Hong Kong’s autumn, from end of September to early December, has the best weather to hike. Neither the scorching heat nor shivering cold would get in the way. The sky is clear; the air is fresh; the temperature is cool.
Stay out top-rated trails on holidays or weekends
A nice weather coupled with a scenic route, however, isn’t guaranteed to make for a fabulous hike, and despite the ample hiking options we have in the city, the top-priority trails, such as The Dragon’s Back Trail on Hong Kong Island, which is picked as the best urban hike in Asia by TIME magazine; or the Sunset Peak on Lantau Island, which is known for the drifting silver grass, can congregate swarms of people in peak season. To say the two remote spots are no less crowded than Mong Kok or other shopping districts is no exaggeration. It’s quite a scene when occasional queues are formed along the routes. Other highly sought-after routes are High Junk Peak in Sai Kung, Lion Rock Hill near Wong Tai Sin and Devil’s Peak in Yau Tong.
Peak season around tomb-sweeping festivals
Do you know it’s a ritual to go on a hike in Chung Yeung (or Double Ninth Festival)? As well as the Ching Ming Festival (or Qing Ming), which hovers at the fifth of April, Chung Yeung is another traditional festival around which the Chinese perform ancestor worship, or in other words, tomb-sweeping rituals. It’s the time the tracks are getting busy with hikers and the families carrying paper offerings. The festival falls on the ninth of the ninth lunar month, that is, around mid to end of October on the solar calendar.
It’s wise not to hit the trails in close vicinity to tomb sites or cemeteries, like Tai Po’s Sam Mun Tsai and Devil’s Peak in Yau Tong, where Junk Bay Chinese Permanent Cemetery is located. Other tomb-spotted peaks include Fei Ngo Shan near Choi Hung, Hadden Hill (Ki Lun Shan) near Ku Tung and Ngau Kwu Ling near Fanling.