It’s no surprise that we love hiking in Hong Kong. But come summer, the city’s insufferable heat and humidity make hiking a less enjoyable activity. This is why we thought we’d put together a list of the best hikes for the summer months in Hong Kong.
What makes for a good summer hike?
From our experience, when we set out for a hike in the summer we want it to be shaded, not too exhausting, and a way for us to still enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. So, something like Lion Rock clearly doesn’t make the cut, unless you complete the hike early in the morning or at night. During the day, you’d be toast sitting on top with no shade and the sun beating down on you.
So we took our criteria and placed the hikes under three categories:
- Hikes that end at a beach
- Waterfall hikes
- Easy hikes with interesting sites
Also, if you do set out hiking in the summer, make sure you carry:
- An umbrella
- Insect repellent
- At least 1 litre of water
So with that out of the way, let’s get down to our favourite summer hikes.
Hikes that end at a beach
A great summer hike should come with a sweet reward in the end. And if that reward is a beautiful beach to swim and cool off at, then all the better!
Siu Sai Wan to Big Wave Bay
If you happen to live on Hong Kong Island, the hike from Siu Sai Wan to Big Wave Bay is one of our favourite go-to summer hikes. The hike starts from the eastern end of Hong Kong Island, Siu Sai Wan. In fact, to get there you’ll probably need to take a bus as the MTR Island Line ends at Chai Wan.
The hike has a moderate and gradual incline (that is all shaded), followed by a short and relatively steep flight of steps. But after that, it’s all downhill!
After the halfway point, the views of Big Wave Bay are simply fabulous as you begin your descent down to the beach.Sui Sai Wan to Big Wave Bay Hike Guide
Trio Beach is a small and easy-to-access beach in Sai Kung. It’s right behind Hebe Haven (Pak Sha Wan) but secluded from plain sight which makes it perfect.
Most people reach the beach by taking a sampan from Hebe Haven pier, but you can (and should) reach it through the short and easy trail that connects the highway to the beach.Trio Beach Hike Guide
Sai Wan Pavilion to Sai Wan Beach
Perhaps one of the easiest hikes is the one that starts at Sai Wan Pavilion and ends at Sai Wan Beach, the first of the four beaches in Tai Long Wan. Although getting to Sai Wan Pavilion might be a challenge in itself, the hike from there till the beach is pretty much all downhill. There is limited shade along the way, so definitely carry an umbrella.
The trail runs along High Island Reservoir for the first half, which on a bright sunny day shines a beautiful shade of blue! And once you finish the hike, you’ll be greeted by clear waters and white sand! You can choose to spend your day at Sai Wan Beach (also explore the waterfall behind the beach), or continue hiking to the other beaches. However, we must warn you that the hike to Ham Tin isn’t all that difficult, but on a hot and humid day, it becomes more challenging than it really is.Sai Wan Beach Hike Guide
Mui Wo to Pui O Beach
The hike from Mui Wo to Pui O Beach is one of the most challenging beach hikes on this list. At almost 8 km, this hike will make you sweat it out on a summer day, even if most of it is shaded. But the reward waiting at the other end is Pui O Beach, one of the nicer beaches on Lantau Island.
Jump into the sea, or cool off with a beer at one of the restaurants along the beach. You’ve earned it after this hike!Mui Wo to Pui O Hike Guide
Waterfalls are another fabulous way to cool off on a hot summer day. And honestly, the sight of a beautiful waterfall in the midst or at the end of a hike is quite a sight in itself.
Below are our favourite summer waterfall hikes in Hong Kong. And as a bonus, you can explore all the waterfall hikes here.
Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls
The Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls hike is one of the most memorable hikes in Hong Kong.
Passing through not one, but four waterfalls this 11 km hike is as rewarding as it is challenging. The four waterfalls sit at the base of Tai Mo Shan, the highest peak in Hong Kong, and offer hikers the opportunity to jump into their shallow pools to cool off mid-hike.
Even if you don’t swim, standing next to these magnificent waterfalls as they blow the mist in your face is such an incredible way to cool off!Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls Hike Guide
Little Hawaii Falls
Located along the Little Hawaii Trail in the New Territories near Tsuen Kwan O, the Little Hawaii Falls hike is perhaps one of the easiest hikes on this list.
The hike crosses two areas of rapids, with a massive waterfall drop in between them. If you start the trail from the top, it’s essentially a super easy, 4 km walk downhill. This makes the Little Hawaii Falls hike the perfect waterfall hike if you have kids.
Of course, you can always opt to do it in reverse to make it slightly more challenging.Little Hawaii Waterfalls Hike Guide
Easy hikes with interesting sites
The most popular hikes in Hong Kong are known for their awesome views of the city or the surrounding areas. But many of them aren’t very summer-friendly. So, for the next set of recommendations, we thought it’d be fun to highlight a few short hikes that have something interesting to look forward to other than the panoramic views.
Cape Collison Battery
The Cape Collison Battery has one similarity with the Siu Sai Wan to Big Wave Bay hike – they both start from the exact same location. For Big Wave Bay you continue climbing up when you reach Cape Collinson Road, whereas for the battery you turn left when you reach Cape Collinson Road.
The Cape Collison Battery is a World War II relic in Hong Kong that was constructed in 1938 as a defence point for the island’s east coast. Today these abandoned batteries are a hotspot for hikers and those seeking an Instagram-worthy shot.Cape Collinson Battery Hike Guide
Pinewood Battery Hike
While we’re on the topic of World War II relics, there’s another battery worth hiking to on the western end of Hong Kong Island. The Pinewood Battery first served as a coastal defence battery and then later as an aerial defence battery.
There are two approaches to the battery, from Victoria Peak or from Kennedy Town. Of course, the hike from Victoria Peak to Pinewood Battery is a very simple walk. But for a more challenging approach, you can hike up to Pinewood Battery from Kennedy Town. Just follow the first half of this post.Pinewood Battery Hike Guide
Rhino Rock Hike
Ever wanted to see a rock that bears a striking resemblance to a rhino? If yes, then you’re in luck because that’s what the Rhino Rock Hike in Stanley is all about.
The only challenge that this short hike entails is a bit of bushwhacking along the way. Also if you head to Rhino Rock towards the evening, the sun moves behind the hill providing you respite from the heat. And with the added shade, you can admire the views of Tai Tam Bay if you manage to climb on top of Rhino Rock.Rhino Rock Hike Guide
Cape D’Aguilar is one of the more interesting spots in Hong Kong to explore on a summer day. This cape in the south of Shek O and D’Aguilar Peak on Hong Kong Island is quite popular for its picturesque views, Instagram-worthy spots, an old lighthouse and whale bones.
That’s quite a list to explore on this fun trail that honestly isn’t very difficult at all!Cape D’Aguilar Hike Guide
Bonus: Explore Outlying Islands
We’ve also found that summer is the best time to explore some of the outlying islands in Hong Kong. Many islands offer a chance to explore a world very different from that in the city. Whether it’s through their delicacies, history, culture, or pace of life.
We have a comprehensive guide on some of these islands, and if you haven’t already explored them, then there’s no better time than to spend a relaxing day at one of the smaller outlying islands below.
All three islands listed above also feature hikes and exploratory walks.
Hiking in the Hong Kong Summer
If you’re itching to go for a hike but weren’t too sure if the hike is summer-friendly, we hope this list helps you out. Of course, summer is a great time to relax on one of the many beaches in Hong Kong, and for that, we have our list of favourite beaches in the city.
We hope this list gives you an idea of some hikes that you can undertake even when it’s crazy hot and humid in the Hong Kong summer.