Dragon’s Back Trail
The Dragon’s Back trail is a great place to start. The dramatic ridge stretches down the Island’s eastside peninsular region Shek O, well known for a number of beaches along its jagged coastline. The 8.5-kilometre hike takes four hours to complete if you go at a leisurely pace. But if you just want a scenic lookout instead of a strenuous workout, there is a vantage point less than a half hour’s walk from the trail’s starting point. You might even spot a few paragliders while taking photos. Big Wave Bay at the end of the route is great for a dip and you can surf here all year round.
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At the heart of Hong Kong Island is the Wilson Trail. Shorter but more demanding than Dragon’s Back, the hilly route goes over two peaks and four reservoirs, which were built in the 19th century to solve water shortage problems. The ascent up Violet Hill makes for a great warm-up, but before long, you will be able to see the dramatic Repulse Bay as the descent leads you into Hong Kong’s greenest region, Tai Tam Valley. Take a break here, because The Twins is just ahead, with a seemingly endless series of steps running uphill. At this point, teatime in Stanley at the end of the route sounds pretty good...
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Lantau Island Trail
Ready for a real challenge? Head out to Lantau Island and experience its eponymously-named trail, which starts from the east end and completes a large circuit after winding round the west side. Divided into 12 clearly-marked sections, you can decide where to begin and end your itinerary. Along the 70-kilometre route, you will find information points and local vendors offering refreshments along the way. Sections 3 and 4 are the most picturesque as they are on the highest point of the island. Feel on top of the world as you look down upon aircraft taking off and landing at the international airport just north of here.
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Listed as one of 20 dream trails amongst the world’s best hikes by the National Geographic, the 100-kilometre Maclehose Trail showcases Hong Kong’s dramatic landscapes. The circuit starts in the northeast and 10 sections allow you to plan ahead. Volcanic columns, sea caves and emerald beaches in the early stages will encourage you to continue, but beware, the following sections 3, 4 and 5 stretch for kilometres, so keep an eye on sunset time. Beyond the undulating hills, skyscrapers are vaguely visible in the distance along with the even fainter silhouettes of numerous tiny islands on the horizon.
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