The Dragon’s Back (Traditional Chinese: 龍脊) is a ridge in southeastern Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, between Wan Cham Shan and Shek O Peak. It lies within the Shek O Country Park. In 2004 the Dragon’s Back Trail was selected by TIME Asia as the best urban hiking trail. Dragons back is possibly the most well-known and well-travelled hike in HK. This is due to its easy terrain, convenient start and end point, it’s proximity to the beaches and of course it’s breath-taking views.
After meeting at Fan Ling, coffee in hand, we were on our way and soon arrived at the start point. I was instantly surprised by how busy this was compared to other trails I’ve been to in HK. But it was a sunny Sunday and the temperature was perfect, so I guess local people just thought why not?! The trail starts (and ends) very easily. It’s not difficult terrain and it’s quite casual to hike, even a beginner could do this I feel. After around 30 mins it was time for lunch. Vincent advised us to eat first and check out the views second. However, a few of us climbed the rocks to get some good photos and soak in the vista below. Much to our horror the lunch was almost gone. Lesson learned, next time have lunch first! It’s a funny story to tell at least and it didn’t really affect the day in anyway. After lunch came the bulk of the walk. Some stairs, some trail. All well-defined and easy to navigate, we soon began making great progress. The only problem was how slow some people are in front of us. Traffic jam on the mountain! Along the route there are numerous majestic photo opportunities and views of the vista below you. Beaches, oceans and even villas. The views are seared into my brain for all eternity. The top side of dragons back continue to give good views and good breeze from 360 degrees. However, as you descend the views disappear. With trees on both side of the trail, you cannot really see much and the 2nd half of the hike was a bit disappointing. The highlight being a refreshing stream to wash our faces and drink. Clean and healthy!After defeating the dragon, you end at Big Wave Bay. Still recovering from the devastation of the typhoon, this a popular haven for water sport fanatics with surfers and wind surfers out in force.
The beach was clean and spacious, the other beach goers not giving us a second look and just going about their business. My opinion is that Big Wave Bay is a bit boring if you don’t go in the water. I’ve never been a beach lover and I didn’t bring a swim suit, so I quickly got bored. With little to see here I was happy to move onto Shek O village Shek O is a sleepy seaside village that was quaint and charming. With pastel colour buildings such as pink and orange this gives it a unique style seldom found in mainland China. Also the set of a famous Romantic Movie (don’t ask me which one or if it’s good) this bring tourists here from all corners of HK. Shek O was a great way to end the trip. It has a superior beach than Big Wave Bay and we witnessed an awesome sunset and the sky was on fire almost. I also found myself a HK style milk tea which is a must for me every time I visit HK.Then it was back on the bus, on route we witnessed the Xmas lights on the buildings. Central HK was lit up like a mega Christmas tree. Nice way to end.
You get to see the great sights of HK nature without the headache of using metro and public busses. Vincent is a great guy and always ready with a smile on his face. Dragons Back is a must hike in HK, it’s considered the best ‘urban trail’ in the city. My advice would be to do the hike then head to Shek O beach, skip out Big Wave Bay completely, unless you are a big water sports fan.
Views you can see on top of Dragon’s Back
How to get to the start of Dragon’s Back Trail
Take the Hong Kong Island Blue Line to Shau Kei Wan MTR station.The start of the Dragon’s Back trail is in To Tei Wan. The nearest MTR station is Shau Kei Wan Station. After you alight go up and out of exit A3 and you can basically walk straight to see the number 9 bus that goes to Cape D’Aguilar and Shekou. Grab Bus 9 at the Bus station outside Exit A3 to get to To Tei Wan
Map of the Dragon trail
If you hike from the trail head to Big Wave Bay your course should like like this hiking map:
What to Bring when Hiking Dragon’s Back
As this is a 2.5 hour hike and there are no shops or vending machines on the hike you will need to consider bringing the following:
- Bottle of water (be sure to bring a big enough one there isn’t even a drinking fountain along the way.)
- Sunscreen for your body and face a majority of the trail is not shaded
- Wearing a hat is recommend as well as Hong Kong has some sunny days
- Sunglasses were essential when on the trail
- Some restaurants only accept cash so bring some and don’t assume you can use a credit card
- Swimsuit and towel if you want to go swimming in Big Wave Bay or Shek-O beach
- Your DSLR camera or a good cellphone camera to capture the amazing views
Once you are done hiking
If you are too tired to swim in Big Wave Bay, you can head over to Shek-O and grab some food. Sit and have a drink at the Back Bar or have some more fancy Mediterranean food and wine and Cococabana overlooking the Shek-O beach.
To get to Shek-O from Big Wave Bay you might just call an Uber if you are really tired from hiking. The number 9 bus can take you but you have to walk about 20 minutes to the bus station that goes in the Shek-O direction.
Dragon’s Back Hiking Resources
Here are some of the references we consulted before beginning our hike:
- Drone and DSLR has great drone footage of Dragon’s Back
- Tips from Hong Kong Cheapo for how to Hike to Big Wave Bay
- Hike Hong Kong App (iOS)
Other Hong Kong Hikes
- Pineapple Mountain Hike
- Hike your Heart out in Hong Kong
- Waterfall Hike in Hong Kong
- Monkeying Around In Hong Kong
- Hiking weekend getaways in Hong Kong
- A Challenging Hike with Fantastic Views
- Hiking on Dragon’s Back Trail in Hong Kong
- Look for more hiking events on our event calendar.
- Join our Shenzhen meetup group for more cross border hiking event notifications.
Popular Shenzhen Hikes
Written by Joe Macpherson at www.wanderlustwelshman.com
Edited by Brent Deverman
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