Header images courtesy of @dickson_tc and @joelamfoto
Had enough of the hikes? If you’ve exhausted all of your favourite trails around Hong Kong’s peaks and are now in search for a more active (and faster) way to explore the natural beauties of rural Hong Kong, why not take to the humble bicycle? From beginner routes through wetlands and along coastlines to advanced tracks across mountainous terrain, here are our picks of the top eight cycling trails in Hong Kong.
One of Hong Kong’s most popular cycling trails suitable for both beginners and professionals alike, the Tai Wai to Tai Mei Tuk route offers scenic coastlines for cyclists and nature lovers. The trail follows Tolo Harbour as it pries its way into the innermost parts of the eastern New Territories. Home to breathtaking views and peaceful lakeside villages, the neighbouring towns and villages from Tai Wai all the way up to Tai Mei Tuk are ideal for cyclists to explore. The trail is mostly flat with a few occasional inclines, but nothing too strenuous or difficult to overcome—perfect for families with small children.
This route clocks in at about 40 kilometres for a round-trip, which will take most people the better part of a day. If you only want to dedicate a half-day to your cycling adventure, you can also choose to end your journey at Tai Po Waterfront Park, the halfway point between Tai Wai and Tai Mei Tuk. For our detailed guide on how to cycle to Tai Mei Tuk from Tai Wai, click here.
Suitable for beginners and families with children, Nam Sang Wai is the perfect choice for a fun half-day trip out of the city. From flourishing wetland wildlife and picturesque woodland pathways to scenes of ancestral halls and villages, Nam Sang Wai presents a wholly different side of Hong Kong that many inner-city dwellers may be completely unaware of. Shaped like a loop, the seven-kilometre trail takes approximately two hours to complete, though you’ll want to factor in extra time for exploring the surrounding wetlands, local cafés, and snack stalls. Plus, there’s an adorable ferry ride across Shan Pui River—the only river-crossing ferry in Hong Kong!—and you’ll get to pass through a corridor of river red gum, a species of trees are native to Australia famous for their refreshing lemon scent.
Lined with seafood restaurants and hawker stalls, Cheung Chau is the perfect destination for a slow day out away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. While there is no official or recommended route, the seaside cycling path that runs along the western coast of the island is a good place to start your exploring—you’ll discover old temples and deserted beaches along the way. If you’re looking to do a full circuit of the island, beware that there are some steep hills and steps involved.
Rent your bi-pedal vehicle of choice from one of many bike shops along the promenade and start pootling down to Kwun Yam Wan Beach or Cheung Po Tsai in the southwest. On a clear day, you’ll get amazing views out to the South China Sea and beyond.
This lesser-known trail is an extension of the route from Fo Tan to Tai Po Waterfront Park. Here, you’ll pass through Science Park, Tai Wo, Fanling Highway, and Sheung Shui, ride along the Lam Tsuen River, taking in the serene atmosphere of rural Hong Kong over mostly flat terrain. While the majority of breathtaking views and stunning vistas are reserved for the Science Park leg of the ride, we highly recommend this trail if you’re seeking a quiet and peaceful ride along mostly empty bike lanes.
A little fun fact: This new trail extension to Fanling is built along the Fanling Highway and the East Rail line. It was formally released to the public in early 2014, making it easier for cyclists to ride to Fanling without going through villages along the highway, but due to tunnel and highway construction projects, the bike path has undergone several restructuring works in the past few years and the proposed super cycle track linking the Western part to the Eastern part of the New Territories continues to be delayed.
Mostly used by commuting residents, the bike lane from Yuen Long to Tuen Mun is one of the oldest in Hong Kong, built in the 1970s along with the development of Tuen Mun New Town. Running along old Castle Peak Road all the way to Tuen Mun River, the 12-kilometre ride is dotted with villages and rural settlements, taking you past Ping Shan, Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery, Hung Shui Kiu, and Siu Hong, ending at the Tuen Mun Promenade. The bike lane is fairly narrow and comes with frequent road crossings up until you reach Tuen Mun, so a little bit of caution is needed.
This cycling trail overlaps slightly with the Tai Wai–Tai Mei Tuk route, though it’s nowhere near as long and it is as flat and easy as they come. Cycling along to stunning views of Tolo Harbour and Shing Mun River, the seven-kilometre ride takes you past high-rises and communities of the Ma On Shan neighbourhood, as your destination is Wu Kai Sha Pier at the foot of Ma On Shan. There’s also an option to extend your trip to Double Cove’s Starfish Bay for an opportunity to find little crabs and starfish around the swallow water in the beach.
This understated waterfront ride offers stunning vistas of the South China Sea and about 15 kilometres of flat paths, making it ideal for a relaxed day trip. Simply follow the train tracks from Tung Chung to Sunny Bay for the majority of the way with humming motors providing a lo-fi soundtrack in the background. You’ll end up at Inspiration Lake, where you can set a blanket out for a post-ride picnic or board a paddleboat.
One of the few routes on this list that is reserved for intermediate and advanced cyclists, this mountain biking trail contours Lantau Island’s southern coast, offering a challenging without too much hill climbing. Ripe with spectacular ocean views on all sides, the 11-kilometre route takes you through varying sections of wilderness and coastlines, a far throw from the paved bike lanes of most other trails.
Due to the remoteness of the trail, it is best to come prepared with enough water and fuel. Furthermore, the entire trail is not rideable; there are at least four short sections that require the rider to get off and carry the bike. Still, the experience and striking scenery are second-to-none for thrill-seekers and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of marauding water buffalos!