Hong Kong has some wonderful hiking trails that not many tourists know of. My wife and I went to check them out last December. The trails are extensive, scenic, easily accessible by public transport, and have different levels of difficulty.

Our first hike was the 100km Hong Kong Trail that starts from Victoria Peak. This was a relatively easy trail as it passes through much of the city. At various points we saw high-rise apartments, office buildings and even cemeteries.

We assume we walked past an amusement park as we heard laughter and other interesting sounds, but we couldn’t see anything through the dense forest. There were white flowers strewn along the trail, which prompted my wife to nickname it the “flower trail”.

The hike ended after 25km at a residential area of opulent bungalows near Victoria Peak. We were never far from the heart of the city, but at times it felt like we were miles away.

Lamma Island, a short ferry ride from the city centre, is a favourite for family day-trips. We disembarked at a village at one end of the island and shuffled with the huge crowd through narrow streets lined with bars, souvenir shops and seafood restaurants.

The 7km concrete path meandered through sparse woods and rocky hillsides. We wandered off the trail to a partly abandoned village called Lok Chu and stumbled upon a delightful seaside cottage.

The owner came out to talk to us, then kindly served us tea. Beautiful and serene surroundings, cold sea breeze tempered by sun rays, and kind strangers make such memorable holidays.

Hong Kong

The writer’s wife having tea at a seaside cottage at Luk Cho, Lamma Island.

Dragon’s Back is Hong Kong’s most popular trail. The 8km path is a loop, so you can start and end at the same point. My wife and I climbed up the trail first and finished on the flat terrain.

There are lots of hikers of all ages and long queues on some steep narrow passages. Brace yourself for the strong gusty wind on the open ridges of the undulating rocky trail and at the top. It is tough getting to the peak (293m) but the view is worth the effort.

Years ago when we first visited Hong Kong, we saw Lantau Peak from Po Lin Monastery and thought it would be nice to hike there one day. This peak at 934m, and Lin Fa Shan at 766m, are part of the Lantau Trail.

The rocky Lantau Peak trail of open ridges and peaks offer panoramic views of the city and the sea. Up there it is rocks, boulders and tall grass with birds of prey soaring on thermals.

Descending a meadow, we saw some buildings which we thought were barns for livestock as we saw lots of cow dung along the trail. We were later told that they were religious meditation retreats.

Hong Kong

Cows abandoned by farmers, wander freely on the trails, roads and rural areas outside Hong Kong city are protected by law.

Our 13km hike ended in Mu Wo, a quiet seaside resort where cycling seemed to be the main mode of transport.

Our last hike was at Sai Kung Unesco Geopark, where beautiful and secluded sandy beaches like Ham Tin, Sai Wan and Long Ke lie. Set in protected coves with calm clear waters, the area makes for the perfect beach getaway. The view of the beaches and coastline with the mountains in the background were breathtaking.

The last leg of this 24km hike passed through the High Island Reservoir. We bumped into many hikers heading in the opposite direction. With such natural gems, it is no wonder that some of these trails have been kept a “secret” by locals.

We were glad we decided to turn our holiday into a hiking trip.

The views expressed are entirely the reader’s own.