RHINO ROCK TRAIL IN STANLEY, HONG KONG
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 short trail in Stanley that is less than 1-kilometers each way. With stunning views of the coast, this is a great mini-adventure for a sunny day! This trail is also known as Che Pau Teng.
RHINO ROCK TRAIL DETAILS
Hike Distance: The total distance of the hike is just two-kilometers in total.
Hike Duration: While getting out and back from the Rhino Rock will take just 30-minutes round-trip, it’s fun to hang out at the rock for at least 20-minutes to take some photos and soak in the view.
Hike Difficulty: This is quite an easy hike, although you need to navigate some small boulders. The trail is more or less well-defined although I got a bit lost as the ribbons go in many directions. Overall it’s a tame adventure but not necessarily straightforward.
Hike Incline: My total hike incline was 185m but some of that was probably my climbing and exploring. Expect very minimal uphill on this short trail.
HOW TO GET TO RHINO ROCK TRAILHEAD
The Rhino Rock Trail begins at the Stanley Fort bus stop. You can put that into Google Maps and take the car or public transport there directly. From the city you have two options:
- Catch the train to Sai Wan Ho station and then catch the number 14 bus
- Catch the number 6A bus directly from Central Exchange Square.
Both options take you to the same Stanley Fort Bus stop, which is the last stop on the route. Once you get off the bus you will see the stairs (pictured below) next to the security entrance to the fort.
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE RHINO ROCK TRAIL IN STANLEY, HONG KONG
If you are staying in Central, it will be a bit of a journey to get down to Stanley. It can take 60-90 minutes to reach the trailhead. I suggest pairing this short adventure with another nearby hike called Violet Hill (Twin Peaks). It’s much longer and will give you a full day of hiking as the Rhino Rock trail will hardly tire you out.
So, the bus drops you off at the Stanley Fort bus stop. As soon as you get off the bus, the army security will be eyeing you off but you can quickly shuffle across the road to the stairway entrance, which is right next to the security booth at their main entrance gate. Don’t be alarmed by the rifles, it is a legal trail despite it’s proximity to the Stanley Fort base. I even flew my drone (not over there base but Rhino Rock is still within a few hundred meters of the base) and there was no commotion.
The hike is pretty much a 1-kilometer of the trail until you reach Rhino Rock. It begins with 150m of straight incline. That means despite the tiny distance of this hike, you will still get a quick burn in the legs as you power through the only tough section of trail.
At this point, you cannot get lost, just follow the path. However, after about 600m, you will reach a trigonometric marker (basically a white pillar/pole). You will need to divert off the path here and head into the bushes on your right-hand side. The gap into the bushes is marked with ribbons and I have taken a picture below to show you where to go. Most of these white poles are at summits and great views over Hong Kong but this one offers no such views.
Only a couple of minutes later, you will emerge through the bushes and get your first view of the beautiful coastline. This is what it’s all about. Hong Kong has some seriously ‘tropical-vibes’ beaches. Wait till you see the turquoise color of this water!
The trail is marked by ribbons but you know how it goes, every tree seems to have a ribbon tied to it and it can be quite easy to get lost. Luckily it is a small area and ‘lost’ means just a few yards off the trail. We never tried to veer off the trail but at a certain point, we couldn’t see a way forward. It didn’t bother us as we kept finding epic little viewpoints.
Don’t worry if the trail is looking a bit too adventurous, it is actually a pretty simple dirt trail when you can manage to stay on it. There is very little and very basic bouldering required to navigate this route. There were lots of older hikers enjoying the trail on the day I visited.
After we managed to get back on track, we followed the path for another 10-minutes. It was quite fun turning around each corner trying to spot the ‘Rhino Rock’. Besides the famous Rhino-shaped rock, there are lots of other really beautiful rock formations. I’ve attached a drone photo below to give you an idea of how the trail actually looks like and shows the wild nature of this coastal region.
The hunt was over! We located the Rhino Rock (not as dramatic or hard as I’m making it seem) and it was one of those landmarks that get hyped up a bit… and lives up to the hype. 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.
While it’s not necessary, you can climb the rhinoceros by walking around to the backside of the ‘head’. There there is a tree with a small rope to help you up. It’s not a huge cliff but falling off the ‘horn’ would still result in a terrible accident so do take care if you venture up top.
The sun was out for us and the scenes were just incredible. The Rhino Rock was glowing and the coast was looking beautiful.
The army base is next door so flying the drone is probably not suggested. I tend to be an ask for forgiveness if you are caught kind of person and if I’m not harming or endangering anyone, I usually chuck up the drone for a look. The best photos here are taken from down low with the digital camera but the drone gave me a nice look at the coast despite the fog.
We made the incredibly short journey back to the trailhead and caught the bus into Stanley before heading off to attack Violet Hill Hike, which gave us a bit more of a physical test than Rhino Rock. It’s a great little adventure though and a fun photo spot.
I really suggest visiting Rhino Rock in the morning as that is when the sun is shining on this side of the cliff. In the afternoon you may not have much light for photos and just to enjoy the sun.
I hope you enjoy the Rhino Rock and let me know in the comments below if you get out to Hong Kong and find this strange rock formation.
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
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