The Braemar Hill hike takes you up to one of the best viewing platforms to watch the sunset over Hong Kong. It has a few names and this hike is often also referred to as, Hung Heung Lo Fung or the Red Incense Burner Summit. The hike itself is very short with an option to hike 3km in total or you can even reach the summit with just a 5-minute walk from the nearest bus stop!
BRAEMAR HILL HIKING GUIDE
In this blog post, I’ll share everything you need to know about the Braemar Hill hike including where it is, how to get there, and when it’s best to visit.
BRAEMAR HILL HIKE DETAILS
- Hike Distance: We began the hike at Mt Butler Road. The trail from here took us 3-kilometers to reach the Red Incense Burner Summit or Braemar Hill. Along the way, on this route, we found lots of other impressive viewpoints so it was a good route to take. However, when we finished at the Red Incense Burner Summit, we took a short way down and it was literally a 2-minute walk to the nearest bus stop next to St. Joan of Arc Secondary School.
- Hike Duration: The total duration for the hike was one hour of walking time but with all the time at viewpoints and waiting at the summit for the city lights to come on it was more like three hours.
- Hike Difficulty: The hike was very easy with a simple trail the whole way. There was hardly any incline and it would be suitable for children or even taking the dog for a walk.
- Hike Incline: Our route had about 120-meters of incline
HOW TO GET TO AND FROM BRAEMAR HILL/RED INCENSE BURNER SUMMIT
I suggest you take the same route as we did so you get to visit all of the other viewpoints along the way. If you just go up and down from St. Joan of Arc Secondary School, you will only see Red Incense Burner Summit and no other viewpoints.
To reach the starting point you will need to take the MTR to Admiralty station and then catch the 24M bus to Mount Butler Block C & D. This is where the trail begins.
You can put that address into Google Maps. Once you arrive there, put either Braemar Hill or Red Incense Burner Summit into your maps and follow the trail along the road. Be sure to dart off at all the unnamed rock viewpoints along the way.
When you finish at the Red Incense Burner Summit (after visiting the other spots and Braemar Hill), you will walk down for 2-minutes to the bus stop near St. Joan of Arc Secondary School and catch the bus back to Admiralty or whichever MTR you need to get home.
You NEED the Octopus Card
TRAVEL TIP: In Hong Kong you NEED the Octopus Card to use public transport and ferries, which is how everyone gets around. Pre-Book your Octopus Card with a Pre-Loaded balance of 50HKD so you can pick it up at the airport (very easy) and then catch public transport straight to your hotel.
- Conveniently ride the MTR, bus, ferry, coach, and tram with just a tap of your Hong Kong Tourist Octopus Card
- Conveniently pick up your card with a preloaded credit of HKD50-100 at the Hong Kong International Airport
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE BRAEMAR HILL HIKE
I began the day in Tsim Sha Tsui but saw that the weather was shaping up nicely after a few cloudy days. Braemar Hill is known as a great sunset spot so I headed off on the train across to Central and then caught the bus up to Mount Butler region. I didn’t know much about the trail, specifically the fact that you can reach the viewpoint in just two minutes from the other side. However, it turned out to be a great route that I chose because the other viewpoints along the way were incredible as you will see below.
The trail begins on a road with quarries and other construction sites on either side of you. Lots of the hikes in Hong Kong have started off in kind of weird surroundings on the edge of suburbia and the jungle. The first kilometer or so was very uneventful and a slow meander along the side of the road.
After a couple of kilometers we were now on a small path, surrounded by trees and enjoying being immersed in nature. The city was behind us and out of view except for the moments where gaps in the tree gave us a glimpse of the buildings below.
The key to getting the most out of the Braemar Hill Hike is to venture off the main trail at any given opportunity. 90% of the trails we veered off onto led to great viewpoints. You need to have an adventurous mindset.
The first viewpoint was at the bottom of a small river, which at the time was lacking any water at all. We had a look down the river and followed it for a minute until we reached a clearing, looking out over the city. We had lots of time on our hands so made it a point to stop and chill at each viewing platform.
The next viewpoint came after a little bush trail led us out to another mangificent rock platform.
Before we had even made it to the first turn-off we again veered off the track to reach another viewpoint. None of this would have been possible had we come from the other direction, which is why it’s best to come from the Mount Butler Block side.
The trail continued on until we reached a small sign on the left of the route. It was in Cantonese but you need to turn left here to reach the ultimate viewpoint, ‘Red Burner Incense Summit’.
Shortly after this sign, you will again veer off to the left of the main track down a short dirt path to my favorite viewpoint of the whole hike. Here there are a few big boulders you can sit on with great views of Victoria Harbor, Kowloon and Central. We stayed at this viewpoint all the way up until sunset, which is when we made the final move to the end viewpoint, where the rest of the hikers had assembled.
The Braemar Hill Viewpoint is a little bit higher or you can head to the Red Incense Burner Summit down a little lower. We chose the latter as it had some nice boulders, completely surrounded by trees that created the perfect vantage point. Braemar Hill is only a short walk above and is much the same as were all of the viewpoints in this region. We watched the sunset come and go before the sky fizzled out and the city lights came on.
There were several guys out with their tripods and long exposure set-ups getting after some night photos. It’s a good place to bring a tripod for night shots if you are into that. I just sat my camera on my bag to get a couple of snaps but I’m sure the pro’s next to me came out with some great shots.
I hope you enjoy the Braemar Hill Hike and the Red Incense Burner Summit viewpoint. I also hope you get a nice sunset. Remember for the early viewpoints, begin the hike at Mount Butler Block A & B.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BRAEMAR HILL
- Scenic Location: Braemar Hill is a picturesque area located on Hong Kong Island. Nestled amidst lush greenery, it offers stunning views of Victoria Harbour and the surrounding cityscape. The area is popular among nature enthusiasts and hikers seeking a serene escape.
- Hiking Trails: Braemar Hill is home to several scenic hiking trails that cater to different fitness levels. These trails provide an opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the area, with options ranging from leisurely walks to more challenging hikes.
- Victoria Garden: At the summit of Braemar Hill, you’ll find Victoria Garden, a tranquil oasis offering a respite from the bustling city. The garden features beautiful landscaped areas, jogging paths, and even a fitness corner, providing a serene space for relaxation and recreation.
- Access and Transportation: Braemar Hill can be easily accessed by public transportation. Buses and minibusses connect the area to various parts of Hong Kong Island, making it convenient for visitors. It’s advisable to check the bus routes and schedules in advance for a smoother journey.
- Nearby Attractions: Braemar Hill is in close proximity to several other popular attractions. Just a short distance away, you’ll find places like Hong Kong Park, the Peak Tram, and the vibrant neighborhood of Causeway Bay, offering a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options to explore.
By keeping these key points in mind, you can make the most of your visit to Braemar Hill in Hong Kong, enjoying the natural beauty, embarking on refreshing hikes, and discovering the tranquil charm of this scenic area.
HAVE YOU READ MY OTHER HONG KONG ARTICLES?
- 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’
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TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY IN HONG KONG
- Best Value Hotel: Metropark Hotel Causeway Bay – 4-star hotel for less than $100
- Best Value Luxury Hotel: Hotel ICON – $150 for a 5-star hotel with an epic pool
- Best Hiking/Adventure Base: Hotel Stage – Located in Kowloon and right next to lots of epic hikes.
Check out my full guide here: BEST AREAS TO STAY HONG KONG