Adventure hiking guide for Hong Kong
Welcome to Ventureon Hong Kong. Here you'll find what I believe to be Hong Kong's most adventurous hiking trails. I researched Hong Kong's hikes while locked down in the city for the first half of the 2020 pandemic and ticked off all the major routes. Then I ventured further in search of less well-known paths and more thrill. In Ventureon I share with you my best discoveries, using only my own photos, easy-to-follow directions, and tips on what you can expect.
Ventureon Hong Kong shows off Hong Kong's wild side. Hong Kong's concrete jungle covers just 25% of its 1100 square kilometres. The other 75% is countryside and a massive 40% is subtropical national park - real jungle. Here's the best way to experience it. Enjoy and take care.
My selection of Hong Kong's most adventurous trails. 28 so far. More to come, so stay tuned.
The waterfall collection: rural Hong Kong's best kept secret.
Blog Difficulty Ratings Explained
I’ve tried to make my difficulty-rating system as straightforward as possible. Hikes are categorised as easy, easy-moderate, moderate, moderate-difficult, difficult, or extreme. I’ve also rated the hikes 1-10, with 10 being the most difficult. Through using this system, you can choose a category and then push your limits as you move on to more difficult endeavours. When I rate a hike’s difficulty I take into consideration: Length of time hiking, the total elevation, if and what type of climbing is required, the slope and terrain, and how off-piste you will be. See below and read the descriptions to get a better understanding of what you can expect within each category (rating out of 10 in brackets).
Easy (rated 1-3): Half-day hikes with minimal elevation, no climbing, no scrambling, no bushwhacking and no off-piste exploring. You won’t find many of these hikes on this page. Example: Rhino Rock
Easy – Moderate (4): These hikes tend to be longer (although can still be half-day hikes if done quickly) and will have more elevation than those in the ‘Easy’ category. Minimal climbing if any, still no scrambling, no bushwhacking, and no off-piste exploring. Example: Tai To Yan
Moderate (5): Hikes that require a full day out, can have as much elevation as possible within Hong Kong, may require some form of scrambling or climbing, mostly follow main paths or heavily ribboned routes, but would not be challenging for somebody who considers themselves outdoorsy. Examples: Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls to Shing Mun Reservoir
Moderate – Difficult (6): These hikes are almost always long days out, can have as much elevation as possible within Hong Kong, will certainly require some form of scrambling, climbing will be entering a more advanced category with some (mostly short) perpendicular climbs and steep drop-offs. As reference, I do not find these hikes too challenging, but I enjoy the thrill and intensity. Examples: North Heaven’s Gate and West Dog’s Teeth
Difficult (7-9): Expect long days out that stretch into the evening and require a bright torch for a final descent back to civilisation, can have as much elevation as possible within Hong Kong, likely to require cautious scrambling on loose rocks, advanced climbing with perpendicular climbs and steep drop-offs, may require you to pack a rope, will certainly involve an off-piste section where you will be following the odd ribbon, not likely to see many other people. As reference, I do not find these hikes too technically challenging but instead very energy-draining. Examples: Tung Ma To and Hidden Dragon Stream.
Extreme (10): I am yet to find a route that I can classify as extreme. However, the description would be the same as that for ‘Difficult’, but with an extra risk factor in which there may be life-threatening moments that need to be dealt with in an extremely cautious way.
Disclaimer: This is a personal reflection of these hikes. All hiking can be dangerous and the easiest trail for some can be impossible for others with less experience, fitness or confidence. Measure your own risks at all times in any hike. The ratings above are just guidance from my own experience and should not be relied upon to ensure your own safety.
Some of my favourite shots from Ventureon Hong Kong.