OWL Magazine Korea

Exploring Hong Kong’s Dragon’s Back Trekking Course: A Natural Escape from the Urban Jungle

When you move southeast from the urban jungle of Hong Kong Island, you’ll discover a trekking course that allows you to appreciate the natural beauty of Hong Kong. This is the “Dragon’s Back” trekking course, chosen as the best trekking course in Asia by CNN and Time magazine in 2004.

“The Name Derived from the Ridge Resembling a Dragon’s Back”

The name Dragon’s Back comes from the resemblance of the ridge to a dragon’s back. Hong Kong locals have a fondness for dragons, and you can even see buildings with holes, said to be where dragons pass through, scattered throughout the city.

The Dragon’s Back trekking course is also connected to the locals’ affinity for dragons. When you reach the summit, you can view both the southern and eastern seas, creating a spectacular sight.

“How to Get to the Dragon’s Back Trekking Course”

The Dragon’s Back trekking course is a bit off from the central area of Hong Kong Island, so you’ll need to take a bus instead of the subway. The route can be a bit complex, so I’ve written a separate post with detailed directions. You can find it at the link below:

“Starting Point of the Dragon’s Back Trekking Course”

The Dragon’s Back trekking course starts from the To Tei Wan bus stop. Once you alight from the bus, you can immediately find the entrance to the Dragon’s Back trekking course just behind the bus stop.

From the stop, you can also enjoy a view of the southern coastline of Hong Kong, which is quite impressive. However, once you ascend the Dragon’s Back trekking course, you can marvel at both the southern and eastern seas simultaneously, offering an even more breathtaking vista.

You can find restrooms at the entrance of the trekking course. Since it can be challenging to find a restroom midway through the trek, it’s advisable to use one before starting.

“The Full Dragon’s Back Trekking Course Taking Over 4 Hours”

If you decide to complete the Dragon’s Back trekking course in its entirety, it can take a considerable amount of time. It may take up to 4 hours, so it might be challenging for the average traveler to complete the full course.

Personally, I initially attempted to complete the full course as indicated on the map, but after experiencing the decent scenery from points 1-2 or 1-3, I thought it might be nice to explore them all. However, as I continued the trek, I realized it was a misguided notion. Beyond point 4, the scenery became quite ordinary and repetitive. In the end, after spending over 2 hours, I decided to give up at around the 3/4 mark and boarded a bus back to the urban area.

“The View from the Summit of Dragon’s Back”

Regardless, the view from the summit, which is the main attraction of Dragon’s Back, is truly spectacular. Based on the trekking map, I think sticking to points 1 through 2 or 1 through 3 for the trek would be most enjoyable.

Once you reach point 2, you can simultaneously appreciate the eastern and southern seas of Hong Kong Island. The view isn’t significantly different from that of point 3.

Still, if you’re feeling a bit disappointed, I recommend only going as far as point 3. However, once you reach point 3, it’s natural to proceed to point 4 before descending. Even so, this plan would take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours, so it might be quite a significant time investment for precious travelers.

“The Initial 300 Meters of Uphill Climb”

The first 300 meters of the Dragon’s Back trekking course are the most challenging. This segment involves a continuous uphill climb. While the effort of climbing the hill can be demanding, the view from the summit is incredibly satisfying. It feels like a scene straight out of a comic book.

Because of this, the effort put into climbing the hill is entirely worthwhile. Afterward, a gentle course follows, making it a manageable trek even for beginners. There’s no need to prepare special equipment or clothing for the trek; just wear comfortable clothes as usual and enjoy the natural beauty of Hong Kong Island.

Personally, I would highly recommend this course for those planning a leisurely trip to Hong Kong, as it’s a place that stands out in my memory as one of the most memorable spots in the city.

“Hong Kong Shek O, Dragon’s Back Trekking”