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Heading to Hong Kong? Hike the Dragon’s Back Trail. It’s awesome.
Known as the ultimate Hong Kong hike, the Dragon’s Back Trail is really worth your time. It’s very easy to get to. The trail is easy to follow. The views are great. And, if you are short on time, you can also do it in 2 hours. Making it in my opinion one of the best easy hiking trails in Hong Kong.
The Dragon’s back hike is a great choice for beginners.
And, well, if you get hooked, I have a good news for you – there are plenty of hiking trails in Hong Kong. Some are even easier, others – more challenging.
Wanna learn more? Let’s dig in!
Here is my Dragon’s Back Hike guide.
1. The Dragon’s Back Trail in Hong Kong: Basics
TIME: starting from 2 hours, if you do only part of the hike;
DIFFICULTY: easy / moderate;
TIPS: go early to awoid the crowds & bring a bottle of water with you. Take into account that it might be slippery at some parts of the trail, if you are hiking after the rain.
The trail is located in the Shek O Country park.
It’s easily accessible by public transportation. One of the easiest options include taking a metro (MTR in Hong Kong) to the Shau Kei Wan station and a bus number 9 to the To Tei Wan; Shek O Road.
If you, like me, prefer to make things easier, take a metro to the very last stop – Chai Wan station. And do the hike the opposite way. At the end you will have several choices. To walk back the same way, walk back on another scenic trail, take a bus 9 either to the beach or to the Shau Kei Wan metro station.
I recommend you to walk back on the other trail. More on that below!
The trail is located in the Shek O Country park.
Another option – start the hike from the To Tei Wan bus stop and finish it at the Big Wave Bay Beach.
One more option – start the hike from the Chai Wan station, finish at the To Tei Wan bus stop and take the bus number 9 to the Shek O Beach.
2. Hiking the Dragon’s Back Trail in 2 Hours or Less
If you are short on time, here is how you can do the hike in 2 hours.
Start the hike from the Chai Wan MTR station.
Walk all the way until the Dragon’s Back Trail viewpoint.
Take in the view. Make photos. Turn around and go back the same way as you came. Easy.
If you, like me, prefer to make things easier, take a metro to the very last stop – Chai Wan station. And do the hike the opposite way.
If you are fit, you’ll be able to do it in around 2 hours. From the metro station to the top of the mountain and back. If you run, you’ll make it even faster.
It doesn’t include time you need to get to the Chai Wan station.
3. The Dragon’s Back Trail (the Opposite Way)
IMPORTANT: I did the Dragon’s Back Trail the opposite way. This is my hike report. Take this into account, if you’ll be doing the trail from the To Tei Wan; Shek O Road (like most of people do) and will want to follow my tips.
Once you get off the metro, you end up in a shopping mall.
Go out and follow the map.
Follow the road or take the stairs to get to the starting point faster.
At first you are walking next to the road.
But not for long.
Don’t miss this sign! (below)
If you continue walking straight, you’ll end up on the Big Wave Bay Beach.
Right before the trail there are toilets.
Afterwards there are no toilets or any shop.
So, don’t forget to bring enough of water and some snacks.
Yes, it’s an easy hike, but for more than half of it you’ll be walking without shade.
This is how the first part of the hike looks.
And then… you see Hong Kong island.
Soon you are leaving the forest.
And heading higher.
At this intersection you should follow the Hong Kong Trail.
Especially if you want to make it to the ridge faster.
If you walk by this sign and don’t turn to the left, you will have such an option some 20-minute walk later.
You are going higher.
And a bit more higher.
Isn’t it beautiful, huh?
And the views are getting only better.
Yes, for the mountain views!
No, for the storm, haha.
There are several viewpoints on the trail.
As already mentioned, if you are short on time, you can as well turn around at any of them and go back.
All of them offer slightly different, but overall very similar views.
I went further.
To the next peak – Shek O Peak.
If you do the whole hike, you’ll be going there.
If you start it from the place most start, you’ll get to Shek O Peak first.
At one point in this area there is a sign showing that the trail goes down.
But you see big rocks just in front of you.
You can easily walk to them. But be careful. There is a steep cliff.
I also noticed that there is another trail, marked with pink ribbons.
I followed it for some 5 minutes. Took some more photos and turned around.
I was worried about the storm, which seemed to be coming soon.
If you have time, you know what you can do.
You can walk back the same way as you came.
But I recommend you to take the other trail.
It’s easy to find it. After you pass Shek O Peak soon there you have a choice, either to turn to the left and get on the Shek O Road or to turn to the right and walk back to the starting point. Turn to the righ, to Tai Tam Gap!
It’s also easy to walk on.
It’s also possible to go mountain biking here. Yes, you can mountain bike the Dragon’s Back Trail. But only this part, which only partly (!) takes you to the ridge.
And it offers beautiful views. So, why not take it?
Do you enjoy urban landscapes?
If yes – this is for you. When you’ll be walking back to the metro station, take the road going by Cape Collinson Chinese Permanent Cemetery (Cape Collinson Rd).
And you’ll see something like this.
What a better way to end the hike?
4. How to Get to Dragon’s Back Trail
Being one of the most scenic Hong Kong hiking trails, the Dragon’s Back Trail is also one of the easiest to get to.
It’s on Hong Kong island, in the Shek O Country park.
Nearest metro station is only 15-minute walk away – Chai Wan station.
If you, like me, prefer to make things easier, take a metro to the very last stop – Chai Wan station. Then walk to the Shek O Country park. And do the hike the opposite way. When I was there only a handful of others were doing the same. It isn’t any harder this way. Or worse. It’s the same hike. Only you’ll finish it at the other end.
If you’ll choose to do this way at the end you can either turn around and walk back (on one or another trail) or take a bus 9 to the beach or to the Shau Kei Wan metro station / Shay Kei Wan terminus.
If you would like to do like most, take a metro to the Shau Kei Wan station and a bus number 9 to the To Tei Wan; Shek O Road.
Buses are departing from the Shay Kei Wan terminus.
At the end you can walk to the Chai Wan MTR station.
See some more beautiful urban hikes around the world.
5. Where to Stay in Hong Kong
VALUE FOR MONEY / CHEAP – Yesinn @YMT
A very nice and stylish hostel in Kowloon. Only a short walking distance away from 2 metro stations and a busy night market. There are a lot of restaurants and shops in the area.
They offer both cheap bunk beds (rooms are with en-suite bathrooms) and private rooms.
Have you been hiking in Hong Kong? Did you do the Dragon’s Back Trail? What was your experience?
Book Your Trip Like a PRO
1. Book Your Flight
2. Book Your Accommodation
Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!
3. Buy Your Travel Insurance
World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.