While most people picture Hong Kong as the city of skyscrapers and crowded streets, it has become increasingly clear that there is another side.
In fact, Hong Kong’s dense city structures are punctuated with mountains and hills, many of which boast stunning hikes.
With the popularity of social media and healthy living rising, many Hong Kongers and tourists alike venture off to these scenic trails.
Below are five of the most famous hikes in Hong Kong (including the easiest routes).
1. The Peak
Many people take the Peak Tram up to the Peak, go to the Sky Terrace and go back down, but you can also hike it!
The easiest route on this list, you can get a unique panorama of the Kowloon Peninsular and even Tsing Yi Island on a clear day along Lugard Road.
A long, paved walking path, the Lugard Road is suitable for all hiking levels.
You can stroll along it for half an hour before turning back, or go all the way towards Hong Kong University area.
In fact, you can go up West High Hill for a 360-degree view that includes the Peak, too!
2. Dragon’s Back
The hiking trails that has everyone talking, Dragon’s Back was picked by the Times as the best urban hiking trail a few years back.
The name stems from the fact that the trail runs along the mountain ridge, extending parallel to the coastline.
It is located in idyllic south Hong Kong Island, and the trail start can be reached by bus.
Aside from the steps that go up and down at the beginning and end, the trail is relatively flat.
If you want the Instagram-worthy shot, then it’s best to head to the southern end of the trail facing the Shek O Village.
3. Cape D'Aguilar
More of a walk than a hike, Cape D’Aguilar is on the southern tip of the Aguilar peninsular south of Dragon’s Back.
You would mostly be walking along a concrete road, and those who want to cut down their hike time can even get a taxi in, though otherwise the area is restricted.
Only until you reach the end do you need to hike for five to ten minutes to reach the cape.
The most famous landmark there is the rocky beach with natural arches, oceanography center (but it’s not open) with a fake whale skeleton, and the thunder cave.
For the more seasoned hikers, there is a lighthouse half way down the road. However, the route down is steep and difficult to find, and you can also glimpse the structure from above.
4. Pineapple Mountain
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate, which means most of the unoccupied land are vegetated. However, Pineapple Mountain is the exception.
Dubbed as the Hong Kong Grand Canyon, this trail is deep in Tuen Mun, New Territories.
While it appears larger in photos, it is still a unique sight in the Hong Kong countryside. Hence it drew many Instagrammers to the spot.
Aside from the logistic of getting into and out of the trail, it is an easy hike.
If you are interested in going, I have a detailed guide on how to reach Pineapple Mountain.
Fun fact: the trail crosses a military zone!
5. Sunset Peak
Lantau Island is famous for the Big Buddha and cable car, but Sunset Peak is also a star attraction.
One of the highest peaks in Hong Kong, this is the hardest trail on the list but still attempted by many due to its scenic views.
The hike takes around five hours, three up and two down.
Every September to November is the silver grass season, making the mountain top a sea of swaying grass.
Other noteworthy sites on top are the old Lantau Village, now abandoned, and the sunset or sunrise view.
Be warned that while the route is well paved, you must bring enough water going up and wear appropriate footwear.
If you want to know more about hiking in Hong Kong, I’ve got more information on my Hong Kong Hiking page on my blog.