Hong Kong is an amazing place – with ancient history, modern skyscrapers, night time markets, gorgeous mountains, and an unbeatable skyline, it’s the ultimate travel destination. Guangzhou is just an hour and a half from the Hong Kong border and I decided to challenge myself to make a trip to Hong Kong in just one day.
I’ve been to Hong Kong once before but mostly spent time walking around the streets and shopping and eating Mexican food (all of which were fantastic and you can read about it here.) But there’s another part of Hong Kong I’ve been dying to see – Hong Kong has some of the most amazing hiking trails, so for my one day challenge I wanted to do a hike.
Since my time would be limited, I decided to try one of the shorter and not super difficult trails for my first one: Lion Rock. At 495 meters, it overlooks the harbor and gives you a fantastic view of Hong Kong. I found a great article with details about the hike that made it easy to get to: https://www.gettingstamped.com/lion-rock-hike-hong-kong/
FROM GUANGZHOU TO HONG KONG
- Train from Guangzhou South to Shenzhen Futian Station (1 hour – 80RMB)
- Metro from Futian to Futian Checkpoint (20 minutes, 4RMB)
- Exchange money, pass through customs, cross into Hong Kong (30 minutes)
- Metro from Lok Ma Chau to Wong Tai Sin (43.50 HKD, 1 hour)
- Taxi from Wong Tai Sin to Sha Tin Pass (45 HKD, 10 minutes)
- Start hiking from Sha Tin Pass (there are other routes to hike up)
WHAT TO BRING
1.5 liters of water (at least), good hiking shoes, snacks, and a willingness to sweat. And an umbrella just in case. I just got a tripod (why haven’t I had one before? Great question, Rachel) and wanted to play around with it more so I brought that along, too. There’s a warning at the entrance that you might encounter wild monkeys as well, so be prepared for that possibility – I didn’t see any though and I was a little disappointed.
Wong Tai Sin is a convenient metro stop that exits right next to a mall so I was able to buy water nearby before catching a taxi. I’m glad I took a taxi up to Sha Tin Pass because it saved me so much time. Since I was trying to make it from Guangzhou to HK and back in one day, time was of the essence!
HIKING UP TO LION ROCK
- Duration: 1.5+ hours (1.8 km from entrance to peak)
- Difficulty: 3/5
- Views: 5/5
Lion Rock is a great hike because it’s not terribly difficult and the payoff is great. You work up enough of a sweat and climb enough stairs that you feel like you earned the view at the top, but it’s not psychically exhausting. The first steps get your heart going and the last .5 km to the top will have you pouring sweat, but the in-between is actually really nice, with some flat strolls and slower elevation climbs. I spent more time taking photos and sitting at the top than I did climbing up and down!
I kept a moderate pace the entire time and it took me 40 minutes to get from the entrance to the top. I saw so many elderly people hiking up (older Chinese people are so fit!) and I heard kids go up here often so it’s pretty do-able for most ages.
LION ROCK PEAK
There’s the actual Lion Rock at the top, as well as two other peaks you can climb up. The view is incredible! Here’s some of my favorite pics from the top.
LION ROCK HIKE VIDEO
I made a short little video about my day hiking here! Check it out.
RETURN TO GUANGZHOU
I wanted to be back in Mainland China before it was too late so I started hiking down around mid-afternoon and then began my journey back to Guangzhou. I left my apartment at 6:45 a.m. and finally returned at 8:45 p.m., exhausted, a little sunburned, but really happy about the hike and my little trip to Hong Kong.
It’s always fun to take a trip out of the country and not have to use a VPN 😉 One day is definitely not enough time in Hong Kong, however, so next time I go I’ll definitely plan on spending more than a day. I’m excited to do more hikes and photo excursions – if anyone has any recommendations on places to hike or things to see let me know!
Until next time Hong Kong!