Dragon's Back

Dragon's Back

By National Geographic

Dragon’s Back mapThe last leg of the Hong Kong Trail, this meandering path on the ridge of Dragon’s Back is widely hailed as one of Hong Kong’s best urban hikes. Besides its attractive name, Dragon’s Back has a sightseeing platform near the peak that provides truly spectacular views of southern Hong Kong Island and its shoreline. Right at the trail’s end is Big Wave Bay. Take a dip or surf the waves for a relaxing finale to this hike.

Shek O Peninsula Viewing Point
Shek O Peninsula Viewing Point

From Shek O Road, you will first walk through a shaded path onto this section of the Hong Kong Trail. About a minute into your hike, the path will open up to the sky as you ascend. After 20 minutes or so, you’ll find yourself on the Shek O Peninsula Viewing Point overlooking Shek O Beach on the foot of the hill, and also the two isles off Shek O Peninsula.

Shek O Peak
Shek O Peak

Although bare and exposed, the platform on the summit of Shek O Peak (284 m) is the perfect place to take in the panorama of the peninsula’s coastline. When you turn around to observe the winding trails, you’ll finally see how Dragon’s Back got its well-deserved name.

Dragon’s Back & Pottinger Gap
Dragon’s Back & Pottinger Gap

Stay on the rolling ridge to trace the “dragon” while you climb uphill. Stop at the Dragon’s Back Viewing Point for a great view of the Tai Tam Bay west of Shek O Peninsula. On a clear day, even Lamma Island, to the southwest of Hong Kong Island, is visible from the deck. Once over the ridge, you'll arrive at Pottinger Gap. Here you get a view of Chai Wan’s urban high-rises against a forested landscape.

Big Wave Bay
Big Wave Bay

After passing a pavilion, you’ll begin a sharp descent on an uneven stone and dirt path. This very last stage of the trail is mostly shaded and can be slippery at times. Once you’ve exited the trail and cleared the village houses, a beach popular with surfers lies waiting. Big Wave Bay will greet your arrival with shimmering white waves against the blue sky.

Trip ideas: If you plan on watching the sunrise or sunset on Dragon’s Back, check the Hong Kong Observatory website for the exact times: www.hko.gov.hk

Southern District
Starting point:
Shek O Road ner to To Tei Wan Village
End point:
Big Wave Bay
Average hiking time:
4 hours
About 8.5 km
There are no refueling stops along the trail.

Most of the route is on dirt paths. The first half has very little shade, and there is also a steep 200-metre-long uphill stretch. The flight of descending stone steps in the last section is quite steep, too.
How to get there
To the starting point:
From MTR Shau Kei Wan Station Exit A, walk to the Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus. Take bus 9 or the red minibus with the sign “Shek O” to the To Tei Wan stop on Shek O Road.

From the end point:
Take the red minibus with the sign “Shau Kei Wan” or a taxi from Big Wave Bay back to Shau Kei Wan.
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