Hong Kong is a busy, modern city at first glance, but in addition to the high-rise buildings and sprawling, congested streets, the city known as the Pearl of the East is also home to a vast amount of greenery. While you are visiting this bustling city, why not also immerse yourself in a bit of nature? Fly to Hong Kong and explore the city’s pristine nature! Here’s our pick of top 5 hiking trails in Hong Kong for a breath of fresh air during your visit:
1. Mount High West
Brace yourself for the never-ending staircases on your way to the mountaintop! Mount High West is situated in Hong Kong Island. Starting the hike in Kennedy Town, you will find yourself on a journey escaping the urban chaos, as you follow the ups and downs of the trails leading up to the peak. The trails will take you through Lung Fu Shan Country Park, where you can take a short break and have a bite. In the end, it’s worth it, as you take in the beautiful and unobstructed views of the city below. At the summit of Mount High West, you are surrounded by the panoramic views of Pok Fu Lam, cyberport, Lamma Island, and west Kowloon in the distance. The location offers amazing sunset views. Hikers can choose from a few routes that take them to various checkpoints across the island. Start from Kennedy Town or HKU MTR station and the hike takes approximately three hours. For a shorter and easier hike, you can start from Victoria Peak and follow the Peak Morning Trail. The trail is scenic and quaint, stretching only for 1.2 kilometers.
2. Lion Rock
Hiking up Lion Rock is less vigorous and shorter, compared to Mount High West. Situated in Kowloon Peninsula, the mountain reaches a height of 495 meters over sea level. The name came from Its uncanny resemblance of a laid down lion. Lion Rock is also a symbol of the city and associated with the virtues of solidarity of perseverance, coined as “Lion Rock Spirit”. The hike starts at Lion Rock Country Park, where hikers have to climb up the long and steep staircases before arriving at a flatter trail up the summit. The hike is nonetheless challenging. When you finally find yourself at the summit, you probably will be soaked in sweat. At the peak, the jaw-dropping views entail the city of Kowloon and beyond, with Mount High West, Suicide Cliff, Victoria Peak, and Jardine’s Lookout stretching into the distance over the horizon. Alight at Wong Tai Sin MTR station to go to Lion Rock Country Park. The hike takes approximately two hours.
3. Dragon’s Back
Dragon’s Back is an accessible trail with beautiful views, suitable for beginners. For this reason, it is also one of the most popular hiking trails in Hong Kong. If you are going with a family with young children or friends who are not into hiking, this trail is a perfect introduction to pique their interest. The hike will be relaxing, full of banter and laughter, and scenic. Along the way, the unobstructed view of the Shek O coastline is at your feet. At the summit, the views of Shek O Golf Course and Big Wave Beach are breathtaking. The starting point of the hike up Dragon’s Back is To Tei Wan. To go there, you can take the MTR and alight at Shau Kei Wan Station, and then get on Bus No.9 at the Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus. After 11 stops, you will arrive at the stop To Tei Wan. The hike takes approximately two hours.
4. Sunset Peak
Sunset Peak, also known as Tai Tung Shan, is the third-highest peak in Hong Kong, following Tai Mo Shan and Lantau Peak. Situated on Lantau Island, Sunset Peak is a great location to catch the sunset, as the name suggests. The hike is an easy one. The more difficult part of the trail is the stair climb of about 400 meters in the beginning. In spring, the mountaintop is enclosed by a sea of clouds, offering romantic and mystical views at the summit. The hiking trail is particularly popular during autumn, when the highlands are covered in beautiful silvergrass. And as you ascend the mountain, you will find stone houses built on the ridges. The starting point is located at Wong Lung Hang Picnic Site. To go there, you can take the MTR and get off at Tung Chung station, followed by a minibus to the trailhead. The hike takes approximately two to three hours.
5. Wilson Trail
The Wilson Trail is 78-kilometer long, entailing ten sections that connect eight country parks in Hong Kong, stretching from from Quarry Bay to Stanley Gap Road. There are many sections hikers can choose from. Section 1 of the Wilson Trail begins at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir and ends at Stanley Gap Road. This section is about 4.8-kilometer long and requires three hours on average to finish the hike. Taking on this trail, you will ascend The Twins and Violet Hill, and enjoy the bird’s eye views of Stanley village and D’Aguilar Peninsula. Short yet challenging, you will be surrounded by beautiful wild flowers and greenery as you ascend the highlands. To go to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir, alight at Causeway Bay MTR Station and take green minibus No.5.
Tempted to get in touch with the city’s nature to discover the ardent side of its vibrancy? Fly with Cathay Pacific for its impeccable inflight service and user-friendly booking system. Even on a long-haul flight, passengers will land feeling refreshed and rested, ready for upcoming trips on their to-do lists. So put on your trekking shoes, bring sunscreen and mosquito repellent, and settle on a hiking trail of your choice for a refreshing hike.