop mountains and through tropical foliage. Here are the top five most iconic and worthwhile hiking spots in Hong Kong.
1. Dragon’s Back
The Dragon’s Back is the most predominantly talked about trails in Hong Kong. Whether you have lived here for years or plan on dropping by for only a few days, you will have people asking you the “have you ever” question.
More often than that, you will hear how worthwhile the walk is. Dragon’s Back located in Shek O National Park weaves through lush greenery, extravagant mansions, pristine beaches, and visions of the past with fishing villages.
Since it is popular, you will see a lot of families and older couples making their way along the path. On the nicest of days, the trails become so jam-packed that there are actual lines the queue for access to the next leg.
To get there, you have to get to Shau Kei Wan on Hong Kong Island (heading towards Chai Wan on the MTR Island Line). At Shau Kei Wan station, take exit A3. Get on Bus 9 and ride until To Tei Wan on Shek O Road. From there, just follow the signs.
2. Shek Pik, Lantau Island
This is also known as the Island with the Big Buddha (not officially). Where Dragon’s Back can turn into a total train wreck for many, Lantau is a veritable garden of tranquillity. You even lose the annoying paved pathways for real dirt under your soles.
The hike begins at Po Lin Monastery and gives you access to exploring Lantau South Country Park, where you pick up the Shek Pik Country Trail. It finishes at Tong Fuk Beach. You will love it because it is undisturbed nature nearly the entire time, save for some dilapidated bridges and follies.
To get to the Shek Pik trail, you have a couple of options: First, you can use Bus 23 from Tung Chung MTR; second, Bus 21 from Tai O; third, Bus 2 from Mui Wo; or lastly, ride the cable car from Tung Chung.
3. Quarry Bay Tree Walk
This is a great walk for those with children, dogs, or want to leisurely walk along a shady path with their significant other. Quarry Bay Tree Walk is relatively easy, with a minimal amount of steps, so there is no need to push yourself to get to the finish line.
What makes this trail fantastic for an adventure is the beauty of it – boulders, streams, historical signs to learn something new, and a number of views that will take your breath away. Also, you never really leave civilization. This means that you can start and stop from a number of points along the way.
Get to Quarry Bay Tree Walk by taking Exit A at Quarry Bay MTR station then head to east along Kings Road to the Quarry Bay Municipal Building. There will be a visible entrance there.
4. Discovery Bay to Mui Wo
For those on a budget who want to see it all in one shot, the Discovery Bay walk is for you. This is where the essence of Hong Kong – packing everything into a small space – thrives. The hike begins in Hong Kong’s residential Discovery bay.
You can walk from to station towards the cozy village of Nim Sheu Wan. The path is marked well and leads you towards Mui Wo, a gorgeous beach with warm waters while offering a number of sights.
This includes viewing platforms, monasteries, and wildlife. When you reach the end, wash off all that sweat with a dip in the ocean then grab a snack at a restaurant.
You need to take the ferry to Discovery Bay then follow the signs from Nim Sheu Wan.
5. Pineapple Dam Nature Trail
Though this is not a difficult trail by any means, it does take about an hour to complete. But it is loaded with scenery like the Shing Mun Reservoir and fascinating flora. That includes the remnants of dozens of pineapple fields.
Depending on the season you decide to walk through, you will see different things. In spring, it is the Hog Plum trees, which have vivid red flowers. In the summer, you will be wending through Chinese Banyans and enjoying the fragrance of the Desmos flower.
The Pineapple Dam Nature Trail is found within Shing Mun Country Park in the northern reaches of Hong Kong. You can get off at the minibus terminus the climb up the steps to where you will see a sign.
To get to this area, you can take the Tai Po Market MTR train to Chung Tsai Yuen or hop on minibus 28.
Hong Kong has a lot of city to discover, but that is not all this country has to offer. Beyond the concrete jungle is the world that is outrageously colorful and quiet. It is along these hikes that you fall in love with Hong Kong, the views, and the beaches. Next time you find yourself bound for Hong Kong, do not forget your hiking boots!