THE CASTLE PEAK HIKE IN HONG KONG

The Castle Peak Hike in Hong Kong is a very steep 600-meter ascent to a radio tower that sits along the beautiful ridge overlooking the Tuen Mun region. There is a route that takes just 6-kilometers out and back from Tuen Mun MTR station or a longer 10-kilometer route that also includes a hike to Yuen Tau Shan. Watching the sunset from the radio tower atop the ridge was a pretty epic way to spend the evening!

 

CASTLE PEAK HIKE DETAILS

Hike Distance: The hike to Castle Peak from the Tuen Mun MTR and return is 6.5km or the longer loop route is 10km.

Hike Duration: The hike up and down took me just over 2 hours but you need to add in the time spent at the summit, which should be at least 30-minutes to an hour. I would bargain 4 hours total including rest stops and time at the summit to enjoy the views.

Hike Difficulty: The hike was relatively safe and the only main degree of difficulty is the incline. In parts, it is very steep but there are steps in all of the steep parts. If you aren’t an experienced hiker, maybe avoid this one on a rainy day.

Hike Incline: The journey from Castle Peak from the Tuen Mun MTR and return involved 700m of incline and obviously 700m of decline on the return.

 

HOW TO GET TO THE CASTLE PEAK HIKE STARTING POINT

I was based in Tsim Sha Tsui and found that there were combinations of buses or trains to catch to the start point. I ended up catching the train to the Tuen Mun MTR, which is a good place to start the hike. It is about 800m from the real starting point of the hike once you get out of the neighborhood, so it’s pretty close really.

Once you arrive at the Tuen Mun MTR, you need to head to Heung Hoi Ming Shan Memorial Archway. This is one of the most formal markers on the trail and is found on google maps. Once you reach the archway, continue to follow the path, steps, and signs all the way up to the Castle Peak Radio Tower. I’ve attached my map below for your reference.

 

MY EXPERIENCE ON THE CASTLE PEAK HIKE IN HONG KONG

Like many hikes in Hong Kong, the journey begins in the urban jungle at the train station. From Tuen Mun MTR, we made our way up towards the Heung Hoi Ming Shan Memorial Archway and the Tsing Shan Monastery. I didn’t know quite what we were in for but when we looked up after leaving the train station, we could see the radio tower way up the top of the mountain. We were in for a steep hike.

The hike begins on a road that leads past some strange places on either side. Random houses, temples, and offerings out on the road as well as dumped rubbish all made it a very bizarre beginning to our adventure. 

 

The hike seemed to officially begin when we passed underneath the memorial archway, which was looking beautiful as the late afternoon sun streaked through the top of the arch.

 

Up to this point, the road had already been steep but the adventure was about to get even steeper as the trail was about to turn into a series of relentless staircases that would wind us up the mountain. This is not a leisurely hike and you will feel your calves and quads burning from the get-go. As we climbed higher and higher, the views of Tuen Mun and beyond began to reveal themselves over the canopy of trees.

 

Throughout the trek up to Castle Peak there are a number of little viewpoints, which are a great excuse for a breather and a drinks break. I make it a point on every hike to explore every little side trail because you never know what viewpoint you might miss if you pass up on all of the detours. It can be a hit or miss strategy but we hit a few winners on the hike up to Castle Peak.

 
 
The stairs now turned into a rocky path but still very, very steep. The total incline for the hike was almost 700-meters, which is a pretty solid workout. One man arrived at the top, covered in sweat and said he had powered up in 50-minutes. 
 
 
 
After just over an hour, we reached the summit. At the top of the ridge are three trigonometric points, which are basically those white columns you see everywhere in Hong Kong. There is one at either end of the ridge and one in the middle at the large radio tower. It’s good to explore each of them as all three viewpoints offer something different. 
 
In case the climb up wasn’t a workout enough, there is also an outdoor gym at the top. It’s super random but actually had home-made dumbells, parallel bars, and two chin-up bars. There aren’t too many gyms in the world with a better view than this one!
 
The terrain on the far side of the ridge is quite incredible with very sharp ridges running in all directions. It was really quite enjoyable to fly the drone around over these ridges as I admired the natural formations that have happened over thousands of years.
 
 
 
 
 
We spent the sunset up at the radio tower of Castle Peak. There are lots of little viewpoints up here near the main trigonometric point and we had a great time exploring down on the rocks. If you do go down here, mind your step as it is quite overgrown. On the day we went, the smog was covering much of the view but on a clear day, you can see all the way to Hong Kong Island. The best bet would be to wait for a clear day then head up for sunset!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The way back down was quite simple as we just returned the same way we came. However, there is another route in this region that looks like fun if you are up for something longer. It’s a 10km loop route that takes you up and over the Castle Peak ridge and down into the valley on the other side. I will attach that map here in case you are interested in the longer route that still has you visiting Castle Peak.
 

 

TOP 4 PLACES TO STAY IN HONG KONG

Best Value Hotel: Metropark Hotel Causeway BayThis 4-star hotel in Hong Kong Central is just $73 and looks like a luxury resort worth 4-times that amount.

Best Hostel: Alohas HostelFor 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

 

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. 

 

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

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