The Dragon’s Back Hike is possibly the most popular hike in Hong Kong. Why? It’s easy to access, easy to complete, very scenic, and ends at a beautiful beach.
For many people, the Dragon’s Back Hike is their induction into hiking in Hong Kong. It’s also a great way to show them the other side of Hong Kong – the side with no skyscrapers, trees, sandy beaches, and the sea.
The Dragon’s Back Hike is located on Hong Kong Island, which means that it’s easy to get to, and is well connected. Getting to the start of the hike involves a ride on the MTR, followed by a ride on the bus. From there on, a short hike gives you a bird’s eye view of the beautiful south-west side of Hong Kong Island. From on top of the hike, you can see Shek O beach, Big Wave Bay Beach, and the Shek O Golf Course.
So, how does one get to this hike?
Getting To The Dragon’s Back Hike Starting Point
The starting point of the Dragon’s Back Hike is located at To Tai Wan. The easiest way to get there is:
- Take the Island Line MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station.
- Take Exit A3 and look for Bus No. 9 at the Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus.
- Hop onto the bus and wait for your stop To Tai Wan, which should be 11 stops later. Keep an eye on the name of the stop in the bus, or watch for other hikers alighting together.
- One you get off at To Tai Wan, the follow the path leading up the hill to the Dragon’s Back Hike.
The Views From The Dragon’s Back
After a 20 minute hike, you’ll arrive at a scenic spot overlooking the breath-taking scenery of Shek O Beach in the east and the magnificent Dragon’s Back in the north-west.
Continue on the undulating spinal ridge of the Dragon’s Back (yes, that’s where the name originates from) till you reach Shek O Peak. At 284 metres high, the view from Shek O Peak is the perfect place to take a break and enjoy the views of Shek O, and Big Wave Bay. Continue on this path till it turns left. To end your hike you have two options.
Option 1: The Dragon’s Back ‘Short Hike’
Dragon’s Back to Shek O
The first option involves taking a loop back to the bus stop. This loop is about 5 kms long, and will take you about 2 hours to complete (with stops).
Board the No 9 bus again, and this time take it all the way to Shek O Beach. Everything that you need to know about Shek O village and beach can be found on this blog post.
Option 2: The Dragon’s Back ‘Long Hike’
Dragon’s Back to Big Wave Bay
The second option involves continuing the hike, and ending it at Big Wave Bay. The path will eventually meet the route that many hikers take from Chai Wan to Big Wave Bay. Big Wave Bay, as the name implies is a popular spot for surfers.
This route is about 8 kms long, and should take you about 2.5 hours to complete (with stops).
Personally, I would opt for option 2. I enjoy the feeling of ending my hike on a beach. There’s an added feeling of accomplishment. It also helps to know that the path from Dragon’s Back to Big Wave Bay is a easy hike. In fact, it’s more of a stroll on a flat surface, followed by a descent into Big Wave Bay.
Best Time To Start The Hike?
Personally, I would say earlier the better. Start the hike, around 9-10 in the morning, when it’s not too hot. And when you finish at either Shek O or Big Wave Bay, it’s time for lunch.
Keep in mind, the Dragon’s Back is one of the most popular hikes in Hong Kong. So, it can get crowded, especially on weekends. Go early to avoid the crowds.
Dragon’s Back – A Must Do Hike In HK
The Dragon’s Back Hike is easily one of the most memorable hikes in Hong Kong. For me, it was the first time that I got to see a very different side of Hong Kong. After having spent all my time in the city, this hike was like a breath of fresh air, and scenery.
We’ve often taken so many of our friends, who’ve visit Hong Kong for the first time, on this hike. And it’s no surprise that they loved the hike too.
If you’re a tourist or first timer in Hong Kong, and don’t want to go alone for this hike, I’d highly recommend booking a Dragon’s Back Hike group tour. The group tour includes a guide, and the guarantee of not getting lost.