AA hike up Kowloon Peak seems incomplete without a visit to the infamous Suicide Cliff, one of the most iconic photo spots in Hong Kong. At 602 metres tall and located in the northeast corner of Kowloon, Kowloon Peak has some of the most breathtaking views of Hong Kong!
Let’s be honest, you can get similar views of Hong Kong from other hills in Kowloon, such as Lion Rock or even Temple Hill. But what makes the views from Kowloon Peak unique is Suicide Cliff – a rugged cliff, towering above a bustling metropolis on which one can stand!
How safe is Suicide Cliff?
This is probably the first question that gets asked a lot. The short answer is that it’s very safe if you follow simple precautions.
Having said that, Suicide Cliff has a notorious reputation. If the name doesn’t draw suspicion, past accidents would have caught your attention. Besides, there are warning signs on the trails alerting hikers of the dangerous terrain ahead.
April 2021 update: We’re aware of the recent tragedy. Again, please be very careful while hiking Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff. We’ve highlighted the safest route to Kowloon Peak. If you do not feel comfortable proceeding to Suicide Cliff, please avoid it.
Unless you’re an experienced hiker in good shape, I wouldn’t recommend hiking up directly to Suicide Cliff. After all, according to the internet, “the climb (to Suicide Cliff) is so treacherous, it’s akin to committing suicide.” So, the shortest and safest trail to Suicide Cliff is via Kowloon Peak. And it’s the one detailed in this guide.
Best time for the hike?
Given their location at the eastern end of Kowloon, Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff are very popular spots for watching the sunset. But like always, I recommend that you complete this hike during the day first and become comfortable with the trail before attempting it at night.
Also, the time between morning and noon is another option. Because there is no shade at the top, it can be very toasty up there if it’s a sunny day.
Kowloon Peak Hiking Trail Map
There are numerous hiking trails to Kowloon Peak, from Choi Hung and even Shatin. However, the shortest and easiest trail in my opinion is the one from Fei Ngo Shan Road. Fei Ngo Shan (飛鵝山), which literally translates to “Soaring Goose Mountain”, is the Cantonese word for Kowloon Peak.
The trail from Fei Ngo Shan Road is suitable for anyone, and once you reach Kowloon Peak, Suicide Cliff is quite easy to access. The elevation profile from the map above should give you a very clear idea of the varying steepness levels of this hike.
And if that’s not enough, here’s a quick walk-through video of the hike.
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To start the hike, make your way to Fei Ngo Shan Road, at the base of Kowloon Peak. Unfortunately, there are no buses to Fei Ngo Shan Road. You will need to take a bus to the adjoining Clear Water Bay Road. Buses that stop here are those plying between Choi Hung or Diamond Hill, and Hang Hau, Tsuen Kwan O or Sai Kung.
Depending on your location, you might need to Google Map your way to Fei Ngo Shan Road. For us, the green minibus number 11 from Hang Hau turned out to be the best option. For many of you, I’d imagine green minibus number 1 from Choi Hung might be a good option.
We alighted at Good Hope School and walked up to Fei Ngo Shan Road, the starting point.
Fei Ngo Shan Road
Once you reach Fei Ngo Shan Road, continue on it for the next 1.5 km. The initial section of the road passes some beautiful houses and villas.
The incline is gentle but consistent. Fortunately, at no point did we want to take a break or feel like we were out of breath.
There are plenty of diversions along the road, but remember to follow the signs and stay on Fei Ngo Shan Road. Once you pass all the houses, the road becomes narrower and engulfed by trees. You’ve now entered Ma On Shan Country Park, and should soon see a sign for it.
Continue walking along Fei Ngo Shan Road until you spot these steps with a danger sign. It’s time to get off the road, and on to the steps to continue the hike.
The Steps Up To Kowloon Peak
The next 1.3 km are steps all the way to Kowloon Peak. Fortunately, the steps aren’t too steep or difficult.
My advice as usual is to go slow, take your time while climbing up. Take as many breaks as you need because this is the only climbing in the entire hike!
You’ll know when you’re close to the top when the vegetation changes from trees to bamboo and tall grass. At this point, make sure to turn around and look behind. You should be able to see Hebe Haven, Sai Kung in all its glory!
Although the weather was bright and sunny when we started, it had gotten dark and cloudy by the time we reached Kowloon Peak. But even the gloomy weather couldn’t take away from the incredibly panoramic views of Hong Kong that were waiting at the end of the steps!
From the end of the steps, there are no obstructions between you and the views. Everything is so clearly visible, from Tai Mo Shan, Lion Rock, and all of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. It’s truly magnificent!
To get to Kowloon Peak, walk up the steps to the transmission tower, pass the helipad, till you see the triangulation station.
Congrats, you’ve made it to Kowloon Peak!
Kowloon Peak to Suicide Cliff
The next section gets a bit tricky as it involves a narrow ridge and a steep downhill slope. It’s a short distance (about 500 metres) that’s incredibly picturesque! In fact, we took our sweet time, stopping every chance we could to take a picture.
From the triangulation station walk down the narrow steps to the small fenced structure. Go around the left to cross the fence and carefully descend the cluster of rocks ahead.
The ridge on the other side is very breathtaking! In fact, it feels like you’re standing on a narrow hill with nothing on either side or ahead. But as you get closer to the end of the trail, the steep downhill path to Suicide Cliff reveals itself.
PSA: If you feel uncomfortable at this point, or have vertigo, do not proceed.
Descend cautiously from this point. As you go down, you’ll notice plenty of picture-worthy spots. In fact, there’s a picturesque rock above Suicide Cliff that might be worth stopping by. But as there’s no distance or perspective between the subject and photographer, you may not get the best photos from here.
When you arrive at Suicide Cliff, you at once understand why it’s one of the most photographed and Instagrammed spots in Hong Kong! A jagged cliff, hanging high over Hong Kong – it’s equal parts majestic and terrifying!
Unfortunately, like any popular photo spot in Hong Kong, expect a line to take a picture. The area between the line and the cliff is connected by a narrow ledge. Although the ledge isn’t slippery or dangerous, you just have to be careful as you cross it.
There’s plenty of space to stand on Suicide Cliff, but just don’t try anything that you’d regret. Also, the cliff is at a slight incline, and not completely flat.
To get a good photo at Suicide Cliff, make sure there’s plenty of distance between you and your subject on the cliff. We’re fairly certain you’ll spend a lot of time taking plenty of photos here! But once you’re done, you need to decide how to end the hike.
How To Finish The Hike
There are two options to end the hike from Suicide Cliff.
- Trace your steps back from Kowloon Peak to Fei Ngo Shan Road, or
- Head down directly to Fei Ngo Shan Road from Suicide Cliff
I noticed that the majority of the hikers who came alongside us returned via Kowloon Peak. If you like to play it safe, this is a good option.
However, we opted for the second option and decided to go straight down to Fei Ngo Shan Road from Suicide Cliff.
Suicide Cliff to Fei Ngo Shan Road
If you decide to take this route down, ensure that you’re wearing sturdy hiking shoes and carry gloves.
When you look down at the city below, you realise how steep the hill is that you’re standing on! But steep hills also mean the shortest possible route.
From Suicide Cliff, simply follow the steep, dirt trail downhill. Most sections of this trail are quite treacherous, and it’s best if you sit as you descend. Having gloves will definitely help keep your hands clean and injury-free.
You might come across points with multiple trails, and not know which one to take. Fortunately, all trails head downhill. The simple rule is – trails on the left will exit at Fei Ngo Shan Road, whereas the trails on the right will exit at Clear Water Bay Road, near Good Hope School. We stuck to the trails on the left.
Hike down slowly and cautiously. You will find that very steep sections of the trail have ropes for support.
During this descent, it’s hard not to imagine hiking up this way. No wonder it’s called Suicide Cliff!
Once you get closer to the road you’ll notice the vegetation change from grassy to trees again, and the trail becomes less steep. And before you know it, you’ll reach Fei Ngo Shan Road bringing this hike to an end.
Suicide Cliff and Kowloon Peak Hike
We hope that you found our guide to the Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff Hike helpful. As previously mentioned, there are plenty of hiking trails that you can take, but this one is perhaps the shortest, easiest, and safest option in my opinion.
The views from Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff are absolutely some of the best of the Hong Kong skyline! And although we ended up hiking on a cloudy day, it didn’t make the views any less stunning!
Feel free to leave us a comment below or share this post on the social media channel of your choice. And take care as you hike up Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff.