Yes, this is the most famous hike of Hong Kong: the Dragon’s Back. The “Dragon” got its name from the trail’s ups and downs between Shek O Peak and Wan Cham Shan.
I’m sure everyone has heard of it or done it before… and I have done it numerous times, in summer and winter, in bright sunlight and rain, during the day and during the night and with a baby in my tummy and on my back.
Let’s just say the combination of summer, bright sunlight and a baby on my back is not the easiest option to do this hike, but it was such a beautiful Sunday morning, that I just had to do it. We started the hike at 9am, so we could cover the exposed part right in the beginning and then enjoy a leisurely stroll through the woods.
There weren’t many people around when we started and it was an enjoyable hike – the 7.5km from Shek O Road to Big Wave Bay took us about 90 minutes. We didn’t stop much in between, as we were looking forward for our well-deserved brunch at the beach.
The start of Dragon’s Back is quite steep, that’s actually the hardest part to reach the back of the dragon.
It was a beautiful day with great views, with Tai Tam Harbour to the left and Shek O and Big Wave Bay to the right.
Once we finished with the exposed Dragon’s Back, the hike winds itself along the side of the hill – that’s a nicely shaded patch. It takes about 30 minutes to walk at a medium pace.
Then you reach a paved road, which is a bit boring to walk along… and then you are even reminded, not to walk too fast, as there is a construction site…
Here’s a pavilion to rest and to look over Chai Wan, which is a massive settlement at the end of the Island MTR line.
Then it is 20-30 mins downhill, along a shaded and overgrown path… until you reach Big Wave Bay.
A few tips for you to enjoy this hike:
- Bring plenty of water (at least 1.5 litres per person) during a hot day – and best to start early or late in the day so you don’t hike in the hottest time of the day (noon)
- Don’t forget your sun lotion, hat (or/and umbrella) and mosquito repellent
- Pack a small snack (maybe an apple or a cereal bar) to keep you going, you need some sugar to climb up all the steps!
- Check out my first aid tips, just in case!
- You can hike the Dragon’s Back from two directions – but either way you need to take public transport or a taxi to reach the starting points. Either take MTR to the Shau Kei Wan Station and take bus 9 and get off at the Cape Collision stop, where the Tai Tam Gap Correctional Facility is situated (then you will end at the Shek O Road). Or stay on the bus until you reach the trail start at Shek O Road (you can recognise the start point easily – there’s a small toilet and a hiking map, see this pic here)