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5 best winter hikes to go on in Hong Kong

By Enoch Ngan 9 December 2022

Header image courtesy of Angelo Pantazis (via Unsplash)

With Hong Kong’s breezy winter winds cooling off the city’s scorching temperatures, everybody is considering taking a hike among the wealth of local trails. The hundreds of outdoor activities can be overwhelming, especially for those wanting to make the most out of their short festive holidays. To make the choice easy, we have rounded up some of the best hiking trails to take advantage of during Hong Kong’s cooler temperatures.

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Photo: Jason Luk (via Wikimedia Commons)
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Tai Tong Nature Trail

The Tai Tong Nature Trail is locally known for its sweet gum trees and seasonal red leaves that appear from November onwards. Nestled in the Yuen Long Tai Lam Country Park, the woods are filled with broad-leaved trees that glow with beautiful vivid leaves.

In fact, these deciduous trees are so unlike other native East Asian trees that many often confuse them with Western maple trees. Here, the wide path and easy hiking trail make this location a perfect mid-day activity for those interested in taking a seasonal picture or festive Instagram photo. Learn how to hike to Tai Tong Nature Trail here.

How to get there:

  1. Take the Tuen Ma line to Long Ping Station (Exit B2).

  2. Get on bus K66 that goes to Tai Tong.

  3. Alight at the end stop village to take a 20-minute walk to the country park.

Photo: LN9267 (via Wikimedia Commons)
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Lau Shui Heung Reservoir

Hidden away in the concrete jungles of Hong Kong is the Lau Shui Heung Reservoir. Like the sweet gum woods in Yuen Long, the Lau Shui Heung Reservoir’s trees also transform during autumn to feature alluring red leaves. Venture through forests and mountain valleys, each with captivating spots fit for your next social media post. With harmless wildlife creatures scattered throughout the trail, such as freshwater frogs and colourful butterflies, this trail is an ideal festive location to travel to during the winter. If you are craving a more intermediate hike this December, Lau Shui Heung Reservoir offers 2.5 hours of leisurely walking time. Learn how to hike to the Lau Shui Heung Reservoir here.

How to get there:

  1. Take the East Rail line to Fanling Station, exiting at the PLB Terminus.

  2. Ride minibus 52B to Hok Tau Village.

  3. Alight at the Pat Sin Leng Country Park, where your hike begins.

Photo: Wild Hong Kong
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Sharp Peak

As the sharpest peak in Hong Kong—the hint is in the name—Sharp Peak is often considered too challenging to tackle in the summertime when temperates go well above 32 degrees Celsius. In the wintertime, however, when the weather cools down, this remote mountain in Sai Kung is made more accessible, and the views from the top out towards Tai Long Wan and beyond are stunning to behold. Depending on your fitness level, this hike can take anywhere from 3.5 to five hours to complete, so come prepared with plenty of water, nourishment, and the right hiking gear. For instructions on how to hike Sharp Peak, click here.

How to get there:

  1. From Sai Kung, take a cab to either Pak Tam Au or Sai Wan Pavilion.
  2. You can take village bus 29R rom Sai Kung Town Centre to Sai Wan Pavilion.
  3. You can also hop on minibus 7 from Sai Kung to Pak Tam Au.

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Photo: ystsoi (via Wikimedia Commons)
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Pineapple Mountain

The Pineapple Mountain hike has skyrocketed in popularity over the past couple of years due to its unusual geological formation. Named after a local Hong Kong baked item, the pineapple bun (菠蘿包), the odd hedges and unique landscape makes this location a serious contender as one of Hong Kong’s most exploratory trails.

Additionally, Pineapple Mountain is an exemplary spot from which to watch the sunset, as its jagged rocks glisten during Hong Kong’s orange golden hour. Due to this season’s shorter days and cooler temperatures, hiking to Pineapple Mountain should undoubtedly be on everyone’s winter bucket list. Learn how to hike to Pineapple Mountain here.

How to get there:

  1. Take the Tuen Ma line and take the MTR to Siu Hong Station (Exit D).

  2. From Siu Hong Light Rail Station, take Light Rail 615 or 505 to Leung King Station.

  3. Cross the tracks to Leung King Plaza, where the hike starts.

Photo: Big Dodzy (via Unsplash)
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Tai Long Wan

Engaging in Tai Long Wan’s various outdoor activities is a must-do this winter, with its beautiful beaches, laid-back bars, and enthralling hikes providing the perfect weekend escape. Now that the wasps, flies, and mosquitoes have gone for the season, the Tai Long Wan hike in Sai Kung should be next on your list, with the option to relax at Sai Wan Beach and cool off after a healthy workout. Tai Long Wan is also home to multiple other beautiful beaches, each replete with crystal-clear waters and spotless sandy shores. The multiple vantage points on this peninsula create Hawaii-like perspectives—it’s easy to imagine that you have arrived in Asia’s true paradise. Learn how to hike to Tai Long Wan here.

How to get there:

  1. From Sai Kung Pier, take minibus 29R to Sai Kung Country Park.
  2. Alight at Sai Wan Pavilion and begin your hike.

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Enoch Ngan

Writer

Enoch is an Asian-American born in California who studied in Hong Kong when he was younger. While in Hong Kong, he enjoys going on hikes with breathtaking scenery and catching up with old friends and family. If you ever see him around, he always has music playing in the background, whether that be exploring the city or simply relaxing at home.

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