Ap Lei Pai adventure via Yuk Kwai Shan

Ap Lei Pai is a cute little island south of Ap Lei Chau, which can be reached by hiking through or around Yuk Kwai Shan, which can also be directly translated as Cinnamon Hill.

There is the unrivalled 360 degrees view at the top of Yuk Kwai Shan, the small tombolo that connects it to Ap Lei Pai, and the Mount Johnston Lighthouse on the other end that draws the crowd. But what ended up making my trip was the Ap Lei Pai coasteering back on the west side of Yuk Kwai Shan back.

Summary of Yuk Kwai Shan and Ap Lei Pai hike

view of ap lei pai from yuk kwai shan hong kong - laugh travel eat

Difficulty: 4/5 due to its steep terrain and exposed trail

Time taken: 2-4 hours depending on which route you take and whether you take the ferry out

Pros: a beautiful hike with both mountains and sea and plenty of photo spots, great view of Ap Lei Pai, and close to public transport

Cons: can be a crowded trail, very steep parts on the descent form Yuk Kwai Shan to Ap Lei Pai, and no swimming opportunities

How to get to trail start for Yuk Kwai Shan and Ap Lei Pai

To go up Yuk Kwai Shan, simply get the new South Hong Kong Island line to the penultimate stop Lei Tung. 

Take exit B, go up the elevator, then cross the road towards the shopping mall. Go past McDonalds and curve behind the bus stop and to the left there is a set of concrete stairs between two yellow rest stops (box) that looks a little obscure.

Simply follow it up up, and up, then you’ll reach a sign that warns of the danger of the trail ahead. It is fairly steep, with ropes installed here and there but be careful using them as they are not 100% secure.

Note: do not attempt this trail during or immediately after heavier rain. 

hike up yuk kwai shan ap lei pai hong kong - laugh travel eat-6
Looking back

The whole uphill trek can only take 15 minutes or so if you are fast, but take your time and pace yourself.

Yuk Kwai Shan peak

top of yuk kwai shan ap lei pai hong kong - laugh travel eat

The top of Yuk Kwai Shan boosts a 360 degrees panorama, and you can see Lamma Island, glimpses of Aberdeen, Ocean Park, and Ap Lei Chau clearly.

top of yuk kwai shan ap lei pai hong kong - laugh travel eat-2

The peak comprises a large area but is fairly exposed.

Descent to Ap Lei Pai

top of yuk kwai shan ap lei pai hong kong - laugh travel eat-3

Once you are ready, carry on southwards and the trail will start to slopes to the south. The view of Ap Lei Pai is clear with some big rocks scattered around for photos.

Then is the trickiest part. It’s a scree-like slope that goes down steeply with a rope in the middle, but that’s more for ascent than descent.

Stick to the sides, first left then right and close to the vegetation and you should be able to get down by being careful.

The slope even out a little towards the end but you have top hop down on big boulders to land on the tombolo.

Ap Lei Pai tombolo

The tombolo is well formed, better than Sharp Island’s with sandy center but rocky sides. But this means that wedging out to swim isn’t really possible without proper wet shoes and it is fairly wavy.

hiking across Ap Lei Pai hong kong - laugh travel eat

To carry on hiking to the other end of Ap Lei Pai where the lighthouse is, go towards the right of the island but not along the ropes or the coast where there is a trail. There is only one path from there.

It first takes you up a small hill, then a higher one before descending towards the end.

Just before the lighthouse, we duck into the bushes and emerge on huge igneous rock.

lighthouse Ap Lei Pai hong kong - laugh travel eat

Find the small steps that lead down to the coast and you’ll be at the lighthouse.

lighthouse at the end of ap lei pai hong kong - laugh travel eat

You can wait by the pier there for kaito that shuttles people back to Aberdeen.

Ap Lei Pai Coasteering to South Horizon

Ap Lei Pai costeering yuk kwai shan hong kong - laugh travel eat

Once you get back to the tombolo the same way you came, you can head back up Yuk Kwai Shan or go west and costeer to Lee Lok Street, which is about a 12 minutes walk from South Horizon.

This takes about 45 minutes but it is along the coast with some rope asist and metal or wooden plank fixture, so I don’t recommend doing it if you are not in the right footwear or isn’t experienced with hiking. 

The view, however, is great and you can still walk along a little before turning back if you want.

Highlights include a wooden bridge, a very man-on-the-ledge walk, and this giant bamboo stairs.

Ap Lei Pai costeering yuk kwai shan hong kong - laugh travel eat-7

It takes you all the way to a pebble beach right by the pumping station. Just make you way to the concrete fence and down.

Ap Lei Pai costeering yuk kwai shan hong kong - laugh travel eat-8

There is a public bathroom at the end of Lee Lok Street. However, the nearby mall Horizon Plaza only has furniture stores. But simply follow the signs towards South Horizon MTR station and you’ll be there in 15 minutes.

Written by Nam Cheah

Hi, my name is Nam. I am 24 and spent half my life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. I believe there's endless experience and beauty in the world and this is me chronicling how to experience the best at the best price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sunset at Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Hong Kong | Laugh Travel Eat

Top Hong Kong Staycation deals

Po Kwu Wan: a hidden Sai Kung bay

drone shot of po kwu wan pak tam chung country trail sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat