To me, Hong Kong is like a warm Apple Crumble with custard. The centre of Hong Kong is the Apple, the fruit, the main part. But the outside of Hong Kong is the crumble and the custard… and arguabley the best bit.
Like most cities, Hong Kong is busy. High rise buildings in abundance, a population of over 7 million people and one of the top financial centres of the world.
One of the things I loved about Hong Kong is that you don’t have to travel very far out of the city to experience some of the most beautiful and breathtaking places that I have ever seen…
One way to really get into the thick of Hong Kong’s nature scene is to hike. During my 7 week stay I went on several walks and hikes.These are my favourites…
Lion Rock 🦁
Lion Rock hike is a mountain trail located between Kowloon Tong of Kowloon and Tai Wai of the New Territories.
To get to the start of the trail get the MTR (tube) to Won Tai Sin station (Exit B3) and from there you can grab a taxi. Ask them to drop you on Sha Tin Pass Road at the Lion Pavilion, the taxi should cost no more than $30 (£3.) If you have lots of time to spare and don’t want to cab it then you can walk- but it does take about an hour or so to the start.
The weather wasn’t on our side for this one, it was very misty so we didn’t get a great view of the city skyscrapers but I still really enjoyed being up in the rocks with the clouds, it was atmospheric.
I absolutely loved this hike, although I found it quite hard because it was so steep… 495 metres steep to be exact! However, I got a blooming good work out… my hamstrings and bum really felt it the following day!
- Lion Rock – Sha Tin Pass Road
- Takes around 3-4 hours
- Don’t forget to stretch out your hammies before you start the climb!
Dragon’s Back 🐉
Dragon’s Back’ is a ridge that lies in Shek O Country park between Shek O Peak and Wan Cham Shan. There are stunning views to be seen at Shek O Peak, which is 284m high…
Although long, compared to Lion Rock, Dragon’s back is a relatively easy hike, in that it is not too steep or slippy. It took Kim and I roughly about three hours and we were going at a moderate pace.
One of the beauties of hiking in Hong Kong is to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Since Dragon’s back hike is one of the more popular hikes in Hong Kong, my advice would be to avoid hiking at weekends and public holidays if possible. Kim and I went on a week day at around 11am and there were a good lot of people walking along the route with us but it was by no means busy.
The hike takes you up to Shek O Peak and down through a woodland area leading you to a beach, so pack your swimming gear in your backpack!
Big Wave Bay is renowned for it’s big waves (go figure) and there were plenty of surfers and bodyboarders in the sea. If you don’t want to carry your board along the hike (😝) then don’t worry, there is a little shop for you to hire one.
If there is a group of you, you might find it more cost effective to take a taxi to the starting point of the trail. From Wan Chai this cost $120 (£12), so for a group of four only $30 (£3) each. On our return from Big Wave Bay we decided to take public transport – which was incredibly easy and worth doing. At the back of the beach is a (really nice) cafe, if you are standing outside the cafe facing the sea, take a left and follow the road around, you will come to a bus stop. The bus will take you to Shau Kei Wan MTR station and only costs $10 (£1.)
- Dragon’s Back – Shek O Road
- Takes around 2-4hours
- Medium difficulty
- Don’t forget a your camera, snack pack, water & your swimming costume!
Lamma Island 🌴
Lamma Island was like visiting a postcard.
We took the ferry over from Central and it took around half an hour. When we docked there we noticed a map of the Island highlighting different walks and we decided to follow the red route on the map (which is to turn right and walk through the fish restaurants 😋.)
We got lost… but what a place to get lost in…
The hiking here in Lamma is fantastic. Beautiful views, not too steep, beaches, temples, woodland… what more could you ask for? Our walk ended up being a considerable one (as we got a bit lost 😬) but since it was our day off and we weren’t in a rush it was nice to explore the Island at a leisurely pace.
I never feel lost, I just think oh I’ve had a diversion – Karl Pilkington
One of my most memorable experiences here was walking through a village where there were huge banana trees, orange trees and star fruit trees… coming from the UK this was really something to see and the smell was something I won’t be forgetting in a hurry 🍌🍊⭐️ … beautiful.
- Lamma Island – ⛴ Central Pier Ferry Terminal
- 2-4hours (Depending on which trail you follow)
- Easy to medium hikes
- Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and your swimming costume
Tai O Infinity Pool 💦
When researching Tai O fishing village on Lantau Island, I noticed a bit of hubbub online about a hidden natural infinity pool.
Technically it’s not really an infinity pool but a dam built on the edge of a rock at the bottom of a waterfall, and technically you are not supposed to swim in it but I felt I had to at least see if I could find it, I thought it might be something worth seeing…
The view was spectacular and not just the waterfall but everything, it was like something out of Jurassic park… I half expected Jeff Goldblum to appear shirt open at any moment. (He didn’t… much to mine and Kim’s disappointment.)
To find the waterfall it took some research and if you didn’t know it was there in Tai O I can’t imagine you would find it. The hike to it takes roughly 45minutes and it’s a really nice walk along the shore. The second part of it is pretty steep and up in the woodland area, at one point we thought we were lost but you just have to keep going up and eventually you can see it.
I wouldn’t recommend this walk if it’s at all wet or raining, as parts of the trail are quite narrow and steep. If it’s a nice day though, it’s really worth the view and it was quite possibly my favourite view that I saw in Hong Kong.
Directions to Infinity (and beyond)…
• Take the 11 Bus from Tung Chung to Tai O (this takes about 45minutes and it’s the final stop.)
• When getting off the bus you will notice a pier, follow the pier around.
•At the end of the pier turn right and walk through the village along the shore (on your right) after 5 minutes you will come to these two paths… take the one straight ahead of you…
• Leave the shore and start following the path that slopes upwards
• Continue on this path for the next 20/30minutes and you will notice the trees will open out and reveal a clear view of the sea on your right.
•Keep going PAST some steps on your left (but not up them!) As shown…
•Walk up these stairs (they are steep) for a good 10/15 minutes. You will start to think you are lost but keep going up.
•Eventually, you will come to a blue and white house, walk around the house as shown…
After our walk we headed back down to Tai O fishing village which is the last remaining stilted fishing village in Hong Kong. It was quietly beautiful here, really authentic and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to visit it. Even if you are not into hiking, it’s worth the trek from central Hong Kong to see it.
- Tai O – Take the MTR to Tung Chung, then take the Number 11 bus to Tai O (45minutes)
- Infinity hike takes 1-2 hours
- Easy to medium hike
- Don’t forget your bug spray
Hong Kong has been such a wonderful experience that I won’t ever forget. I’m so pleased I got to celebrate Christmas and New Year in this incredible city, it’s been an awesome seven weeks.
I am so thankful, particularly to all the staff and team at the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel and the Hong Kong Centre for Performing Arts. Thank you for making our stay so comfortable and for making us feel so welcome. Big thanks to everyone who came and supported Wicked 💚 .. Another venue completed, next stop Manila!
Love Emily xxx
Xin Nian Kuai Le 🎉