Last Updated on November 27, 2020 by Queenie Mak
One of the best things to do in Hong Kong is to hit the hiking trails. And one of the most well-known trails is Wilson Trail Section 1, which crosses over Violet Hill and The Twins.
The trail is the first part of the 78km Wilson Trail and has the most gorgeous view of Southern Hong Kong. The hike for both mountains can be done in a few hours or so. But it is not that easy – there are over 1,000 steps!
But don’t let that scare you. I’ll show you exactly how you can make the most of your day in Hong Kong and hike one of the most scenic trails on the island. And when you are done, you can enjoy strolling around Stanley and get a well-deserved drink.
Related Post – 11 Best Off the Beaten Path Places in Hong Kong
What you need to know before hiking Violet Hill and The Twins
Before you visit Hong Kong, take a look at my Hong Kong solo travel guide and get an overview of the city.
And here are some additional travel tips for hiking Violet Hill and The Twins:
- Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking the bus to the beginning of the trail. Since November 2019, the bus fare from Central to Repulse Bay and Repulse Bay Road is only $5.70HKD (regular price was $8.50HKD). But only if you use the same Octopus Card when you board and alight. This includes the stop for hiking Violet Hill and The Twins.
- You can hike Violet Hill and The Twins all year-round
- And if you want to add another hike to enjoy a full day of hiking, start your day hiking Violet Hill and The Twins from north to south, and then have lunch at Stanley. From Stanley, take Bus 6A or 14 to Stanley Fort (last stop) and hike Rhino Rock.
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How to hike Violet Hill and The Twins
There are two ways to hike Violet Hill and The Twins:
- North to South: from Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park to Stanley Gap Road
- South to North: from Stanley Gap Road to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park
You can see the same thing hiking either way. But I like to hike from north to south because I like to finish the hike with a break in Stanley, a coastal town in Southern HK. Then either stroll through Stanley or continue hiking as there are a few hiking options around Stanley, including the short hiking route to Rhino Rock.
For this hiking guide, the route starts from Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park to Stanley Gap Road.
- Difficulty: difficult (over 1000 steps!)
- Duration: 3 hours
- Distance: 6.6km
- What to bring: light hiking shoes, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), water, snacks, smartphone (for taking photos and navigation)
How to get to the start of Violet Hill and The Twins hiking trails
For independent hikers, you can take public transportation to the start of the trail. Bus 5, 6, 41A, 63, 66, and 76 stops at the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park bus stop, just in front of the Sinopec gas station (see map).
The best way to get to the beginning of the hiking trail is to take the subway to Hong Kong Station and take Exit B1 for Central Bus Terminal (below One & Two Exchange Square). At Exit B1, turn right and cross the road. Once you are at the terminus, look for platform B.
- Bus 6: from Central Bus Terminal to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park Bus Stop
- Time: 23 minutes (every 12 minutes)
- Cost: $5.70 HKD (use Octopus card)
- For more information, look for Bus 6 in the “route list” on the CityBus website
Beginning of the Wilson Trail Section 1
Once you arrive at the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir bus station, walk up a set of stairs that will bring you to the Tai Tam Reservoir Road.
Walk 1 minute, cross the road, and you will see Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.
Tai Tam Country Trail is just west of the reservoir and the trail goes up Violet Hill. But don’t go up this trail.
Keep walking on Tai Tam Reservoir Road and pass the reservoir; you will see a path next to Hong Kong Parkview (a large residential building complex). This is the start of Wilson Trail Section 1, which will lead you to Violet Hill.
Map of Wilson Trail Section 1
There are many points on the Wilson Trail Section 1, where you will see the entire trail map. This is what it looks like. Click on the photo to see the detailed map.
Ascending Violet Hill
Right away you will hike up many flights of stairs. It will feel like you’re always going up because you are! But whenever you do take a break, make sure to look back and see the view.
Like this one, this is the view when you look back. You can see Hong Kong Parkview (residential building), where you started your hike. And to the west is Central where there are many many buildings. And to the east is Tai Tam Country Park.
Violet Hill trail condition
As you hike up Violet Hill, the trail is a combination of a dirt path and narrow stairway. Part of the trail is shaded by trees but the trail is mostly exposed. So make sure to put on sunscreen.
And the climb to the top of Violet Hill is not very difficult. And in no time, you will reach the triangulation station at 433m elevation.
Views of Tai Tam Country Park
As you descend Violet Hill, you can see Tai Tam Intermediate Reservoir (foreground) and Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir (background) on the lefthand side. These reservoirs are part of Tai Tam Country Park, which is another excellent spot for hiking.
Descending Violet Hill
As you descend Violet Hill, you will start to see glimpses of Repulse Bay on the righthand side. The area is characterized by several tall buildings near a beach in the small inlet.
You will also see a sign along the trail near the end of your descend. The sign points to Wilson Trail Section 2 (which is where you came from) and Tai Tam Reservoir, and Tze Kong Bridge. You want to find Tze Kong Bridge, which means you continue walking the same way.
Descend to Tze Kong Bridge near Repulse Bay and the start of The Twins hike
At the end of the descend, you will reach Tze Kong Bridge.
And you will see more hikers coming from the righthand side. These hikers came directly from the Repulse Bay area and are either going up Violet Hill (which you just completed) or joining you in ascending The Twins.
And since you will be starting a big climb soon, this is a good spot to rest up and refuel.
The start of The Twins climb
The beginning part of The Twins is the hardest part of the hiking trail. It is all stairs and nothing but stairs. And every time you think you finished a set of stairs, you will find another set of stairs around the corner behind the trees. It keeps going and going…
Apparently, there are over 1000 steps to the first peak of The Twins. I read this fact before hiking up the mountain and I thought I would try to count. But the trek up the stairs was a bit difficult and I lost count halfway.
I took many breaks hiking up the steep mountain. And I am glad I did because I was able to see the gorgeous view of the mountain. And I was able to see the trail that I just completed.
The Twins trail condition
Similar to the trail condition on Violet Hill, the path is either a dirt road or stairs. If you wear a proper pair of hiking shoes, you should have no problems at all.
And the odd thing is that Violet Hill is actually higher in elevation (433m), but going up The Twins seems harder (only 386m). But don’t be discouraged! Gorgeous views are at the end of the trek!
Descending the first peak and going up the second peak
The Twins is made up of two mountain peaks, hence, the name! When you reach the top of the first peak, you can immediately see the path continuing on the twin peaks mountains.
And in the distant background, you can see the aerial view of Stanley, the coastal town in Southern Hong Kong.
It is pretty to descend the first peak. And going up on the second peak isn’t that much harder. You just completed the hardest part of the trek so it will feel pretty easy.
Descending Twin Peaks: views of Stanley and Stanley Peninsula
After the second twin peak, you will start to see glimpses of Stanley, Stanley Peninsula and all the neighbouring areas including Chung Hom Shan.
This is one of the best spots to see Southern Hong Kong. But keep walking because there is a viewing point where the path opens up and you can see a whole more of the area.
Take a break at the viewing point
Spend a few minutes here and enjoy the view! And also take a look at the info on the viewing point so you can learn a bit more about the area.
The best view from The Twins hike in Hong Kong
This is the best view when you hike the Twins! The photo was taken at the viewing point. And as you can see, there is so much greenery in Hong Kong. The landscape in Southern Hong Kong is quite unique!
And I didn’t really add too much filter on the photo so the actual colours of the area is quite vibrant. I hiked Violet Hill and The Twins on a sunny fall day and the picture turned out pretty amazing!
More aerial views of Southern Hong Kong
Looking at the southeast direction, you can see Chung Hom Shan, which is the land on the righthand side of the inlet. The area has a park wrapped around the inlet and residential buildings closer inland.
And when you look southwest, you can see the blue waters of Tai Tam Bay and Shek O Peninsula on the other side of the bay. If you like hiking as much as I do, check out Dragon’s Back, an excellent trail along the ridges of the Shek O Peninsula.
Descending The Twins
Towards the end of The Twins hike, the stairs are completed exposed to the sun. So if you haven’t re-applied sunscreen, you might want to do this before heading down. The sun in Hong Kong is quite strong!
And simply follow the stairway until you reach Stanley Gap Road, the main road that will lead you to Stanley.
There are many signs along the way but these signs are more useful when you start hiking the Twins from south to north.
The end of The Twins hike
And if you have been following my hiking guide, you will welcome a break and perhaps a drink or two. Find this bus stop on the same side of the road, and take bus 6, 6A, 73 or 260 to Stanley Village for a well-deserved break.
Alternatively, if you want to head back to where you started, cross the road and wait for the bus on the opposite side of the road. Bus 6 and 260 will take you back to Central Bus Terminus at Exchange Square.
Hiking in reverse: from Stanley Gap Road to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir
As I mentioned before, you can hike the entire Wilson Trail Section 1 in reverse. Which means you start hiking from Stanley Gap Road and hike to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.
Hiking from south to north may be an option if you are staying around Stanley area.
Or if you want to continue on other hikes when you complete the entire Wilson Trail Section 1. From Wong Nai Chung Reservoir, you can hike north and head to Jardine’s Lookout or hike east and head to Tai Tam Reservoir.
Want to explore Hong Kong with a tour? Check out one of these exciting tours:
Are you ready to hike Violet Hill and The Twins?
I know there is so much to see and do in Hong Kong but I think one of the best highlights of the city is all the green spaces and hiking trails. If you have half a day to spare, definitely hike Violet Hill and The Twins!
Hope you’ve enjoyed my post and got all the information you need before going on this epic hike. Let me know if this post was helpful to you!
And if you like hiking, there are many more other hikes in Hong Kong including Victoria Peak and High West. And if you want to explore one of the best outlying islands, check out the main hiking trail on Lamma Island.