I know I’m gonna get a lot of flack for the clickbait-y title, because doh, there are so many photogenic (and dangerous) hikes in the 852! But this is one we kind of did just for the photos… because S saw a few friends posting shots and felt photo envy. Plus, it’s not on a proper trail but a 45 min to 1 hour scramble from the road – a quick but strenuous one that involves no small dose of courage.
Distance: ~3km vertical one way
Duration: ~2 hours up and down (plus a few more mins for photos!)
Difficulty: Super challenging but much fun that you kind of forget how hard it is
It’s been over a year of S requesting this hike, but I’ve always been resistant to the idea because it’s not on my “Official Hike List” (lol), so I don’t consider it a “real trail”.
HOWEVER it just so happened we had an uber fancy ‘Hedonist’s Brunch’ in Kowloon City that day atLe Pan and therefore
- We were super near Suicide Cliff
- Only had a few hours to hike before sunset, so needed to do something fast!
So suicide cliff it was.
We took a taxi from MTR Kowloon Bay station, but it’s closer from MTR Choi Hung Station. You can also attempt to walk to the starting point if you so wish, it just gets a bit complicated with the non-pedestrian-friendly highways. Google Maps will point out the direction for you.
As you can see, there is a Geotag for Suicide Cliff and the Kowloon Peak Hiking Trail on Google Maps, making life a lot easier.
Side trip: Choi Hung Estate
If you want to complete the instahoe tour of Choi Hung, btw, you might want to make a stop at the Instagram-famous Choi Hung estate, which we saw on way to the hike’s starting point. We decided to leave the spot for another day though (and maybe another outfit?)
A trail only for the sure-footed
We thought there would be loads of people making their way to Suicide Cliff that afternoon, seeing as the weather was quite nice; a rare warm one after weeks of freezing temperatures. But no, there were very few people attempting the hike, perhaps wisely. There was a foreign couple ahead of us, and then two young French guys perched on Suicide Cliff when we arrived. They evacuated when we came.
There was, however, a foolhardy crew of youngsters (around four secondary school students) just beginning the hike just as we were finishing. “The sun is going to set soon!” warned Czai, but they paid no heed. I hope they made it out alive, because making that journey in broad daylight was already hard enough – definitely not something I would do in the dark with no headlamp. (Read: Hiker dies after fall from ‘suicide cliff’ in Hong Kong country park)
We came back the same way we went in. You can, however, make a longer hike of it by carrying on up to Kowloon Peak Viewing Point and onto Wilson Trail Section 4, which I did with Czai last year. Or, turn right after the Kowloon Peak Television and radio transmission stations and exit via Fei Ngo Shan Road. We chose the fastest route.
It wasn’t too windy the day we went, so thankfully we were alright. However, there was a mainland couple who stupidly went up this way during a typhoon and had to be rescued by 160 firefighters.
If you have vertigo or fear of heights, I would not recommend attempting Suicide Cliff. S actually had his knees so wobbly he couldn’t even stand on the rocky outcrop. I was alright at the beginning, being the first to get on the cliff itself, but later on after looking down I started getting a bit unnerved, which got worse when I saw Czai standing on the ledge to take my photo. It was a sheer drop all the way down.
So yes, do take care if / when you go! Keep your wits about you (aka no drinking pls) and definitely no children up there!!