Hiking: Dragon’s Back (revisited)

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.

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-0

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.

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-1 Shek O

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-2 Shek O

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.

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-5 Tai Tam

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-4 Tai Tam

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.

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-3

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-6

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-8

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-7

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.

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-11

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…

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-10

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.

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-9

Then it is 20-30 mins downhill, along a shaded and overgrown path… until you reach Big Wave Bay.

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-12

Dragon's Back Hike August 2015-13 Big Wave Bay Beach

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) 
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10 responses to “Hiking: Dragon’s Back (revisited)

    • The quickest way would be to take the Airport Express to the Hong Kong station (30 minutes) and then take a taxi (30-45 minutes) – alternatively you could also take the MTR from the Hong Kong station to the stop Shau Kei Wan and then the bus 9 or a taxi, but that will probably take you another hour (so around 2 hours 15 minutes from the airport).

  1. Well done you, hiking with a baby – especially in this weather! That’s something we haven’t attempted with the twins yet. Such a beautiful clear day for it too, amazing views!

    • We’ve only done a few hikes so far – but I was in dire need to go hiking again. I’ve missed it so much! It was more for my enjoyment than Lina’s :)

      • Lina was ok. She was wearing long sleeves and a hat to protect her from the sun – and I stopped a few times so she could drink some water.

        I have ordered a proper sun roof for my backpack now so she will have more shade in the future and hopefully it will be a bit cooler the next time we go hiking!

      • Fair enough. To be fair, my twins seem to mind the heat so much less than me – I’m always the one saying “let’s go home now, it’s too hot!” I’m looking forward to the weather cooling down sooo much, I just feel like we can’t go anywhere outside at the moment. Still at least another month yet though :(

  2. You chose a beautiful day to hike, baby and all! For an alternative, more scenic way down to Big Wave Bay, go eastwards for a few hundred meters past the point in the Hong Kong Trail where you’re supposed to turn down there. You’ll soon see another path leading to Big Wave Trail — the one that you can see from when you’re on Shek O Peak on a clear day. :)

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