With a little time and not too much effort, you can be walking scenic Hong Kong hiking trails.
But during these times of social distancing and coronavirus worry in Hong Kong, you may want to turn to the city’s beautiful nature for a change.
We’ve picked five easy Hong Kong hikes that can be done in under two hours. They’re suitable for both families with children or for the leisure hikers who simply want to stretch their legs.
Note that these trails are popular during weekends, so either arrive early or visit during weekdays if you can.
Sharp Island Geo Trail
- Route: Hap Mun Beach > Hak Shan Teng > Kiu Tsui Beach > Kiu Tau Island > Kiu Tsui Beach > Kiu Tsui Pier
- Time: 2 hours (including a detour to Kiu Tau Island)
- Facilities: There is a public restroom near Hap Mun Beach. It’s better to stock up on any snacks or drinks you’ll need in Sai Kung.
- Getting there: Getting to Sharp Island involves some planning and catching a kaito, or small ferry. Ferries depart from Sai Kung Public Pier daily.
A hikers’ heaven and a beautiful natural playground for Hong Kongers, Sai Kung boasts a wide range of trails across its four country parks.
Part of the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark, Sharp Island Geo Trail and the connecting Kiu Tau are a wonderful start for families with young children or leisure hikers.
It’s home to a few impressive landforms including ancient lava lines and rocks. Sharp Island and Kiu Tau are connected by a tombolo, a narrow levee formed by sand. The tombolo is only visible and crossable when the tide is low (below 1.4 metres).
The walk itself is pretty straight-forward with some steps and occasionally rough surfaces.
Visitors can start from the back of Hap Mun Bay Beach, follow the staircase and sign to the top of the 97-metre-tall Hak Shan Teng, the second-highest point on the island.
Afterwards, you will head towards Kiu Tsui Beach.
If you’re visiting during the low tide and don’t mind walking on the rugged surface, cross the tombolo to Kiu Tau and check out the “pineapple buns” rock feature, cracked quartz monzonite that is named after a local delicacy it resembles.
Combine it with… a lazy beach afternoon at Hap Mun Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong.
Victoria Peak Loop Hiking Trail
- Route: Peak Tram Station > Lugard Road (near the Peak Tower) > Peak Tram Station
- Time: 1 hour
- Facilities: There are a few simple rest stops and exercising parks along the walk. The Peak Galleria is the best stop for restroom breaks and snack stops.
- Getting there: Bus 15 and Minibus 1 from IFC Mall. Peak Tram. Use our Victoria Peak hiking guide to extend your hike.
One of our favourite walks in Hong Kong, the Victoria Peak Loop Hiking Trail is an epitome of marriage between nature and city.
A stone’s throw away from Central, the stroller-friendly walk begins with a stretch of the 100-year-old Lugard Road.
The Lugard Road lookout is the first vantage point to take in the views of the skyscraper-studded Hong Kong island and Kowloon as well as the Victoria Harbour in between.
If it’s packed, move along. There are more cliff-hugging viewing points along the way.
During the quick one-hour walk, you’ll also encounter a small tree root tunnel and a waterfall.
Follow the sign towards the Peak Tram Station when you arrive at the fork in the road—and you’ll soon be back at the beginning.
Combine it with… a fun day at the world’s first Monopoly theme park.
Hok Tau Reservoir Family Walk
- Route: Hok Tau Wai > Hok Tau Road (take the right staircase) > Hok Tau Reservoir > Hok Tau Wai
- Time: 2 hours
- Facilities: There aren’t any shops of facilities along the route. So it’s best if you stock up before heading there. Remember to bring bug spray.
- Getting there: Green minibus 52B at Fanling Station Exit C
One of the most picturesque and easy Hong Kong hikes, Hok Tau Reservoir Family Walk is a short 2.5 km path dotted with marshes, twisty streams and, obviously, the reservoir.
Located inside Pak Sin Leng Country Park, the walk is mostly paved with some steps and a gentle slope.
Although it’s stated as a one-hour walk on the government’s hiking website, it takes a short walk getting to the starting point. Once you get off the minibus at Hok Tau car park, go along the curved road towards the Family Walk.
Take the staircase on the right-hand side. You’ll be treated with an incredible aerial view of the reservoir. The signage will circle you around the reservoir before arriving at the starting point.
Combine it with… a visit to a community farm Mapopo in Ma Shi Po.
Tai Mo Shan (Rotary Park)
- Route: Chuen Lung Tsuen > Rotary Club Park Nature Trail > Tai Mo Shan Lookout
- Time: 2 hours
- Facilities: There are a few teahouses at the foothill and a small kiosk and public restroom before the Tai Mo Shan Visitor Centre
- Getting there: Bus 51 from Tsuen Wan MTR Station Exit A to the Country Park Stop
Towering at 957 metres above sea level, Tai Mo Shan is the tallest mountain in the city. However, the trail up to the lookout of the peak is surprisingly easy.
Most travellers will begin their walk from the bus stop at the Country Park Station outside Chuen Lung Tsuen, a hillside village. Walk along the slope and you will see a small gate at the entrance of the Rotary Club Park Nature Trail.
From there, it’s quite a steep and sheltered staircase up to the Tai Mo Shan Road.
After the ascent, you will be greeted by a small kiosk—helmed by a local celebrity owner Lin Je. Continue on the paved road and you will arrive at the Tai Mo Shan Country Park Visitor Centre, where you will find a small interactive and free museum about climate change.
Continue climbing, and you will arrive at the Tai Mo Shan Lookout. If you visit very early in the morning or on a misty day, you will be surrounded by clouds. Otherwise, you will have a good aerial view of the western side of the city.
You can either head back now or continue to the weather radar station near the peak of Tai Mo Shan. The white globe, surrounded by tall silver grass, is often featured in Hong Kong movies.
Combine it with… a dim sum session at one of the traditional teahouses at Chuen Lung Tsuen.
Tai Tam Family Walk
There are many ways to tackle the Tai Tam Reservoir.
If you’d like an easy day in nature, you can start at Hong Kong Parkview along Tai Tam Road. The Tai Tam Family Walk will take you around the three main reservoirs, dotted with picnic spots and historical sites of the centenarian dam, within two hours.
If you’re up for a small challenge, you can take on part of Hong Kong Trail. Both section 6 (Mount Parker Road to Tai Tam Road) and section 7 (Tai Tam Road to To Tei Wan) are two of the easiest sections within the scenic eight-part Hong Kong Trail.
The first section begins at Quarry Gap, along the paved Mount Parker Road. The main challenge along the 4.5 km trail is the slope. You’ll arrive at Tai Tam Reservoir overseeing the emerald lake, greenery as well as some Victorian architecture from the colonial era.
The second section takes you from the Upper Tai Tam Reservoir to Tai Tam Bay.
The two sections will take about four hours to walk.
Combine it with… an evening out in Stanley.
Check out some other popular trails in Hong Kong: