Dragon’s Back

You’ve got to walk the Dragon’s Back if you fancy impressing friends who might ask you about the city’s hiking trails. Like a badge you can wear on a shirt if you had time only for a single hike in Hong Kong. Most times of the year, expect to have company when taking on this iconic trail — locals and residents as well as tourists who squeeze in a few hours of hiking in their Hong Kong itinerary.

From the get-go, the Dragon’s Back pushes you quite intensely if you’re a moderately fit beginner, as it starts with a steep but short climb. Gratification, however, is instant. Regarded as a classic Hong Kong trail, the Dragon’s Back rewards hikers with vistas of lush greenery and the South China Sea within minutes from the start point. It quickly gives you a sense of tranquility.

When you reach the highest point at Shek O Peak, the 360-degree view — Tai Tam Country Park’s rugged cliffs, the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island, and the waters of Big Wave Bay — can make you wonder why it took you so long to take up hiking.

It’s an unforgettable experience that ends with a walk on golden sand and maybe a hard-to-resist dip at Big Wave Bay.

DIRECTIONS

Get to the start:

  1. Take the buses from Stanley and Chai Wan to the To Tei Wan bus stop where you alight and follow the signs to the Dragon’s Back.
  2. Once you reach the ridge, turn left and continue along the path with great views on either side.
  3. Shek O Peak provides one of the best viewing spots and at 270 m will be the highest point along the walk.
  4. At the point where the Hong Kong Trail turns left (500 m after Shek O Peak), you can either follow the Hong Kong Trail along an easy but long path or continue along the Dragon’s Back following a ribboned trail.
  5. Continue for around 1 km before turning right down a steep path until you meet a T-junction and turn left.
  6. At Pottinger Gap, rejoin the Hong Kong Trail turning right and then right again down to Big Wave Bay.
  7. After enjoying the beach and some refreshments at Big Wave Bay, walk up to the bus stop passing Lee’s Store where you will find buses to Chai Wan and Shau Kei Wan.