Hong Kong is emerging as the best urban hiking destination, however, a lot of the times these hikes can be challenging. With the likes of Needle Hill, Kowloon Peak, and Sunset Peak drawing people to them with their stunning vista, a lot of the times they are just not easy enough for beginners. So which hike is the easiest? I’m so glad you’ve asked. Below are my top easy hiking trails in Hong Kong that isn’t Dragon’s Back.
Pssst: see a list of hikes I’ve been on in Hong Kong here.
Red Summit Burner
A popular spot on Hong Kong Island, the Red Incense Burner Summit is called Hung Heung Lo Fung. It is only 10-20 minutes walk from the nearest minibus stop, making it ideal for a walk on a whim. 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: there is a minibus that will take you near it from Causeway Bay. See full directions here.
Tai Tan Country Trail
A new favourite of mine, Tai Tan Country trail feature mostly flat ground 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 Tanvstop. 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
A popular alternative to the Dragon’s Back is Cape D’Aguilar. Though 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
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)
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 beginners friendly is the well-paved paths and many exit points, and you can easily continue as well onto the Wilson Trail stage 3.
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, for full directions see the blog post here.
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: see 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.
Duration: 2 hours >
How to get in: see the Lai Chi Chong + Sham Chung + Yung Shue O hike