On the first day of our family holiday in Hong Kong, we tackle the city’s most popular hiking trail, the Dragon’s Back. Time Asia Magazine voted it the best urban trail in Asia in 2004. Nearly ten years on, the trail continues to attract crowds of locals and tourists every day.

We set the alarm for 7am to avoid the afternoon heat. From our accommodation, we take a minibus, the MTR (subway) and bus number 9 to the starting point. It takes an hour so we’re ready for a nap when we arrive.

Instead of napping, we climb. We climb up and down (mostly up) along stone paths and dirt tracks until we hit the Shek O peak after 2km. Here we are treated to a near 360° panoramic view of mountains terrains, scenic coastlines and city skyscrapers.

Views from the Shek O peak

Once you hit the top, it’s pretty flat for the next 4km before the descent. During the hike, you will see nature: you know, trees, grass, wildlife…  My favourite part is the people. You will see groups of extremely sun smart locals; being pale is beautiful here. The younger crew is hiking with their bichon frises (!) while the older demographic is marching up with their portable radios, blaring old school Canto-tunes.

Join them for an escape from the crowded city streets.

Dragon’s Back is the last section of the 50km Hong Kong Trail. It’s 8.5km and the HK Tourism Board rates this as ‘moderately difficult’. It wasn’t really; my 60 year old parents made it up with no tears or tantrums.