Devil’s Peak hike is great if you live east on the island or Kowloon, as it is one stop across the harbour from Quarry Bay on the purple line. It’s also ideal if you’re looking for a quick hike; you want to get up a mountain, get some exercise in, see some great views of both the island and Kowloon skyline, and then get out. I mean, your schedule is booked solid from now until your last days in this city that never sleeps, so you need to squeeze in as much as possible every single waking moment of your time here. Am I right, or what?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on navigating Devil’s Peak:
To begin this hike, head to Yau Tong MTR station, Exit A1. As soon as you walk outside, you will see escalators on your left taking you up to Domain Mall. You will go up two sets of escalators until you reach the mall on your right. Head towards the mall and walk around the right side of the building until you reach the front. There will be a taxi stand there. Turn right and walk down the road.
Once you get to the end of the road, you will be right in front of the mall. Cross the street in front of you (if your back is facing the front of the mall, the street you need to cross is on your right). Directly after you cross, turn left and cross the next street. You will be on Ko Chui Road. Continue walking up this road for a few minutes until you reach a curve in the sidewalk leading you up a hill. There will be a sign pointing to the hill that reads, “Chinese Permanent Cemetery”. Turn right with the sidewalk and start walking up the hill.
I’ll be honest, making your way up the paved path is less than exciting, as there’s not much to look at. You’ll pass by two shelters (see one below). After you’ve walked up for about 15 or so minutes, you’ll see a sign for the Wilson Trail pointing left. Across the street many taxis will probably be queued. Cross the street and head up the set of stairs directly in front of you. Once up the stairs, turn left and start walking up Devil’s Peak.
After you’ve walked up a bit you’ll reach some path signage where you can turn left towards Pau Tai or keep walking straight. We kept walking straight, but you can actually turn left for a much more direct (but perhaps less adventurous) climb up to the top of Devil’s Peak. Regardless, you’ll end up in the same place. If you continue straight ahead, you’ll be walking around the mountain, as opposed to heading straight to the top. It’s a much more enjoyable hike, scenery-wise. Eventually (if you take the path we did), you’ll come across the Chinese Permanent Cemetery, which literally had me in awe. I couldn’t believe how it covered an entire side of a large hill – it is incredibly massive! I also realized for the first time just how “in-the-middle-of-nowhere” Lohas Park actually is, as many coworkers live here and have dished out their fair share of complaints.
Because we didn’t take a direct route up, we had to climb up a dirt path to reach Devil’s Peak. We found a path randomly right by the other side of the mountain (where the path then begins to take you down towards the cemetery) and began to climb up. When we reached the top, there were many remnants of WWII barracks, which I found fascinating. I was also able to relive a bit of my childhood, as we found a small, random pool of water on the top filled with hundreds of tadpoles. Don’t know about you, but catching tadpoles was one of my weekly summer activities as a kid.
Besides being momentarily transported back to my childhood and thinking about the purpose this peak served during the war, the views of the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon harboufront were absolutely stunning. I have been on many hikes throughout HK, but never have I found such a great vantage point where the views of both sides are so clear and incredible. There was also a storm coming our way, which made for some really great photos!
Getting down Devil’s Peak is very simple – there is a set of stairs leading you right down Pau Tai path (you would have climbed up these stairs earlier if you had decided to turn left up the path directly to the peak instead of continuing straight and walking around the mountain). Otherwise, you just follow the same path out and back to the MTR as you took to get to the top.
Depending on your fitness level and whether you’re stopping to enjoy the scenery, or take pictures, this hike will take between 1 – 1.5 hours.