Hong Kong Hikes: The Best Trails On The Outlying Islands
As much as we love the bustling city streets, there are few better weekend activities then exploring Hong Kong's stunning landscape. While there are plenty of hikes to do both on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon, if you're wanting to truly escape, venture out to one of these hiking trails on the outlying islands. From beginner and family-friendly walks, to rugged terrains and steep climbs, we're rounding up some of the best hikes on Lamma, Lantau and Cheung Chau islands.
Mui Wo to Pui O Beach
The hike from Mui Wo to Pui O Beach offers unbeatable sea views – along with the promise of a beachside beer at the end. Beginning just after you disembark the ferry in Mui Wo, the hike follows the Lantau Trail Section 12 to Pui O.
The hike is moderate difficulty and around 10km in length, taking under 3 hours to complete. Starting off steady and hugging the shoreline, the trail then gets a little harder as it heads inland, with a handful of steep climbs along the way as it heads up to Tai Ngau Wu Peak. Once at the peak, the trail descends down to Pui O town and the beach, where you'll find a campsite and Treasure Island beach restaurant and bar – the perfect pit stop for a bite to eat and a drink before catching the ferry home.
How to get there: Take the ferry to Mui Wo from Central pier 6. Head left out of the ferry pier past the bus station and the restaurants, the path curves around and you’ll see a set of stairs and a signpost marking the start if the trail.
Lamma Island Family Trail
Another convenient island hike, the Lamma Island Family Trail begins close to the Sok Kwu Wan ferry pier. As the name suggests, the walk is perfect for beginners and can be completed in under an hour and a half. Connecting to Yung Shue Wan village, you can choose to start your walk at either Sok Kwu Wan or Yung Shue Wan, though we recommend Sok Kwu Wan as the starting point as finishing in Yung Shue Wan has more options for things to do, drink and eat.
The scenic trail is 4km long and filled with hidden gems along the way. Traversing through secluded beaches, refreshment stands, temples and attractions, the trail boasts unobstructed vistas of the island’s coastline. End your hike with a break at Hung Shing Ye Beach, or a stop at one of the island’s popular seafood restaurants.
How to get there: Take the ferry to Sok Kwu Wan from Central pier 4. Walk right out of the pier and past the numerous seafood restaurants. Walk through the village and follow the signs for the family trail and Yung Shue Wan. As you exit the village you’ll pass the Tin Hau temple on your left, keep following the path which leads to the family trail. When you come to a fork in the road, be sure to keep right for Yong Shu Wan.
See also: Island Guide: What To Eat, Drink And Do In Lamma Island
Offering stunning island views and unique geological sights, Sharp Island’s easy hike is well worth ticking off. Accessible via Sai Kung, Sharp Island can be reached via a small boat known as a kaito from Sai Kung Pier. The short island hike then connects Hap Mun Bay and Kiu Tsui Beach – and can be completed with either as the start and finishing points.
Both destinations are perfect for relaxing and sunbathing after your hike, with Hap Mun Bay Beach known for having some of the best-rated water in Hong Kong. If you happen to be at Kiu Tsui Beach at low tide, try to find the famed Tombolo – the natural bridge that connects to the nearby Kiu Tau islet – and be sure to also keep an eye out for the unique “pineapple bun boulders” that are found here.
How to get there: From Sai Kung town, board a kaito at Sai Kung Public Pier. It takes about 15 minutes to reach Hap Mun Bay. The trail begins near the picnic site and heads up towards Hak Shan Teng before you reach Kiu Tsui Beach. The hike can also be done in reverse, starting at Kiu Tsui Beach.
See also: The Most Beautiful Beaches To Visit In Hong Kong
As the second highest summit in Hong Kong, hiking Lantau Peak is not for the faint hearted. The tough climb features plenty of stairs and steep inclines, but the views at the top will make it more than worth it. What’s more, if you have visitors in tow, it’s a great excuse to tick off attractions such as the Tian Tan Buddha and the Ngong Ping cable car on the way down.
How to get there: Get the MTR to Tung Chung and find the bus stop by exit B. Take either the 11 or 3M bus to Pak Kung Au. Once off the bus, cross the road and you’ll find a signpost signalling the start of the trail. To finish, turn back the way you have come and get the bus back to Tung Chung, alternatively you can continue on to Tian Tan Buddha and then take the cable car to Tung Chung, or continue to Tian Tan Buddha and follow the trail back to Tung Chung – which will add an extra two hours to your hike.
See also: 5 Scenic Hong Kong Hiking Trails Near Your Country Club
Cheung Chau Island North Lookout Pavilion
Famed for its annual Bun Festival, Cheung Chau Island is also a great option for those looking for an easy hike. As the highest point on Cheung Chau, the North Lookout Pavilion offers the best vistas of the island and beyond. Only taking about 40 minutes in total to reach, the walk to the lookout is a great option for Cheung Chau day trippers. If you want to continue exploring once you’ve reached the lookout, there are multiple trails that can be taken, along with small secluded beaches to explore – just be warned that some of the trails back up to the main path can be steep.
How to get there: Take the ferry to Cheung Chau from Central pier 5. Turn left out of the ferry pier and continue walking along San Hing Praya Street and turn left at the end of the road, following the signs to the North Lookout Pavilion. This leads to Cheung Kwai Road, and onto Cheung Pak Road and the Pavilion.
See also: Island Guide: What To Eat, Drink And Do In Cheung Chau