20 Brilliant Hong Kong Hikes (Part 3)

A while back, I wrote two posts (Part 1) (Part 2) about my favourite hikes in Hong Kong. Surprisingly, two posts is not enough to do justice to Hong Kong’s wealth of walks, so here’s the third and final part detailing the territories most spectacular hiking trails.

Tai Mo Shan || Duration: 5-6 hours || Difficulty: Medium

Hong Kong’s tallest peak (957m high) is definitely one for the bucket list if you’re in the region for a while. It’s surprisingly not too difficult – just quite long. The best way to reach it is through Shing Mun Reservoir, an easy stroll which eventually winds its way to Section 8 of the Maclehose Trail. After this, the trail snakes up to the peak but is never too steep. Coming down is even easier since it’s a paved road.

Disappointingly there’s a weather station at the top and no sign denoting the peak, but on a rare clear day the views are great. Most of the time you will be above the clouds but that also adds to the atmosphere as you can see the clouds swirling around you, a pretty cool effect. This is a hike which is great not only for bragging rights but also a workout which you can definitely feel but isn’t too taxing.

Getting there: Make your way to Shing Mun Reservoir, either on minibus 82 from Tsuen Wan MTR on the red line, or you can take bus 36B from Kowloon/bus 936 from Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. When you cross the dam, turn left. Circle round the reservoir along Wilson Trail Section 7, eventually coming to the entrance of Maclehose Section 8, the beginning of the Tai Mo Shan trail. The end of the trail brings you to Route Twisk where you can catch bus 51 to Tsuen Wan MTR.

Kowloon Peak || Duration: 2-3 hours || Difficulty: Medium-Difficult depending on route

For unknown reasons, I saved this gem of a hike for my final week in Hong Kong and was blown away by it. It’s definitely worth going on a clear day because the panoramic views you get of Kowloon, Hong Kong Island and well beyond are incredible.

There are a number of routes to the peak which vary in difficulty. The simplest is walking up Fei Ngo Shan Road, eventually turning left up a load of steps which take you to the peak. For some reason, there’s a sign telling you the hike is dangerous but it’s really not at all. Don’t forget to keep looking behind you as you hike up, as you can see great views of Sai Kung. To get down, you can just go back the same way.

Getting there: Make your way to Choi Hung MTR (on the green line) and leave via exit B. From here, it’s about a 20 or so minute walk along Clear Water Bay Road to the start. Shortly after Jordan Valley Park, there’s the intersection for Fei Ngo Shan Road. Just keep walking past all the fancy houses on this road until you reach the steps going up.

Razor Hill || Duration: 2 hours || Difficulty: Fairly Difficult

Not a very well-known hike (which means you’ll probably have it to yourself) but boasting fantastic views of Sai Kung and east Hong Kong, this hill near Clearwater Bay requires a bit of a climb. After walking through a cemetery, the hill gets pretty steep with a rope laid down to help pull you up. It still remains a hike rather than a climb and doesn’t take too long to get to the top. Whilst the views aren’t always unobstructed, they’re pretty special – Sai Kung from above is always a treat.

Getting there: Take bus 92 from Diamond Hill MTR (on the green line) towards Clear Water Bay, getting off at Pik Uk. Cross over the road near the Marketplace supermarket and follow the road to the end, turning left into the park and cemetery. At the end, you can follow the trail into Po Lam, where you can catch the MTR.

High West || Duration: 3 hours || Difficulty: Medium

I mentioned in a previous post about hiking up to Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island, one of the most popular walks in Hong Kong. If you want to go a little further, High West is the peak just next to Victoria and provides more fantastic views with fewer people. It’s also a pretty good choice for sunset.

It’s not a technically difficult hike – the walk up to the Peak is pretty easy – but involves a lot of steps (550 to be exact) to get to High West peak. There’s a great little platform at the top, and even a sign where you can adjust the date. Seeing the thousands of skyscrapers from above never gets old.

Getting there: Hike up the Morning Trail from Central Hong Kong until you reach the intersection where lots of different trails meet (Hatton Road, Lugard Road and Harlech Road). From here, cut through the park along the ‘Treacherous Trail’ (there’s nothing treacherous about it) until you reach the steps up to High West.

Needle Hill & Grassy Hill || Duration: 3 hours || Difficulty: Fairly Difficult

The only hike on this list that I managed to do by accident, this is a workout for the legs which provides some great views. Like Tai Mo Shan, the starting point is Shing Mun Reservoir. It was actually while I was looking for the Tai Mo Shan trail that I took a wrong turn and ended up at Needle Hill, a very daunting hill (it’s called needle for a reason!) which you’ll definitely feel on your legs. However, you’re rewarded with a view of the whole reservoir and the city beyond.

After Needle Hill, you reach Grassy Hill, an easier walk which (surprise, surprise) is covered in grass, meaning you’ll probably be accompanied by some cows. Hong Kong is short on large grassy fields so it’s a nice little escape from reality. After this, you can either head on to Tai Mo Shan (though that would be a pretty intense workout) or loop back round the reservoir.

Getting there: Make your way to Shing Mun Reservoir, either on minibus 82 from Tsuen Wan MTR on the red line, or you can take bus 36B from Kowloon/bus 936 from Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. After you cross over the dam, make sure you take a right.

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