Last Updated on March 15, 2021 by queenie mak
Located on the northeast side of Kowloon, Kowloon Peak (飛鵝山), also known as Fei Ngo Shan, is 602m tall and is the tallest peak in Kowloon. The “soaring goose mountain” is part of Ma On Shan Country Park and has one of the most dangerous cliffs in Hong Kong: Suicide Cliff (自殺崖).
The infamous Suicide Cliff got its name from the treacherous steep climb. There were past incidences where hikers were seriously injured.
But you don’t have to climb the steep cliff to experience Suicide Cliff and Kowloon Peak. In fact, there are several ways to get to the summit of Kowloon Peak and see panoramic views from Suicide Cliff.
In this blog post, I detailed the safe and scenic route to Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff. If you are an experienced hiker and want to see the most dramatic cliff in Hong Kong and the best views from Kowloon, then keep reading and I’ll show you exactly how to hike Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff.
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What you need to know before attempting the Kowloon Peak hike
Before you hike the Kowloon Peak trail, take a look at my Hong Kong solo travel guide and get an overview of HK first.
And here are few additional tips for the Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff hike:
- The best time to hike the Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff is late autumn, winter and early spring. It is possible to hike during summer, but most of the trail is not covered, so it can get pretty hot.
- There are 2 ways to get to the Suicide Cliff. I detailed the long and less intimidating way but will also mention the shorter trail too.
- Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking public transportation and use it for taking the MTR and minibus to and from Kowloon Peak. It costs $100HKD, but you can use $50 stored value and get your $50HKD refundable deposit when you leave HK.
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How to hike Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff
There are several ways to get to Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff. I chose a hiking trail that traverses several mountain ranges and has magnificent views all around.
The point-to-point trail starts from City One MTR Station, where the trail crosses Ma On Shan Country Park via MacLehose Trail Section 4. Then the trail passes by Gilwell Campsite and continues on Elephant Hill where the undulating trail ends at the top of Kowloon Peak.
From the summit, Suicide Cliff is just a short hike down a steep rocky cliff. And to get back to the city safely, the hike requires a bit of backtracking back to the summit and taking the flight of stairs to Fei Ngo Shan Road. See the map below for all the details of the trail.
- Difficulty: intermediate to advance (long hike, undulating hills, treacherous climb)
- Duration: 4 hours
- Distance: 9km
- What to bring: hiking shoes, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), water, snacks, smartphone (for taking photos and navigation), gloves
How to get to the start of the Kowloon Peak hiking trail
Take minibus 65A or 65K from City One MTR Station to Wong Nai Tau bus terminus. At the MTR station, take Exit D, cross the street and walk few minutes east on Chap Wai Kon Street (see location).
It is also possible to walk 25 minutes to the start of the trail. There is a bit of a slight incline and not much to see along the way. If possible, take public transportation so you can save your energy for the actual hike.
- Minibus 65A or 65K: from City One MTR Station, Exit D to Wong Nai Tau Bus Terminus
Once you are at the bus terminus, there is a set of staircase to the right of the terminus.
Walk up the stairs and follow the signs. When you see the sign for West Buffalo Hill, take the path on the left.
Hiking towards West Buffalo Hill in Ma On Shan Country Park
Continue walking along the paved path, and you’ll arrive at the map. The map shows various hiking trails throughout Ma On Shan Country Park.
While this path will eventually lead you to Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff, this is also the starting point for hiking West Buffalo Hill, another challenging hike with panoramic views of all the mountains in the area.
During the first part of the hike, the trail condition is fairly good. The trail is either a dirt path or stone stairway. Nothing too difficult.
As you hike up the mountain, you will see views of Shatin.
And there is a sign on the side of the path that says “road closed”. Well, keep going.
Merge with MacLehose Trail Section 4
After about 30 minutes or so, you will arrive at a junction with several paths. It doesn’t look like much of a junction, and there aren’t any signs.
All you need to do is to keep walking straight and descend down the hill.
Soon after, there are signs for MacLehose Trail. Follow the signs and hike until you reach Gilwell Campsite.
Passing through Gilwell Campsite
Once you are on the main road in Gilwell Campsite, walk south on the main road until the road splits into two. Take the path on the right. This is Fei Ngo Shan Road.
Arrive at Kowloon Peak Viewing Point
When you arrive at the top of Fei Ngo San Road, there is a pagoda and the Kowloon Peak Viewing Point.
Standing at the viewing point, you can see Lion Rock, Beacon Hill, on the Kowloon side. And on a clear day, you can also see Mount Davis, Victoria Peak, High West, Mount Nicholson, Violet Hill and Mount Butler on Hong Kong Island.
And this might be the busiest part of the trail as many hikers start the Kowloon Peak hike here and many people would drive up to this viewing point and see the views of the city.
Another viewing platform near Kowloon Peak Viewing Point
Before hiking towards the Kowloon Peak summit, visit another viewing point to see the east side of Hong Kong.
There is a short staircase to the left of the pagoda that leads to the top of the viewing platform.
When you are at the viewing point, you can see Razor Hill, Sharp Peak and Sai Kung.
Start of Elephant Hill hike
I mentioned before that there are several ways to hike the Kowloon Peak hiking trail. No matter where you start, you will have to hike across Elephant Hill, which will lead to Kowloon Peak’s summit.
The start of the Elephant Hill hike is to the left of the Kowloon Peak viewing point.
Keep hiking until the path splits. Take the path on the left.
The Elephant Hill hiking path will take you through many hills. You’ll have to walk under the transmission tower and hike up several steep hills.
For me, this is the hardest part of the entire hiking trail. Part of the uphills are a bit steep, so you might need your gloves to climb up.
Views along Elephant Hill
Even though it is challenging to hike up and down Elephant Hill, the views along the hiking path make it worthwhile! You will continue to see views of Kowloon including Lion Rock on the right-hand side. And parts of Sai Kung can be seen on the left-hand side.
As you hike towards the end of Elephant Hill, the view south of the mountain range opens up and you will start to see views of Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O.
Perpendicular junction before ascending up Kowloon Peak summit
At the end of the Elephant Hill trail, it path stops at a perpendicular junction.
Remember this intersection because if you are taking the long and safer way down Kowloon Peak, you will have to take the path on the left and take the stairs down.
But for now, take the path on the right and walk up the stairs. Continue hiking towards the top of Kowloon Peak.
Arriving at the helipad and Kowloon Peak Television and radio transmission stations
After a short flight of stairs from the perpendicular junction, there is a helipad near the top of Kowloon Peak. The Kowloon Peak Television and radio transmission stations are there as well.
Make sure to look back at Elephant Hill and see the trail you just completed.
Hike to the summit of Kowloon Peak
Keep going up by following the last set of stairs to the Kowloon Peak summit.
This is the official top of Kowloon Peak! It’s official because there is a black and white triangulation station, and there is another triangulation station just behind the fenced area (not sure why there are two of these, though).
Continue to follow the paved path. The path will lead you downhill towards Suicide Cliff.
Descend to Suicide Cliff
After reaching the highest point of the entire mountain range, it is time to descend to the most dramatic and intimidating cliff in Hong Kong: Suicide Cliff.
The trail to Suicide Cliff starts from the summit of Kowloon Peak and descends slowly to the edge of the mountain.
And as you walk closer to the edge of the mountain, the south view opens up where you can see Kwun Tong, Victoria Harbour, and the north side of HK Island.
Search for the Instagram spot on Suicide Cliff
Continue to follow the hiking trail where it will lead you to the famous spot where many people take Instagram photos.
And keep going down the side of the mountain even though it doesn’t seem like there’s a trail there. The cliff is further down. Maybe about 10 minutes or so.
However, I have to repeat this again: PLEASE be careful when you descend to Suicide Cliff. There have been incidences in the past where hikers were injured and even died. So please, please, please, be careful!
For me, I only hiked down to what I thought was Suicide Cliff and hiked back up. But I did a bit of research afterwards; the actual Instagram Suicide Cliff spot is a bit further down from where I was. The “cliff” part is a flatter rock. I believe it is another 10-minute hike down from where I was.
Nonetheless, I was happy to reach that point where I took the photo (see below). I overcame my fear of heights, and knowing that I am clumsy, I made it pretty far! And actually, I thought the path to Suicide Cliff is easier than Elephant Hill. Again, please take extra precautions when you search for the cliff.
IF you are an advanced hiker, you can keep descending down the rocky path and it will eventually take you to Clear Water Bay Road. This is the fast but risky way of hiking down Kowloon Peak from the Suicide Cliff.
I wouldn’t recommend it if you are hiking solo even though there are many hikers around. Take the longer route and enjoy the scenery, and also it is safer.
Backtrack to the end of Elephant Hill trail and descend down Kowloon Peak mountain
Remember the perpendicular junction at the end of Elephant Hill trail? Backtrack to that point and take the long flight of stairs to Fei Ngo Shan Road.
This is the longer and safer way down Kowloon Peak. If you are not an advanced hiker, take this route.
Take a bus to Choi Hung MTR Station or Diamond Hill MTR Station
The descend will end at Fei Ngo Shan Road. Keep walking south.
When Fei Ngo Shan Road and Fei Ha Road intersections, there is a stone sign with the name, Fei Ngo Shan, engraved in it. Not sure if this is the official signage but it is still interesting to see.
Then keep walking west on Fei Ngo Shan Road, and continue onto Clear Water Bay Road. Walk until you reach the bus stop on the south side of the road in front of Good Hope School (see location).
Buses 91, 91M, and 92 will take you to Choi Hung MTR Station and Diamond Hill MTR Station. But if you still have energy, Choi Hung MTR Station is only a 15-minute walk away.
- Bus 91, 91M or 92: from Good Hope School bus stop to Choi Hung or Diamond Hill MTR Station
- Time: 5 minutes (every 5-10 minutes)
- Cost: $6.10 to $7.40HKD (use Octopus card)
- Check: KMB website and click on the blue bus graphic and type in the route number
Want to explore Hong Kong with a tour? Check out one of these exciting tours:
Are you ready to hike Kowloon Peak and see the famous Suicide Cliff?
I’ve wanted to hike Kowloon Peak and take photographs on the Suicide Cliff for a long time but was completely intimidated by the name of the cliff. Ha! Well, I’m really glad I overcame my fears and hiked this “scary” hike.
As I mentioned already, there have been several accidents recently at the Suicide Cliff. Only attempt the Kowloon Peak hike if you are an experienced hiker. I highly recommend this hike and taking the longer and safer route.
Other HK hikes you might be interested:
- Victoria Peak Hike: See Hong Kong’s beautiful skyline
- High West: A short hike to see the Victoria Peak sunset
- Dragon’s Back Hike: the most popular day hike in HK
- Violet Hill and the Twins: hike over two mountains with over 1,000+ steps
- Rhino Rock Hike: see a rocky rhinoceros head in Stanley
- Pineapple Mountain: the Great Canyon of Hong Kong
- Lamma Island: hike from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan
- Red Incense Burner Summit on Braemar Hill: best spot for sunset and night views
- High Junk Peak: one of three sharpest peaks in HK
- Pat Sin Leng Hike: hike over 8 peaks named after Chinese Mythological immortals
- Mount Nicholson Hike: see hidden rock statues in the middle of HK Island