Hike Hong Kong: Victoria Peak

IMG_6978The magic of Hong Kong is the true marriage of urban jungle and actual jungle throughout the entire region. It is the fourth most densely populated city in the world, and yet 40% of the land is lushly green preserved park, perfect for serene hiking.

IMG_6968 (2)Along with being an icon of Hong Kong, Victoria Peak is an exemplar of this harmonious dichotomy. The base and the summit of the peak are highly developed and there is a tourist tram to the top, but in between is a gorgeous trail that winds its way up the slope through thicket and vine and past trickling waterfalls.

14203454_10154044200014247_1220568834_oWe started at a trail on Pok Fu Lam road across the street from the HKU MTR station. You hit the ground running (or crawling) with this trail, as the first ascent is about 150 steep, moss-slicked steps. The first half hour of the trail towards the peak is a strenuous climb through Hong Kong humidity, but it eventually levels out for an hour’s pleasant walk before reaching the peak.

At the top, it can be slightly jarring to stumble into the bustling Victoria Peak Galleria after sweating through the jungle for an hour and a half. The Gelato joints and bubble tea shops can be enticing after all of those steps, but persist! Go to the left of the Peak Tower towards the Hong Kong trail for (free) access to the stunning vistas you made the hike for. It is truly breathtaking.

Breathe. Take it all in. Snap a few photos. Then go back for that ice cream.

You earned it.

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