With the colder season settling in, it’s time to get your trainers ready for another hiking season. Hong Kong is undoubtedly blessed with forested trails and remarkably idyllic views of coastlines and city skylight. Not to mention, there are a slew of hiking spots across the city to catch the breathtaking sights of the break of dawn. To chase the first ray of light, here’s just where to catch the city’s most beautiful view of the sunrise.
For an easy stroll: Breamer Hill, North Point
For those new to hiking, Braemer Hill offers a gentle introduction to the beauty of hiking, leading you to a gentle first glimpse of daybreak with a beautiful panoramic sight of the city.
How to get there: Take the MTR to Tin Hau Exit B and cross the road. Then, on the right, walk up towards Tung Lo Wan Road until you reach Lin Fa Kung Street West on the left, and continue towards Lin Fa Kung Temple. Here, you will find Lin Fa Kung Garden and a set of steps that mark the starting point of the trail. It’s best to keep your google maps on for this trek as the trail, although short, may be confusing.
Distance: approx. 1 hour
Best for city view: Lugard Road, Central
Another easy alternative on the other end is Victoria Peak, often recognised for its iconic postcard landscape. However a detour towards a lesser trafficked path on the side of the trail, also known as the running trail, leads treats hikers to a lesser known but gorgeous view of Hong Kong Island and Victoria Harbour. Talk about picture-perfect sunrise.
How to get there: You can take a bus to Victoria Peak or hike up its morning trail to get to the peak then find the pedestrian path also referred to as the running trail just off the side of the peak which will lead to a viewing point.
Duration: appox. 1 hour
For a challenging hike: Sunset Peak, Lantau Island
Although named Sunset Peak (because the sun sets here), this 869-meter high mountain actually serves one of the best views of the sunrise in the city. It is the Hong Kong’s third highest peak and is a challenge that does require a good amount of resilience and a bit of luck foe the weather to be on your side as it is a part of Lantau Island that does get foggy towards the top.
How to get there: Although this trail is relatively straight forward with a single paved path, the difficulty comes in the form of a couple of hundred steps. Start at Pak Kung Au via bus 3M from either Mui Wo or Tung Chung and follow its paved trail up towards the peak.
Duration: 4-6 hours
Best Overnight Stay: Tap Mun, Grass Island
With natural rock formations, the beautiful coastline, expansive verdant plains of grass in the day, and a blanket of stars above throughout the night. Campers looking to wait out the golden hour and long night to catch the first light of day, will enjoy the experiencing of camping here.
How to get there: Take a taxi from Exit B University Station to Ma Liu Shui Ferry Pier or a bus 94 from Sai Kung to Wong Shek Pier for a sampan ride across to reach Grass Island.
Distance: approx. 1-2 hours
For Hong Kong’s highest peak: Tai Mo Shan, New Territories
Standing at a mighty 957 metres above sea level, Tai Mo Shan is Hong Kong’s tallest mountain, making it one of the most popular hills to trek among avid hikers. Although many visitors travel here to chase the sunset, its 3am pre-dawn hike up also makes for a trip well worth the climb if you’re up for early start.
How to get there: Take bus 51 at Tsuen Wan West MTR Station and get off at the country park. Walk up to reach the radar station and continue along the trail until you reach the top.
Duration: appox. 6hours
Best for beach stay: Shek O Beach, Sai Kung
Shek O is no stranger to the city’s eager beach lovers, a hot spot for swimming, surfing and barbecuing. But just before the beach gets overtaken by crowds during the day, this long strip of shoreline actually serves as calming spot to watch the night transform into a beautiful gradient sky just above the South China Sea coastline.
How to get there: Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station Exit A3 and hop onto a the red minibus number 9 to Big Wave Bay. Drop off at the U-turn at the junction of Shek O Road and walk for about 10 minutes to Big Wave Bay Village and beach. Afterwards, you can make your way along the Dragon’s Back trail for a moderately easy hike back Shau Kei Wan, as the trail is not recommended to trek in the dark.
Duration: 30 mins (without hike); 4 hours
Difficulty: Easy (without hike) to Moderate (with hike)