Last updated on July 7th, 2021 at 04:35 pm
Looking for easy hiking trails in Hong Kong? I’m usually more of a ‘challenge myself’ kinda girl, but there’s no denying that an easy hike with stunning view that you can do in a half-day is just what you need.
Whether you are a die-hard Hong Kong islander or willing to go further afield and see the beauty of New Territories or just meeting friends in the middle in Kowloon, below are my top easy hiking trails in Hong Kong that isn’t Dragon’s Back. They are all pretty short hikes, too, generally under three hours.
Pssst: see a list of hikes I’ve been on in Hong Kong here.
- 1 Easy hikes in Hong Kong – what to look out for
- 2 Easy hikes in Hong Kong Island
- 3 Easy hikes in Kowloon
- 4 Easy hikes in New Territories
Easy hikes in Hong Kong – what to look out for
If you are a hiking beginner, I’m excited for you to embark on one of these easy hiking trails in Hong Kong! But here are some essential information for hiking in Hong Kong:
- Make sure you have enough water – in general, brings 800 ml in the summer for short hikes. If it’s 3 hours, bring 1 L.
- Octopus card – make sure you have at least 50 HKD as transportation fees can go as high as 20 HKD per journey depending on where you go.
- Transport apps/option: you can use the KMB app for Kowloon and New Territories buses. You can also use google map to get an estimate for the arrival.
- Best time to hike: while you can hike anytime in Hong Kong, the best time to do so is between October to March before the weather gets too hot. It is also possible until May or June, but one should avoid hiking between July to October as it is the typhoon season.
- Hiking boots – for hikes with slippery trail, wearing proper hiking boots with proper grip otherwise it’d be more difficult.
- Hiking bag: a backpack is ideal, something that wouldn’t swing around too much!
- Hiking gear: the only thing I’d say is to avoid jeans!
Easy hikes in Hong Kong Island
Red Incense Burner Summit
A popular spot on Hong Kong Island, the Red Incense Burner Summit is called Hung Heung Lo Fung or Braema Hill (although it technically isn’t Braema Hill, I don’t think). The shortest and sweetest of all the easy hiking trails in Hong Kong, it is only 10-20 minutes walk from the nearest minibus stop, making it ideal for a walk on a whim.
The hike is a combination of concrete stairs, wood trails, which is a little confusing so make sure you have a map or follow my full instruction(see below. It is also popular for night views, but be careful around the summit which consists of boulders and can get crowded.
Difficulty: 1/5 but the ground can get slippery
Duration: the hike is short but budget around 1-2 hours, can be extended to a 3 hour hike.
How to get there: Take the Minibus 25 from Causeway Bay to Braema Hill. The minibus stop is across from Fashion Walk on Paterson Street, right outside MCL JP Causeway Bay Cinema. It runs regularly.
High West Hill (and Lugard Road)
While the Peak on Hong Kong island is famed for its view and reachable via the tram or a bus, you can go for a rewarding walk (yes, walk!) on Lugard Road. Seriously, it’s such an easy hike in Hong Kong that I added High West Hill because Lugard Road is way too easy.
The trail starts on the edge of the Peak Tower and loops around the mountain side. A mere 15-20 minutes walk gives you a full panorama of the Victoria Harbour, Kowloon Penisular and further west to Tsing Yi!
West High Hill is THE highest mountain on Hong Kong Island and while there is a lot of stairs going up, it’s a short journey from a junction reached by Lugard Road. Here is how to hike West High Hill.
Difficulty: 2/5 because of the stairs
Duration: 2 hours should suffice including going up from Lugard Road. You can go down to the Peak again or continue down to Hong Kong University
How to get there: head up to the Peak – bus 15 from Admiralty can take you up to the Peak. If you have 3+ people, getting a taxi up is the best way. Lugard Road is just passed the Peak Tower and you can carry on from there.
A popular alternative to the Dragon’s Back is Cape D’Aguilar. A family friendly trail that’s mostly flat, it’s arguably the second easiest. But getting in and out isn’t quite as easy, most part of the hike consists of the road that leads in from the bus stop, with only a little dirt and rocky trail at the end.
However, the Cape is known for its dramatic coastal landscape with the ‘thunder sound cave’ and arches a favourite. There are also several small local cafés along the route in one of the villages, making it a friendly beginners hike with good refreshment point.
Note: it can be a bit crowded as tourists from China also go there en-mass
Difficulty: 1/5 – definitely on the top in terms of easy hikes in Hong Kong
Duration: about 2 hours roundtrip budgeting time for photos
How to get there: Take the number 9 bus from Shau Kei Wan and get off at Cape D’Aguilar (get out with the same bus – only 1 stop, make sure to note the end stop at the front of the bus)
Nearby in Stanley, the Rhino Rock has attracted visitors with its unique and lifelike outcrop. It’s at the southern end of the peninsula facing east, although you will also get an eyeful of the Stanley Prison. The hike takes less than an hour round trip, making it one of the top short hikes in Hong Kong. Though you do need to wear good shoes and be sure footed. If you’re planning to explore Stanley anyway, this makes for a good addition.
Difficulty: 2/5 mostly just for the sandy and slippery slope
Duration: you can get in and out within an hour but budget 2-3 for photo break
How to get there: Bus 14 to Stanley Fort. The bus starts at Sai Wan Ho MTR exit A, and it’s the best place to catch the bus. Stanley Fort is the end stop so you don’t have to worry about getting off.
Easy hikes in Kowloon
Ping Shan in Kowloon Bay is a hidden spot that is surrounded by housing estates. With a spectacular view of the surrounding area and the Kowloon mountain ridge, it lies in the shadow of Kowloon Peak itself.
Not only do you see Lion Rock, you can also see Hong Kong Island and even a glimpse of Victoria Harbour. While it is not as easy to reach as Garden Hill in Sham Shui Po, it is certainly a lot easier than most hiking trails in Hong Kong
The way up to Ping Shan is on concrete stairs, and it takes around 10-20 minutes to go up, with a view of the Choi Fook Estate behind and Kowloon Peak in front. Do bring mosquito repellent, as this is a hot spot for mosquitos!
The best place to take photos are either the pink granite outcrop to the left as you go up, or towards the end of the stairs up where there’s a small turn. You should come here during sunset so you can get a great golden hour and blue light photo!
Difficulty: 1/5, it’s all paved but you will be attacked by mosquitoes.
Duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour, but if you’re going to go for sunset, budget to be there an hour beforehand to snag the best spot.
How to get there: There are two ways to go up Ping Shan, but since the scenic part is to the northwest, most people tend to take the staircase up from there.
You can actually walk up from Kowloon Bay or Choi Hung, to the roundabout at the end of Choi Wing Lane. You can also take the 83A minibus and get off at Choi Ying House in Choi Fook Estate.
Note: if in doubt, search Choi Wan Road Salt Water Service Reservoir, which is right next to the roundabout.
Perhaps the least flat route in the list, Devil’s Peak makes for a short but interesting hike with a WWII fortress, great view of Tsuen Kwan O and east Hong Kong Island. What makes it an easy hike in Hong Kong is its well-paved paths and many exit points, and you can easily continue as well onto the Wilson Trail stage 3 and up Black Hill.
The hike takes you to the old battery that was used during WWII against the Japanese. It is very well sign-posted so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.
Difficulty: 2.5/5 for steep stairs
Duration: 1-2 hours depending on how long you continue down the route
How to get there: the nearest MTR is Yau Tong. Take A2 exit and head towards the Junk Bay Chinese Permanent Cemetery. The Wilson Trail Stage 3 trail start is near the exit.
Easy hikes in New Territories
Tai Tan Country Trail
A new favourite of mine, Tai Tan Country trail feature mostly flat trail that isn’t concrete and is a straightforward coastal hike with only a small hill. Starting from Tai Tan Village near Wong Shek Pier in Sai Kung, it takes you along the coastal route to Hoi Ha, passing by the Wan Chai campsite and many wonderful beaches. The hike takes around 3 hours to complete, and if you are feeling adventurous, there are snorkeling and kayaking rental available at Hoi Ha, which also happens to be a protected marine area.
With easy transport in and out of the start and end point, it’s a great hike to do for a half day, though you might want to budget some time for photo taking etc.
Difficulty: 2/5 due to the path being a bit rocky
Duration: 3 hours hike, another hour to get in and out from Sai Kung town center
How to get there: get the bus 94 (and 96R on weekends) from Sai Kung town center and get off at Tai Tan stop. From Hoi Ha, take the minibus 7 at the front of the village back to Sai Kung town center.
Note: you can check the bus schedule with the KMB app, the minibus has a tentative schedule of 30 minutes per ride
Wu Gau Tong
One of the best routes to take your pets (or unfit human friends) on, Wu Gau Tong is perhaps the best nature trail for someone who wants to feel the wilderness of Hong Kong without committing into too big or too crowded a hike. Completely away from the city, you will be walking through green vegetation, ending in Sam A village for some refreshment.
This is, however, a circular route, with the option to really up the difficulty by going up Tiu Tan Lung.
Difficulty: 1.5/5 – mostly for getting in and out
Duration: 3 hours for the hike, though budget more time for eating, photo break, and getting in and out
How to get there: take the minibus 20R from Tai Po. Alternatively, there is a car park there where you can park your car for free.
See the full hike in the Wu Gau Tong and Tiu Tan Lung hike post.
Lai Chi Chong
A favourite for family, Lai Chi Chong is a geopark that makes for another easy roundtrip hike with a good educational twist. Being a geopark, the coastal area of Lai Chi Chong is home to unique geology and you can find the information on education board!
Again, you can add to this trip by carrying on to Sham Chung and Yung Shue O, or even just get out by ferry to Ma Liu Shui.
Difficulty: 1/5 – just for the stretch to Lai Chi Chong
Duration: 2 hours >
How to get in: take the Minibus 7 from Sai Kung town center (don’t forget to buy something to eat) to Hoi Ha, get off at Yung Shue O village after the youth hostel. You can also get in (or out) by ferry from Ma Liu Shui Pier.
See the full hike along with two other places at Lai Chi Chong + Sham Chung + Yung Shue O hike
Tsing Tam and Ho Pui Reservoir
A great trail for the family, the reservoirs are along a concrete trail that stretches between Tai Po and Yuen Long. Not only is it stroller friendly, the 3 hour trail also takes you past some refreshment points and an Eco Garden.
If you don’t want to hike for so long, starts at Yuen Long and turn back once you have reached the Upper Tsing Tam Reservoir, as they are all closer to the Yuen Long side.
Difficulty: 1.5/5 – just because it takes some time to get in and out
Duration: 3 hours, but budget more time to get in and out
How to get there: Take the bus 64K from Tai Po to sheung tsuen playground. You can also take bus 51 to Shek Kong from Tsuen Wan.