With the new government restrictions and tightening of social distancing measures amid the fifth wave in Hong Kong, going on a hike might be one of the safest weekend activities. Hong Kong is a city filled with beautiful hiking trails and adventures—with a variety of trails scattered all around the city, there is something for everyone here. Going on a hike might just be the safest way to get out of your comfort zone and away from your devices for a much-needed break from the city’s hustle and bustle. Here is a list of our top 5 hiking trails in Hong Kong for the ultimate scenic escape.
1. Ap Lei Chau
If you are feeling adventurous, the hike from Ap Lei Chau to Ap Lei Pai is one that will test your limits. From using ropes to climb the steep ascent to the picturesque view from the summit, the hike from Ap Lei Chau to Ap Lei Pai is an adventure seeker’s dream come true. The hike itself to Ap Lei Pai takes about 3 hours. The trail ends at a lighthouse with one of the best nature views in the city which makes it a popular spot for photographers. It is ideal to start the hike as early as you can as once the sun sets, the path back can be dangerous for unskilled hikers. If you are tired and not in the mood to hike back up the rocky mountain, you can also take a water taxi off the island—but bear in mind that the water taxi has no fixed pickup timings. Speaking from personal experience, this hike can be quite a mentally challenging venture, but it is definitely one every Hong Konger should try at least once.
2. Cape D-Aguilar
The hike to Cape D’Aguilar is a lovely walk to one of Hong Kong’s prettiest lookout spots in the city; although seasoned hikers might argue that this trail is simply a short walk. Nonetheless, the hike is filled with scenic views unlike anywhere else. Cape D-Aguilar is also known for being one of the most Instagram-worthy hiking trails in the city—be sure to take your camera and snap your next best pictures here. The short trail is about an hour long with mostly flat terrain and is perfect for all levels of hikers. From natural caves and rock formations to a lighthouse and a marine reserve, the coastal hike is the perfect getaway from Hong Kong’s skyscrapers.
3. Lamma Island
Only 30 minutes away by a ferry ride from Central, Lamma Island is the third largest island in Hong Kong. While it is popular amongst locals for its friendly and welcoming vibes, the pretty island is also known for its hiking trail. The two-hour hike leads you from one side of the island to the other. Once you alight from the ferry at Yung Shue Wan, follow signs that lead you towards So Kwu Wan to arrive at the start of the trail. Along the trails, you will even pass by Hong Kong’s first windmill, the Wind Power Station. The trail ends at Hung Shing Ye Beach, where you can spend the rest of the outing relaxing on the sands for a much-needed break. The beach is well equipped with family-run shops, barbecue pits, toilets and bathing facilities—so come prepared with your swimsuit if you want to take a post-hike dip into the ocean. Being in Lamma Island definitely gives you the feeling of going on a staycation away from Hong Kong.
4. Lion Rock
A symbolic structure that embodies the spirit of Hong Kong people, the Lion Rock may be one of the most iconic hikes in the city. Known to be named after its resemblance to a Lion’s head, the trail may be considered moderately difficult due to its steep ascent and endless stairs. The hiking trail is about 6km long and takes a good 2 to 3 hours to complete. But, like most hikes, the endless whining, tears, and sweat are all worth it once you reach the top. At the peak, you will be able to see an unobstructed 260-degree view of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. While it is not a complete getaway from the chaos of Hong Kong, the picturesque city views from Lion Rock proved the ultimate escape for thrill-seekers who are tired of viewing the city from the windows of ordinary skyscrapers.
5. Sunset Peak
As its name suggests, the hike to Sunset Peak is famous for its spectacular sunset views. The intensity of the ascent is definitely reflected from its title of being Hong Kong’s third-highest peak. The trail is 7km long and starts at Pak Kung Au. As you ascend, you will be greeted with absolutely stunning panoramic views of the Lantau coastline and Pui O. The best time to leave for the hike is around 3 pm so that you are just in time to catch the sunset from the peak. Be sure to bring a headlight with you as the path back after sunset can be dark and challenging. A romantic getaway, sunset paradise, and an adventure-filled hike, the hike to Sunset Speak is everything you could ever imagine and definitely a hike that you should definitely add to your Hong Kong hiking bucket list.