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7 Hong Kong hiking trails that lead to good food

Bring a water bottle and your appetite for these hiking trails — there’s a bite at the end of the tunnel.

Outside of the 16 hours a day we spend at work, Hong Kongers like to unwind with one of our three traditional pastimes: wakesurfing behind a rich friend’s boat; waiting in long, inexplicable lines; and hiking, which is just walking around outside, but in Lululemon. According to a local Cantonese legend, those who do it enough may find themselves blessed by the appearance of actor Chow Yun-fat, or “Fat Gor”, who will reward their determination with an enthusiastic selfie for theGram.

But it’s not all just meeting movie stars and racking up Fitbit trophies against our frenemies. Hong Kong’s many unique and challenging hikes bring us closer to nature, give us some of the most stunning views in the city and remind us why we pay such an exorbitant amount of money to live here. And what if I told you that some of those hikes lead the way to truly sensational meals, as well? Happy trails, indeed.

These hiking trails are your path to good food:

 
 
 
 
 
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Wu Kau Tang to Sam A Tsuen

This one’s out there a bit, but I promise you it’s worth it. Credit to Laura and Agung Prabowo for bringing me on this hike, which inspired a good chunk of this list in the first place.

Starting at the Tai Po MTR station, hop aboard the 20R green minibus (or taxi, or private car) for a lift to Wu Kau Tang. The trail begins on a concrete path towards Sam A Chung, a peaceful walk which will bring you past a stream and through the woods. After passing Kau Tam Tso, take the path on the left uphill — careful, the “path” is a bit uneven — which will lead you up and down through some scenic wilderness. Eventually you’ll reach a clearing and a road that leads you to Sam A Tsuen, a small settlement of buildings that will be unmistakable across the clearing. You can make the return trip from here, or continue on through Lai Chi Wo toward Luk Keng, but first, it’s time to eat!

Where to eat:

The Fook Lee Tea House is the first place you’ll see as you walk up to the row of homes. Grab a table and order up a selection of Hakka delights, including the whole chicken and salt-and-pepper squid.

Where to start: Tai Po Market Station, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong

 
 
 
 
 
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Discovery Bay to Mui Wo

With ferries that service both ports running day and night from Central, this hiking trail technically starts at whichever end you prefer — either way, you get your steps in, and you and your party end up with some delicious options as a reward.

For the purposes of this guide, we’ll start from the Discovery Bay Ferry Pier, which offers a convenient two-hour jaunt through wood and stream by way of the Trappist Haven Monastery. Exit left from the pier and follow the path until you reach Discovery Bay Road, at which point you’ll want to cross the street and hang another left. From there, follow the road until you reach a sign for the Lantau Yacht Club. Turn right and follow that path — a beach and the bay will be on your left — and you’ll be on your way. Enjoy the stroll through the small farm-strewn villages of Nim Shue Wan Tsuen and Cheung Sha Lan, and continue to follow the signs for Trappist Haven Monastery until you reach, of course, the monastery. From there, all signs point to Mui Wo and enjoy your walk from there. There’s a bit of an incline, but just stay on the paved trail, enjoy the views from above, and eventually you’ll arrive on the long, sandy path to Silvermine Bay Beach.

Where to eat:

Between Silvermine Bay Beach and the Ferry Pier, you have a handful of excellent dining options: Cafe Isara for Thai food; China Bear for burgers, salads, steaks and sandwiches; Bahce Turkish for excellent baba ghanoush and kebabs. And don’t leave without grabbing a drink at The Cobra Beach Club and swinging by Lantau Base Camp for a bag of Lantau Jerky, the best beef jerky in Hong Kong — thank me later.

On the other hand, if you started in Mui Wo and made your way past the Trappist Haven Monastery to Discovery Bay, you’ll find a handful of familiar spots from elsewhere in Hong Kong, such as McSorley’s Ale House (great burger) and Italian eatery Il Bel Paese; also check out Brasserie 22 North for elevated fresh seafood and steak, and Hemingway’s DB for some excellent plant-based dining.

Where to start: Central Pier 3, Man Kwong Street, Central, Hong Kong

 
 
 
 
 
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Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan (Lamma Island Family Trail)

Much like the Discovery Bay to Mui Wo journey, these hiking trails go both ways, crossing from one side of Lamma to the other. Either way offers up some delicious grub, just be prepped for a decently long trek and don’t forget to pack water.

For the sake of choosing (and ending with some of the best seafood in Hong Kong), we’ll recommend taking the road from Yung Shue Wan and ending at Sok Kwu Wan. Before you get there, you’ll need to hop on the Ferry from Central at Pier 4. After a quick 30 minute ride, you’ll find one of the easiest-to-navigate trails in Hong Kong. Follow the signs (they’re everywhere) pointing the way toward Hung Shing Yeh Beach and Sok Kwu Wan. Before you go, check out the Lamma Winds wind turbine, which is cool to see, if nothing else, then follow the Family Trail — it’s paved the whole way, so no excuses for getting lost — and a couple hours later you’ll be walking up to Sok Kwu Wan. Check out the Kamikaze Caves on your right before entering the town, then enjoy the world of fresh Lamma Island seafood now at your disposal.

Where to eat:

You really can’t go wrong with any of the options here, but Lamma Rainbow Seafood Restaurant with its signature Rainbow Fish dish is the most famous, and for good reason. They also offer a free ferry ride back to Central / Tsim Sha Tsui, which is another great perk. LoSo Kitchen and Wai Kee (pan-fried prawns!) are also worth the trip, especially if you come early enough to enjoy the beach and make a day of it between chowing down.

On the other hand, while the fresh seafood of Lamma is a must, if you start at Sok Kwu Wan and hike to Yung Shue Wan, there’s a much wider variety of dining options. Hideout has an assortment of all-day delicious brunch comforts; Melanie’s Kitchen serves up authentic Indonesian cuisine in a warm and friendly setting; Beer lovers will dig The Beer Shack, a taproom created by Yardley Brothers; Dale Candela is a fun and welcoming Spanish spot serving tapas and tequila; and Rawsoever‘s grocer and café covers all of your vegan and veggie-friendly needs.

Where to start: Central Pier 4, Man Kwong Street, Central, Hong Kong

 
 
 
 
 
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Lung Fu Shan Morning Trail to The Peak

Victoria! She awaits. If you’ve hiked enough to Google a hiking-plus-eating guide for Hong Kong, then there’s a good chance you’ve already made the trek at least once. However, the food options up top aren’t to be denied, so here we are, talking to you about… The Peak. And since the Peak Tram is taking another time out for renovations, hiking is still the most cost-effective way to the top. If you want a challenge — or at least feel like you’ve earned your treat — I recommend taking High West, which takes you up a set of stairs that never seems to end. However, avoid this one in the humid months. Or the bug-filled months. Actually, let’s just avoid it altogether. How about the Morning Trail? Great idea.

To reach the Morning Trail, take a little ride (fun!) on the Central—Mid-Levels escalator until you reach the top. Hang a right into Conduit Road, and walk until you reach Hatton Road. Turn left onto Hatton and follow the road to the Lung Fu Shan Morning Trail entrance. The path stays fairly self-explanatory from here, but if you’re going “up”, you’re doing it right. Stay left on Hatton after the Boundary Stone, and continue to follow the road until you reach Harlech Road and Lugard Road. Take a left onto Lugard to reach the Lugard Road Lookout, snap a photo for Instagram, and continue down the road toward the Peak Tower. That was easy.

Where to eat:

Go ahead and get angry, but I’m just going to say it: There’s one Burger King left in Hong Kong (endangered!) and it’s right here at The Peak. You walked a long road to get here; you’ve earned that Whopper. But that’s not all. Chef Palash Mitra is whipping up not-to-be-missed South Asian cuisine at Rajasthan Rifles; fellow Michelin-man Enrico Bartolini serves decadent, classic Italian at Fiamma; and the aromas emanating from chef Tim Wong’s dry aged Australian Wagyu and Black Angus prime rib at 37 Steakhouse will have you mouth-watering before you even scan your LeaveHomeSafe app.

Where to start: Central—Mid-Levels escalators, Central, Hong Kong

 
 
 
 
 
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Sai Kung Country Park to Yau Ley

This is an easy trek, and Yau Ley is a hidden gem: A family-run seafood spot that has been serving fresh-caught seafood to locals since 1999. You can take a speedboat to get there, but save that for the return trip. This is a list of hikes!

Take the 94 bus or a taxi to the entrance of Sai Kung Country Park, then exit your ride and travel along Sai Kung Man Yee Road, which will take you on a nice two-hour hike around High Island Reservoir. Follow the sign and path to the right toward Pak A Village, then take the left path and follow the coast once you reach the pagoda. Follow that path to the right when the road forks, which will lead you to Leung Sheun Wan Tin Hau Temple. Pay your respects to Tin Hau and continue on past abandoned buildings and a sea urchin restaurant (worth a stop for uni-heads) until you see Sha Kiu Pier across the water. Follow the path along the coast until you arrive.

Where to eat:

Your only option here is Yau Ley Seafood Restaurant, and it’s a good one. From squid to prawns to lobsters and more, it’s all fresh caught by local fisherman, and it’s all delicious. When you’re finished, catch a speedboat back to Sai Kung and treasure the memories forever.

Where to start: Sai Kung County Park, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong

 
 
 
 
 
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Dragon’s Back to Big Wave Bay

Typically one of the entry-level hikes for Hong Kong visitors or newcomers, Dragon’s Back is a popular and easy-to-access trail that gives you proper views of Hong Kong Island’s southern side.

Starting at the Shau Kei Wan MTR station, board the 9 bus to the conveniently marked stop for “To Tei Wan, Dragon’s Back”. There’s only one path here, so you can’t get lost. At the first intersection, follow the sign that says, of course, “Dragon’s Back” and you’re on your way. Eventually you’ll reach Shek O Peak, a great place to snap some Instagrams, and head back down the hill. Follow the trail to the right until you pass the water treatment plant, and soon you’ll see signs pointing your way to Big Wave Bay. Stay on the trail and skip the first sign you see pointing toward Big Wave Bay, but follow the second one, which will lead you straight down the steps to the beach. Congrats, you made it.

Where to eat:

Eric’s Kitchen is the local favourite at Big Wave Bay, slinging everything from hot dogs to pizza to a full English Breakfast, all for cheap. Grab a thin crust pie and enjoy some proper beach lounging. However, if you feel like hiking some more, Cococabana and Ben’s Back Beach Bar are also within walking distance at nearby Shek O Beach.

Where to start: Shau Kei Wan MTR (Exit A3), Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong

 
 
 
 
 
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South Lantau Coastal Trail (Shek Pik to Tai O)

How about a real challenge? The South Lantau Coastal Trail is 17.5km of pure trek action, taking you from Shek Pik to the fishing village of Tai O, where delicious seafood and the village’s signature salted shrimp paste await. Give yourself six hours to hike it all, which should be plenty of time to work up an appetite.

Start from Central’s Pier 6, which will take you to Mui Wo (or combine this one with the Discovery Bay hike above if you’re really trying to get those steps in), then take the 1 bus to the Sha Tsui stop. Take the stairs behind the bus stop, and turn left down Wang Pui Road. Continue on, following the signs toward Fan Lau Fort, and keep right (heading upward) at the nearby fork. After an hour or so of road hiking, you’ll hit the trail, eventually reaching a sign toward a “View Compass / Obelisk”. You can either follow this loop, for a view, or simply walk straight past. At the next fork, you can head straight for a beach pitstop, or head down the steps to your right. Down the steps, keep on the path to the left, following the signs that will point you toward Fan Lau. Once again, you’ll reach a fork, and once again, stay left, which will lead you to onto the beach via Fan Lau Country Trail. Follow the beach and look to the right of a very prominent rock at the top of the hill, where you’ll see the path continuing upward. Continue on, passing the Fan Lau Fort on your left, and soon you’ll encounter yet another fork. Take the beach path, toward Fan Lau Sai Wan, following a small bridge across the beach and continuing on the path into the woods. Follow this all the way to the paved walkway that will lead you toward the Tai O bus terminus (where you can hop a bus or taxi back to Mui Wo or Tung Chung later). You’ve arrived!

Where to eat:

Start at Sun Kwong Cheung Choi Kee — their “Husband” roll is a mix of shrimp paste and juicy pork that’s a must for any Tai O first-timer. The giant fish balls at Fuk Hin Hong are also not to be missed. After that, stroll the island — a number of local stands are set-up, as well as the Tai O Market, with plenty of fresh-made snacks to sample along the way. And be sure to bring home some Tai O Salted Shrimp Paste, available just about everywhere, as a gift for friends (and for yourself).

Where to start: Central Pier 6, Central, Hong Kong

Nathan Erickson
Editor-in-Chief
Made in Seoul and based in Hong Kong, Nathan has covered food, fashion and music from New York to Paris to Oaxaca. He enjoys street photography, buying too many hooded sweatshirts and he'll never turn down a tequila soda. Catch him on weekends hiking trails all over Hong Kong in hopes of finding his idol, Chow Yun-fat.