Hiking in Hong Kong

Hong Kong coast

Hong Kong is a city-state in southern China, best known for its ties to the financial and technology industries. However, for people who enjoy an outdoor holiday there are plenty of adventurous things to do in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong coastImage credit: C Lau


Hiking and trekking are popular activities in the area, and each of the four seasons brings different benefits for the hiker.

In the spring there is high humidity but a good chance of seeing exotic wildlife. Natural sources of water, such as streams and waterfalls, fill up in summer providing refreshment. In autumn the air is dry and fresh, whilst in winter it can become bitterly cold and snow. Although there are many hidden trekking trails in Hong Kong – over one hundred streams can be used as a guide to find new routes – there are four main trails. The 100km Maclehose trail, the 70km Lantau trail, the 50km Hong Kong Island trail, and the Wilson trail all cross different parts of the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories.


Blue-bellied bird on a branchImage credit: C Lam

The best season for spotting birds in Hong Kong is October to April, although if you decide to visit in the summer it is still possible to see some. Head to a higher location, such as Tai Mo Shan, where the temperature is milder. Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve is a prime location for bird watching as it boasts some of the best forests in Hong Kong. Amongst the trees you can find brilliantly coloured birds, such as the Grey-chinned minivet, the Orange-bellied Leafbird, the Yellow-cheeked tit or the Scarlet-backed flowerpecker. There are also rare birds to be seen, like the Black-faced Spoonbill, of which there are only 1,700 known in the world.

Other excellent locations include the Tai Po Nature Reserve that in the winter it is home to thousands of ducks such as the Eurasian Widgeon, the Northern Teal, the Northern Shoveller and the Tufted Duck. The Po Toi Island south of Hong Kong is also a popular destination. Geoff Welch famously found the Orange breasted green pigeons and Chinese Song Thrush on this island.

Diving and snorkelling

The sea around Hong Kong is dotted with a myriad of islands, an ideal location for spotting exotic fish and marine flora. There are including over 300 species of reef fish and 84 species of hard and soft corals. The visibility in Hong Kong waters varies depending on the season and tide. Diving depths vary from 5 to 30 metres, depending on the area. The Marine Park Ordinance in Hong Kong conserves the environment and rich variety of flora and fauna to be found. The Marine Divers is the only BSAC school in China and provides information, equipment and lessons to people wanting to take part.

Where to stay

Accommodation in Hong Kong can be difficult to find if not planned in advance. Make sure you are located in the best area for what you’re looking to enjoy from the Island. Accommodation websites such as Wimdu can help you find a suitable place to stay for all-purpose holidays.


What say you?