Hong Kong is a lot more than concrete and skyscrapers – we are lucky to be home to some of the most beautiful scenery this side of the Pacific. Look between the buildings and away from the crowds and you might just find a completely different side to the city. Here at the HK Hub we believe the best way to see this side of HK is by hiking! Yet, let’s be honest, not all of us have a lot of spare time, and those summer months are just too damn humid (not to mention the winters being so chilly). So we’ve put together a list of our 5 favourite ‘easy’ hikes – that you can also take the kids on. Busy, hot, tired? Not relevant excuses for these ones. Go out and explore this incredible city we live in – beyond the skyline!
Dragons Back & Big Wave Bay
Maybe one of the best known and loved hikes in Hong Kong, (also voted the No. 1 urban walk in the world), Dragons Back is sure to never disappoint. With stunning views, white sand beaches and easily accessible from Central, it has all the ingredients for the perfect hike – any time of the year. The hardest part is at the beginning climbing up the hill to start the trail, but overall it is easy and flat apart from a few steps. You can choose to hike down to Big Wave Bay, or grab a taxi from the main road (end of the trail). Either way, make sure you get to Big Wave Bay to watch the surfers in the summer and enjoy a beer/ice cream on the white sandy beach!
Time: 2-3 hours
Getting there: Get the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station (blue line) and exit at A2. From there get onto bus No.9 towards Shek-O until you get to To Tei Wan Station (stop 12). The start of the hike is directly in front of the bus stop so follow the signpost and start walking along Hong Kong Trail Stage 8.
Lower Shing Mun Reservoir
This ‘hike’ resembles more of a walk through a country park, with stunning greenery and gentle water, you could easily hide out here all day with a picnic. There are two paths from the dam (where the taxi will drop you off). The left path is more overrun with weeds and also has a few pesky monkeys that aren’t always thrilled with your presence. The other path is along a quiet road, so less adventurous, but with views along the water catchment as well as good shaded areas for the summer. You will pass lots of side paths leading down to streams, rock pools and hidden shrubbery where you can get a picture like the one above. Make sure you are wearing hiking shoes if you are planning to go off the road though – especially after rainfall.
Time: Anywhere from 3-6 hours, depending on how much exploring you want to do
Getting There: Get the red line to Tsuen Wan MTR Station. At Exit B, cross a footbridge to take a red taxi from the (signposted) taxi stands, or minibus 82 from Shiu Woo Street.
Family Trail – Lamma
Starting off from the ferry pier you can take a wander around the town and the seafood shops, admiring island life at its best. From there the trail will take you along the coast with views stretching out to Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Lantau Island and Cheng Chau. At no point is this more than a walk. You can stop along the way to buy fresh coconuts from the locals and explore Kamikaze Cave, where the Japanese forces occupying Hong Kong during the Second World War launched speed boat suicide missions against allied shipping. Spend the whole day on the island and take in the slow place, end at Sok Kwu Wan Village and enjoy some of the best seafood restaurants in the world!
Time: 1/2-2 hours
Getting there: Take a ferry from Central ferry pier 4 to Yung Shue Wan. From Yung Shue Wan Main Street, walk past Hung Shing Yeh Beach and you will meet the start of the Family Trail.
Waterfall Bay Park
How beautiful does that waterfall look? It’s time you went to find it! And while that picture is not an illusion, it does sit just under Wah Fu Estate and is minutes away from the large buildings of Cyberport – so not as ‘into nature’ as it looks. However, it is definitely worth a visit as next to the waterfall are ruins of a World War II pillbox and a Lyon searchlight, adding to the site’s history. You can also see views as far as Lamma Island and there is a BBQ site if you fancy making a day of it.
Time: 15 minutes
Getting there: Take the bus 40, 40M, 30X or the 4 from Central. Once there, walk along Wah Fu Road, and Waterfall Bay Road will be on your left-hand side. Waterfall Bay Park is located just down the road.
Kam Shan Country Park
If you love monkeys this is definitely the hike for you! Who would have thought you could spot (packs) of monkeys wandering not far from the skyscrapers and craziness!? The concrete jungle turns into the real jungle when you head to Kam Shan Country Park (otherwise known as Monkey Hill). Other than the cheeky furry creatures you can also expect a nice scenic trail, perfect for the family. It is one of the shortest hikes in HK, and is more about the monkey spotting than the draw dropping views, but is a must do when visiting the city. Just don’t get too friendly with your new furry friends – they can bite and will steal your food if you are flaunting it!
Time: 1.5 hours
Getting there: From Sham Shui Po, which is the nearest MTR station, take bus 81 to Tai Po Road and get off at Kowloon Reservoir. Walk along Kam Shan Road (inside Kam Shan Country Park) for about 20 minutes, and you’ll arrive at the starting point of the Family Walk.
Sarah is a 27 year old professional world wanderer. Four years ago, she left the UK and everything that offered security and routine in exchange for a life of constant excitement and adventure. Through working as a Scuba Dive Instructor, freelance writer and running her blog www.coffeewithasliceoflife.com she now leads a life as a full time digital nomad. Based in Hong Kong you will most likely bump into her typing away on her laptop in one of the city latest coffee shops.