Header images courtesy of @urbanwoodhotels and @ck_ckleung (via Instagram)
Even when you think you have conquered all the hiking routes in Hong Kong (of which there are many), there is always another hidden trail that you might not have heard of because it is not in your typical “hiking” locale.
Brick Hill is one such example, and it’s the perfect choice for a quiet and peaceful hike with minimal crowds. Situated in the ever-growing area of Wong Chuk Hang, this hike starts within a 10-minute walk from Wong Chuk Hang MTR station. You may have taken the Ocean Park cable car before, but have you ever walked beneath it?
Brick Hill is also known as Nam Long Shan (南朗山). If the name is not familiar to you, you might know it best as the mountain on which Ocean Park is located. While it is not one of the most popular hiking destinations, it does offer panoramic views of Ap Lei Chau, Deep Water Bay, and Repulse Bay—a sleeper hit for those who love hiking for vistas.
Brick Hill is relatively easy and scenic, but there is not much shade on this hike, so it can get quite hot on summer days. The hardest part of the Brick Hill hike is definitely at the beginning, as it is mostly uphill before you reach the starting point. Make sure to bring enough water as there are no stalls or places to refill along the way. This is a one-way hike so you will have to return the same way all the way back to the MTR station.
Distance: 5 kilometres approx. (round-trip)
Difficulty: Beginner to intermediate
Total ascent: 284 metres approx.
Total time: 2 hours approx.
To hike Brick Hill, your journey starts in Wong Chuk Hang in the Southern District of Hong Kong. You can catch numerous buses from various locations across Hong Kong to get to Wong Chuk Hang but the simplest option would be to take the MTR from Admiralty.
Starting your trip from Wong Chuk Hang Station, you will follow Nam Long Shan Road all the way up, past Singapore International School and Canadian International School of Hong Kong. For this first stretch, you will be climbing a paved road. Along the way, there is a small stretch where the scenery opens up and you will be treated to views of the Aberdeen Channel and Mount Johnston (Yuk Kwai Shan).
When hiking Brick Hill, the “real” part of the hike essentially starts from Nam Long Shan Road Rest Garden. It’s also the most difficult part of this relatively easy-going trail, as you will be required to climb steps that span the next five hundred metres or so. As you continue up Nam Long Shan Road, you will see a set of stairs to your left, with a sign that points to Nam Long Shan Road Rest Garden. Follow these stairs up.
Be sure to come adequately prepared—there is little to no shade on these steps, so it can get quite brutal in the summertime, but depending on your fitness level and hiking experience, it will not be long until you reach the Brick Hill Pavilion. Here, you can take a short rest and admire the sweeping views of Ap Lei Chau and Ocean Park before continuing on your hike.
From the Brick Hill Pavilion, the rest of the hike should not take too long. Continue walking uphill. You will be climbing the most rugged part of the hike now, as the steps that follow are hewn from rocks and a little rough, so tread carefully. It is mostly a steady rise so it should not be too exhausting.
You will then soon reach a three-way junction. You can choose to continue straight for the final stretch to the top of Brick Hill, or you can head right for the helipad for a viewpoint. Wind your way through lush green bushes along red brick terrain to arrive at the helipad, from which you can enjoy breath-taking views of Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay. Walk towards the edge and you may also hear Ocean Park-goers screaming on the rollercoaster rides! To finish off the ascent, take the flight of stairs up to the summit, which is occupied by cell towers and control stations.
Once you have snapped your fill of photos and videos of the stunning views, simply trace your steps back all the way to Wong Chuk Hang Station to finish off the hike. If you didn’t get a chance to admire the sea views on the way up, they are quite a spectacle looking down from the long flights of stairs.