The Wan Chai to Aberdeen hike is a great urban hike on Hong Kong Island. It’s challenging yet easy, scenic, easily accessible, and contains the right mix of city and country park.
Although we’d completed this hike on previous occasions, this time around we decided to take a different (better) route via Lady Clementi’s Ride. And along this route, you get to admire World War 2 relics, the Aberdeen Reservoir, and of course nature.
Wan Chai to Aberdeen Hike
The hike from Wan Chai to Aberdeen, via Lady Clementi’s Ride, cuts across Aberdeen Country Park from north to south. It is approximately 6.7 km and should take just under 2 hours to complete at a leisurely pace.
My fitness tracker went a little crazy at the start because it couldn’t lock onto a satellite. Please ignore it.
As is evident in the elevation profile, the initial section is the only challenging part of the hike. After that, the hike is a leisurely walk through Aberdeen Country Park, and along Aberdeen Reservoir.
The hike’s route follows from Wan Chai Gap Road (Wan Chai Green Trail) to Lady Clementi’s Ride before crossing Aberdeen Upper Reservoir and then Aberdeen Lower Reservoir. And it finally ends next to Shek Pai Wan Estate in Aberdeen.
To start the hike from Wan Chai, make your way to the steps going to Kennedy Road next to Hopewell Centre. If you feel like cheating, take the elevator at Hopewell Centre to the 17th floor and turn left onto Kennedy Road. I prefer this as the starting point because it’s easy to arrive here using the MTR. Take Exit D at Wan Chai MTR Station, and walk towards Hopewell Centre on Queen’s Road East.
When you reach Kennedy Road, turn left and walk towards the steps leading to Wan Chai Gap Road and Wan Chai Green Trail. Cross the road to get to the steps, and from here follow the signs to Bowen Road Walk and Lover’s Rock.
Wan Chai Gap Road (Wan Chai Green Trail)
Wan Chai Gap Road is the toughest and most challenging part of the entire hike. In fact, it’s the only uphill section throughout the hike.
The Wan Chai Gap Road is a 1 km, paved, steep uphill path. I’ve walked up this path on countless occasions and always find it challenging. My advice as always is to go slow.
Fortunately, the trail is shaded and has a few benches to sit on along the way. At the halfway point, Wan Chai Gap Road crosses the Bowen Road Fitness Trail, which is a popular trail for joggers and walkers.
There are plenty of benches on Bowen Road to take a break from all the climbing. And there’s also a public toilet nearby if needed.
Wan Chai Green Trail to Wan Chai Gap
After you’ve caught your breath, continue on Wan Chai Green Trail to Wan Chai Gap. The second half of the path is equally long and challenging but does have slightly better views.
Just before the end of Wan Chai Green Trail, you’ll come across a signpost with a tiny windmill for Dutch Lane. You could take another break on the benches here, or summon the strength to walk the final few metres to reach Wan Chai Gap.
Wan Chai Gap to Aberdeen Reservoir Road
Wan Chai Gap is a busy intersection of six roads. So, when you emerge from Wan Chai Green Trail onto it, be very careful as you cross to the other side.
Once on the other side, walk towards the Wan Chai Gap Park and walk on Mount Cameron Road for about a minute till you see a sign for Aberdeen Country Park.
Turn right at the sign onto Aberdeen Reservoir Road. There’s a bench with a beautiful view of Aberdeen Country Park, Aberdeen Reservoir, and Aberdeen district. In fact, on a clear day, you can see as far as Mt Stenhouse on Lamma Island from here.
From the bench, walk for another 2-3 minutes till you arrive at the start of Lady Clementi’s Ride, a trail that diverges from Aberdeen Reservoir Road.
Now to reach Aberdeen Reservoir, you can continue on Aberdeen Reservoir Road, which is a paved road all the way. Or you can take Lady Clementi’s Ride.
The last time we completed this hike we went down Aberdeen Reservoir Road. However, this time we chose Lady Clementi’s Ride, which is a better route in our opinion.
Lady Clementi’s Ride
The reason we prefer Lady Clementi’s Ride is that Aberdeen Reservoir Road is usually quite crowded or has an occasional vehicle. It’s also paved, so it doesn’t feel like a hike. Whereas, Lady Clementi’s Ride is a subsection of Hong Kong Trail Section 4 through Aberdeen Country Park.
Between the two options, Lady Clementi’s Ride literally feels like the road less travelled.
As you turn onto Lady Clementi’s Ride, it descends more steeply than Aberdeen Reservoir Road. Although this section of the hike is fairly straightforward, there are a couple of interesting relics from Hong Kong’s past along the way.
The first such relic, a military pillbox from the 1940s, is a few minutes into the trail. Apparently, there are three such pillboxes on Lady Clementi’s Ride, of which I only spotted two (The third pillbox is located next to the dam of the Upper Reservoir. See the comment below. Thanks, Irene!). I always love finding such remnants from Hong Kong’s past in the country parks!
Shortly after the pillbox, Lady Clementi’s Ride merges with Hong Kong Trail Section 4. Continue straight from this intersection and follow the sign for Black’s Link via Middle Gap Road.
Hong Kong Trail Section 4
Continue on the Hong Kong Trail Section 4/Lady Clementi’s Ride for about 10 minutes, till you arrive at the first stone masonry bridge. During the rainy season, you can find a gushing stream and waterfall under the bridge.
I spent a considerable amount of time just admiring the bridge and watching kids swim in the shallow waters beneath it.
From the stone bridge, the trail is mostly flat or at a gentle decline for the next 1 km or so. It is a relaxing and peaceful trail unlike Aberdeen Reservoir Road, which runs parallel on the other side of the reservoir.
Towards the end of this section of the hike, you’ll come across another stone masonry bridge. And shortly after the bridge is the other military pillbox that I spotted.
After the military pillbox, take the steps going down towards the reservoir. The trail runs alongside the Aberdeen Reservoir briefly before ending at a four-point intersection of trails.
To Aberdeen Upper Reservoir
Hong Kong Trail Section 4 continues on the left towards Middle Gap Road. However, to reach Aberdeen Upper Reservoir, turn right.
The trail from the intersection is a flat, paved path that moves alongside the reservoir. Just continue walking along the trail, and follow the signs for Aberdeen Upper Reservoir, for about 700-800 metres.
Soon, you’ll arrive at the barbeque and picnic spots next to Aberdeen Reservoir. In fact, there are quite a few of them right up to the Aberdeen Upper Reservoir dam and bridge.
The Aberdeen Reservoir, which consists of the Upper Reservoir and Lower Reservoir, is the fourth public reservoir constructed on Hong Kong Island.
The Aberdeen Upper reservoir was completed in 1931, whereas the dam of the Lower Reservoir was modified and reconstructed from a private reservoir owned by the Tai Shing Paper Manufacturing Company in 1932.
In September 2009, the Antiquities Authority declared four of the historic waterworks facilities of Aberdeen Reservoir as declared Monuments.
Take a break and enjoy the views of the reservoir from the dam!
To Aberdeen Lower Reservoir
Once you’re done admiring and taking photos of the reservoir, walk to the other end of the dam. Just as the dam ends, there is a path on the left going towards Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.
Turn left and walk down this path as it goes behind the dam wall. The path becomes quite narrow till it reaches the start of the Lower Reservoir. From this point, the path runs right beside the Lower Reservoir.
If you have some time to spare, I highly recommend walking down to the reservoir’s banks. Not only is it lush and beautiful, but also calm and serene. We spent a couple of minutes just admiring the stillness of the water before continuing on the final section of the hike.
At this point, we’re almost at the end of the hike. The path continues alongside the Lower Reservoir, and just before it ends, there’s another lovely sitting area overlooking the waters.
Shortly after the sitting area, the trail ends next to the dam of the Aberdeen Lower Reservoir. Although the views from this dam wall aren’t as grand when compared to those from the Upper Reservoir, it’s still worth checking out.
After admiring the views, return to the trail and walk on the road for another 200 metres till you reach the barrier gate. This is where the hike ends.
End the hike
From the barrier gate, you can walk down towards Shek Pai Wan Estate to catch a taxi. And if you walk downhill and turn left onto Yue Kwong Road, there are a few bus stops on this road. Unfortunately, the closest MTR station, Wong Chuk Hang, is more than a 30 min walk.
Wan Chai to Aberdeen
We hope you enjoyed our revised guide for the Wan Chai to Aberdeen Hike. We personally love this urban hike, that at one point was literally in our backyard. The hike is a great way to explore Aberdeen Country Park and Aberdeen Reservoir!
And as always, if you like this guide, please feel free to share it on the social media channel of your choice or drop us a comment below.