If you’ve ever googled a list of “things to do in Hong Kong” (in fact, who hasn’t?) you’ll find one common activity in every list.
You guessed it: hiking.
And you get all sorts of hikes here. Hikes to hidden rockpools, hikes to outlying islands, easy hikes, tough hikes, short hikes, long hikes – heck even we’ve written about setting off into the city’s wild side. But you can’t call yourself a true adventurer until you’ve gone on one particular hike – the night hike!
Since the weather has finally made it possible to go hiking sans the heat, there’s no better time than now for you to try it out. Here’s why:
1. Stars and city lights
In the day, there’s one key thing you miss out on seeing: stars. With all the light pollution here, Hong Kongers rarely get to enjoy the night sky. No better place to check it out than on a secluded hiking trail.
Stars? What are stars? Eddie Yip / https://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiextcteam/12558424485/in/photostream/
Of course if you’re hiking on an urban trail, a clear sky won’t be the case, but the treat of seeing the distant city lights comes a close second.
2. A Whole New World
Hiking may be common but it’s great to experience the same thing differently when you go at night. From chirping crickets to the charm of the forest after sunset, a night hike is a guaranteed breath of fresh air.
Spot the difference. Eddie Yip / https://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiextcteam/12558901974/in/photostream/
3. Less people
In our crowded city, hikes are a getaway from people. But it’s a problem when a good portion of 7 million people gets the same idea as you. When you go hiking at night, there’s a smaller chance you’ll bump into other people.
Looks like the entire district decided to join today. David Woo / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mckln/2102179037
4. No need to wait for the weekend.
Work hard, play hard – night hiking gives you the chance to dive straight into it after work or school, without needing a full free day.
It’s like in the movies, where you happily skip off into the sunset. Bryce Bradford / https://www.flickr.com/photos/brb_photography/3823640292
Lastly, there’s no certain way to quite explain it, but conquering a hill under the cover of darkness with your friends around you just seems so much more exciting than in plain daylight.
Circle HK / https://www.flickr.com/photos/circle_hk/4098610428
When I first shared my night hike plans, my friends professed worries ranging from snakes and insects to “rolling off the mountain in the dark” (yes, really).
We encountered none of the above.
Just make sure you bring a torch as well as your phone, don’t go alone, and comply with other regular hiking rules. If you’re well prepared and have even the slightest spirit of an adventurer, nothing will get in the way of you and this brilliant nighttime outing.
Try these trails at night
- The Peak Circle Walk – an fast, easy but fun one with awesome views of Hong Kong Island. Good for starters.
- Sir Cecil’s Ride – trickier and longer than the Peak, but comes with killer views of the city. Prepare well for this one.
- Shek Pik Country Trail – not too long but the road can get steep. The go-to trail for prospective star gazers.