The most popular and well-known hiking route in Hong Kong is without a doubt the Dragon’s Back. This stunning hiking route promises incredible views of mountain, ocean and beach, and isn’t even that hard to do. Thankfully, it doesn’t even require any special hiking or trekking skills.
Located in Shek O, in the south-east of Hong Kong Island, the Dragon’s Back is Section 8 of the Hong Kong Trail, which meanders through Shek O Country Park, with gorgeous vistas of the beaches below and the South China Sea.
How to get there
The recommended starting point is To Tei Wan Village, which is at the southern tip of the peninsula. To get there, you can either take a taxi from Chai Wan MTR Station to To Tei Wan Village, or if you know your way around public transport, can catch Bus #9 to Shek O from Shau Kei Wan MTR Station and get off at To Tei Wan Village. The entrance to the hiking path is right outside the bus stop, with lots of signs, so you won’t get lost.
Beginner’s tip: You can also do this with a group rather than freestyling on your own. If that sounds like your jam, check out this guided option.
Getting up to the ridge from the bus stop will have you huffing and puffing, but rest assured, this is actually the hardest part, so it only gets better. From the ridge you have fantastic views of Shek O Beach on your right, and Tai Tam Bay on your left. Be sure to enjoy the scenery, because this is the most beautiful part of the trail.
Next you follow the gently undulating ‘backbone’ of the ridge which gave the hike its well-known name. You’ll then make a steep ascent to Shek O Peak, at a height of 284 metres, where you can see the gorgeous Big Wave Bay below, where many hikers end their day.
Keep following the signs for the Hong Kong Trail Section 8 to Big Wave Bay, and you’ll descend into the small Tai Long Wan village behind the beach, where there are a few cafes, shops, and restaurants where you can relax and rehydrate.
How to get back
To get back to the city from Big Wave Bay, hope on Bus #9 going back to Shau Kei Wan MTR Station, or grab a taxi, if you can find one. The taxi ride to Shau Kei Wan takes about 15 minutes.
Tips for a successful hike up the Dragon’s Back
Have you conquered The Peak? Read our guide for hiking up HK’s iconic mountain.