Dragon’s Back: discover the natural beauty of Hong Kong

Hong Kong is renowned for its skyscrapers, but few visitors know that it also boasts one of the best urban hikes in Asia.

Hong Kong’s most exquisite natural landscapes

When you think of Hong Kong, nature is certainly not the first thing that comes to mind. And yet you don’t need to travel far out of the city to enjoy its greenery and incredible coastline. Stretching from Shek O beach with its wide expanse of golden sand all the way to the island’s favorite surfing location, Big Wave Bay, Dragon’s Back is one of the most memorable hikes in Hong Kong. In 2019, it was selected as one of the world’s best trails by CNN Travel.

Scenic Hike

Dragon’s Back is the last section of the long-distance Hong Kong trail that crosses the island through five country parks. The topography of the trail is reminiscent of the shape of a Chinese dragon’s back, hence its name. The trail snakes its way up and down an exposed ridgeline on top of the mountains that dominate the surrounding landscape.

The hike is around 8 km long but owing to the slight incline, it only takes between two and three hours to complete. If you make a detour to Pottinger Peak at the end of the hike, you can extend the walk by another few kilometers.

Dragon’s Back is a well-marked trail suitable for families, amateur hikers, and adventure-seeking tourists alike. It’s an easy climb and there’s no need for any special trekking skills to appreciate this delightful walk. In fact, hiking is among the locals’ favorite pastimes and you’ll see plenty of fellow hikers along the way, especially if you go there on the weekends.

Breathtaking Views

The Dragon’s Back viewing points offer spectacular vistas of southern Hong Kong and its shoreline. On a clear day, you will see as far as Lamma Island in the southwestern part of the island. Don’t miss the 284-meter high sightseeing platform at Shek O Peak, the highest one on the trail, for a stunning panorama of the Tai Long Wan Bay and Tung Lung Island.

Those sweeping ocean views of the beaches below and the South China Sea stretching as far as the eye can see are one of the biggest draws of the hike. And you will even be able to catch a glimpse of the city against a forested landscape in the distance.

After you have soaked up the views, you can take a rewarding dip in the warm waters of Big Wave Bay at the trail’s end, before heading home.


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Irma Vuckovic
Irma is a freelance travel writer with a passion for big cities and sustainable urban planning. When she’s not creating content, you can find her searching for a perfect cup of coffee and planning new adventures.