Key information: The Peak
- Hong Kong's most famous views, from its most famous mountain.
- Wander along paths and surprisingly quiet roads through beautiful woodland, never far from outstanding views across extraordinary Hong Kong harbour or south to Lamma Island slumbering in the hazy south China sea.
- Gripping contrasts between one of the most densely populated places on earth, the sheer, thickly forested mountainsides and the beauty of the seascapes.
- Very crowded near the Peak Tower and around Victoria Peak, surprisingly quiet elsewhere.
- Walkopedia rating84
- Natural interest15
- Human interest14
- Negative points8
- Total rating84
- Note: Negs: modernity; crowding; pollution.
- Length: Variable
- Level of Difficulty: Straightforward
The Peak is one of those redolent words great wealth (often trapped in ugly concrete box houses) packed high above magnificent, peerless Hong Kong harbour; a bastion of colonialism (no Chinese allowed to live there until the 1950s); the Peak Tram humming up its impossibly steep track; the typhoons and gin of The Honorable Schoolboy.
Do take the obvious walk Lugard and Harlech Roads (i.e. concreted paths) around Victoria Peak, with its outstanding views over the harbour, its towers so huge that even here, hundreds of feet up, you still have to look up at their tops; then down over the green mountainsides of the South Side toward Lamma Island looming in the hazy South China Sea. Although you will always be in company (with crowds, even, near the Peak Tower, the upper station of the Peak Tram), it is unmissable. A fabulous diversion is to walk 10 minutes down to the WWII battery below High West, with its marvellous views over the western harbour toward the mountains of Lantau spectacular at sunset.
Other routes, however, make gripping walking while avoiding the tourist crowds: the loop of Mount Kellett Road and, even better, circling the eastern mass of the Peak on Severn Road: vast vistas of harbour, hills and sea mixed with snooping onto the villas' most heartwarmingly-ugly of the super-rich.
One of the joys of the Peak is its vegetation it is sufficiently damp and vaporous here for it to feel like cloud forest, with vines, moss and other parasite plants making a comfortable living, thank you very much, on the boughs of the sturdy evergreen trees. On Severn Road, it is a riot of paddle-leaved plants, bamboo and vividly coloured, sculpted foliage. And the birdsong!
There are endless walking options here: swing down steep Peel Rise (below Mount Kellett Road) through particularly fine woodland, to a vast storm drain above the fishing village-turned-factory-town-turned-high-rise-hub of Aberdeen, then contour around the hillsides for miles, emerging back at the Peak Tram to the west, or at Middle Gap, high above Aberdeen Reservoir, to the East.
Other accounts: share your experiences
Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
Hong Kong - Lonely Planet City Guide
A History of Hong Kong – Frank Welsh
Hong Kong – Jan Morris
Prisoner of the Turnip-Heads – George Wright-Nooth with Mark Adkin
An Insular Possession – Timothy Mo
Myself a Mandarin – Austin Gates
Good maps are easily bought in Hong Kong.
Best times to walk/weather
Best times to walk
October to March. Azaleas in spring.
Excellent (warm, sunny) October-January. Cool and cloudy Feb-March. Increasingly humid and hot April-May. Very hot and humid June – September. Can be wet from January onward.
The "only" way for a visitor to get to the Peak is the Peak Tram, from Central. But the queues can be appalling: be prepared to use other forms of transport. Taxi or bus to/from the start at the Peak Tower (20 minutes from Central), or you can walk up, on several paved tracks - steep and sweaty, but superb vegetation and intriguing glimpsed views.
As described above.
Possible problems, health, other warnings
Heat, humidity and strong sun at some times of year. Carry enough water and protect yourself.
See also the websites in our useful links page for more detailed, and up-to-date, information.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk. Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Make sure you have the appropriate insurance.
Guided or independent?
You can do this walk independently.
It is in theory possible to find guides, and there are companies that organize walks in Hong Kong, especially themed walks – e.g. WW2 history, which can be fascinating.
Community help requested: please let us know of any guides who do this walk.
Expedition organisers include:
Ramblers Holidays – do a Hong Kong focused walking holiday.
Explore! - reputable and experienced organisers.] (potential affiliate)
Have a look at Infohub to see if they have any good deals for this expedition.
Check TripAdvisor for some reviews of this walk and walk organisers which may prove helpful.
PLEASE HELP Walkopedia by recommending any reputable tour organizers that you know of – local or otherwise
A huge range, from luxury hotels to hostels. Serviced apartments are also to be found.
Luxury – some wonderful hotels, including:
Conrad Hong Kong (Central)
Grand Hyatt (Wanchai)
Cheaper – a profusion of good (but seldom particularly cheap) accommodation includes:
Bishop Lei International House (mid-levels)
Newton (in North Point)
YMCA/YWCA (Kowloon and Central)
Other information and tips
Useful websites and information
There are many websites with relevant information on this walk. Here are some that we think are useful or have been recommended to us.
Hong Kong Tourism Board – www.hkta.org - for accommodation, eating, etc.
Other things to do in the area
Some lesser, but delightful, walks can be found in Derek Kemp’s Twelve Hong Kong Walks (possibly now out of print). See also Magic Walks by Kaarlo Schepel, which has charm (if a basic layout) and some great walks.
Hong Kong is a fascinating place with a huge amount to do. The Peak for its views; a ferry to an outer island or Macau. The Peak Tram is horribly crowded (queues can be endless) but hugely romantic. The Star Ferry still has atmosphere, but its new location in the wastelands of the Central Reclamation, a classic piece of Hong Kong planning stupidity, has reduced the magic.
Food – Hong Kong is one of the world’s great centres. Chinese food (obviously), but all Asian food is fantastic here.
Shopping, if you must
Endless. Getting clothes made well but reasonably cheaply (Tsim Sha Tsui backstreets). A profusion of fun tourist tat. Fascinating antiques (beware, majority are fakes) around Hollywood Road and Cat Street.
share your experiences
Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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