Hong Kong: Hiking along the Dragon’s Back

Hong Kong is known as one of the most “vertical” cities in the world, with countless high-rise buildings to accommodate its dense population. But if you thought that the food and shopping paradise was all skyscrapers and no nature, you’re woefully mistaken. Hong Kong has a superb hiking culture, which means that its trails are all quite well maintained, and easily accessible via public transport. Its most famous hike is through the Dragon’s Back Trail (section 8 of the Hong Kong Trail).

Introducing the Dragon’s Back Trail…!

  • Suitable for beginner to intermediate hikers
  • Starting point along Shek O road is very accessible and located near the CBD
  • The full hike will take about four hours (8.5km), but it’s just 90 minutes to and from the Dragon’s Back
  • Great views of Shek O, Tai Long Wan (Big Wave Bay), Stanley, Tai Tam, and the South China Sea

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Starting Point & How to Get There

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The start of the trail is located along Shek O road. (Image credit: rheins [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

  • From Shau Kei Wan Station (exit A), walk to Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus.
  • Take bus 9 OR the minibus with “Shek O” signage
  • Alight at To Tei Wan, Shek O Road

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Highlights Along the Way:

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(Image credit: rheins [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

  • Shek O Peak
    The trek will start along Shek O road, near the To Tei Wan village (look out for the sign). As you ascend, you will see a hilltop sightseeing platform on Shek O Peak where you can get an eyeful of the beautiful Shek O, Tai Long Wan and Tung Lung Island.
  • Dragon’s Back
    The undulating paths that go around the hilltops are is said “Dragon’s Back”. If you’re a fan of butterflies, keep your eyes peeled–there are many to be seen along this part of the scenic hike.
  • Tai Long Wan (Big Wave Bay)
    The full hike ends at Big Wave Bay, where many hikers like to take a cooling dip in the sea! Either bring your own swimming gear, or buy them at the beach.

RELATED: Ocean Park, Hong Kong Disneyland, The Peak Tram, Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, and Preloaded Octopus Tourist Card.

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The Shek O peak. (Image credit: Roger Price [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Useful Things to Note:

  • Most first-timers find the first stretch the most difficult part of the hike. It is an uphill climb, but don’t be discouraged! It gets easier, and the views get better.
  • You won’t be able to leave the trail until about 4km in, so make sure you’re well prepared with water and any other essentials you may need. You can stock up at the convenience stores located at Shau Kei Wan Station.
  • The paths are mostly cobblestone, so wear comfortable walking shoes. While mostly flat ground, there are steps too.
  • Don’t be lazy with the sunscreen, you’re going to need it! Parts of this trail are exposed (without shade), so on a clear day, those sun rays will hit you.

dragon's back

The Big Wave Bay is one of the most popular beaches in Hong Kong! (Image credit: Thomas Brown [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons)

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Ready to embark on your adventure?
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Video courtesy of @nnushi.