Distance: 7.5 km
Duration: 2 hours (or less if you run, it’s completely flat except for the 700 steps at the very end)
Difficulty: Easy Walk. Literally zero percent uphill except for the last bit.
Click here for the map.
Everyone always does the more popular Hong Kong Trail Stage 8, which contains Dragon’s Back – named ‘Best Urban Hiking Trail in Asia’ by Time (Asia Ed.). In the shadow of its prettier celebrity sister, this hike is often overlooked… but lucky for us we discovered it, rewarded for going on ‘the road less traveled’.
Before we start, let me just say that this is probably the easiest beach trek on Hong Kong island… I mean, if you want to do some “exercise”/sightseeing/walking first. It’s also coastal, so you’ll get great views of Tai Tam Bay.
Start: Tai Tam Road, north of the Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir. We took Mini Bus No.16X/16M from Chai Wan MTR Station to Stanley. Accidentally got off too late so remember, get off BEFORE you see Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir to your right! Disembark right before the pretty bridge…
And don’t make the mistake of going down Hong Kong Trail Section 6. There are no clear signs actually so if you don’t rely on Google Maps like I do then you’re fucked… heh I’m kidding. Just find the Hong Kong trail sign on the lefthand side of the road (facing south, towards the reservoir) – and follow it. One you found the beginning then it’s all straightforward from there.
If it’s still warm, feel free to bring beach stuff because you’ll end in a decent, pleasant-enough beach on this hike. We didn’t know so I didn’t bring a bikini. I did have an inkling though but you never know what kind of beach it will be. This time it was nice.
Finally, follow this sign to Dragon’s Back to reach the end of your hike. The next stage continues to Section 8 (the last of the Hong Kong Trail), covering Dragon’s Back to Big Wave Bay (Shek O) – one of my favourite beaches on HK island.