5 easy Hong Kong hiking trails for beginners
Author: Apple Lee
Hong Kong may be known for its bustling, ultra-modern urban sprawl, but there’s no lack of nature once you venture outside of the concrete jungle. One of the best ways to explore Hong Kong’s great outdoors is to go on a hike. Don’t worry if the thought of clambering up steep slopes and conquering flights of stairs makes you nauseous, Hong Kong has a range of hiking trails that cater to everyone. Here we’ve rounded up five beginner-friendly trails in Hong Kong that are suitable for even first-timers.
Read more: Best family-friendly hikes in Hong Kong
One of the most popular hikes in Hong Kong, Dragon’s Back needs no introduction. The trail offers unrivalled views of Hong Kong’s southern coastline from Shek O to Big Wave Bay. This is also a popular spot for paragliding, so you’ll often find thrill seekers launching off the cliff above you.
Time: 3 hours
Getting there: Take Bus 9 from Shau Kei Wan
Starting point: To Tei Wan
Ending point: Big Wave Bay
Brick Hill (Nam Long Shan)
The hike up Brick Hill gives you unfettered views of Ocean Park and the South China Sea. If you listen closely, you can even hear screams and shouts from the passengers on board the amusement park’s iconic Mine Train rollercoaster. Our only gripe is the somewhat tedious walk to the start of the hike. As there is no public transport that brings you directly to the starting point, you will need to trek 20 minutes uphill along Nam Long Shan Road to get there.
Time: 1 hour
Getting there: Take MTR to Wong Chuk Hang Station Exit B
Starting point: Nam Long Shan Road
Ending point: Nam Long Shan Road
Pok Fu Lam Reservoir to Aberdeen
From a picturesque reservoir surrounded by greeneries to a busy harbour flocked with sampans and small fishing boats, you’ll experience two very different sides of Hong Kong on this short hike. The highlight of the trail is surely the unobstructed views of Aberdeen that you will see as you descend from the top and make your way back to the city. Want to take things up a notch? Hike from The Peak to Aberdeen Reservoirs instead.
Time: 2 hours
Getting there: Many buses departing from Wan Chai, Admiralty and Central will bring you to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir. These include 37A, 40, 970 and 973
Starting point: Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road
Ending point: Aberdeen
Parkview to Jardine’s Lookout
If you’re looking for an easy hike with incredible views, this one is for you. The hike begins at the intersection of Wilson Trail and Hong Kong Trail. Follow the sign that points towards Jardine’s Lookout and you will reach the top in under 30 minutes. From up high, you will have a bird’s eye view of Victoria Harbour and its surrounding skyscrapers. Go back the way you come from to end your hike. If you are up for a challenge, continue the hike to Mount Butler, which involves more stairs going uphill and will take you all the way to Quarry Bay.
Time: 1 hour
Getting there: Take Bus 6 or 66 from Admiralty
Starting point: Hong Kong Parkview
Ending point: Hong Kong Parkview
Sir Cecil’s Ride and Red Incense Burner Summit
Spanning from Mount Butler to Braemar Hill, this is an easy and relatively flat trail that offers breathtaking views of Hong Kong’s skyline. If you time yourself correctly, you’ll be able to catch the sun set over Victoria Harbour from the Red Incense Burner Summit, a grassy lookout near the end of the trail. There are a few boulders where you can sit on at the summit to watch the day turn into night. This is a popular sunset spot, so get there early to nab a spot. Alternatively, you can take a taxi and get off at Chinese International School. From there, it’s only a 15 minute walk to Red Incense Burner Summit.
Time: 2 hours
Getting there: Take a taxi to Mount Butler Road and get off close to Hong Kong Police Mount Butler Firing Range. Or take Minibus 24M from Admiralty
Starting point: Mount Butler Road
Ending point: Braemar Hill Road Playground
Feature image courtesy of Alfred Chung