3-DAY HONG KONG ITINERARY FOR ADVENTURE-LOVERS
Are you heading to Hong Kong for three days or more and want to pack your itinerary with lots of epic locations and adventures? I got you covered. This 3-day Hong Kong itinerary will be your best resource for adventurous activities in Hong Kong. You can fit the shopping and dim-sum in around the adventures… we are here to explore!
If you are looking for a basic itinerary with stereotypical Instagram photo-locations and shopping tips, this is not it. I created this itinerary for those who want a daily dose of adventure but also want to do some activities at night to fully experience the wild side and the urban side of Hong Kong. Don’t worry it’s nothing too extreme but you will get your heart rate going each day. Let’s do this!
What is included in this 3-day Hong Kong itinerary blog post?
- In this 3-day Hong Kong itinerary blog post I will first detail how you should structure your three days to make the most of your time.
- Below that, I will share an additional day of suggestions for a 4-day Hong Kong itinerary.
- Once again I will list another day in case you are looking for a 5-day Hong Kong itinerary.
- Finally, at the bottom of the blog post, I will share my tips on things to know before you travel to Hong Kong (specific information for adventurous travelers)
So, let’s get into it.
TOP 4 PLACES TO STAY IN HONG KONG
Best Value Hotel: Metropark Hotel Causeway Bay – This 4-star hotel in Hong Kong Central is just $73 and looks like a luxury resort worth 4-times that amount.
Best Hostel: Alohas Hostel – For less than $12 USD, you have a great location in a clean and simple hostel.
Best Value Luxury Hotel: Hotel ICON – $140 for a 5-star hotel with an epic pool. Need I say more!
Best Hiking/Adventure Base: Hotel Stage – In Kowloon and right next to lots of epic hikes, a gateway to the hikes in the New Territories. 4-star ultra-modern and a great adventure base.
Want a more detailed breakdown? I wrote the biggest ever guide for where to stay (and why) in Hong Kong! You can check it out here: WHERE TO STAY IN HONG KONG: BEST AREAS & HOTELS
HONG KONG 3-DAY ITINERARY FOR ADVENTURERS
Day 1 Morning: The first thing I like to do when I arrive in a new city is to get up as high as possible so I can understand the layout and how it all looks. The best way to do this in Hong Kong is to head up to Victoria Peak.
VICTORIA PEAK CIRCLE WALK
The Victoria Peak Circle Walk is one of the easiest hikes in Hong Kong because it actually has less than 100m of incline and is just 3-km in distance. You catch a tram or a bus up to the peak and then complete a circular loop around the edge of the peak. This means you skip all the ascent but have great views throughout the circular loop, which takes about an hour to complete.
The great part about this hike (or loop-walk) is that you get seriously epic views down over Hong Kong Central. It’s probably the closest hike in proximity to the city so you feel like you are basically on top of the skyscrapers. This is a mellow way to kick off your 3-day Hong Kong itinerary.
It is also a great spot for sunset, but I’ve opted for a more epic spot at sunset for you as part of this itinerary. Trust me it gets better than Victoria Peak (and less crowded).
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: THE VICTORIA PEAK CIRCLE WALK
Day 1 Afternoon: So you shouldn’t be too tired yet. You didn’t hike up Victoria Peak, you just completed the circular loop, which is less than 100m of incline and 3-km in total distance. That’s a warm-up right? So grab lunch, collect yourself and now jump on the MTR (railway system) and catch a train on the green line to Wong Tai Sin MTR Station. You will want to get there no later than 2-hours before sunset. A little earlier won’t hurt but that should be enough time. Are you ready? It’s time to head up the famous Lion Rock for sunset.
LION ROCK HIKE
The Lion Rock hike in Hong Kong is one of the most popular trails in the region with an epic viewpoint over Kowloon all the way to Hong Kong Central. The lion-head shaped rock at the summit is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the city from the forest. It is the kind of rock formation that you seem to spot out no matter where you are in Hong Kong but it isn’t until you are up there that you can enjoy the incredible view from the head of the Lion.
The hike up is only a few kilometers and once you reach the summit, you will find yourself on a winding ridge down the back of the Lion until you reach its head. It was one of my first hikes in Hong Kong and even after a month of hiking, it remains up there as one of my favorites. It’s a great spot for sunset and a lot of night photographers migrate here after dark to shoot the city lights.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: THE LION ROCK HIKE
Day 2 Morning: It’s time to get high. No not like that, I mean a helicopter flight over Hong Kong. It isn’t the cheapest activity in Hong Kong coming in at around $300 USD per person so I understand if it is a no-go for some but if you can afford the splurge, it’s a pretty damn epic place to fly.
TAKE A SCENIC HELICOPTER FLIGHT FROM THE PENINSULA HOTEL
Hong Kong is one of the most unique cities in the world with the incredible, city metropolis meeting the jungle and mountains. The best way to see the contrast between the city and the jungle and to enjoy an epic fly-over view of the city is with a Hong Kong helicopter tour. I did the heli-tour and it was simply incredible.
We took off from the Peninsula Hotel rooftop helipad and then toured out over Lion Rock and to the edge of the New Territories. Here we saw the wild nature in the mountains of Hong Kong before cruising back over Hong Kong Central to witness the towering skyscrapers at Victoria Harbor and Causeway Bay.
Read the full blog post for more photos and details: EPIC HONG KONG HELICOPTER TOUR FROM THE PENINSULA HOTEL
Day 2 Afternoon: Grab lunch after the helicopter flight and then jump on the MTR (railway system) and head to Choi Hung Station. Yes, this is where the famous Instagram spot is with colored buildings. I didn’t stop to look but you could combine the two if you want to see it first-hand. One thousand times on Instagram was enough for me so I kept on towards my destination, which was the Suicide Cliff Hike. I’d say you would want to be at Choi Hung Station getting off the train no later than 2-5 or 3-hours before sunset.
SUICIDE CLIFF & KOWLOON PEAK
Kowloon Peak hike takes you on a journey to the Kowloon Peak viewpoint but also leads you to one of the most well-known hiking photography spots in Hong Kong, which is Suicide Cliff. The total route is under 7-kilometers to see both viewpoints and is recommended for sunset. It’s not a hike for beginners but is relatively safe for the average hiker!
The majority of the hike is on a nice ridge but it is nothing too crazy. However, right at the end of the ridge are two viewpoints that are very precarious. You will need to be careful in these spots as the drop below is deadly, which is how the cliff received its name. You don’t need to walk out on them and you can remain 100% safe at all times. Most do wander out on them for a photo. After a bit of research, Suicide Cliff doesn’t seem to be a place of tragedy with no suicide-related deaths reported at this location. The name seems to refer to the possible danger of jumping or falling from the ledges.
Both of the ledges at Suicide Cliff are among the best photo spots in all of Hong Kong with huge drops and an epic background of Kowloon behind. This is a great area to be for sunset as you can see from the photos below.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: KOWLOON PEAK HIKE TO SUICIDE CLIFF
Day 3 Morning: It’s the last day of your 3-day Hong Kong itinerary! It’s time to mix things up. Instead of the afternoon/sunset hike, we are going to get out nice and early. Now there are two options today. You can either opt for the easier hike or the hard (hardest hike in Hong Kong) hike. Don’t be afraid of the hard hike it is less than 10-km in distance and less than 900m of incline. However, the easy hike option is one of the popular trails in Hong Kong and quite simple and nowhere near as taxing. Both are beautiful and I loved both. The idea is to choose one of the below hikes but to be back by late afternoon to the city because you have a special activity planned for tonight!
Option 1: The Dragons Back Trail
Option 2: The West Dog’s Teeth Ridge Hike to Lantau Peak
DRAGON’S BACK HIKE
The Dragon’s Back Hike is one of the most popular trails in Hong Kong due to its impressive coastal views seen from the ridge-line but also because it is one of the less intense routes in the region. Really after Victoria Peak, I think this may be the second most popular hike in Hong Kong. The Dragon’s Back Trail gives hikers outstanding, scenic views of the coast without too much incline and climbing. The trail is suitable for families, amateur hikers and all tourists looking for an adventure.
Lots of hikes in Hong Kong have quite a steep incline, but the popularity of Dragon’s Back stems from its mild incline. The reference to the back of a dragon comes from the ridgeline that you traverse throughout the bulk of the hike. It’s a very impressive coastal view and you will seem far away from the hustle of the city.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: DRAGON’S BACK HIKE
WEST DOG’S TEETH RIDGE
The West Dog’s Teeth Hike in Hong Kong is billed as the hardest hike in Hong Kong. The trail involves 850m of incline and requires a very basic level of bouldering and scrambling to reach the end of the ridge. The ridge then connects to Lantau Peak, which is a great place to finish your climb before making the journey back down the ridge.
This ridge-hike reminded me of a lot of the hikes in Hawaii that take you along the jagged ridges to a summit. There were never any moments of danger but this hike would be among the most exhilarating hikes in Hong Kong with the basic bouldering and the rugged trail. It’s definitely the trail to pick if you like to push your limits and want a challenge.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: WEST DOG’S TEETH HIKE ‘HARDEST HIKE IN HONG KONG’
Day 3 Night: It’s time to kick off the hiking shoes and get ready to enjoy a relaxing evening aboard a sailing boat out in the harbor. The Aqualuna is a historic sailboat that will tour you around the harbor while enjoying some drinks. It’s pretty cheap and you will be out on the water to witness the Symphony of Lights, which is a laser and lights show.
WATCH THE SYMPHONY OF LIGHTS FROM THE ICONIC AQUALUNA SAILBOAT
Hands down this tour is one of the best things to do in Hong Kong at night for all ages. The Aqualuna is a traditional red-sail Chinese junk boat, which will tour you around the harbor. At night the sails are lit up and just look incredible. Throughout the sail, you can appreciate Hong Kong’s magnificent harbor views aboard what is one of the last sailboats of it’s kind! During the trip, you can relax in style on a comfy lounge bed, enjoy a complimentary drink and soak up the sights and sounds of Hong Kong’s fantastic scenery.
Then halfway through the cruise, the sailboat seems to come to a halt and the Symphony of Lights laser and lights show comes to life. Lots of the skyscrapers and buildings in the harbor participate in a co-ordinated show with lights seemingly dancing from the city in tune with the soundtrack. It’s a fun couple of hours and one of the more unique things to do in Hong Kong. This is an epic way to finish off your 3-day Hong Kong itinerary.
To book your trip online at the lowest (This is where I booked mine)you can click here: AquaLuna Harbor Cruise
That’s the end of the 3-day Hong Kong itinerary. I hope you can still move and enjoyed the adventure. If you are in Hong Kong for one more day. I’ll continue below with my suggestions for the 4-day Hong Kong itinerary.
HONG KONG 4-DAY ITINERARY FOR ADVENTURERS
Day 4 morning: Today starts off with something a little bit different. It’s a very short hike, in fact, it’s less than 2-kilometers but it takes you to something quite unique. It’s important to note that the morning and afternoon activities are both in the same region of Stanley. That is on purpose because it is a 45-minute train ride out here so we will tick off two activities in one day in Stanley. In between the two activities, we had lunch and rested in Stanley, which is quite a nice coastal region.
The first stop of the day is to visit a unique rock formation on the coast called Rhino Rock.
RHINO ROCK TRAIL IN STANLEY
The Rhino Rock is one of the most incredible rock formations in Hong Kong, bearing an uncanny resemblance to a Rhinoceros. It’s a very, VERY short hiking trail in Stanley, which is less than 1-kilometers each way and less than 100m of overall incline. With stunning views of the coast, this is a great mini-adventure for a sunny day! If you are looking for the EASIEST hike in Hong Kong, I think this would be it. The whole adventure can be done in under an hour. It took us just 12-minutes to walk back from the Rhino-Rock to the trail entrance.
It really does resemble a Rhino so much and when you see it in person, the ridges and holes in the rock almost seem to resemble the eyes, wrinkles, and features of a giant rhinoceros.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: RHINO ROCK TRAIL IN STANLEY
Day 4 Afternoon: Once you have finished up at Rhino Rock, head into Stanley and grab lunch and take a breather. You shouldn’t be too tired because Rhino Rock was only 2-kilometers in total. It was hardly a hike and more of a walk. Once you are ready to rock and roll again. Jump on the bus to the Stanley Gap Road Bus Stop to begin the next hike, which is the Twin Peaks and Violet Hill hike
TWIN PEAKS & VIOLET HILL HIKE
The Twin Peaks Hike in Hong Kong takes you up and down Violet Hill and gives incredible views over Stanley and the peninsula below. It’s up there amongst the toughest Hong Kong hiking trails due to the brutality of the stairs. No matter which direction you attack the trail from you will have to endure hundreds of stairs up and down the twin peaks. This Hong Kong hike is often nicknamed the ‘Terrible Twins’ because many people despise a thousand stairs that burn your legs as you make your way up and down the two peaks.
If you are up for a challenge, this is definitely an intense session, but one that most in average fitness will be able to handle. It’s a great hike because there are lots going on. You are either descending a steep set of stairs or pushing up a sharp incline. It’s pretty popular and will be packed on weekends but it is a good vibe as everyone out on the trail encourages each other to keep pushing on!
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: TWIN PEAKS HIKE & VIOLET HILL HIKE
If you only had four days in Hong Kong that is where your itinerary ends. I hope you enjoyed my adventurous 4-day Hong Kong itinerary. If you have one more day, keep reading because I have something special planned for you to complete your 5-day Hong Kong itinerary.
HONG KONG 5-DAY ITINERARY FOR ADVENTURERS
Day 5 Morning: If you still have the energy for another day of action, this is going to be a great adventure day for you. I did both of today’s hikes on the same day so I know it is very possible and not a rush time-wise at all. They are both relatively short hikes so you should be fine. The first short hike is Ap Lei Chau to Ap Lei Pai. It’s a unique coastal walk that has you ending up at a secret rock pool where you can swim and jump in. It’s best to visit this spot in the morning.
AP LEI CHAU TO AP LE PAI (MOUNT JOHNSTON LIGHTHOUSE)
The Ap Lei Chau to Ap Lei Pai hike is a great little coastal trail that takes you out to Mount Johnston Lighthouse via a small sandbar. It’s an out-and-back hike that is just under 5-km but it will still serve up some solid incline with over 500m of ascent up and over the hills each way. This is a beautiful hike on a sunny day, so make sure you don’t forget to look out for the secret tide pool. This is one of the most spectacular but easy hikes in Hong Kong on a day with good weather.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: AP LEI CHAU TO AP LEI PAI HIKE
Day 5 Afternoon: After finishing up at the Ap Lei Chau to Ap Lei Pai hike, you will have time to grab lunch. Then head back onto the public transport for your final sunset hike in Hong Kong. It’s a very short hike so even if your legs are a bit sore by now, don’t worry there is no major climbing left. Most of the altitude for this hike will be gained while on the bus. You will be heading to one of my favorite lookouts in Hong Kong called Jardine’s Lookout.
JARDINE’S LOOKOUT HIKE
Jardine’s Lookout Hike is quite a short trail but it leads you to one of the best viewpoints over Hong Kong Central and the harbor. The great part about this hike is that it’s not that well-known so you can often be one of the only people up at the viewpoint. Whereas Victoria Peak can be quite busy. If you are looking for an epic view of the city without having to hike for more than a few kilometers, this is your trail. It’s dog-friendly and family-friendly with just a couple hundred meters of incline throughout the whole hike making it a good choice when searching for an easy Hong Kong hiking trail.
The hike is only 3.5km in distance with the minimal incline but because it starts at a few hundred meters above sea-level you will end up high enough for a beautiful sunset view over Hong Kong Island and all the way across to Kowloon. I loved this trail because at the summit you can weave your way through the trees and find a nice spot to watch the sunset over the city while perched in amongst the trees. That’s what hiking in Hong Kong is all about.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: JARDINE’S LOOKOUT HIKE
And that, my friends, is the end of the 5-day Hong Kong Itinerary. I really hoped this structure your days. I put in a lot of research during my trip to pick activities and hikes that worked well together for an entire day of adventures. If you are staying longer and are looking for more hikes or activities, I’ve written longer guides about all the things to do in Hong Kong.
All my favorite things to do in Hong Kong: 27 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN HONG KONG
The best hikes in Hong Kong: 21 AWESOME HIKES IN HONG KONG
The best easy hikes with great views: 10 EASY HIKING TRAILS IN HONG KONG
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING HONG KONG
By now, hopefully, I’ve convinced you to hit up Hong Kong for a hiking adventure. If that is the case, the sections below will give you some brief, basic information on logistics and things to know before visiting Hong Kong (as a hiker). They are all things I didn’t know and had to research and discover myself.
When is the best time to hike in Hong Kong?
The ‘best’ time to visit Hong Kong will depend on a few factors. The biggest factor will, of course, be the weather. All of these hikes I did were in my month-long stay during December 2019. The weather was quite chilly as it was winter but the sun was still out on at least 60% of the hikes. In the day it was warm most of the time but I always had a jacket for at the summit. The suggest months for hiking in Hong Kong are:
Winter: December to February – Mild weather and pretty comfortable for hiking. Minimal rainfall and still lots of sun during 2/3 of the days. I would suggest the winter after having experienced it myself.
Spring: March to May – Unpredictable weather with some sun and some clouds, Humidity is now rising quite high. Rainfall can happen regularly during the spring.
Summer: June to August – This is not an ideal time to hike in Hong Kong. The humidity is at it’s highest, temperatures can reach 30 degrees daily and rainstorms can be frequent. There are beaches in Hong Kong, more than you would imagine but they aren’t all necessarily close to where you will be based in Hong Kong Central or Kowloon.
Autumn/Fall: September to November – This is rated as the best time to visit Hong Kong. You have nice sunny weather but humidity is at it’s lowest for the year. Rainfall is also low during these months.
What are the top five most epic hikes in Hong Kong?
I know I wrote out the 21 best hikes in Hong Kong (in my opinion) above but if you are only in Hong Kong for a week or less (likely), you want to know the five most epic. It’s tough for me to narrow them down but these are the five I can guarantee for a great adventure and something you would want to include in your 3-day Hong Kong itinerary.
- Kowloon Peak to Suicide Cliff
- Lion Rock Hike
- West Dog’s Teeth to Lantau Ridge Hike
- Sharp Peak Hike
- Ma On Shan Hike
Is Hong Kong safe?
I found Hong Kong very, very safe. It is extremely orderly and everyone is very respectful of each other. I was there during the protests of 2019 and even still, I found it very safe. I saw the protesters twice and just walked the other way to avoid involvement. Aside from the protests (assuming they won’t be happening forever), Hong Kong was one of the safest places I have ever been and the orderly manner of the locals and organized public transport made me feel safe when in transit to and from hikes even in the dark after a sunset mission. This is based on my experience. I am a 6ft bearded man so generally no-one hassles me too much!
Where is the best place to stay in Hong Kong (specifically with hiking in mind)?
I suggest staying in the Kowloon region or Tsim Sha Tsui. I stayed in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district and it was perfect because you are in the middle of all the hikes. You are connected by train to Sai Kung and the New Territories above, have all the hikes in Kowloon on your doorstep and can shoot across via ferry or train to the hikes on Hong Kong Island. I also liked having Kowloon Park to workout and take a break from the skyscrapers.
I did also stay for two weeks in Hong Kong Central (Hong Kong Island) and that was good too. However, as you saw above only a handful of big hikes are on Hong Kong Central. Nothing is too far when you have an efficient train system of Hong Kong. If you are staying for a longer period of time you could split your time to stay on both sides. It’s nice to experience something different. I tried both sides but I was there for 30-days so that’s a pretty damn long visit.
Do you need a visa for Hong Kong?
For me as an Aussie, I was able to stay for three months without applying for a visa. Most European countries and US citizens also receive 3-months free-stay in Hong Kong. However, the duration and requirements do change country to country so you can head to this page on the government website to check the requirements and allowances for your nationality.
PRE-BOOK YOUR 4G SIMCARD FOR HONG KONG (AIRPORT PICKUP)
Before I arrived in Hong Kong, I pre-booked my 4G sim-card for pick-up at the airport. It gives you unlimited data for 5 days of traveling in Hong Kong at 4G speeds. As soon as I arrived at the airport, I walked to the stall, the guy put in my new sim-card and activated it and I was connected from the very first moment. You can Click Here to pre-book your 4G sim-card here and you’ll be surprised it’s actually cheaper to book it in advance.
Book yours now: Pre-Book 5-days Unlimited Data 4G Sim Card
PRE-BOOK YOUR 4G OCTOPUS CARD
You will need to purchase an ‘Octopus Card’ and then you reload it at the machine at the subway station. I pre-ordered my octopus card through Klook, which meant that when I arrived at the airport I simply picked the card up at the Klook counter and caught the train to my accommodation. It saved me from catching an expensive taxi and figuring out the Octopus card later.
You simply scan in at the station you enter and scan out where you exit and the fee is deducted from your card. On the bus, you will pay a fee depending on how much of the route is left and you only scan the card once for a fixed rate. I found moving around in Hong Kong very cheap, efficient and safe.
Click Here to pre-order your Octopus Card with 100 HKD credit loaded onto the card. Pick-up at the airport desk. 100HKD is good for 6-8 train rides and then you can top it up as you go.
Book yours now: HKD 50 Pre-loaded Octopus Card
CHEAPEST AIRPORT PRIVATE TRANSFER SERVICE
The airport in Hong Kong is on Lantau Island, which is about 40-minutes away from Hong Kong Central and 30-minutes away from Kowloon. If you don’t want to bother with public transport, you can book a private transfer that will pick you up at the airport and drop you to your hotel (or vice versa picking you up at your hotel and dropping you to the airport). It’s actually not that expensive and can save you valuable time. The cheapest option is actually the coolest and is in a Tesla car, which is pretty cool. I did this to and from the airport for less than $40.
Book yours now: Hong Kong Airport Transfer in Tesla
KEEP READING! CHECK OUT ALL THE BLOGS FROM MY HONG KONG SERIES
A complete guide to the best things to do: 27 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN HONG KONG
My favorite hikes in Hong Kong: 21 AWESOME HIKES IN HONG KONG
How to plan your Hong Kong trip: 3-DAY HONG KONG ITINERARY FOR ADVENTURE-LOVERS
The biggest ever guide for where to stay in Hong Kong: WHERE TO STAY IN HONG KONG: BEST AREAS & HOTELS
My favorite EASY hikes: 10 EASY HIKING TRAILS IN HONG KONG
The most luxurious places to stay: THE TOP 10 LUXURY HOTELS IN HONG KONG (5-STAR LIST)
The ultimate adventure: EPIC HONG KONG HELICOPTER TOUR FROM THE PENINSULA HOTEL
The toughest overall hike: WEST DOG’S TEETH HIKE ‘HARDEST HIKE IN HONG KONG’
Best waterfall hike: TAI MO SHAN HIKE: THE HIGHEST PEAK IN HONG KONG
ARE THERE HONG KONG HIKING AND TOUR GUIDES?
While I did all of my hikes independently, there are a number of affordable tours that will either take you on a private hike or add you to a group experience. I’m comfortable organizing the route, transport, and logistics for a hike in a new region because I’ve done it hundreds of times but if you prefer to have a local lead you then I can recommend checking out the links below, which offer guided tours of some of the hikes you will find on this list. The website to book through is Klook, which is a trusted platform for booking activities and employs local hiking guides who have tons of experience.
They range from $50-$100 and all the other details can be found by clicking on the links below.
Guided Hike: Lion Rock Hiking Tour
Guided Hike: Dragon’s Back Hiking Tour
Guided Hike: Lantau Peak Sunrise Hike
Guided Hike: Tai Mo Shan Waterfall Hiking Tour