Hong Kong is renowned for its skyscrapers, but few visitors know that the city’s backdrop of green hills boasts one of the best urban hikes in Asia.
Hike Hong Kong’s most exquisite natural landscapes
When many people think of Hong Kong, nature is often 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 coastlines. Stretching from Shek O beach, with its wide expanse of golden sand, all the way to the island’s favourite 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.
The most scenic hike in Hong Kong
Dragon’s Back is the last section of the long-distance Hong Kong hiking 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 kilometres.
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’ favourite pastimes and you’ll see plenty of fellow hikers along the way, especially if you go there on the weekends.
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 to the southwest. 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 hiking in Hong Kong. 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.