10 EASY HIKING TRAILS IN HONG KONG
Hong Kong is a hiking mecca with lots of amazing trails throughout the region. Some of the hikes involve a lot of very steep incline or rough trails but I’ve created this list of ten easy hiking trails on Hong Kong, which is made up of hikes that have only mild incline and short hikes in Hong Kong. Don’t worry though, many of the easy hikes on this list have the best views of all the hiking trails in Hong Kong.
To qualify for this list the hike needs to have less than 500m of incline and be less than 6km in total. That may still be a bit challenging for some but generally, most of the easy Hong Kong hikes on this list can be done in under 2-3 hours at a leisurely pace. It is hiking though so you can still expect a bit of incline. You gotta get those views somehow!
Maybe you are a hiking beginner, maybe you are looking for a family-friendly hike or maybe you just don’t feel like climbing a massive mountain. This list will help you choose an easy hiking trail in Hong Kong and I promise you they all have a great view!
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
10 EASY HIKING TRAILS IN HONG KONG
1. 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. For that reason, it is up there as one of the most popular, easy hikes in Hong Kong and is accessible for all levels of hikers including children, elderly and even dogs! This is a great hike to start off with when you arrive in Hong Kong and was actually the first one I did so it’s good for Hong Kong hiking beginners.
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. It’s a must-do in Hong Kong and if you are only doing one hike or adventure, then this should probably it.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: THE VICTORIA PEAK CIRCLE WALK
2. 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 sun set 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
3. 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
4. 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. This is one of the harder hikes on this list but still a very mild. While I say ‘harder’ that just relates to the distance being almost 6-kilometers in length. The incline is just a couple hundred meters.
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
5. BRAEMAR HILL HIKE
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 super 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! You could do this hike with less than 1-kilometers out-and-back if you were really trying to make it an easy hike but the 3-kilometer route stops off at a few nice viewpoints along the way.
It’s quietly popular among night photographers so don’t be surprised to see a few keen photographers with tripods up at the summit. A big tip for this hiking trail in Hong Kong is that the best viewpoints are actually before the summit as they are a bit more natural and have the jungle vibe.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: BRAEMAR HILL SUNSET HIKE
6. DEVIL’S PEAK HIKE
Devil’s Peak hike is a bit of a strange adventure, passing you through a huge cemetery and a number of fortification ruins. However, despite the sometimes eerie atmosphere, it is a great view of Hong Kong as you peer into Victoria Harbor with Kowloon on your right and Central on your left. It would be a pretty epic spot for night photography too.
This is a very easy Hong Kong hike but a great place to watch the sunset and the city lights from the old forts. I wouldn’t necessarily pick this hike if I just had one or two days in Hong Kong but can be a good little adventure if you are in Hong Kong for multiple days and have done some of the other more ‘epic’ hikes and viewpoints.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: DEVIL’S PEAK HIKE
7. NG TUNG CHAI WATERFALL HIKE
The Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike is an epic adventure (but not too physically demanding) that guides you through the jungle, visits multiple waterfalls and can lead to the highest peak in Hong Kong (if you venture that far). Out in the New Territories, this is a wild hike. In fact, this hike was probably the most wild I saw the jungle in my entire time in Hong Kong. Huge leaves draped over the trail, which was often comprised of giant boulders. It was up there as one of the most adventurous hikes in Hong Kong although quite short unless you continue up to Tai Mo Shan, which is the highest peak in Hong Kong. The trail to Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls and back is less than 4-km in total and just a few hundred meters of incline so it could be considered quite easy compared to other Hong Kong hikes.
There were 4-5 waterfalls and then a few watering holes along the trail but the lower falls were by far my favorite. We climbed up to the second tier and enjoyed the mini slot canyon to ourselves. Few others were on this trail and it was definitely an incredible jungle getaway.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: NG TUNG CHAI WATERFALL HIKE
The next three hikes on this list are still quite easy but either has a bit more incline or are slightly longer. They are still quite simple, safe and straightforward in my eyes but they do go just over 600m of incline OR 6km in distance just slightly.
8. 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 incline is 600m and the total distance is 6.9km so there are a few steep sections but there were lots of kids on the trail and it is very well marked, which is why I’ve added it to this list of easy Hong Kong hiking trails.
The hike to the summit is just over 3-kilometers and once you reach the top, 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
9. HIGH JUNK PEAK IN SAI KUNG
The High Junk Peak hike, also known as the Country Trail, is in the Sai Kung region of Hong Kong. While it is quite a simple hike there are a lot of steps, which lead you up and down the ominous, but relatively safe peaks, which overlook the stunning blue water of Clear Water Bay. This is another great trail for a sunny day as you should be surrounded on all sides with turquoise water and lovely beaches. It’s quite a journey out from Kowloon or Hong Kong Central and I would suggest this hike only if you are looking for something a bit different or have multiple days to spend in Hong Kong. I enjoyed it a lot but definitely not one of the best hikes in Hong Kong compared to some of the others.
It’s 6.44km in distance and just over 400m of incline throughout the hike so it is quite an effort but still in the mid-range when compared to other hikes in Hong Kong.
Check out the full blog post for details and all the photos: THE HIGH JUNK PEAK HIKE IN SAI KUNG
10. 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
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING HONG KONG
Okay! So those are my top 27 things to do in 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.
SUPER TIP: If you aren’t sure about the weather for the hike you want to explore, click here to visit this free Hong Kong Observatory website that has live-stream webcams from all over Hong Kong. I always check the region to see if it is cloudy, raining or prime weather for a hike.
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.
- 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