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Hong Kong Dragon’s Back – The Best Urban Hike in Asia

Hiking is big in Hong Kong and as mentioned in my previous guest post, there are many hiking trails in Hong Kong. I guess the most famous one would be the Dragon’s Back Trail since Time Magazine declared it as The Best Urban Hike in Asia (22 Nov 2004 Asia issue)! Dragon’s Back, also known as the Hong Kong trail Section 8, is approximately 8km long and an easy walk after the first quarter or so of the trail (not taking into account the heat and humidity in June).

Map Of Dragon's Back Hong Kong - AspirantSG

My friend MJ and I took the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station, exited from A3 and took bus no. 9 from the Shau Kei Wan bus terminus to To Tei Wan (name of the bus stop) on Shek O Road, which is near to To Tei Wan village. The bus ride was about 20-30 minutes from the bus terminus. If you use google map, type in “To Tei Wan” and get off at the nearest point to the village. You will know when to alight when you see the bus stop (yes, it is pretty obvious compared to the rest). The hiking trail starts right beside the bus stop and is well sign-posted along the way so you won’t get lost, trust me.

Start Of Dragon's Back Trail Hong Kong - AspirantSG

We started climbing up towards the hilltop at around 2.30pm in the sweltering afternoon sun. We thought this timing would be better than mid-day but I guess we were wrong. Anyway, since we were already there, we were going to complete the hike. As we walked up, we were rewarded with stunning views along the way and we could see the dragon boats racing at Stanley Main Beach (it was Tuen Ng Festival that day).

View from Dragon's Back Ascent Hong Kong - AspirantSG

There was no shade for this part of the trail and it was hot, really hot! Somebody even hiked with an umbrella!

Hiking With Umbrella On Dragon's Back Hong Kong - AspirantSG

After some huffing and puffing (and a lot of perspiration), we reached the Shek O Peak at 284m high to this view.

Shek O Peak Hong Kong - AspirantSG

You see the Tai Long Wan (Big Wave Bay) beach below.

Tai Long Wan Hong Kong - AspirantSG

After we moved further along the trail and turned around, we could see THE “Dragon’s Back”. It’s quite impressive isn’t it?

Sighting Of The Dragon's Back Hong Kong - AspirantSG

We could have stopped a little longer to enjoy the views if only there were shades. But the heat and humidity was getting a bit unbearable so we continued walking.

Unbearable Heat At Dragon's Back Hong Kong - AspirantSG

Sadly, those were the highlights of the hike because after that, only trees and rocks lined the trail. The absence of an open sky view was, however, a great respite from the direct sun burning our skin. The trail was flat from then on and sloped gently downwards at the last couple of kilometres.

Gentle Descent Down Dragon's Back Hong Kong - AspirantSG

About 2.5 hours after we started the hike, we arrived at Tai Long Wan village which is at the end of the trail. We then cut across the open air carpark and headed towards the Big Wave Bay beach in search of some ice cold drinks that we desperately needed. It was a busy beach with many people sun-tanning and swimming. There were shops and mini stalls providing the beach-goers with all the necessities including food, drinks and of course surf boards (because it is the Big Wave Bay!).

In conclusion, the Dragon’s Back is not a difficult hiking trail and the view it offers is spectacular. I would recommend anyone visiting Hong Kong to try this trail, especially if you don’t have a lot of time. As a matter of fact, we met a guide leading a group of 4-5 tourists during the first section of the trail. However if you do decide to conquer the Dragon’s Back, I would advise doing it during the cooler months (October–April). I guarantee that will be a much more pleasant experience.

About The Guest Blogger

Dariel Lim (@wheresdariel) is a Singaporean who lived in Dubai for 6 years before moving to Hong Kong in 2012. She had already travelled to 27 countries including Egypt, Lebanon, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Russia, Germany, and the USA and is still planning for more. She shares her itineraries and stories on

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