Victoria Peak. The highest mountain on Hong Kong Island, home to some of the most expensive real estate on the planet. It’s got unbelievable views of ocean, mountain, islands, and a hell of a lot of city.
Most people get to this famous lookout spot by the historic Peak Tram, which has taken passengers uphill since 1888. But if you’ve got the time and a good pair of running shoes, you can boast that you climbed Hong Kong’s most famous mountain. (Hiking up is also one of our four top tips for saving money at The Peak.)
Our Victoria Peak hiking guide also includes rides on two of the coolest forms of transportation in Hong Kong, just to throw in a little history and culture too.
Hiking up Victoria Peak
A fun way to get to the top of Victoria Peak is via the Morning Trail, which starts with a ride on the longest outdoor escalator system in the world, the Central–Mid-Levels Escalator. The Escalator goes downhill from 6 am to 10 am, and then switches direction to go uphill. So aim to get to the Escalator around 10 am, unless you want to climb hundreds of steps.
Enjoy the ride up, taking in the sights along the way, until you reach the very end of the Escalator on Conduit Road. Turn right on Conduit, and walk about 15 minutes until you reach Hatton Road. Turn left onto Hatton, and you’ll soon reach the Lung Fu Shan Morning Trail entrance which follows Hatton Road (and, shortly after, a public toilet).
Just after passing the Victoria City Boundary Stone, you’ll reach a small junction. Turn left to stay on Hatton Road. One you reach the top of the mountain, Hatton Road meets Harlech Road and Lugard Road. Turn left onto Lugard Road and you’ll be rewarded with amazing views from the Lugard Road Lookout, as well as lovely shady paths lined with Indian rubber trees. Continue on Lugard, and you’ll reach the Peak Tower.
Getting back down
One easy and beautiful hike down from the Peak is via Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road, which is just off the Peak Galleria. This route goes down the western side of the mountain, and deposits you in Pok Fu Lam.
The Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road is pretty easy to follow, once you find the entrance by the Peak Galleria. As you go downhill you will come across a sign for Hong Kong Trail Section 1, but do not go on it—just stay on Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road.
Eventually the path meets up with the Pok Fu Lam Family Walk, which goes alongside the lovely reservoir, past a riding school, and down to Pok Fu Lam Road.
Once on the road, cross the street and either flag down a taxi or take any bus heading downhill, such as the 7, 71, or 91. If you’re ready to go home and need to get on the MTR, get off at HKU Station and carry on home.
Where to eat near Victoria Peak?
Still got some energy? Hungry, or in desperate need of a cold Blue Girl after all that sweating? Then get off the bus at HKU Station, and walk down Hill Road to the Shek Tong Tsui Cooked Food Market on Queen’s Road West. With awesome cheap eats (think round tables with plastic stools), this is a good place to rest your weary legs and recharge.
Shek Tong Tsui Market and Cooked Food Centre
When you’re ready to go again, walk one block over to Des Veoux Road, where you can catch the Tram, fondly called the ‘ding ding’ by locals, due to its adorable bell. The Tram may not be the fastest way to get around, but it sure is the most scenic.
Congratulations! You’ve now ridden the Escalator, conquered The Peak, and rode the Tram, all is one day. Not bad, cheapo!
Tips for planning your Victoria Peak hike
Best time to hike: Not in the summer—the heat and humidity will kill you. The cool winter and spring months are ideal.
What to take: Lots of water, a hat, sunblock, mosquito repellant, toilet paper.
What to wear: Running shoes are fine; hiking boots not required.
Alternative routes: If you reach the top and are too tired to hike down, you can take the Peak Tram down, or take Bus 1 or Bus 15 from the Bus Terminal at the Peak Galleria down to Central.
Pro tip: You can combine a hike (read: ride) up Victoria Peak with a visit to the Hong Kong Madame Tussaud’s, Stone Slabs Streets, rides on historic trams, and plenty of chances to sample local food by taking this cultural tour of Central and Victoria Peak.
Looking for more trails? Check out these 5 easy hikes around Hong Kong.