Hike: The Kowloon Ridge - Eagle's Nest, Beacon Hill and Lion Rock

by - March 26, 2014

View from Lion Rock
The Lion Rock (uncanny really)
Having battled through a particularly mean patch of university work, it was nice to be able to get off the campus and into some of the fantastic countryside around Hong Kong.  I hadn’t been able to hike at all in this semester and thankfully the weather cleared up a bit as my block of deadlines passed by.  The first of my hikes was supposedly one of the best in the whole of the territory, up to the Lion Rock - one of the iconic images of Kowloon.  The beauty of walking along the so-called “Kowloon Ridge” was that we would be able to have beautiful views to both the south (over Kowloon and Victoria Harbour) as well as the north (the New Territories), encompassing a vast amount of the total territory of Hong Kong.  The hike was described as being hard work and a little bit dangerous, but conditions seemed good as a group of ten students from UST and HKU (University of Hong Kong) made our way along the Ridge.  My previous hike to the Kowloon Reservoir system had actually ended at the same point as this one started, at the Kowloon Reservoir stop on the number 81 bus from Prince Edward station.  The bus stop is absolutely swarming with  monkeys, as was the first section of the hike.  As Hong Kong monkeys are notoriously confident, we were happy to get away from them as we made our way up to Eagle’s Nest, the first of three peaks which we would be climbing over the next eight kilometres and four hours.  The hike started on a section of the famous MacLehose Trail which bisects the whole Kowloon peninsular, but we soon broke off to follow signs to the Eagle’s Nest, followed by Beacon Hill and finally the Lion Rock itself.  The climb up to the rock was reasonably precarious (though not as bad as we had prepared ourselves for), though an alternate route allows the climb (but also the best views) to be avoided.  The hike finished at a little noodle restaurant from where we made our way back into the outskirts of the city, from where we were able to get a minibus at Wong Tai Sin station.  Possibly my favourite hike in Hong Kong so far, along with the Dragon Back - though definitely not one for the unfit or the faint hearted.  More photos below:

Team Photo at Lion Rock

View to the north over the New Territories

Resting at the summit

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