Hike with the Monkeys at Kam Shan Country Park

Hike with the monkeys hong kong

Looking for a relatively easy hike with some cheeky wildlife to observe? Then head to Kam Shan Country Park, a relatively short drive from the heart of Kowloon. Here you’ll find a family-friendly trail packed with wild monkeys, hence earning the name Monkey Hill.

How to get to Monkey Hill

• Bus – Take the 81 KMB (double-decker) bus from Nathan Road and get off at Shek Lei Pui Reservoir. 

• Car – While you can drive your car into the park (except during holidays) I don’t recommend it. There are only a few parking spots after you cross the reservoir wall, so instead, park at one of the public metered car parking areas on Tai Po Road, just a 5-10 minute walk from the entrance to the country park.

You are can drive through the Country Park, except during holidays. I highly recommend you don’t though, as it’s much nicer walking through the park without cars on the road.

Meter parking Kam Shan Country Park
Meter parking
Curb parking past Reservoir wall

Start by crossing the Kowloon Reservoir

Leave Tai Po Road and enter the Kam Shan Country Park via Golden Hill Road. This brings you across the Kowloon Reservoir wall, providing quite a nice view and photo opportunity.

Passing the small gazebo where there are a few parking spots, you have the option of turning left for the Kam Shan Tree Walk, or continue up the road for the Family Walk. 

If you haven’t seen any monkeys by now, you certainly will as you walk up the hill. Home to around 85% of Hong Kongs population of wild monkeys (~2100), the two main species being the Rhesus Macaque and Long-Tailed Macaque. Thought to have been introduced in the 1920s initially as pets, they certainly aren’t shy!

Monkey Mountain Hike

Family-friendly trail

If you have the little ones with you, there’s an easy hike for kids that you shouldn’t miss. 

Running as.a loop off the main road, the Kam Shan Family Walk is a relatively easy trail through the bush, mostly downhill with many steps. 

You could do the trail in either direction, but I found it easier to walk up Monkey Hill on the road and down on the trail.

There are a few different types of trees through this trail that you don’t see much in Hong Kong. Such as the Australian eucalyptus and paper-bark.

How to avoid any Monkey Business

While the monkeys here are cute, you need to be alert at all times as they are very adept at stealing food (or something shiny like your glasses!) The first thing to do when starting the hike is to find a decent-sized stick to carry (or a hiking pole). You probably won’t need to use it, but it does work as a good deterrent. 

Better still, don’t carry any food unless it’s sealed air-tight in your pack. It’s illegal to feed the monkeys, however, many people have so they come to expect it. Should you drive through the park, expect them to climb onto your car hoping you’ll roll down the window and offer food.

Follow these steps if you encounter a frisky macaque –

• Don’t stare at them in the eyes
• Stay calm! 
• Open your palms showing that you don’t have any food
• Avoid smiling or showing your teeth
• Back away

For many years I avoided this hike as there were rumours that the monkeys were overly aggressive. Having now taken young kids there, I would recommend checking it out, just be sure to follow the above precautions! 

Have a look here for some more great Family-friendly hikes in Hong Kong.

Hiking Lamma Island with Kids – Whinge Free!

Lamma Island Hike
Sok Kwu Wan Lamma Island

Situated a short ferry ride from Hong Kong Island, Lamma Island is perfect for hiking with the kids. There are a couple of route options depending on your little one’s ability and sense of adventure.

Getting there

Lamma Island Ferry MapThe only way to reach Lamma Island is by ferry. You have two main Ports on the Island served by the ferries. The hike takes you from one port across the island to the other. The options are from

• Central Pier 4: Most frequent services run to Yung Shue Wan. Services also operate to Sok Kwu Wan.
Timetable from Central

• Aberdeen: Yung Shue Wan only (via Mo Tat Wan) approximately every 90 minutes.
Timetable from Aberdeen

Both options are quite cheap, with different timings during the week compared to the weekends. If boarding via Aberdeen, you could always combine the trip with a Sampan ride through the Aberdeen Marina. The kids will love it! 

Decide where you'll start and finish hiking

Kamikaze Cave
Kamikaze Cave

The walk across the island is about 5km in length. You have the option of walking either direction, however, there are far more dining options in Yung Shue Wan, so plan your hike to start or finish there based on your eating schedule. On the other side, Sok Kwu Wan is home to some fairly well-known seafood restaurants, however, expect to pay through the nose for some underwhelming options there. The only upside being some of these restaurants offer a free Ferry service back to Central.

The easiest and most popular path across the island is via the Lamma Island Family Walk trail. Leaving from Sok Kwu Wan, this mostly flat path takes you past the Kamikaze Caves, a series of caves built by the Japanese during WW2 to hide their ‘kamikaze team’ of boats.

Hung Shing Yeh Beach

Lamma Island HikeContinuing on the Family Trail, after about 20 minutes you’ll find Hung Shing Yeh beach, a perfect spot to cool off. Quite a nice beach by Hong Kong standards, with change facilities and bathrooms. The outlook is over the Lamma Island Power Station. Take the opportunity to cool off before continuing back on the trail.

Almost there

From here it’s an easy stroll past the Lamma Power Station, which has its own little beach, into the village at Yung Shue Wan. Here you have plenty of restaurant options, many of which less ‘touristy’ than those at Sok Kwu Wan.

For the older or more adventurous kids, check out the Lamma Island hike in the ‘Little bit whingy’ section. This trail takes you off the concrete and through the middle of the island, past the wind turbine. It’s a little steeper in sections but feels much more like a hike than a path.

Should the little ones Whinge...

Geocaching Hong KongHiking Lamma Island with kids, while generally quite easy is not exempt from wandering minds and short attention spans. Now you may or may not have discovered Geocaching in Hong Kong, but for those that have, I’m sure it’s saved your bacon when things get whingy. Download the Geocaching App and turn your little ones into detectives! It’s amazing how distraction can take little minds away from the aches of their tired legs. Geocaching involves searching for little notes hidden around Hong Kong. The App will give you clues on where to locate them. Once found, add your details and be sure to re-hide them in the same location. Remember to bring a pen with you on your hikes!

Rhino Rock Hike from Stanley – The kids will love it!

Rhino Rock family hike featured

I can’t believe it’s taken me 15 years to visit Rhino Rock in Stanley! What started as a last-minute, let’s get out of the house decision, proved to be such a fun hike for our family here in Hong Kong. Highly recommended!

Rhino rock family hike - where do i start?

I have classified this hike as easy, as it’s relatively short. It is, however, not without its challenges which I’ll describe a little later.

The starting point to the Rhino rock hike is at the Stanley Fort, about 2 kilometres from Stanley Plaza. Established in 1841 by the British, Stanley Fort was once a coastal artillery designed to protect Victoria Harbour. During the fall of Hong Kong to the Japenese in December 1941, this is where to last of the British and Canadian troops were captured. Today it’s controlled by the Chinese PLA.

Stanley is well serviced by public buses, the majority of which running from Central and Admiralty. Once arriving in Stanley, you then have three options on how to get to the Fort –

• Walk – reasonable flat, but I wouldn’t recommend it in summer
• Bus – take bus #14 from the main bus terminal in Stanley. It runs every 10-20 minutes
• Taxi – quick and certainly affordable, especially if there are a few of you ($25)

* There is no parking here, so don’t plan on driving

Arriving at the Fort, which happens to be the end of the road so you can’t miss it, the hike starts at a set of stairs leading up the hill. It’s right next to the gated entrance to the Fort.

Start the Climb

Make your way up the stairs, climbing for about 10 minutes. There’s a reasonable chance of a whinge developing towards the top, but assure the little ones it’ll get really fun soon! The path changes from stairs to a flat path, bringing you to a communications tower and marker point.

Family Hike Hong Kong
Communications tower family hike hk

Turn right and follow the trail downhill. There are ribbons tied to trees all along this trail, so pay attention as further down there are a couple of different routes.

Even though this is a really popular hike, especially for families, the trail is quite narrow and overgrown. Expect to be walking single-file for a good part of it.

As you make your way down the hill, the trail gets sandy and quite slippery in sections. Best to take your time and help the little ones through as I guarantee they will be sliding on their bums at some point! On that note, expect to come home dirty, which is always a sign of a fun day out!

Take in the view!

From here it starts to get rocky, with some quite narrow gaps to pass through. This will be the highlight for the kids. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy a bit of climbing? 

There are a few good spots here to park up on a rock for a rest with awesome views.

Continue down the hill and along the slope to the right. Be sure to follow the markers (ribbons) as there are a few different trails. After a few minutes, you will arrive at Rhino Rock! There is no confusion as to how it got its name, quite impressive.

If you walk around the back you can climb onto its head. Be careful up there though, it’s a big drop! 

While overall this is an easy hike, there isn’t much shade around the rock, so bring your sun protection. Check out our Hiking Tips for Families page for some handy tips when hiking with kids.