Beginner Hikes: 7 Easy Hiking Trails in Hong Kong
- The Peak Morning TrailThe Peak Morning Trail
- Dragon’s BackDragon’s Back
- Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage TrailTai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail
- Hong Kong Trail Stage 3Hong Kong Trail Stage 3
- Sai Wan Pavilion to Tai Long WanSai Wan Pavilion to Tai Long Wan
- Lamma Island Family WalkLamma Island Family Walk
- Pinewood Battery Heritage TrailPinewood Battery Heritage Trail
Whether you’re a beginner to Hong Kong’s trails, you've got your kids or pets in tow, or you just want to relax and take in the views, these easy hikes are the perfect choice
In between its many sky high buildings, Hong Kong is a hiking paradise, with trails to suit all needs and abilities––from the highest peaks and off-the-beaten path trails, to historical hikes and more. But no matter what your fitness level or hiking experience is, sometimes you just want a little less of a challenge, which is why we’re rounding up six of the best beginner-friendly trails in Hong Kong.
Still promising the same stunning views that you may encounter on more strenuous routes, these easy hikes are perfect for the whole family, with most easily accessible via public transport––and can even be completed in under two hours.
The Peak Morning Trail
Easy to access and offering some of the most iconic city views, The Peak may be an obvious choice, but it’s a must for those who are new to hiking and for visiting guests. The walk to the top takes about 45 minutes to an hour, with a further 45 minutes required if you choose to also continue onto the Circle Walk, rather than heading straight back down. Popular with runners, dog-walkers and everyone in between, The Peak can attract crowds so is best to visit early in the morning for a quieter walk. It's also a popular choice for a night or sunrise hike.
Once you have finished, there are plenty of options at The Peak for grabbing a refreshment––with everything on offer from dog-friendly ice cream at Gino’s Gelato to Indian breakfast dishes at Rajasthan Rifles.
How to get there: There are various different routes for hiking The Peak, but the most popular and straight forward option is via Hatton Road. Simply walk or taxi to Hatton Road in Central and follow this until you reach the trail which takes you up to the Circle Walk. If you're feeling lazy, you can always catch a bus or take a taxi to the top of The Peak and walk the leisurely Circle Walk at the top for the same killer city views.
Dragon’s Back is arguably Hong Kong’s most popular hike, and its snaking ridge-top trail certainly lives up to its name. But the reason it’s so popular is that it's both easy and scenic, making it ideal for novices while still enjoyable for the city’s most seasoned hikers. The views differ from other Hong Kong hikes, as they don’t offer city vistas, but rather a lush greenery, sparkling blue water and a glimpse of the beaches below. Once you’ve finished your hike, continue on to either Shek O beach or Big Wave Bay for a day on the sand.
When it comes to food and drink, Cococabana in Shek O will have you feeling like you’re in the Mediterranean, while Ben’s Back Beach Bar serves reasonably priced drinks, is both dog and family-friendly and it sits right on the sandy shores of Shek O.
How to get there: Take the MTR to Chai Wan and then take a taxi to To Tei Wan where you'll find a sign marking the start of the trail.
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Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail
Not strictly a hike, but a leisurely walk through Hong Kong’s largest country park, the Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail is a flat trail––with only a few downhill sections––that features plenty of scenery to take in along the way. The most notable aspects of the trail to take in are the 22 historical waterworks structures which date back to 1883.
Circling the Tai Tam Reservoir, the trail is about five kilometres long and is both stroller and dog-friendly, thanks to no uphill climbs and well-paved paths.
How to get there: The easiest option is to take a taxi directly to Parkview, just behind the main entrance is the start of the trail.
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Hong Kong Trail Stage 3
Although not a paved route, section three of the Hong Kong trail is an easy and mostly flat natural path––it’s also a good walk to do when the sun is shining as the tree canopy provides plenty of shade. Taking you from Peel Rise to Wan Chai Gap, or vice versa, the easy hike traverses through the peaceful forest, and is just over six kilometres, so can be completed in under an hour and a half.
How to get there: From Peel Rise via Peak Road: Walk down Peel Rise, which is accessible via taxi or by taking the number 15 bus to the Peak, until you reach the start of the trail.
You can also do the Hong Kong Trail section 3 in reverse from Wan Chai Gap Park, which is easy to get to via taxi, or the number 15 bus from Central or Queen’s Road East. From the park, walk down Aberdeen Reservoir Road for around 10 minutes––you’ll follow a sharp, paved decline––until you see a staircase with a the sign for the Hong Kong trail on the right. The signpost will direct you towards Peel Rise.
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Sai Wan Pavilion to Tai Long Wan
The short hike down to Tai Long Wan is more than worth any effort required, made more than apparent once you reach the white sand and clear water beaches. Taking under an hour from Sai Wan Pavilion, the path is mostly downhill to reach Sai Wan beach and a further 30-minute walk to reach Ham Tin beach. You can also continue further to reach the more remote beaches of Tai Wan and Tung Wan, with these paths requiring some uphill climbs.
Whether you’re spending the day at the beach or camping overnight, to get home, you can either walk back the way you came––which is more of an uphill climb––or book a speedboat directly to Sai Kung pier from either Sai Wan or Ham Tin beaches.
How to get there: From Sai Kung Town take either a taxi or a minibus to Sai Wan Pavilion where the trail starts.
Lamma Island Family Walk
An easy-to-access island hike, the Lamma Island Family Trail begins close to the Sok Kwu Wan ferry pier. As the name suggests, the walk is perfect for beginners and families alike and can be completed in under an hour and a half. Connecting to Yung Shue Wan village, you can choose to start your walk at either Sok Kwu Wan or Yung Shue Wan, though we recommend Sok Kwu Wan as the starting point as finishing in Yung Shue Wan has more options for things to do, drink and eat.
The scenic trail is around five kilometres long and filled with hidden gems along the way. Traversing through secluded beaches, refreshment stands, temples and attractions, the trail boasts unobstructed vistas of the island’s coastline. End your hike with a break at Hung Shing Ye Beach, or a stop at one of the island’s popular seafood restaurants.
How to get there: Take the ferry to Sok Kwu Wan from Central Pier 4. Walk right out of the pier and past the numerous seafood restaurants. Walk through the village and follow the signs for the family trail and Yung Shue Wan. As you exit the village you’ll pass the Tin Hau temple on your left, keep following the path which leads to the family trail. When you come to a fork in the road, be sure to keep right for Yong Shu Wan.
Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail
If you’re a history buff or looking to take your furry friend along on your hike, Pinewood Battery’s heritage trail is a great choice. Here, you can exercise, enjoy nature and also take a trip down memory lane. Pinewood Battery used to be a defensive fort in the early 20th century. It was subsequently destroyed in 1941 but the ruins remain as a protected heritage around the area. Also located nearby is The Peak Tram, which itself also boasts 130 years of history.
The heritage remains at Pinewood Battery make for a great photo opportunity when you're in need of a break. Since it’s only 2.3 kilometres long from The Peak, this makes for a good and easy hike. The trial also connects part of the Peak Circle Walk which is crowded with walkers and joggers but remains very picturesque. If you’re up for it, you can continue over to the Lung Fu Shan fitness trail where you can spot a sitting area that overlooks the Hong Kong skyline.
How to get there: The easiest way to start your hike is from Victoria Peak and pass by Lugard Waterfall, where you can start your hike. To get there, take bus 15 from Central Ferry Pier of minibus number one from IFC Mall to Victoria Park. Alternatively, you can also take The Peak Tram (note: It’s temporarily suspended for six months). Once you arrive, walk towards Harlech Road, close to the Peak Lookout.
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This article was originally published on February 4, 2021 and was updated on October 15, 2021.