The Twin Peaks Hike is probably the most challenging hike on Hong Kong Island. Often referred to as the “The Twins” or “Terrible Twins”, this 4.8 km hike from Wong Nai Chung Reservoir (near Parkview) to Stanley will truly test your limits.
What makes the Twin Peaks Hike difficult is the ascending and descending of two hills, Violet Hill and The Twins, in quick succession. The most difficult and unforgettable part of the hike is the 1,200 steps to the top of The Twins. No matter what your fitness level, these steps will give your glutes and legs the best workout ever!
Fortunately, The Twins Hike is as scenic as it is challenging. The hike passes through Tai Tam Country Park on Wilson Trail alongside Deepwater Bay, Repulse Bay, and finally ends at Stanley. As a result, the hike offers some of the most incredible views of Hong Kong’s diversity – skyscrapers, mountains, beaches, lush green country parks, reservoirs, and a seaside township!
Now, let’s learn about The Twin Peaks Hike in greater detail.
Twin Peaks & Violet Hill Hike – Map and Elevation
To illustrate the difficulty level, the elevation profile should give you a really clear picture about what to expect on The Twins Hike. On the elevation profile, you can clearly see the Twins on the second hill.
You can choose to start your hike in the morning and end at Stanley for lunch. Or you could plan to end your hike at Stanley just before sunset. The views of the sun’s golden light illuminating Stanley is simply amazing!
Here’s a quick video of The Twins Hike, so that you can see what to expect.
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Twins Hike Starting Point
You can start the hike from either side, but personally I prefer to start from Wong Nai Chung Gap Road and finish in Stanley.
To make your way to the starting point, you can catch bus number 6, 41A, 76, 63, or 66 to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park. Once you alight at the Sinopec gas station, walk up the short flight of steps that goes up to Tai Tam Reservoir Road.
This is where the Twin Peaks Hike begins.
Wong Nai Chung Gap Road to Violet Hill
Once you make your way to Tai Tam Reservoir Road, you have two options to get to Violet Hill, the easy option or the slightly more difficult option. Both options are shown in the map below.
Easy Option to Violet Hill – via Wilson Trail
To take the easier option, walk up Tai Tam Reservoir Road to Parkview. Alternatively, you can also take a taxi straight up to Parkview if you’re not taking the bus.
Just besides Parkview is the entrance to the Wilson Trail. Take the entrance that goes towards Tai Tam Country Park and stay on the path till you reach the highest point on this section of the hike, Violet Hill.
Be sure to keep looking back as the Hong Kong skyline slowly reveals itself.
Difficult Option to Violet Hill – via Tai Tam Country Trail
If you’re up for a challenge, you could make this hike into the twin Twins hike.
At the start of Tai Tam Reservoir Road, there is a concealed entrance to Tai Tam Reservoir Country Trail beside the entrance to Celestial Garden. Walk down the path for about 70-80 metres till it curves right and then turn left. You’ll see a sign for Violet Hill. If you continue straight, you’ll end up on Tsz Lo Lan Shan Path.
This trail will bring you out to another hill that is besides Violet Hill and is marginally higher (marked as 436m in the map above). Personally, I think the views of the city skyline are better from this hill.
After you’re done admiring the views from this vantage point, continue along the trail. It dips down before rising up again to finish at Violet Hill.
Violet Hill to Tze Kong Bridge (Repulse Bay Gap)
The hike from Violet Hill down to Tze Kong Bridge, along Wilson Trail Section 1, starts off gradually before descending pretty fast. Tze Kong Bridge serves as the midway point between Violet Hill and The Twins.
This section of the hike is quite scenic. The Tai Tam Reservoir and Country Park run along the left, and at certain sections, you get glimpses of Repulse Bay over the ridge on your right.
As you begin the steep descent, Tai Tam Reservoir appears right in front of you and believe me it looks stunning from this height and angle. Moreover, from these steps, you can also see the incredibly steep trail that runs up the hill in front of you. That’s the trail up to the Twin Peaks!
Tze Kong Bridge is a short pedestrian bridge over a stream of water that runs into Tai Tam Reservoir. When you finally make it to the bridge, take a moment to relax. Take more if needed, because the next section of the hike is going to make you wish that you were back home, sitting on your couch!
Tze Kong Bridge to The Twins
After you cross the Tze Kong Bridge, follow the signs to Stanley Gap Road to the right.
The steep hike up to The Twins consists of 1,200 daunting, steep steps. The steps feel endless and relentless. You’ll find yourself running out of breath quite often and your glutes hurting like crazy. Don’t worry, sit down on the steps. You’ll find plenty of other hikers doing the same thing.
Fortunately the steps are shaded all the way to the top. Once you emerge from the steps, the trail quickly flattens out. This is the first peak of The Twins.
The Twins are two (almost) equal peaks on the top of this hill. They are separated by a short ridge between them. This means that after you cross the first Twin, expect the trail to dip before rising again. As I said, this section of the hike feels endless and relentless!
Finally after you reach the second peak of The Twins, you can breathe a sigh of relief because it’s all downhill from here!
If you’re expecting scenic views from on top of either of The Twins, you’ll be disappointed. In fact, if it wasn’t for the markers, you wouldn’t even know that you had conquered The Twins.
Nonetheless, the most scenic views lie just ahead after The Twins at the ridge that opens up to Stanley.
The Twins to Stanley Gap Road
Just as you begin the descent towards Stanley, the spinal ridge that runs along the hill opens up with some of the most beautiful views. In front of you Stanley, on the left Tai Tam Bay, and on the right Stanley Bay. On a clear day, the views from here are simply gorgeous!
Admittedly, these views are best enjoyed from the Ma Kong Shan View Compass where you can soak it all and get those amazing Instagram shots.
Undoubtedly, my favourite part of the Twin Peaks Hike is towards its end. More specifically, the short section between the Ma Kong Shan View Compass and Stanley Gap Road. This twisting, steep stairway that is open on all sides and has a direct view of Stanley below feels almost surreal! In fact, you can also see this trail from the Stanley Promenade.
How to end the Twins Hike?
The trail finally ends on Stanley Gap Road. From here, you have two options:
- Head to Stanley and grab a drink or meal along the promenade, or
- Head back towards the city
In case you want to head to Stanley, stand at the bus stop on the same side of the road. In fact there are plenty of things to do in Stanley, and you can always read our blog to get some inspiration.
On the other hand, if you want to head back to the city, cross the road carefully and wait for one of the buses or a taxi.
The Twins and Violet Hill Hike
I’m fairly positive that at the end of this hike you probably wouldn’t be able to feel your legs. But you’d also be really proud of what you’ve accomplished. The Twin Peaks hike is one of those hikes that manages to balance effort and reward.
If you happen to be hiking this trail between November and February, keep en eye out for the beautiful flowers that bloom along this hike. Such as the violet coloured enkianthus and the fried-egg looking polyspora axillaris.
Finally, we hope you enjoyed our guide to the Twin Peaks and Violet Hill hike. As always, feel free to share this post or leave a comment below.