View of the village of Stanley from the Wilson Trail, Hong Kong
When you think of Hong Kong, you probably think of all the BUILDINGS. Think New York City, times ten, taller, and more populated. Oh, and more expensive. And then add a river running through the middle of it, and a bunch of mountains. That’s Hong Kong. But what you don’t think of is that most of Hong Kong is all green hills and mountains. Which means there is great hiking. And that, the hiking, was one of the highlights of my recent trip to Hong Kong.
Hiking isn’t something I ever thought about doing in Hong Kong but it was amazing. Not to mention that it’s a KILLER workout — think lots of hills and stairs. Oh the stairs. My body was almost completely soaking wet within 20 minutes. The extreme humidity doesn’t help, but even on a warm day, those hills and stairs will get you. My legs were definitely sore the next day from all the steps.
We had a guide, which was very helpful. I loved not having to figure out what bus to take where, and if I was on the right trail, and if we were on the right unmarked shortcuts — all of that was easily taken care of by our guide Wilson through Sam the Local. I highly recommend him and using Sam the Local to find people to help you navigate Hong Kong.
We hiked the first part of Wilson Trail (the Violet Hill section) from Happy Valley to the village of Stanley. We took a shortcut and didn’t do the Twin Peaks but had we gone earlier in the morning (before it got really hot) I would have also have loved to do them. Gives me a great reason to go back to Hong Kong — more hiking!
Unfortunately the weather most of the time we were there was very foggy. Not ideal for great photos. Last time I was in Hong Kong the weather was gorgeous, so I can only imagine how beautiful the views and photos would have been had we had clear weather!
Is this hike worth it? YES! The views were beautiful. It was challenging, but doable. There was a large group of what appeared to be retired people (I assume ages 55-70) doing the hike while we were there. You can go as fast or slow as you want to tailor to your athletic level, but it’s a great workout and the views are gorgeous.
What to expect & my tips:
+ Stairs. Lots and lots of them. It’s a very hilly hike with a combination of stairs, flat trails, and rocky trails.
+ Hong Kong is humid. Look up the temperature, and then remember it will feel hotter than that because of the humidity and the stairs.
+ Bring enough water. One bottle should be ok if you are only doing the Violet Hill portion, but I’d bring two or three if you are also doing the Twins.
+ Wear hiking/athletic clothes. I was drenched within 20 minutes. I had brought an extra sweatshirt thinking I might get chilly…no. (This was in early April.)
+ Bring your camera/phone. The views are incredible. You will want to take photos.
+ Look back. Make sure when going up a hill, you always look back — there might be a beautiful view behind you!
+ Bring a snack. Climbing stairs burns a lot of calories, so you might want some additional energy on your trek.
+ Wear athletic footwear. Part of the trail is stairs, part is rocks, mud, and dirt. And it can get pretty rocky at times, so make sure you have athletic or hiking shoes on.
+ Sunscreen/hat/sunglasses. Even though it was mostly foggy and cloudy for the majority of our hike, the moments that it did clear for a little while was enough sun to give my neck a little sunburn (granted it’s been winter in the US and my neck hadn’t seen the sun in months). I’d bring sunscreen or wear a hat, and definitely bring sunglasses. You might not need any of them, or you might need all of them.
I hope to go back and do a lot more hiking in Hong Kong! Have you been before? Did you enjoy it?
I’ll be doing a Hong Kong recap from my trip soon!
This post was done in collaboration with Cathay Pacific Airlines and Intercontinental Hong Kong. All opinions are my own.