Hong Kong Hikes—Plus Where To Eat And Drink After
Violet Hill To Repulse Bay
The beginning of the hike offers stunning views of Hong Kong Island's canyon of skyscrapers, and they fade into the distance as the trail brings you further south where you'll find yourself surrounded by views of rolling mountains and the South China Sea. This two-hour hike is an enjoyable one, while offering just enough challenge and incline to feel like you've gotten your workout in for the day.
This trail normally leads all the way to Stanley, but there's a cheeky shortcut at the water catchment just before you reach Tai Tam Tuk reservoir that brings you straight to Repulse Bay.
Where to eat: Newly opened Thai eatery, Sip Song, serves impossibly delicious Thai food that goes down a dream with an ice cold beer or cocktail.
Down the boardwalk, Limewood is a firm seaside favourite, serving tropical-inspired dishes like fish tacos and jerk chicken along with fun summer cocktails that can be ordered by the jug.
Park View to Quarry Bay
This hike starts at Parkview, meandering through lush scenery and earthy trails as you take in panoramic views of Hong Kong Island. It's moderate but not overly challenging, and takes no longer than three hours.
Where to eat: Mr & Mrs Fox delivers beautifully presented, creative dishes in contemporary, laid back yet buzzy environs.
Thirsty? From lush mountain views during your hike, shift to stellar city views at Sugar, the rooftop bar at EAST Hotel.
Discovery Bay to Mui Wo
This scenic hike can take two to three hours depending on how often you stop to smell the roses—and trust us, there is plenty to see. This trail will take you through old fishing villages, a banana plantation, small farms, a monastery and plenty of lookout points.
Finally, it ends with a long, leisurely descent into Mui Wo beach where expansive views of the coast and surrounding islands are breathtaking.
Where to eat: The China Beach Club is an ultra laidback beachfront restaurant and bar that serves Mediterranean cuisine and a few BBQ specials, too. Bonus: it's pet-friendly.
If you walk a little further to Mui Wo pier, there's Bahce Turkish Restaurant which serves some of the most authentic Turkish cuisine in Hong Kong.
See also: Editors' Picks: Where To Take Visitors In Hong Kong
Tai Mo Shan
Few activities will work up an appetite like hiking Hong Kong's tallest mountain—Tai Mo Shan. This stunning albeit challenging hike is worth the effort, as the well-maintained MacLehose Trail literally takes you above the clouds as you reach the summit (which sits at a cool 957 metres, or 3,140 feet).
Where to eat: Duen Kee, located at the base of Tai Mo Shan, is perfect for an authentic dim sum experience. According to Hong Kong Tatler's Editorial Director of Food & Wine, Charmaine Mok: "This charming village teahouse is flanked by open watercress fields and fills up with elderly birdkeepers and hikers from the crack of dawn. The experience is two-fold as you’re able to witness Hong Kong’s underrated natural beauty while partaking in a centuries-old food tradition. It’s a hands-on restaurant, too—guests help themselves to what they want from the towers of bamboo steamers hiding all manner of dim sum, from nostalgic steamed Chinese sausage buns to those with a heart of silky egg custard."
See also: 5 Luxe Hong Kong Airbnb Properties For A Staycation Out Of The City
Perhaps not a hike per se, but there's a leisurely trail that wraps around Cheung Chau's coastline, weaving through otherworldly geo rock formations. If you aren't in the mood to walk, bikes are available to rent as well as the island's famous "tricycles"—a kind of rickshaw that's ideal if you have young children in tow.
Want to make a staycation of it? Stay in one of the geodesic domes at Sai Yuen Farm. Sitting on clifftops, they're strategically placed for stargazing and utmost privacy.
Where to eat: Cheung Chau has a few pleasant surprises up its sleeve when it comes to food. For traditional Cantonese-style seafood that the island is famous for, So Bor Kee always hits the spot and is a favourite amongst locals. If you're after something more casual, Yu Lok CC is a cozy seafood shack that serves a seasonal menu of speciality snacks and cold Japanese beer.
For coffee, Heima Heima is a chic Japanese-inspired cafe with a homey vibe. Another great option is Valor.
See also: Island Guide: What To Eat, Drink And Do In Cheung Chau
Dragon's Back to Shek O
Dragon's Back is arguably Hong Kong's most popular hike, and its snaking ridge-top trail certainly lives up to its name. But the reason it's so popular is that it's both easy and scenic, making it ideal for novices while still enjoyable for the city's most seasoned hikers.
Where to eat: Cococabana will have you doing a double take to make sure you're still in Hong Kong. This light and airy space serves Mediterranean cuisine, and offers the kind of beachside atmosphere one would find in Portugal or Greece.
Further afield, Ben's Back Beach Bar is something of a local legend. It serves (extremely) reasonably priced drinks, is both dog- and family-friendly and it sits right on the sandy shores of Shek O.
Pok Fu Lam to The Peak
For a hike that lasts less than two hours, you definitely get to see a lot as this moderate trail takes you past the Pok Fu Lam Public Riding School, through Pok Fu Lam Country Park and finally on to the Reservoir Trail where you'll walk along the edge of the reservoir. At the end of the hike, you'll find yourself just behind The Peak Galleria.
If you're feeling up for more, finish with a breezy 40-minute walk around the Peak Morning Trail—a flat trail that boasts unparalleled 360 degree views of Hong Kong.
Where to eat: Newly opened Rajasthan Rifles offers all-day dining options that fuse British and Indian cuisines, harmoniously blending both in their finest form.
Otherwise, head to the iconic Peak Lookout for a taste of days gone by. Housed in a 19th century Grade II historical building, has a warm and inviting ambiance and offers an international menu that spans from moules et frites to their signature Hainan chicken rice.
See also: 5 Scenic Hong Kong Hiking Trails Near Your Country Club
Temple Hill (Tsz Wan Shan)
This lesser known hike is right next to famed Lion’s Rock, but offers equally impressive views for a fraction of the effort—but be prepared to enjoy a fair bit of narrow stairs before you reach the viewing point. Clocking in at about 4 kilometres, the hike starts from behind the Tsz Wan Shan North Bus Terminus and loops around the TVB transmission station before descending back down to Tsz Wan Shan Estate. As the name suggests, you’ll pass by plenty of temples including the Temple Hill Kwun Yam Buddhist Temple.
Where to eat: Once you’ve landed back in buzzing Tsz Wan Shan, it’s just a short 10 minute stroll to Wing Kee cha chaan teng for their signature claypot satay beef noodles.
Luk Keng to Kuk Po Old Village
Located within Plover Cove Country Park, this lovely coastal amble keeps things interesting with mangroves, rocky beaches, abandoned farmland and charming old stone villages. The path, which is just shy of 5 kilometres starting from Bride’s Pool Road, takes you past Starling Inlet, with views of Shenzhen across the water; for nature lovers, the biodiversity of the area is likened to that of Mai Po, with plenty of fascinating flora and fauna, as well as the largest number of Hong Kong’s iconic egrets.
Where to eat: Time your hike to end with lunch at Chung Kee, a Hakka-style eatery with plenty of makeshift outdoor tables. Get their signature duck with a lemon-tinged vinaigrette, oyster omelette and pork belly cooked with preserved vegetables and black bean. Halfway through the walk you’ll also spot snack shacks selling silken tofu desserts and glutinous rice cakes.
South Lantau Coastal Trail (Shek Pik to Tai O via Fan Lau and Yi O)
This 17km trail may sound daunting at first, but the gentle elevation and stunning coastal views means this is more of a slow burner. Plenty of glittering seaside vistas, quiet beaches and verdant farmland await, as well as the promise of food paradise in the form of Tai O fishing village. A mid-way stop at Yi O allows you to rest a bit and perhaps even pick up a jar or two of local sauces—we love the XO sauce with salted fish.
Where to eat: Graze your way through Tai O, and make sure you pick up a “husband” (a roti wrap filled with minced pork stir-fried with the village’s famed salted shrimp paste) for under HK$30. Pick up souvenirs such as salted fish and egg yolks, and stop off for a relaxing coffee at Solo Cafe’s waterside terrace.
See also: Neighbourhood Guide: What To Eat, Drink And Do In Tai O
This story was originally published September 2019 and updated in January 2021