Hiking the Dragon's Back Trail in Hong Kong

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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

Hiking in Shek O Country Park - the Dragon's Back
Hiking in Shek O Country Park – The Dragon’s Back Trail, Hong Kong

STARTING POINT: near Chai Wan (hiking the opposite way), To Tei Wan;

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

Viewpoint on the Dragon's Back Trail in Hong Kong
Viewpoint on the Dragon’s Back Trail in Hong Kong

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)

Walking to the Dragon's Back Hike, Hong Kong
Walking to the Dragon’s Back Trail, Hong Kong

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.

Skyscrapers near the Dragon's Back Hike in Hong Kong
Skyscrapers near the Dragon’s Back Hike in Hong Kong

At first you are walking next to the road.

Road before the Dragon's Back Hike
Road before the Dragon’s Back Hike

But not for long.

To Dragons Back Hikint Trail

Don’t miss this sign! (below)

If you continue walking straight, you’ll end up on the Big Wave Bay Beach.

Trail sign on the Dragon's Back Trail
Trail sign on the Dragon’s Back Trail

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.

Signs on the Dragon's Back Trail

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.

Hiking in forest - Hong Kong

And then… you see Hong Kong island.

Hong Kong island - As seen from the Dragon's Back Trek.jpg
Hong Kong island – As seen from the Dragon’s Back Trek

Soon you are leaving the forest.

And heading higher.

Trail sign - Dragon's back hike, Hong Kong

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.

Rocky trail in Hong Kong

You are going higher.

Steps on hiking trail in Hong Kong

And a bit more higher.

Isn’t it beautiful, huh?

Ridge hiking in Hong Kong
Ridge hiking in Hong Kong

Man hiking the Dragon's Back Trail in Hong Kong

And the views are getting only better.

The Shek O Beach in Hong Kong
The Big Wave Bay Beach, Hong Kong

Yes, for the mountain views!

No, for the storm, haha.

Clouds over mountains in Hong Kong
Clouds rolling over the mountains in Hong Kong

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.

Hiking the Dragon's Back Trail in Hong Kong

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.

Hiking to the Shek O Peak
Hiking to Shek O Peak

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.

Near Shek O Peak
Near Shek O Peak

I also noticed that there is another trail, marked with pink ribbons.

Pink ribbon on the trail

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.

A guy sitting on a rock - Hong Kong

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!

This sign.

Trail sign - Hong Kong

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.

Walking back from the Dragon's Back
Walking back from the Dragon’s Back

And it offers beautiful views. So, why not take it?

Skyscrapers in the distance

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.

Skysrapers as seen from a far

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.

STARTING POINT: near Chai Wan (hiking the opposite way), To Tei Wan.

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.

Street on Hong Kong island
Hong Kong island

See some more beautiful urban hikes around the world.

5. Where to Stay in Hong Kong

VALUE FOR MONEY / CHEAP – Yesinn @YMT

Yesinn hostel in Hong Kong
Yesinn hostel in Hong Kong

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.

Bed starts at 120 HKD.  Check prices and availability.

Double room starts at 400 HKD.  Check prices and availability.

Have you been hiking in Hong Kong? Did you do the Dragon’s Back Trail? What was your experience?