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waterfall
Photograph: Courtesy Cindy Ng Bride's Pool

Hikes that take less than an hour in Hong Kong

Wanders in nature that aren't too strenuous

By Time Out Hong Kong
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While many of us enjoy a good strenuous hike, sometimes there's nothing better than enjoying a good trek in nature without the need to exert ourselves to the absolute fullest. Considering that Hong Kong weather can be unpredicatble, short wanders out in nature – in which sweating is kept to reasonable rather than torrential levels – can prove especially prudent, especially for those who are tired of staying in all day watching Netflix with the AC on full blast. Here are some of the best hikes in Hong Kong that take less than one hour to complete once you've got yourself there by public transport or other means. By Hoi Man Yau

RECOMMENDED: Check out the best night hikes in Hong Kong to chase the sunset or if you just want to escape the sun altogether. 

Hikes that take less than an hour in Hong Kong

Before you go

While these hikes are generally on the easier side, it is, of course, important to remember to always prepare properly when heading out into nature. Remember to pack plenty of water, insect repellent, sunscreen, and other essentials. We also strongly advise hiking in numbers where possible.

Ha Pak Nai
Ha Pak Nai
Photograph: Shutterstock

Ha Pak Nai (Yuen Long)

This spot is widely regarded as the best in Hong Kong to catch the sunset, and we love nothing more than coming out here for a quick and easy trek to watch the sun sink beneath the horizon. As far as the hike to get here, it couldn’t really be easier – what with these mudflats located just a few minutes on foot from the bus stop. From here, enjoy an easy hike across the wetlands, taking in sights of mudskippers, fiddler crabs, and mangroves, until twilight turns to dark and you’ve had your fair share of nature. Bring some footwear that you don’t mind getting dirty. Insect repellent will also come in very handy here.

How to get there and home:
From Yuen Long MTR station exit E, make the short walk to Tai Fung street and catch the 33 minibus to Pak Nai bus stop (35 minutes). To get home, return the way you came.

Distance on foot:
100 metres from the bus stop (plus however much meandering you wish to do once there).

Time on foot: 
Five minutes.

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waterfall
waterfall
Photograph: Shutterstock

Mirror Pool (Shuen Wan)

Bride’s Pool and Mirror Pool are a pair of adjacent waterfalls named for a bride that – legend has it – drowned in the pool, and from the ghost of the bride who uses the pool as a mirror. The folklore is certainly a bit on the spooky side, but fear not, because the falls are actually more beautiful than scary when you see them for yourself. Getting down to them is relatively easy too, requiring only a short hike – we must warn against heading down during wet weather though, as the slippery rocks around the falls make it dangerous. If you do choose to safely venture down here, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most magical scenery in Hong Kong.

How to get there and home:
Take the 20R minibus from Tai Po Market MTR Station to Bride’s Pool/Wu Kau Tang bus stop (30 minutes). From here, it’s a five-minute walk to the pool itself. Return the way you came.

Distance on foot: 
150 metres from the bus stop.

Time on foot: 
10 minutes.

Check Keng
Check Keng
Photograph: Shutterstock

Chek Keng (Sai Kung)

This trek is probably even easier than taking a one hour walk on regular streets. Beginning at Pak Tam Au – which you can reach by taking a bus from Sai Kung, it is pretty much a downhill trail all the way, which means that this trail is even less strenuous than most others on this list. Scenery wise, you’ll be rewarded with a close view of the coastline, the mudflats, and Sharp Peak, which is a notoriously difficult hike in contrast to the Chek Keng walk. Upon arrival at Chek Keng, you can take a ferry to Wong Shek, from where it's easy to catch a bus back to Sai Kung. Check the kaito ferry schedule for your return ferry time, so you can pace yourself on your walk to avoid waiting for a long time at the pier. 

How to get there and home:
From Choi Hung MTR Station Exit C2, ride 1A minibus to Sai Kung Pier (30 minutes), then take the number 7 minibus to Pak Tam Au (30 minutes). To get home, return the way you came or, board a kaito ferry to Wong Chek Pier and transfer to a bus back to Sai Kung.

Distance on foot: 
Three kilometres.

Time on foot: 
50 minutes.

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Tai Hang Tun
Tai Hang Tun
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Alan Wat

Tai Hang Tun (Clear Water Bay)

A part of Clear Water Bay Country Park, Tai Hang Tun is an ideal spot for kite flying, barbecuing, and general outdoor fun with scenic views suitable for the whole family due to the ease of the trek. 

Alight the bus at Tai Mun Au, and from there follow the signage that points to Clear Water Bay Country Park and walk along the tarmac-paved Clear Water Bay Road for around 15 minutes. 

Do visit the Clear Water Bay Tree Walk, which will take you around 20 minutes to finish. All in all, this is a stroll for picturesque views overlooking the lush green peninsula and sapphire waters.

How to get there and home:
Take bus number 91 from Diamond Hill MTR station and alight at Tai Au Mun (1 hour). Return the way you came.

Distance on foot:
1.5 kilometres.

Time on foot: 
25 minutes.

Hiking
Hiking
Photograph: Shutterstock

Garden Hill (Sham Shui Po)

This 90m tall hill located in Sham Shui Po is very easy to climb. Due to the ease of climbing, it is an ideal spot for trying out your first night hike. It would be wise to bring a flashlight (your phone won’t cut it) for your trip if you choose to do so, as the lighting is insufficient when the sun goes down. 

That being said, this hike is worth the hassle because of the enchanting view you get overlooking Kowloon lit up at night. 

How to get there and home:

At Sham Shui Po MTR station, take exit D2 and take the flat, route to the foot of the hill. From here, take a deep breath and ascend the snaking stone staircase up the hill which will take around 20 minutes. Return the way you came.

Distance on foot:
1.5 kilometres.

Time on foot: 
One hour round trip.

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Trio Beach (Sai Kung)

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Reachable by sampan or hike, Trio Beach is a rather popular destination during the holidays, and it is no surprise considering how smooth the sand is, and how it is graded as top-notch by the Environmental Protection Department for its water quality.

How to get there and home:
From Diamond Hill MTR station, ride the 1A minibus to Tai Chung Hau bus stop (65 minutes). From here, follow Hiram’s Highway towards Lion’s Nature Education Centre until you see Che Keng Tuk Road. Follow Che Keng Tuk Road until you see SKIP (Sai Kung Pre-school), then follow the trail next to SKIP and follow the signage to Trio Beach (45 minutes on foot). To get home return the way you came.

Distance on foot:
2.5 kilometres.

Time on foot: 
50 minutes.

Hok Tau reservoir dam
Hok Tau reservoir dam
Photograph: Courtesy Typhoonchaser

Hok Tau Reservoir Family Walk (Fanling)

Located inside Pat Sin Leng Country Park, this trail is a fair bit easier than the other hikes you can find in the park. Here you will be quickly rewarded with a view overlooking the lakes below after a 68 step ascent. Like most trails labelled as family walks, this is a trail which is, for the most part, more like a stroll than a hike. The walk wraps around the reservoir, so you will have had a tour of this reservoir hidden in a valley when you reach the end. Since water is plentiful and clean here, you might be able to spot butterflies and dragonflies around!

How to get there and home: 
Take the 52B minibus from the Fanling MTR Station and alight at Hok Tau Wai (25 minutes). From here, make your way to the Family Walk. Return the way you came.

Distance on foot:
Three kilometres to the start of the trail. 

Time on foot: 
35 minutes to the start of the trail.

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beach
beach
Photograph: Shutterstock

Long Ke

The trail down to this remote beach is relatively unshaded and a bit steep in places, but you’ll be rewarded once you get down to the sand and look out on the water. We love making the hike down here and then sitting down with the sand between our toes, looking out and enjoying the shimmering reflection of the sun on the water’s surface. It’s also a bonus if you like cows, because you’ll probably see a fair few of them on your way from East Dam, as well as some sun-worshiping bovines on the beach itself. We find it rather therapeutic to just sit and watch them rest and graze.

How to get there and home:
From Choi Hung MTR Station Exit C2, ride the 1A minibus to Sai Kung Pier and then take number 7 or 9 minibus to Pak Tam Chung (90 minutes). Following this, switch to the 9A minibus (Only available on Sundays and Public Holidays) towards East Dam (30 minutes). Return the way you came. 

Alternatively, take the taxi from Sai Kung Pier to East Dam. (1 hour, ~$130)

Distance on foot:
Two kilometres from East Dam bus stop.

Time on foot: 
30 minutes.

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