Dragon slaying in Hong Kong
Please visit my previous Hong Kong hikes here Hiking suicide cliff
The Dragon’s Back (Traditional Chinese: 龍脊) is a ridge in southeastern Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, between Wan Cham Shan and Shek O Peak. It lies within the Shek O Country Park. In 2004 the Dragon’s Back Trail was selected by TIME Asia as the best urban hiking trail. Dragons back is possibly the most well-known and well-travelled hike in HK. This is due to its easy terrain, convenient start and end point, it’s proximity to the beaches and of course it’s breath-taking views.
I was instantly surprised by how busy this was compared to other trails I’ve been to in HK. But it was a sunny Sunday and the temperature was perfect, so I guess local people just thought why not?!
Start the Dragons Back Hong Kong along Shek O Road, just a 20-minute drive from Central Hong Kong. Either take a taxi or you can take no.9 bus from Shau Kei Wan MTR station, and stop at the bus stop at To Tei Wan Village. The entrance to the Dragon’s Back is right at the bus stop and is highlighted with a large sign and map
The trail starts (and ends) very easily. It’s not difficult terrain and it’s quite casual to hike, even a beginner could do this I feel. After around 30 mins it was time for lunch. Vincent advised us to eat first and check out the views second. However, a few of us climbed the rocks to get some good photos and soak in the vista below. Much to our horror the lunch was almost gone. Lesson learned, next time have lunch first! It’s a funny story to tell at least and it didn’t really affect the day in anyway. After lunch came the bulk of the walk. Some stairs, some trail. All well-defined and easy to navigate, we soon began making great profess. The only problem was how slow some people are in front of us. Traffic jam on the mountain! Along the route there are numerous majestic photo opportunities and views of the vista below you. Beaches, oceans and even villas. The views are seared into my brain for all eternity. The top side of dragons back continue to give good views and good breeze from 360 degrees. However, as you descend the views disappear. With trees on both side of the trail, you cannot really see much and the 2nd half of the hike was a bit disappointing. The highlight being a refreshing stream to wash our faces and drink. Clean and healthy!
After defeating the dragon, you end at Big Wave Bay. Still recovering from the devastation of the typhoon, this a popular haven for water sport fanatics with surfers and wind surfers out in force.
The beach was clean and spacious, the other beach goers not giving us a second look and just going about their business. My opinion is that Big Wave Bay is a bit boring if you don’t go in the water. I’ve never been a beach lover and I didn’t bring a swim suit, so I quickly got bored. With little to see here I was happy to move onto Shek O village
Shek O is a sleepy seaside village that was quaint and charming. With pastel colour buildings such as pink and orange this gives it a unique style seldom found in mainland China. Also the set of a famous Romantic Movie (don’t ask me which one or if it’s good) this bring tourists here from all corners of HK. Shek O was a great way to end the trip. It has a superior beach than Big Wave Bay and we witnessed an awesome sunset and the sky was on fire almost. I also found myself a HK style milk tea which is a must for me every time I visit HK.
Dragons Back is a must hike in HK, it’s considered the best ‘urban trail’ in the city. My advice would be to do the hike then head to Shek O beach, skip out Big Wave Bay completely, unless you are a big water sports fan.
- This is probably Hong Kong’s most popular hiking trail. If you don’t want to get stuck behind crowds of people, either come mid-week, or set off hiking before 9am on the weekend.
- Bring water! Especially if you are hiking in the warmer months, it will be hot and sweaty work. I never go hiking in Hong Kong without my Camelbak.
- Wear sensible walking shoes or trainers – flip flops aren’t really going to cut it on this hike.
- Hong Kong weather is changeable – bring both a waterproof jacket and suncream.