Devil’s Peak is an easy hike that won’t take more than a couple of hours of your time. But what makes it unique is that the trail passes through an area of historical interest. What was once a home to pirates, and strategic military importance is today a family hike that offers great views of Hong Kong’s skyline.
This guide will walk you through how to see the existing military structures at Devil’s Peak, as you make your way to the top.
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Devils Peak History
Devil’s Peak gets its name from the ferocious pirates who occupied the hill during the Ming Dynasty era. It was the home of the famous pirate Cheng Lin Cheong.
Devil’s Peak overlooks Lei Yue Mun, a narrow passageway to Victoria Harbour, classified as one of 16 major sea passages by the Ming Dynasty. When the British acquired the New Territories in 1898, they built military stations at Devil’s Peak – two gun batteries (named Gough & Pottinger) on the southern slopes, along with a smaller post, and a redoubt on top of Devil’s Peak. Although the Pottinger Battery is mostly covered by vegetation, the other military stations are easily visible.
How To Get To Devil’s Peak
Take the green line on the MTR to Yau Tong station, and then take Exit A into Domain Mall. Go up the escalators to the mall’s ground floor. Look for Tai Hing restaurant at the end of the ground floor, and take the rear exit out of the mall onto Ko Chiu Road.
On Ko Chiu Road walk towards Lei Yue Mun Estate housing. Immediately after the estate, take the right and walk up the slope towards Tseung Kwan O Chinese Permanent Cemetery.
Walk up hill for 650 metres till you see the entrance of Wilson Trail to your left. Cross the road, and walk up the steps. Take the trail going left and follow the signs for Devil’s Peak.
But don’t rush to the peak yet!
Devil’s Peak Fortifications
Roughly after 350 metres from the start of Wilson Trail, the path curves right. At this point, if you walk a few steps ahead and turn left you’ll continue onto Devil’s Peak. But instead, you should take the sharp turn right as the trail curves, and follow the signage for Devil’s Peak Fortifications. This short path will bring you to the ruins of Gough Battery.
The Gough Battery is the upper battery at a height of 160 metres. It was built in 1898 and consists of two gun pits (one big and one small), underground magazines, and a few buildings. The last gun was dismantled and taken to Stanley Fort in 1936.
Today the gun pits, barracks, and buildings of Gough Battery lie in derelict conditions, overtaken by nature. In a way, it reminded me of the temples in Angkor. Part of the roof of the building has now collapsed, making way for trees to grow.
Take your time, and explore the gun pits, and the building below the gun pits at Gough Battery. Once you’re done playing Tomb Raider, head back down the same path towards Devil’s Peak.
Devil’s Peak Redoubt
On top of Devil’s Peak, at a height of 222 metres, stands the old redoubt (a temporary or supplementary fortification) that was built in 1914. Although the path from Gough Battery to Devil’s Peak Redoubt is steep, it’s very short.
On one side, the redoubt offers gorgeous views of Victoria Harbour, and the Hong Kong skyline. And on the other side, you can appreciate views of Junk Bay, and LOHAS Park. Most hikers like to visit the top of Devil’s Peak during sunset. As the golden light illuminates the Hong Kong skyline, it makes for a lovely view. You can also step into the trenches of the redoubt that run along the walls.
Once you’re done admiring the view at the top, make your way down the same path. If you’re interested in seeing the other smaller military post, take the dirt path after the steps. There’s a short detour that takes you to it that the main path ignores.
Finish It Off
After this fun and historical hike, make your way down to Lei Yue Mun. This squatter village is filled with shops selling live seafood, and restaurants. Here you buy your own seafood, and bring it to a restaurant to cook it. We usually like to visit Happiness Seafood Restaurant. Grab a table by the window, and enjoy some delicious seafood. You’ve earned it!
If you enjoy discovering relics from Hong Kong’s past, take walk down the Quarry Bay Tree Trail to discover wartime stoves!