Categories > Guides and Tips

Asked and Answered Why is it called Dragon's Back

Asked and Answered: Why is it called Dragon’s Back?

Would you believe it? It’s called dragon’s back because, you know – it looks like a dragon’s back! 

So there’s the quick answer you’re looking for. However, there’s a lot of fun things you need to learn about this hike (the gorgeous vantage points, for example, or how to see the famous “dragon’s back” silhouette).

Apart from the name’s history, I’ll also share insights on how and where to navigate this hike so you can enjoy the beautiful trails while you’re here!  

Why is it called Dragon’s Back? 

Why is it called Dragon's Back

The hike is called Dragon’s Back due to its resemblance to the shape of a Chinese dragon’s back in its topography.

From ground level, the trail appears to be a typical hiking path. However, when observed from a bird’s-eye view, the narrow pathway winds through the mountain ranges, resembling the form of a dragon’s back. 

Hiking the Dragon’s Back

Hiking the Dragon's Back

Planning a hike here? Here’s the scoop on one of Hong Kong’s top urban hikes, boasting killer views of southern Hong Kong Island and its stunning shoreline.

Average hiking time: 4 hours

Distance: About 8.5 km

Difficulty: Moderate

Shek O Peninsula Scenic Peek

Shek O Peninsula Scenic Peek

Kick-off from Shek O Road and stroll through the shaded path, signaling the beginning of this Hong Kong Trail stretch. Approximately 20 minutes onward, brace yourself for the “Ta-da!” moment at the Shek O Peninsula Viewing Point. 

You’ll catch sight of Shek O Beach below and the neighboring isles off the Shek O Peninsula – a view that’ll make your hiking boots applaud!

Shek O Peak Vantage

Shek O Peak Vantage

Perched atop Shek O Peak (284 m), the exposed platform offers an epic panorama of the peninsula’s coastline. And hey, when you pivot to check out the snaking trails, you’ll get why they call it Dragon’s Back!

Pro Tip: This route mostly winds through dirt paths. So, brace for minimal shade in the first half and a punchy 200-meter uphill jaunt. The final leg treats you to a steep descent via stone steps – better hold onto your hats!

Dragon’s Back and Pottinger Gap

Dragon’s Back and Pottinger Gap

Follow the rolling ridge and pause at the Dragon’s Back Hike Viewing Point for an awesome view of Tai Tam Bay to the west of the Shek O Peninsula. 

On clear days, you might even spot Lamma Island southwest of Hong Kong Island from there. Once you cross the ridge, check out Pottinger Gap where you’ll see the urban high-rises of Chai Wan against a backdrop of forests.

Big Wave Bay

Big Wave Bay

Once you pass by a pavilion, get ready for a steep descent along a rocky and dirt path. This final leg offers plenty of shade, but watch out because it can get a bit slippery. 

Exiting the trail and passing the village houses, you’ll stumble upon a favorite spot among surfers: Big Wave Bay Beach. As you arrive, be greeted by sparkling white waves dancing against the vivid blue sky.

Related topics