Header image courtesy of @myescapeplanss (via Instagram)
In Hong Kong, we are accustomed to living life efficiently. From meditation, food delivery services, to kids’ at-home learning, life’s events are accelerated by an app. While hiking is a terrific way to slow down a busy week, sometimes, we are discouraged by how inaccessible or simply inconvenient it is to get these hiking trails.
Although the city has paved a plethora of paths for trekking safely, it can get overwhelming at times to sort through and bookmark hikes that are convenient to your location, schedule, and lifestyle. Here is our round-up of accessible hikes that are close to MTR stations, covering Kowloon, New Territories, and Hong Kong Island.
The Lion Rock Country Park is filled with various trails that, as a thru-hiker, can be completed in a day, or as a leisure hiker, tackled one by one. Eagle’s Nest Nature Trail is one of many trails in the area. Experience the natural beauty offered near the city here, neatly complemented by sweeping views of Kowloon. This beginner hike is perfect on a nice sunny day, as most of the path is shaded. Make sure to bring a backpack to store your water and energy-boosting foods, instead of in plastic bags—this lowers the chances of wild boars and monkeys unnecessarily coming close to you to nab food. Read our full guide on hiking the trail via Beacon Hill here.
Time from the MTR (Prince Edward Station Exit E): By bus, 10 minutes approx.
If you are afraid of heights, you should probably sit this one out, but if you are an adrenaline junkie, then Suicide Cliff will keep you on your toes. At a staggering height of 602 metres (or a little over 180 floors—that’s roughly 80 floors higher than the ICC!), the jaw-droppingly difficult hike will require all of your strength and stamina to conquer seven kilometres of narrow and steep paths. If you are ready to bop to the top, we have a full guide ready for you.
Time from the MTR (Choi Hung Station Exit C): By bus, 10 minutes approx.
Brace yourselves—this one’s a toughie. As one of the three sharpest peaks in Hong Kong, expect a steep trek up the Hike Junk Peak Country Trail. It unforgivingly includes no rest stops, so remember to pace yourself on your way up. As daunting as it may be to take on, it is definitely surmountable! When planning ahead for the challenge, be sure to bring great company with you—to share the struggle, encourage one another, and share the victorious feeling of accomplishment. If you wish to continue to Po Toi O, we have a full guide on how to get there.
Time from the MTR (Hang Hau Station Exit A2): By bus, 15 minutes approx.
Lantau Island is not just home to Disneyland and Mickey Mouse! As the largest island in Hong Kong, its suburban and rural areas have a lot to offer, making it a popular weekend spot for outdoor enthusiasts. The Olympic Trail (Tung Mui Ancient Trail) connects the city centre of Tung Chung to Mui Wo—you will trek from coast to coast on this trail. It was renamed from the Tung Mui Ancient Trail after Hong Kong hosted the Beijing Olympic Games’ equestrian events in 2008. Arriving at the humble town of Mui Wo, you will be greeted by family-run cafés, local shops, and quaint farms. If you are planning to make a day out of the hike, our full guide can offer some help.
Time from the MTR (Tung Chung Station Exit D): On foot, 40 minutes approx.
Tung O Ancient Trail is one of Hong Kong’s oldest coastal hikes, inviting you to explore a different side of Hong Kong. Here, hikers will find themselves trekking along the reclaimed land of Tung Chung and observing the Chek Lap Kok Airport from across the waters. On this intermediate hike, you might see Chinese pink dolphins jump up from the water with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge as a backdrop. When you see the pink railings (to match the dolphins, of course) on a well-paved path, you are heading the right way. Read more about the hike in full detail here.
Time from the MTR (Tung Chung Station Exit A): By bus, 20 minutes approx.
If you are wondering where you can snap your own picture of the iconic Tsing Ma Bridge, here’s one way—by hiking up the Tsing Yi Nature Trail. While San Franciscans bask in the glory of the Golden Gate Bridge, we Hongkongers take pride in the picturesque Tsing Ma Bridge. As a beginner-friendly hike, the Tsing Yi Nature Trail is a great example of a low-risk, high-reward experience—with a steady ascent, the two-hour hike is appealing to photographers, outdoor enthusiasts, and active families alike. Here’s our full guide on the hike.
Time from the MTR (Tsing Yi Station Exit A1): By bus, 10 minutes approx.
In the heart of the business district, there are plenty of opportunities to unplug and soak up nature’s stress-relieving benefits. Hiking enthusiasts can maximise the city’s unique system of trails and its appeal is best demonstrated by the Wan Chai Green Trail. At the end of the trail, you will be able to choose from a couple of trails to continue your hike, such as head up to the Peak or Jardine’s Lookout. Either way, reaching the end of the Wan Chai Green Trail means you have conquered the hardest part already. More hikes like this to the Peak are available here.
Time from the MTR (Wan Chai Station Exit B): On foot, 10 minutes approx.
Similar to the Wan Chai Green Trail, hikers will choose the direction of their journey while they are on it—be spontaneous and walk where your feet lead you (obviously to somewhere with a phone signal, so you can find your way back)! The Lung Fu Shan Morning Trail connects to a number of other trails. A remarkable and unmissable trail is the Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail. For history buffs and families alike, this place serves as a resting spot while you are exploring the Peak as well as a history lesson. Click here to read more about hiking trails around the Peak.
Time from the MTR (HKU Station Exit A2): On foot, 15 minutes approx.
Funnily enough, the light—and some perseverance—will lead you to Yuk Kwai Shan. Located near Ap Lei Chau, the hike contains attractions in the form of lighthouses, rock pools, and beaches. For the occasional hiker, it may come as a surprise that such natural beauty can be seen so close to city centre (and an MTR station.
With the opening of the South Island line in 2016, both locals and tourists alike were encouraged to head to these hiking trails that were once not as accessible. Yuk Kwai Shan is an intermediate hike, so be sure to gear up with hiking poles and good walking shoes, and slather yourself with sunscreen. If trekking along Yuk Kwai Shan was a piece of cake for you, perhaps take it up a notch by continuing on to Ap Lei Pai—here’s our full guide.
Time from the MTR (Lei Tung Station Exit B): On foot, 10 minutes approx.
Sometimes, it is nice and eye-opening to go against the grain—so instead of taking the Ocean Park cable car, hike beneath it. By now, the vistas of Ap Lei Chau, Deep Water Bay, and Repulse Bay from the cable car may be something we are well used to—but taking in the view from atop of Brick Hill (Nam Long Shan) becomes a new experience. Although the hike is beginner-friendly, reaching the starting point could be a bit demanding since it is mostly uphill. Make sure to check out our full guide for more details on how to hike Brick Hill.
Time from the MTR (Wong Chuk Hang Exit B): On foot, 20 minutes approx.