There are two types of people in this world: those who love to hike and those who think walking ‘for fun’ is an absolute farce (can you guess which camp I’m in?). Hong Kong is undisputedly a hiker’s paradise and even the more skeptical among us should experience what all the fuss is about.
Sharp Island is a wonderful place to explore on foot and hang out for the day. The hike starts at Hap Mun Beach which happens to be rather pristine and secluded – so why not take a dip at the start of your journey (changing rooms are available)? The route is easy to follow and begins near the picnic site area on the beach. The path takes you to the top of Hak Shan Teng Hill where you’ll experience breathtaking views of sea and endless greenery.
The route then brings you down to Kiu Tsui Beach so you’ll have yet another chance to go for a cooling swim. This is where a little magic happens…if you reach this point at low tide, a path of sand and stone presents itself and acts like a bridge that connects to Kiu Tau Islet (doesn’t that sound like something out of a fantasy world?) For all of you geology geeks, this walkway is called a tombolo! On the tombolo, you’ll see interesting geological formations like volcanic rocks and cracked boulders which look like Hong Kong’s favourite pineapple bun snack. If you’re able to cross, more gorgeous views await you on the islet, but don’t linger too long or you may find yourself in a mini castaway situation!
How to get there: From Diamond Hill MTR Exit C2 take bus 92 to Sai Kung Town. Take a small ferry (kaito) at the Sai Kung Pier which brings you to Hap Mun Bay in around 15 minutes.
Distance of hike: 3km – 3.5 km
Duration of hike: 1 ½ hours
Getting home: After crossing back across the tombolo and getting back to Kiu Tsui Beach from the islet, there is a pier from which you take a kaito that will bring you back to Sai Kung Pier
Read more: Hong Kong’s Best Waterfall Hikes
Tip: To maximise your chances of seeing the tombolo, try to reach that stage of the hike at 3pm when the tide tends to be at its lowest.
Have a look at the trail map here!
The Peak Circle Walk is perfect for those who want to get moving but aren’t looking for anything strenuous. The reward of spectacular views usually entails a very arduous hike, but this mild and leisurely hike will provide you with stunning panoramas of Victoria Harbour, without really having to break a sweat!
The start of the circuit is near Peak Tower on Lugard Road and along the very well-paved and flat path, you’ll be shaded by lush overhanging trees which will make you feel completely removed from the city’s concrete chaos. You’ll come across Lugard Road lookout and the expansive views of the Hong Kong skyline… whipping out a camera will be oh so hard to resist! Lugard will eventually link up to Harlech Road and the hike comes full circle as you end up near the Peak Tower once again.
Read more: Where to Go With Your Dog: The Best Restaurants, Beaches, Hikes and Parks
How to get there: At MTR Central, take Exit J2 and head over to lower Peak Tram on Garden Road. Take the lovely tram ride up to reach the Peak or take bus 15 from Exchange Square.
Distance of hike: 3.5 km
Duration of hike: 1 – 1½ hours
Getting home: Take another relaxing ride on the tram or catch bus 15 to get back to Central
Tip: The circuit gives you the chance to veer off into other hikes as well (although keep in mind they will probably take longer than two hours!) You can make your way to Lung Fu Shan Country Park or have a gander at historic Pinewood Battery by turning right at the intersection of Lugard and Harlech.
Fancy a hike with added adventure? Look no further than the hikes around Monkey Mountain where you’re bound to encounter macaque monkeys. Just remember that these cheeky creatures are wild so be sure to adhere to all the warning signs and do not touch or feed the animals, as they may become aggressive.
There are various trails to take: Kam Shan Family Walk is very short and well-marked, taking you around Kowloon Reservoir and Eagle’s Nest Nature Trail is an easy to find hike that is scenic with awesome views of Kowloon Peninsula. Maclehose Stage 6 and Wilson Stage 6 are slightly longer but still relatively painless!
How to get there: For any of these hikes around Monkey Mountain, take either bus 72 or bus 81 and get off at the Shek Lei Pui Reservoir stop.
Distance of hike: Kam Shan Family Walk: 1 km; Eagle’s Nest Nature trail: 3.5km; Maclehose Stage 6: 4.6km; Wilson Stage 6: 5.5km
Duration of hike: Kam Shan Family Walk: 30 minutes; Eagle’s Nest Nature Trail: 1 ½ hours; Maclehose Stage 6: 1 ½ hours; Wilson Stage 6: Almost two hours
Getting home: Take buses 72 or 81
Read more: Sassy’s Top Beginner Hikes in Hong Kong
This trail is in the heart of Hong Kong and so easy to access! The starting point is so convenient that it’s an excellent option for unwinding and de-stressing after a long day at work. The hike is also an ideal choice for the directionally challenged (me included!) as the clear signage throughout means that you can’t get lost.
The trail begins on the corner of Wan Chai Gap Road and at the start there is a resource centre (closed on Tuesdays) where you can familiarise yourself better with the trail, read useful info and check out any points of interest and detours. The hike is surprisingly tough from the get go as it starts with a steep incline that will have some legs burning! The route leads to Kennedy Road where there will be more steps to conquer. From here, surroundings become more serene with sweeping views of green. The trail junctions with Bowen Road and continues uphill. The incline ends at Wong Nai Chung Gap Park. From there, you can head home or continue hiking on Blacks Link Path. To really extend your walking expedition, follow signs to Aberdeen Reservoir Road to reach Aberdeen Harbour.
Read more: Top 5 Night Hikes in Hong Kong
How to get there: You’re all set if in the Wan Chai area! From Central, you can get off at MTR Wan Chai Exit A3 or take the 6, 10 or 15 bus and get off at Wan Chai Market
Distance of hike: 1.5 km
Duration of hike: 1 hour
Getting home: Bus 15 back to Wan Chai
On the eastern coast of Sai Kung stretches the beauty that is Tai Long Wan. The bay is arguably compromised of the four best beaches in Hong Kong (Sai Wan, Ham Tin Wan, Tai Wan and Tung Wan) because they boast unparalleled water and sand quality. Plus, because they are tricky to access the beaches feel super private and unspoiled.
The views are genuinely incredible throughout the hike and its turquoise waters and white sand are sights you’d never expect to see in the city. The hike starts at Sai Wan Pavilion (check out the information board) where you’ll then follow a well-marked path to Sai Wan via Chui Tung Au. Here’s your first chance to bask in the sun, have a swim or even go for a surf. When ready to carry on, continue up the hill past the beach (it’s actually part of Maclehose Trail Stage 2) and arrive at Ham Tin Wan. You won’t want to leave this paradisiacal place. Watch the surfers catching waves or rent a board and get in on the action yourself. If you have the time and energy, feel free to keep hiking past this point and follow paths to explore the other beaches.
Read more: Huashan Mountain: The World’s Most Dangerous Hike
How to get there: From Sai Kung Town, take a cab or catch the 29R minibus (find it outside the McDonald’s) to reach Sai Wan Pavilion.
Distance of hike: 5km
Duration of hike: 1 ½ hours
Getting home: The best option is to hike back the way you came at your own pace, but if you wish to take a ferry from Ham Tin Wan to Sai Kung Pier, it needs to be arranged at Sai Kung Pier prior to setting off on the hike.
Featured image courtesy of getty images, image #1 credited t @bramovr via Instagram,Image #2 courtesy of Chester Ho via Unsplash, image #3 credited to gettyimages, image #4 credited to @suzuyoikemoto9291 via Instagram, image #5 credited to gettyimages