For those who can’t bear to stay indoors all week, this one’s for you…
Hike enthusiasts issue a collective groan when Hong Kong’s weather takes a turn for the hot and humid. Summer in the 852 means saying goodbye to the long and challenging hikes of the cooler season, unless you want to die of heatstroke (and those are no joke!). While you may not be able to comfortably do Sunset Peak or Tai Mo Shan during the months from April to October, you can take this chance to explore Hong Kong’s alternative trails that will lead you to parts of the territory you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered…
After years of hiking Hong Kong’s trails, we’ve been able to put together a handy list featuring waterfalls, forests, streams, and lots of tree cover to keep your nature-loving soul nourished in the great outdoors during the long, hot summer…
Distance: 2.5km (1 hour)
Home to some of Hong Kong’s clearest waters, Sharp Island also features short but beautiful trails through geological rock formations, sandbars, and up hills for sweeping sea views. You can take the ferry to either side of the island from Sai Kung Pier, and then cross to the other side. OR, you can skip the ferry and kayak the whole way there and back instead!
2. Kap Lung Ancient and Forest Trails
Distance: 2.5km + 4km = 6.5km
The Kap Lung Ancient Trail and Kap Lung Forest Trail combined is a 6.5km loop in the woods to the west of Tai Mo Shan. You won’t get bird’s eye views here, but a winding walk through pine trees, streams, waterfalls and old bridges. Make like Frodo in The Lord of the Rings and head to this peaceful, wooded corner of Hong Kong…
Explore this area thoroughly enough and you’ll find all the hidden waterfalls and streams of Bride’s Pool nestled within the Plover Cove Country Park. This shaded walk “runs parallel with a hill stream” making for cooler temperatures. The generous tree cover shields you from direct rays for most of the hike, while the upland areas are visited by fresh breezes (or we were just extra-lucky that day…!).
This is another surprisingly beautiful trail that starts / ends in the Bride’s Pool area. The route follows a natural gravel and boulder path that won’t burn your feet through your shoes as the concrete surfaces do. You’ll also get beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, even as far off as mainland China. Most of the way is shaded by foliage, plus crisscrossed by streams and rivers to cool down.
Distance: 7.5 km
If you live on Hong Kong Island, this trail is a no brainer. Everyone always does the more popular Hong Kong Trail Stage 8, which contains Dragon’s Back and goes to Big Wave Bay. This is probably the easiest beach walk on Hong Kong island, if you want to do some “exercise”/sightseeing/walking first. It’s also coastal, so you’ll get great views of Tai Tam Bay. Feel free to bring beach stuff because you’ll end in a decent, pleasant-enough beach on this hike.
Distance: 6.7 km
This path hugs the sea for most of it, and ends at the Hoi Ha Marine Life Centre and marine park. Downhill for most of the first part, Tai Tan Country Trail does contain some uphill sprints, mostly towards the end. It lies in a a lonely and remote part of Hong Kong, but you’ll be rewarded with beautiful vistas of sea and forest.
Distance: 6.4 km
If you’re after panoramas, you’ll definitely get them at High Junk Peak. As the trail is close to the coast, there’ll be sea views aplenty. Towards the end we even saw ICC and the head of IFC on the horizon. I also saw Lion’s Rock from the distance jutting out, and Ma On Shan’s massif. There is no concrete path on any part of High Junk Peak Country Trail, which makes for a more natural feel.
This one is perfect for last minute, twilight wandering. If you’ve walked to The Peak and through Bowen Road a million times already, why not try this “sister walk” that nobody ever talks about?
Find the hidden river boulders of Nam Chung Country Trail near Hong Kong’s border with China. There’s a beautiful area where you can picnic towards the northeast end of the trail – bring a packed lunch or snack with you! Get ready for a workout though, as this is no walk in the park.
This leafy walk is perfect for a sunny, breezy day. The baby sister of the Sunset Peak Trail (Lantau Trail Section 2), this one only goes around the side of the mountain rather than climbing it. You can finish your day at Lower Cheung Sha beach where you can enjoy the sunset as you have your dinner.
Walking Hong Kong becomes much more bearable at night, after the sun goes down. The Aberdeen Fitness and Nature Trails are great for night hikes as they’re not too arduous, are mostly paved and signposted, and have amazing views (especially on the Aberdeen Nature Trail around Bennet’s Hill). The best part of this walk is circling the edge of the hill after the viewing point.
We hope that lifts your spirits a bit and makes you more excited about / despite the hot hot heat of Hong Kong summer! Have you done any of these trails before? Are you considering doing one, any, or several? If so, which one(s)? Do you have anything else to add here? Leave your comments below!