7 of the Hardest Hong Kong Hikes You Need to Conquer This Season
Whether you’re looking for a challenging new hike or just want an epic photo to add to your feed, we’re listing seven of the highest peaks in Hong Kong for you to tackle
From its beautiful beaches to sprawling country parks, and the many adrenaline-fuelled activities on offer, Hong Kong's outdoor scene may surprise those that think all the city has to offer is sky-high buildings.
With Hong Kong's beautiful autumn weather in full swing, it's time to dust your hiking boots off and get moving. Get ready to enjoy the sunrise from Lantau Peak, or snap a perfect selfie at the top of Ma On Shan with these seven challenging trails.
Tai Mo Shan
As the highest peak in Hong Kong and the tallest coastal peak in Southern China, Tai Mo Shan tops our list for obvious reasons. But although it is officially the tallest, standing 957 metres above sea level, you actually only climb 895 metres from start to finish, as the true peak isn't accessible to hikers. The hike itself also isn't as challenging as it may sound, with it being more time rather than labour intensive––but the majestic views, not to mention the bragging rights, make it worth the effort.
As part of MacLehose Trail Section 8, Sze Fong Shan and Wo Yeung Shan––the fourth and fifth highest peaks in Hong Kong––can also be tackled when taking on Tai Mo Shan.
Height: 957 metres
How to get there: Take the MTR to Kam Sheung Road, and take exit C towards the bus stops. catch the 64K bus to Ng Tung Chai Bus Stop and follow the signs to Ng Tung Chai village where you will start the hike.
Lantau Peak (Fung Wong Shan)
A mere 23 metres shorter than Tai Mo Shan, hikers wanting to capture an epic photograph should head to Lantau Peak, as you can ascend its full 934 metres.
As the second highest summit in Hong Kong, hiking Lantau Peak––one of the hardest hikes in Hong Kong––is not for the faint hearted. The tough climb features plenty of stairs and steep inclines, but the views at the top will make it more than worth it. What’s more, if you have visitors in tow, it’s a great excuse to tick off attractions such as the Tian Tan Buddha and the Ngong Ping cable car on the way down. The hike is also a favourite for catching the sunrise, if you're up for an early wake-up call.
Height: 934 metres
How to get there: Get the MTR to Tung Chung and find the bus stop by exit B. Take either the 11 or 3M bus to Pak Kung Au. Once off the bus, cross the road and you’ll find a signpost signalling the start of the trail.
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Sunset Peak (Tai Tung Shan)
Lantau Peak may be famed for sunrise shots, but––as the name suggests––Sunset Peak is the place to go for epic vistas of the sun going down.
869 metres above sea level, Sunset Peak gained fame for its glorious sunset vistas, with its altitude offering an unblocked view of Lantau’s Cheung Sha, Hong Kong's longest beach. The most convenient start is from Pak Kung Au, which brutally begins with a 400-metre set of stairs, but after the initial incline, the hike isn't too strenuous with the path well-paved for the majority of the way.
If you're hiking to catch the sunset, don't forget to bring a head torch for your descent. You can either return the same way as you came or continue northeastward for Mui Wo, which will add a few hours onto your hike.
Height: 869 metres
How to get there: Take Lantau bus 11 from Tung Chung. Alight at Pak Kung Au. The start is only a few minutes away.
Ma On Shan
Also known as Horse Saddle Mountain, Ma On Shan is situated in Ma On Shan Country Park, situated in the Eastern New Territories and neighbouring with Sai Kung West Country Park and Lion Rock Country Park. Reaching 702 metres above sea level, it is the tenth highest peak in Hong Kong, and offers stunning views of the Sai Kung Peninsula once you reach the summit. Be warned, this ascent is known to be one of Hong Kong's hardest hikes, so take plenty of water for the journey.
The hike itself takes you through lush greenery and abandoned Hakka village before the uphill trek begins. Once at the peak, make your way along the ridge and follow the Maclehose trail stage 4 down to Sai Kung town––here you can enjoy a drink at one of the many restaurants as a well-deserved reward.
Height: 702 metres
How to get there: Take the MTR to Ma On Shan station and then catch a taxi to the Ma On Shan barbecue site. From here, begin the Ma On Shan Family Walk which leads up to the peak.
Kowloon Peak (Fei Ngo Shan)
Although not making the top 10 highest mountains in Hong Kong, Kowloon Peak is often regarded as one of the most challenging hikes in the city. Overlooking much of Kowloon and over to Hong Kong Island, the strenuous hike is a favourite for the those looking to impress on the 'gram.
It's advised to only take on this hike if you are experienced, as much of the route is steep and narrow. The hike is also famed for the ominously named Suicide Cliff––a rugged cliff that juts out from the main mountain, offering killer views. However, you can just opt to do Kowloon Peak and not head to Suicide Cliff if you wish.
How to get there: Start at Fei Ngo Shan Road, which can be reached via mini bus from Hang Hau or Choi Hung. Continue along the road following the signs until you reach Ma On Shan Country Park, keep walking until you see a warning sign and steep steps leading up to the peak.
The 40th highest peak in all of Hong Kong, Mount Parker is the second-highest peak on Hong Kong Island, after Victoria Peak. The beginning of the hike follows an uphill paved path that doesn't offer much to see, but once you reach the trail, there are several viewpoints along the way with clear city views. Once you reach the top, you'll also be treated to views spanning from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon.
Height: 532 metres
How to get there: Start at Quarry Bay exit A and turn right. From here, follow King's Road for five minutes to Mount Parker Road. Here you will see a signpost for the Mount Butler Road Green Trail on your right.
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Although a popular viewing point on Hong Kong Island, High West often gets overshadowed by the famed Victoria Peak. About 50 metres shorter than Victoria Peak, High West still offers a 180 degree view, with vistas of Cyberport, Pok Fu Lam, Kennedy Town, Sai Ying Pun, sweeping through to West Kowloon.
A great option for beginner hikers looking for a challenge, High West offers big gain for an easily accessible hike that, although has some sections of steep steps, is over relatively quickly. Choose to hike either the whole route––from Kennedy Town to Pok Fu Lam Road, up to Pinewood Battery and on to the Morning Trail before heading up to High West––or you can get a taxi to The Peak and then take the stairs up to High West. The latter is the easier option, with a little less strain on your legs, but you'll still need to tackle the 300-or so steps up to the summit––also know as "The Treacherous Trail".
Height: 494 metres
How to get there: Reach The Peak either via the morning trail or by taxi then follow the circle walk until you reach the playground area with picnic tables and water fountains. Past the pavilion on the left, you'll find some narrow steps leading up to High West.