Chinese New Year | Hong Kong’s best hikes to enjoy the sunrise

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, why not take the chance to explore some of Hong Kong’s most picturesque hiking routes? We’ve been looking for the best places to enjoy the sunrise and welcome in the Year of the Ox!

Hiking Route

1. Hike to Ngong Ping Plateau from Ma On Shan

Ngong Ping Plateau is situated between Sai Kung and Ma On Shan. Sitting at an altitude of 390 metres above sea level, it is one of Hong Kong’s few highland plateaus and offers stunning views over the Sai Kung coastline. During autumn and winter the plateau is covered with silvergrass, and in recent years it has become a popular attraction. Looking east, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the sunrise from the sea. Towards the north is the 536 m summit of Pyramid Hill, which also offers stunning views, although the path is not suitable for beginners, as you will need to scramble during the ascent/descent.

Don't confuse this place with Ngong Ping on Lantau Island – make sure you arrange to meet your friends in the right place!

Hiking | New year hike to start afresh

HIKING ROUTES

There are numerous routes to Ngong Ping – the plateau can be reached from Ma On Shan, Sai Kung, Sha Tin, Tai Wai and even Tsz Wan Shan. Today’s route starts from Ma On Shan Village and ends at Tai Shui Tseng near Sai Kung. The route is 4.9 km in length and takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. The path is relatively flat and suitable for beginners.

The route begins with an easy section along a concrete path. After passing Ma Dai stream, you will reach the official start of the hiking trail. Most of the trail consists of natural gravel paths – although the route is not difficult, don’t forget to watch your step. There is a rest pavilion at the half-way point, and then the path continues for another 5-10 minutes, when you will reach Ngong Ping Plateau. The plateau is home to a large population of cattle, so watch where you step, and keep your distance from any wild animals! With lots of cows along the route, this walk is the perfect way to welcome in the Year of the Ox!

The Ngong Ping plateau is also an excellent place to enjoy the sunrise – a must-see for photographers. Early morning visitors are rewarded by breathtaking views of Hong Kong’s hilly landscape, surrounding islands and the sun reflecting off the surface of the sea. After taking in the view, you can return to the trail and continue south towards Tai Shui Tseng. When you reach a fork in the path, descend along the Ma On Shan Country Trail. The path is rocky in places, so don’t forget to wear a pair of hiking shoes with a good grip, and use a hiking pole for support if necessary.

Hiking | New year hike to start afresh

These entry-level hiking shoes have an excellent grip and feature 4 mm crampons designed for rocky and muddy paths. The upper is made from eco-friendly recycled plastic, an ideal choice for beginner hikers.

Hiking | New year hike to start afresh

WOMEN'S COUNTRY WALKING SHOES

Hiking | New year hike to start afresh

MEN'S WATERPROOF HIKING SHOES

When you see the village houses, you are almost at the end of the hike. At Pak Kong Au Road, you will see the Hung Fa Village public toilet. At the junction there is a bus stop at the pavilion, from where you can take a minibus back to Sai Kung town centre, where early risers can enjoy breakfast there. Alternatively, turn right at the junction onto Po Lo Che Road and walk for 15 minutes until you reach Hiram’s Highway, from where there are a number of minibus routes connecting to destinations across Hong Kong.

Route info

Distance: Approx. 4.9 km
Duration: Approx. 1 hour 40 minutes

Transportation

From MOSTown to Ma On Shan Village (depart at last stop)

1. NR84 (refer to timetable, village residents are given priority)
2. Alternatively, take a taxi to Ma On Shan (green taxi)

Destination info

1. After reaching the Hung Fa Village public toilet on Pak Kong Au Road, you will see a pavilion at the junction, from where you can take a minibus back to Sai Kung town centre.
2. At the junction, turn right into Po Lo Che Road and walk for 15 minutes until you reach Hiram’s Highway, from where there are a number of minibus routes connecting to destinations across Hong Kong.

2. Highest mountain of Lantau - Lantau peak

Experienced hikers can choose routes far away from the city with a broader view, to enjoy maximum refreshment in the countryside. Lantau Peak, 934m in height, is the second highest mountain in Hong Kong, while the highest one is Tai Mo Shan. Tai Mo Shan’s summit is a restricted area not open to the public. If you want to reach the highest point in Hong Kong, Lantau Peak will be the choice and it is also a hotspot for watching the sunrise.

Find out more about the new sightseeing spot on Tai Mo Shan:

Hiking | New year hike to start afresh

Hiking routes

There are many routes leading to Lantau Peak. The routes from Tung Chung or Shek Pik are the most demanding. The most family friendly route is from Pak Kung Au to Ngong Ping Market, which is the third section of the Lantau Trail. Starting from Pak Kung Au the trail is paved with stones, and then it becomes a mountain trail. The closer the trail gets to the peak, the more rugged it becomes. The downhill trail is slippery after raining. Remember to wear non-slip hiking shoes to protect your feet and prevent injuries. As Lantau Peak is a middle-to-high level route, it is suitable for those who have hiking experience.

Hiking | New year hike to start afresh

This walk requires a pair of good hiking shoes. The mid-height hiking shoes in the MH500 range feature 5 mm studs for optimal grip and are made from a waterproof material to keep your feet dry during long hikes.

Hiking | New year hike to start afresh

WOMEN’S WATERPROOF MOUNTAIN WALKING SHOES

Hiking | New year hike to start afresh

MEN'S WATERPROOF MOUNTAIN HIKING SHOES