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7 Hong Kong hikes to have you heading for the hills

7 Hong Kong hikes to have you heading for the hills

Everyone knows that Hong Kong is great for shopping, nightlife and dining out, but what many first-time visitors don’t realise is that behind the concrete jungle of soaring skyscrapers, lie countless country parks, mountain peaks and hilly hiking trails that mean you are always close to nature.

Here we recommend seven of our favourite hiking trails, to keep you in peak fitness on your holiday and inspire your Insta feed.

1. Fei Ngo Shan Hiking Trail

Commonly referred to as Kowloon Peak or Soaring Goose Mountain, Fei Ngo Shan Trail is one of our faves, for its spectacular views. Scarily named Suicide Cliff provides the perfect spot for that Insta shot to impress your friends, with the rock face jutting out over Kowloon. This is the highest peak in Kowloon at 602 metres, so we don’t recommend this one for kids as there are several sections where you will be scrambling over rocks, but thrill-seekers will love it.

Distance: 2.3km

Difficulty: Advanced

Top Tip: Make sure to be tread carefully as the rocks can be a challenge. That said, it’s worth the climb for that sunset shot over the city.

2. Lion Rock

Symbolic of the city’s resilience and grit, Lion Rock hike starts off easily enough, but soon gets tough with stairs that seemingly stretch into the heavens. This is one to get those glutes burning. The trail has three peaks – the tail, head and body – and each peak affords you stunning views. From the top of Lion Rock, you can see Kowloon, Hong Kong Island and the New Territories There are also lots of photo opps along the way and you might even spot some cheeky monkeys (hold onto your hats). While you will curse those stairs on the climb up, they make for an easy descent once you’re on your way back!

Distance: 6 kms

Difficulty: Moderate to advanced

Top Tip: There are a few trails to Lion Rock Head, but we suggest you get a taxi to Fat Jong Temple and head up from there, as reaching the temple is a very steep ascent.

3. Devil’s Peak

Not as scary as its name suggests, Devil’s Peak is a great trail for those looking to discover some of Hong Kong’s rich history. Kids will love it too, as you can excite them with stories of pirate marauders, ghosts and military battles, as you pass long-abandoned fortifications which are now being reclaimed by the forest. Pose like Lara Croft in Tomb Raider for that Insta shot before heading back through the cemetery, but not before some photos at the peak, where the bird’s eye view over the city will make the climb worthwhile.

Distance: 3kms

Difficulty: – Moderate

Top tip: Time your visit for sunset as it’s one of the best spots to watch the sun slide into the sea.

4. Lung Ha Wan Country Trail

Scenic views. Tick. Easy trails. Tick. Ancient rock carvings. What? Who knew Hong Kong had nine gazetted rock carving sites where ancient civilisations have left their stories behind, etched into the rocky coastline. You will find such carvings at Lobster Bay as part of the Lung Ha Wan Country Trail, a trail that is both family-friendly and camera-friendly. Cutting through Clear Water Bay, this hike offers views over the green hills and blue sea, and the ancient rock carvings are a bonus.

Distance: Approximately 2.7 km

Difficulty: Easy

Top Tip: The walk is circular, with most hikers going in a clock-wise direction. We suggest you go counter clock-wise, as it’s a shorter climb to the top.

5. Kam Shan Country Park Trail

Hong Kong is not exactly known for its wildlife, but Kam Shan Country Park Trail will will reward you with the chance to spot a thriving macaque population. While small in size, Kam Shan Country Park Trail is big on attractions including reservoirs, lots of wartime relics, picnic tables and easy hiking, making it perfect for families. The heavily forested woodlands are home to nearly 85% of Hong Kong’s monkey population and also boasts military ruins from WWII, when the site was built into a defence against the Japanese. In addition to trenches, tunnels and pillboxes, the park rewards you with four Insta-worthy reservoirs, which have all been declared historic monuments.

Distance: 5kms

Difficulty: Easy

Top tip: Keep your food securely stored on this trail, or you might find it being stolen by those ever-watchful monkeys.

6. MacLehose Trail

For a trail that packs it all in, MacLehose is hard to beat. From ancient geological sites to stunning beaches, from sea caves to historic monuments, this hike will reward you with another photo opp at every turn. Start at High Island Reservoir where you can find mysterious hexagonal rock columns formed over 140 million years ago, and head towards Ham Tin Wan, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong. MacLehose Trail is in fact 100 kilometres long, so it’s best to break it down into sections, unless you have a lot of time. We suggest you start with sections 1 and 2 and see how you go from there.

Length: 100 kms

Difficulty: Challenging

Top Tip: Take your swimsuit and try cliff jumping at Sheung Luk Stream, if you dare.

7. Ping Shan Heritage Trail

This hike is more for the history buffs than the nature lovers, but we wanted to include it as it still features lots of walking. As Hong Kong’s first heritage trail, you will pass 200-year-old villages with historic pagodas, halls and temples built by the powerful Tang Clan, who settled here in the 12th century. It’s the perfect introduction to Hong Kong’s traditions and will provide a true sense of what ancient village life was like. You can also bask in great views of the surrounding hills, burial grounds and even the towering skyscapers of Central on a clear day.

Distance: 1.6 km

Difficulty: Easy

Top tip: Make a pit stop at Mrs Tang Café for one of her famous pineapple butter buns, washed down with ‘champagne’ milk tea – the perfect refreshment after your walk.