Contrary to popular belief, Hong Kong is not all concrete jungle and there is more wildlife on the island than the party animals found staggering down the street on a Friday night in Lan Kwai Fong.
Hong Kong is not restricted to Kowloon and Hong Kong Island like most tend to believe, but stretches out for 1,104² kilometres over 235 islands! If you have only visited their developed areas, that would leave you with another 75% of the country waiting to be explored.
So, pack your hiking boots and track bottoms (or tights) the next time you pay this archipelago a visit and check out these nature trails.
Ma On Shan Hiking Trail
Ma On Shan, characteristically known for its saddle-like appearance, is one of the highest mountains in Hong Kong at a towering 702 metres (2,303 ft).
As Ma On Shan is full of greenery and trees on one side whilst the other is covered with shrubs and grasses, you can expect to see an array of flora in this area and if lucky, you may come across a Chinese Pangolin or Chinese Porcupine.
This strenuous 11-kilometre ridge walk over mountain slopes and through twin peaks is one for the adventure seeker looking for a bit of a challenge.
Tai Mo Shan Hiking Trail
The big daddy of peaks in Hong Kong, Tai Mo Shan is the highest peak in Hong Kong with an elevation of 957m (3140ft), also making it the second tallest peak in China.
Composed of volcanic rocks from the Jurassic era, a small part of Tai Mo Shan vents warm air through cracks that lead all the way into the Earth’s mantle.
Also nestled in the dense jungle that surrounds Tai Mo Shan is the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls, a series of waterfalls that cascade from a 30 metre (98ft) height.
Lantau Island Gorge Walk
Located South-West of Hong Kong is its largest island, Lantau Island, which is covered in a mountainous terrain. Covered in greenery, the island is known as the “lungs of Hong Kong” as it does not share the same skyscraper landscape Kowloon and Hong Kong Island own.
Perfect for hikes year-round, this trail is scattered with boulders, cliffs and waterfalls, a perfect escape from the concrete jungle with the scrambling needed to cover the rocky terrain.
Taking an approximate five hours to complete, Lantau Island Gorge Walk is just what the doctor ordered if you have a few hours to kill and a sense of adventure to satiate.
Dragon’s Back Hiking Trail
Once voted as the ‘Best Urban Hiking Trail in Asia,’ Dragon’s Back Hiking Trail is a must visit for both hiking enthusiasts and the novice looking for something other than food and shopping.
Expect to see bamboo groves and woodland, and of course, a stunning view of the South of Hong Kong Island as you scale the “dragon’s spine” before jumping into the cool waters of the Big Wave Bay located at the end of the trail.
This trail is perfect for families with kids as it is relatively easy. Who knows, they may ditch the idea of perpetually being glued to their iPads after visiting nature’s playground.
For more travel inspiration, check out some of the personalised itineraries created on Touristly here: