Tracing Tai Tam Bay then up and over the Dragon’s Back

Hong Kong Trail Sections 7 & 8

The last two sections of the Hong Kong trail are very different. The first, a long flat walk tracing the coastline of Tai Tam bay with sweeping views and a beach at the end to lunch and swim. The next section a tough climb t start, followed by a spectacular ridge walk before descending slowly through woods to Big Wave bay. It’s the longest and toughest of the walks in this series but well worth the effort.

Take a bus or ferry to the north end of Tai Tum Tuk Reservoir Dam then look for the sign to the trail on your right about 100m up the road. Follow the path with the stream on your left and the bay on your right for around 6 KM until you reach a small beach. From there you turn left at the sign post for the Dragon’s back, head up to Shek O road, then across and continue up and along the Dragon’s back. After you finish the ridge it’s a long walk through the woods to a road. Turn left and follow the signs down to Big Wave bay. From the bay go up the hill to your left where you will find transport out.

Section 7 MAP

Section 8 MAP

Victoria Harbor to the left, South Side to the right

EP8 – The Hong Kong Trail Sections 5 & 6

Section 5 of the Hong Kong trail boasts views that would be hard to beat anywhere in the world. It’s a steep climb, first up to Jardine’s lookout and then to Mount Butler but the path is wide open for most of the way with sweeping city panorama’s on your left and mountains and reservoirs to your right. Section six is an easy decent through the lush Tai Tam valley as you weave through the four reservoirs on your way down to Tai Tam road.

Find Tai Tam reservoir road, just past the cricket club on Wong Nai Chung Gap road and head up till you see a big sign for the Hong Kong and Wilson Trails. The two trails run together for the first part as you make your way up to Jardine’s lookout. Bear right where the two trails part and follow the signs up to Mount Butler. From there steps will take you down to a small park. From here on in the trail is not marked. Bear right down a road to Tai Tam reservoir then continue down Tai Tam reservoir road. Look out for a sign on the left (it’s not obvious) that takes you on a small path to Tai Tam road.

Section 5 MAP

Section 6 MAP

Just over the hill from the city

EP7 – The Hong Kong Trail Sections 3 & 4

Hong Kong Island is split in half by a series of ridges. On the north side facing Victoria harbor lies one of the world’s most densely populated cities. On the south just over the hill lies thick forests with muddy paths that you can walk in solitude. There is nowhere where you can feel this parallel world more, than on sections three and four of the Hong Kong trail. Section three is a flat wooded walk that loops along the contours of a steep incline. Section four is more open with stunning views across the south of the island.

Start in Aberdeen along the promenade then make you way through the town to Peel Rise which takes you through a cemetery to the junction of sections two and tree. Continue up the track looking out for a sign for the Hong Kong Trail on your right. Once you find this it’s a straight walk, well signposted up until Wanchai Gap. Section four continues on a similar path but slowly opens up with views across the south of Hong Kong Island. Before you reach Wong Nai Cheng reservoir you cross Repulse Bay Road where there are buses to the City or back to Aberdeen.

Section 3 MAP

Section 4 MAP

From the Peak down to Aberdeen

EP6 – The Hong Kong Trail

The first two sections of the Hong Kong trail are the most varied. Starting as far up the peak as you can get, a small grass lawn offers a sweeping views across three sides of the island. Descending down to Lugard road and looping around affords the best city views anywhere and a chance for refreshments around the galleria. Leaving Lugard road heading along section 1 of the trail you loose the crowds and immerse yourself in the think forests that cover the south side of the island with deep ravines and occasional waterfalls.

 Take a taxi to the end of Mount Austin Road and then the right fork to a small grass lawn. From there descend first on the road you came up and then bear left onto a path that takes you down to Victoria Peak gardens. Walk around Governor’s walk until you find Harlech Road fitness trail that will take you down to Lugard road. You can cross over the road onto the Hong Kong trail but I suggest spending an hour to do the luagrd road loop for some of the best city views Hong Kong has to offer. Once you are on the trail (off Hatton Road) just follow the signs until you reach Tin Wan where there is a path to your right that will take you off the trail and down to Aberdeen.

Section 1 MAP

Section 2 MAP

Victoria Peak – a hidden country walk above the city

EP 5 – Hong Kong’s Five Best Walks

Few visitors to Hong Kong miss a trip up Victoria Peak, but few choose to walk up. There are many routes, the gentlest starts on the backside in Pok Fu Lam past the reservoir and along a narrow road. Once you reach the bustling square, find Lugard road to escape the crowds and enjoy a one hour looping road that affords spectacular views around the peak. I started after lunch, timing the walk to finish back at the galleria at sunset to watch the lights come up over the city followed by dinner with a view and a bus home.

Take a bus to Pok Fu Lam reservoir stop and follow the road up into the country park. Continue up to the Peak following the signs until you reach the Galleria. Look for Lugard road on your left and walk the loop back to the Galleria where there is transport back to the city.

The Peak MAP

Lamma Island – beaches, fishing villages and jungle

EP 3 – Hong Kong’s Five Best Walks

Lamma is the biggest of the car free outlying islands, making it perfect for a full day of exploration on foot. My root started at the northern tip and took me through thick jungle to Hung Shing Ye beach where the walk switches to a coastal hike to the fishing village of Sok Kwu Wan. If you are lucky, or unlucky depending on your love for all things wild, you may see a wild boar or python snake. Both are common sightings in Lamma’s outback. No need for a pack lunch on this trip with plenty of restaurants offering great seafood choices. There is a loop in the southern part of the island if you want to spend time at the beach or a walk to the southern trip where a ferry returns you to Hong Kong island.

Take the ferry from Aberdeen promenade to Pak Kok and walk on the path to the north tip of the island. Take a small path to the cable road, which you can follow through the jungle to Hung Shing Ye beach. From the far end of the beach continue south to Sok Kwu Wan and then along the coast to Mo Tat Wan from where you can take a ferry back to Aberdeen.

Lamma Island MAP

Sharp Peak – an isolated, tough walk with wild sea views

EP 3 – Hong Kong’s Five Best Walks

Not for the faint hearted this is by far the toughest walk of the five. So tough that a sign warns you “For safety reason, you are advised not to proceed.” But with the pain comes plenty of gain. Wild desolate beaches, abandoned villages and a feeling of complete isolation from the bustling metropolis that lies just beyond view. It’s a long day with the commute both ways so you may want to rent a tent on the beach and make a weekend of it. This walk should not be missed.

Take bus no.7 to the Sai Kung Country Park Visitor’s Center, then a local taxi to the Sai Wan Pavilion. From there set off along the path to Ham Tin Wan from where you set off up to Sharp peak. From there descend down to Chek Keng where you can take a ferry out or walk over to Pak Tam road.

Lantau Peak – a mountain with a 360 degree view

EP 2 – Hong Kong’s Five Best Walks

There’s an easy and a hard way to ascend Hong Kong’s second tallest peak. I opted for the cable car that gets you half way. After a quick stop in Ngong Ping to see the Big Buddha statue, it’s a steep two-hour climb up for lunch at the top of the mountain. Allow time to take in the panoramic sweeping coastal views. There are paths in every direction for the walk home. A long path through to Mui Wo, a southern route past the Shek Pik reservoir to Tung Wan or a shortcut back to Tung Chung. With the cable car not starting before 10AM you will need to be fast to take the longer routes.

Start at the cable car from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping. Walk through the village past the Big Buddha and onto the wisdom path until you see signs for the peak. From there continue along the Lantau trail until you reach Tung Chung road where you can get a bus back to Tung Chung.

The Dragon’s Back – an easy climb with sea and city views

EP 1 – Hong Kong’s Five Best Walks

The Dragon’s Back trail rightly makes all the top hiking lists for it’s easy access to the city, relatively gentle slopes and spectacular views. Try and get to the start before 9 AM and enjoy a morning stroll across the ridge before descending for lunch in Big Wave bay. With most of the heavy walking done, climb over one more hill in the afternoon, taking time to look back across the bay and then down into Chai Wan with views along Victoria harbor.

Start on Shek O Road taking bus no 9, follow the trail around to Big Wave bay. Then take the path at the north side of the beach up and over the hill to Chai Wan where you can take the MTR.

Dragon’s Back Map