We have always wanted to visit Hong Kong, hearing stories of my parents far eastern adventures here the year before I was born had always been an inspiration for me wanting to spread my wings further into this region. The huge bustling city reminded us so much of our beloved New York, but also had that element of familiarity from both our month in China and of course the British influences in the city. We knew about the famous Victoria Peak of course, but little did we know of the hiking potential of Hong Kong, nor its many and beautiful beaches. We decided to tackle the stunning Dragon back trail Hong Kong that offered a totally different perspective on this urban jungle! When you visit the city trekking in Hong Kong should be a priority!
An escape from the chaos of the city
Hong Kong is an amazing concrete jungle of lights, sounds, people, buildings, wires and chaos. It is one of the things we love about it and also other large urban metropolises such as New York, but sometimes you just need to take a step out of the over…and avoid the frying pan! Hong Kong might just be the perfect city you know! It has all the trappings of any major city, the shops, the places to eat, the grime and the urban edge. But who knew about the trekking in Hong Kong?
Yet it is beautiful and full of culture too, but what makes it stand out above others is the beaches and mountains that makes up much of the space here. For those with more time there are also traditional villages to be visited also, HK really does offer something for everyone and is why we are now considering moving here for a while! The Dragon back trail Hong Kong really encompasses all you want from an urban hike, being close to the city but offering amazing views and beaches! There is also so much more trekking in Hong Kong to be found too if you have the time including some more challenging trails.
Traversing this densely forested ridge overlooking the wonderfully blue sea
The Dragon back trail Hong Kong offers a dramatic and scenic traverse over a ridge than runs from the peaks of Shek O Peak to Wan Cham. At around 284 metres high (almost 1000ft) it is the perfect place to take in the panoramic views of the deep blue South China sea, lush green forests and golden yellow sands of the many beaches that line this craggy coast. Due to its unique location trekking in Hong Kong is some of the best in the world and the most unique!
At times the on the trail you can see almost a 360 view down to several coasts and the bright orange dirt track you follow as it cuts through the green hills feels much higher than it really is. Even for a relatively tame hike it has to be up there with one of the best we have done for sheer drama and the contrast to the city just a short ride away!
A pleasant 4 hour hike anyone can tackle that offers dramatic views
The Dragon back trail Hong Kong begins with a sharp ascent of the first peak but as hiking does the ridge is a beginner trail. Once at the top of the ridge the walking is relatively flat and the path’s are well maintained and marked out. The whole thing should take you around 4 hours and there are several benches to stop and take a break on! However do bear in mind that there are no cafes or shops along the way and you should still pack plenty of food and water as well as bringing along a phone!
The Dragon back trail Hong Kong is one of the best hikes we have taken and well worth the accolade of “Best urban hikes” it recently won. There are very few places around the world that offer such a stunning and assessable hike so close to such a large and busy city. It’s no wonder locals flock here to escape the city, but don’t worry, we had the trail almost to ourselves as is the variety of hiking options around the city!
Finishing up at the surfers paradise of Big Wave Bay
One of the best things about the Dragon back trail Hong Kong is not only the stunning views of the dramatic coastline and peaks of the area, but where you finish up. If you continue along the trail through the park area you will eventually find yourselves in a tiny surfer village more reminiscent of Hawaii or some little visited pacific island!
It is quite disorienting finding yourself in such a different place than the city, but it has such a laid back and chilled out vibe here you could easily just stay here in Hong Kong and be happy! Pretty much all year round there is surfing too and wetsuits and boards can be hired as well as there being changing room facilities and cheap cafes in the area.
How to do the Dragon back trail Hong Kong (龍脊)
From the city centre getting to the hike is easy but takes a few stops along the way.
Firstly you need to make your way to Hong Kong island. This depends on where you are but these instructions are from Kowloon, which is central enough to make your way to easily.
Take the star ferry from the terminal at Kowloon. This costs HK$2.50 on the way over and HK$2 on the way back. Ferries leave every 15 mins and take about 10 mins to cross.
Now you are in central make your way to the Metro and take the blue line to Shau Kei Wan Station and use exit A. You can take either the bus no 9 or a mini bus heading towards Shek O. The mini bus cost HK$8 one way and you pay as you get off the bus.
If you let the driver know you want to go to the hike then he will drop you right at the starting point of the hike which is well signposted. Just follow the little hiker signs!
From the end point there are mini buses again that will take you back to Shau Kei Wan Station where you can then retrace your steps or continue on to somewhere else.