1 Tai Mo Shan -957m, Tsuen Wan
Welcome to Hong Kong’s giant. The highest peak in the whole SAR, Tai Mo Shan – literally ‘Big Hat Mountain’ in Cantonese – is a former volcano but, thankfully, it’s long been extinct. Though it’s mostly grassy on all sides, historically it was famous for its ‘cloud’ tea that grew wild all around. To conquer this peak, start at Tsuen Wan MTR Station and follow ‘Route Twisk’, as well as other trails, to Tai Mo Shan Road. Magnificent views of our beautiful land await.
2 Lantau Peak - 934m, Lantau Island
Perhaps one of the best spots to catch Hong Kong’s sunrise. Literally meaning ‘Chinese Firebird Mountain’, it’s actually two peaks in one, grouped together as a single mount. Get up there by starting at Tung Chung MTR Station, taking the 3M bus and getting off at Pak Kung Au. On the way, check out the huge wood carvings on The Wisdom Path and end with a scenic view of the Big Buddha.
3 Sunset Peak - 869m, Lantau Island
While Lantau Peak is known for its sunrises, Sunset Peak is known for, well, sunsets. Climbing out of section two of the Lantau Trail, there’s an area with cabins for rent if you find it a bit too treacherous to return to the bottom in the dark. Apart from the beautiful sunsets, you can also watch planes land at Chek Lap Kok Airport or get bird’s eye views of Cheung Sha Beach.
4 Lin Fa Shan - 766m, Lantau Island
Often overlooked due to Lantau’s more popular high mountains (see 2 and 3, above), Lin Fa Shan sits between Mui Wo and Sunset Peak. It’s actually Hong Kong’s sixth highest peak and not only can you get some impressive views of the two bigger giants from the top, the east side of the hill boasts great vistas of the huge rocks which shadow Silvermine Bay.
5 Nei Lak Shan - 751m, Lantau Island
North of Ngong Ping, get in touch (quite literally) with nature as lush secondary forests surround the Nei Lak Shan Country Trail to the top of this hill, which is named after Maitreya – the ‘future Buddha’. The conical peak commands good views of the airport and nearby Tung Chung. You can also wave at passersby who are travelling on the Ngong Ping 360 cable cars.
6 Ma On Shan - 702m, New Territories
Shaped like a horse saddle, Ma On Shan borders Sha Tin and Tai Po districts. Tunnels were once built extensively under the hill due to its rich iron ore deposits, though those mines have been long abandoned. If you gallop up to the top, you can spot the Mainland. Send our Chinese neighbours a yodel or two from us.
7 The Hunch Backs - 674m, New Territories
The rather steep incline to the top of The Hunch Backs – which is just one hill – should have you hunch-backing after a while. But it’s worth it in the spring if you’re the type to frolic around fields of blooming flowers. Squint hard enough and you should be able to see Tolo Harbour and Sai Kung Peninsula.
8 Victoria Peak - 552m, Hong Kong Island
Okay, so our top 10 isn’t a literal top 10 of the highest peaks – and that’s just so we could squeeze our most famous peaks into it. Victoria Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong Island. It’s roped off from the public due to its radio telecommunications facility – but it’s a huge tourist attraction. Enjoy picture postcard views of Victoria Harbour on clear days and, of course, enjoy the tram.
9 Lion Rock - 495m, Kowloon
Our other iconic peak lies between Kowloon Tong in Kowloon and Tai Wai in the New Territories. It’s so named due to its resemblance to a crouching lion and it’s the pride of Kowloon. In fact, there was even a TV show named after it between 1974 and 1994, Below the Lion Rock.
10 International Commerce Centre - 484m, Kowloon
The highest man-made peak, from floor to top, in Hong Kong. If this structure was a natural formation it would rank in at number 55 on the list of Hong Kong’s highest peaks. The top levels house the Ritz-Carlton – the world’s highest hotel, with the world’s highest bar and swimming pool on the 118th floor. Feel on top of the world without having to hike, like, anywhere.
Author: Kerrie Hui