Planning to hike Rhino Rock in Hong Kong? We are here to help.
Located on the southern tip of Stanley hides one of Hong Kong’s most “Instagram-famous” spots – the Rhino Rock. While Hong Kong is in no shortage of incredible geological formations (like the crazy Palm Cliff on Po Toi Island), the Rhino Rock is uniquely shaped like a rhinoceros.
Here in our guide to the Rhino Rock hike, you will find out how to get there, what it is like the hike the trail, and when it is the best time to visit so you too can have this stunning photo opportunity!
Rhino Rock Hike In Hong Kong Summary
Not sure if the Rhino Rock in Hong Kong hike is worth the trouble? Here is a quick summary to help you decide if it is right for you!
How Long Is The Rhino Rock Hike?
The Rhino Rock hike takes about 30 minutes to complete one-way, so the entire trail can be done in 1 hour! However, expect to spend at least 2 hours in total to include time for taking photos of the Rhino Rock and admiring the coastal views of Tai Tam Bay.
The total length of the hike is only about 1.6 kilometers (1 mile)!
How Hard Is The Rhino Rock Hike?
The Rhino Rock hike is one of the easiest hikes in Hong Kong. Out of 10, the difficulty for the hike is about a 3.5. The hike is very short, especially when compared to other hikes such as Lion Rock or Lantau Peak. The first half of the trail is shaded but you will be at the mercy of the Hong Kong sun after emerging out of the wooded areas.
However, the sea breeze does alleviate some of the insane heat (especially if you are hiking in the summer).
Another thing to note is that the Rhino Rock trail is slippery (But definitely not as slippery as the Ap Lei Chau hike). Some parts of the trail are steep with loose sand, so proper hiking shoes are recommended. You will also need to squeeze in some tight spaces and climb up some sizable boulders!
How Much Elevation Do You Gain On The Rhino Rock Hike?
Hikers can expect to gain about 120 meters in altitude (sorry, we forgot to resume our tracking app…). The start of the trail is full of stairs but becomes quite flat once you reach the summit at Che Pau Teng.
Is Rhino Rock Worth Hiking?
Rhino Rock is one of the coolest rock formations in Hong Kong. The rocky outcrop resembles that of a rhinoceros, and hikers can climb on top of the Rhino Rock for an iconic photo. It is truly one of the most “Instagram-worthy” locations in Hong Kong.
The hike also offers sweeping coastal views, perfect for a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. There are many viewpoints where one can just relax, read a book, or even have a picnic. The short hike allows you to easily get to these natural paradises without breaking too much of a sweat.
So in conclusion, it is totally worth hiking!
How To Get To The Rhino Rock Hiking Trail
Located on the southern tip of Stanley, getting to Rhino Rock is easy, but it is usually quite a long journey for most people. The trailhead for Rhino Rock is conveniently connected to the city by two buses:
- Bus No. 14
- Bus No. 6A
Bus No. 14 runs from Grand Promenade in Sai Wan Ho to Stanely Fort and vice versa. Because of this, it is recommended to take the MTR (Mass Transit Rail) to Sai Wan Ho MTR Station. Take Exit A at the Sai Wan Ho MTR Station and you will exit on Tai On Street. The bus stop for bus No. 14 will be in front of you.
Bus No.14 runs from 6:20 AM to 8:40 PM daily. The stop for Rhino Rock trail is Stanley Fort, which is conveniently the last stop of the bus. The journey takes about 30 minutes to get from Sai Wan Ho to Stanely Fort.
Bus No. 14 is usually a better option than Bus No. 6A because 6A only operates from 7 AM to 8:20 AM daily (except for Sundays). Unless you plan on hiking Rhino Rock in the morning, taking bus No. 6A will be nearly impossible.
Bus No. 6A operates from the Exchange Square Bus Terminus in Central to Stanley Fort, perfect for anyone staying near the popular area of Central or Admiralty. The 6A bus journey takes about 50 minutes. Stanley Fort (the trailhead for Rhino Rock hike) is also conveniently the last stop on the 6A.
Our Experience Hiking Rhino Rock
Arriving At The Rhino Rock Trailhead
We took the MTR (Mass Transit Rail) from Jordan (where we were staying) to Sai Wan Ho MTR Station. To take the MTR, or any public transportation in Hong Kong, it is recommended to have the refundable contactless Octopus Card, though you can also buy single-ride tickets at the stations.
The Octopus card will make your life so much easier if it is your first time in Hong Kong.
We arrived at Sai Wan Wo at about 3 PM because we wanted to watch the sunset at Rhino Rock, which was happening at around 5:30 PM.
We exited Sai Wan Ho MTR Station through exit A and promptly found the bus stop. We waited about 10 minutes for bus No. 14 to arrive.
If you have taken the bus to Cape D’Aguilar (our favorite hidden gem in HK) or Dragon’s Back, then you will notice that the bus to Stanley Fort goes the same way, before eventually making a fork down Tai Tam Road instead of Shek O Road.
Once you have arrived at Stanley Fort, you have officially arrived at the start of the Rhino Rock hike. The trail conveniently starts next to the Stanley Barracks so try not to loiter around or take too many photographs!
Hiking Up To Che Pau Teng (177m)
Once we started the hike to Rhino Rock, we were immediately met with our kryptonite – steps, a lot of them. Unfortunately, it is quite common for the hikes in Hong Kong to be riddled with stairs.
Compared to the over a thousand steps in the Twin Peaks hike, these steps were a walk in the park. Nevertheless, they were quite steep and surely took our breath away.
Though this first part of the hike made us break a sweat, it is relatively short. After a series of steps, the path became flatter with a gradual incline. We continued along the way and eventually reached Che Pau Teng, the highest point of the Rhino Rock hike at 177 meters above sea level.
It only took us about 15 minutes to arrive at the peak.
The summit of Che Pau Teng is marked by a cylindrical marker and the Che Pa Teng Radio Station, so you won’t miss it.
When we arrived at Che Pau Teng, it looked like it was a dead-end with nowhere to go. After looking around for a bit, we found a small trail that led into a densely vegetated area. The start of that trail is marked by ribbons, a lot of them!
Hunting Down The Rhino Rock!
After a small endeavor through the vegetated area, we emerged at the coast. In front of us were long-stretching coastal views and the turquoise water of Tai Tam Bay. We felt the air change as sea breezes gently caressed our sweaty faces!
Compared to the hot and sweaty of Hong Kong, it is almost like we traveled to another country!
The good news is that there won’t be any more uphill at this point, but the bad news is that the trail becomes a lot more slippery.
Once you get out of the shaded area, you will get to the most slippery part of the hike. Stick to the left and hold onto the plants and pray you don’t slip!
Along the trail, you will find many incredible rock formations, some might even look a little like the Rhino Rock. However, don’t mistake them for the actual Rhino Rock. The actual one will look like a Rhino’s head without having to use a bit of your imagination!
Looking for more exciting rock formations in Hong Kong? Make sure you head over to Po Toi Island!
Some of these rock formations can be cool vantage points! Don’t hesitate to check them out if you have extra time. The whole area is full of beautiful geological formations and stunning views.
Though we did get lost (took a small detour on our hike), we later found that the entire Rhino Rock hiking trail is indicated by plenty of ribbons.
Don’t be afraid if you get lost. Because the area is quite small, getting lost would only mean you are a few minutes away from the correct path.
There were some parts that were pretty tight and we had to squeeze through between the rocks. The trail required a little bit of scrambling (especially when returning) but it didn’t make this trail difficult by any means. We actually quite enjoyed the different terrains on this trail and found it quite interesting.
In fact, the Rhino Rock trail is a popular hike for families and older folks. For kids, it’s like going to the zoo and a hike at the same time!
Though Rhino Rock can be seen from the trail, it just looks like a big rock. The only thing that gives it away is the huge crowds around it.
After climbing over rocks and slipping a few times, we reached Rhino Rock. It took us about 30 minutes in total from the start of the trail to reach Rhino Rock.
Getting The Iconic Photo At Rhino Rock
If you decided to venture out to the edge of Hong Kong, you probably want the same thing we did – to get an iconic photo on top of the Rhino Rock. We are here to tell you that it is not that simple.
To get on top of the Rhino Rock, you have to climb the massive rock from behind, which if we have to guess, is about 4 meters tall. The only thing that is there to assist you is a rope tied to a small tree that stands no taller than 3 meters.
Not everyone is going to be able to climb up onto Rhino Rock, and we don’t think everyone should.
Not only is it difficult and treacherous to climb up to Rhino Rock, but dismounting is also a concern. Because the rock is situated quite high off the rock, the only way to get off is to jump off the side, which is a 2 to 2.5-meter jump onto a slippery sandy terrain. (I actually scraped my knee on the way down.)
The crowd on the Rhino Rock itself definitely did not help.
Please consider carefully before deciding to get climb up onto Rhino Rock.
If you don’t decide to climb up, the photo of the Rhino Rock from the side is quite majestic. Unlike the Lion Rock where you need a drone to see the lion head itself, the Rhino Rock is quite visible. You can see the little indents and ridges of the rock, resembling the facial features of a rhino.
After getting some stunning photos of the Rhino Rock, we sat on the rocky outcrop and enjoyed the view. The soothing sea breeze combined with the perfect temperature (we visited in the winter) made it a perfect place to just relax.
We recommend that you plan your visit during sunset because sunset colors bring out the Rhino Rock and the sweeping coast! The trail back is easily navigable so you have nothing to worry about hiking in the dark.
Best Time To Hike Rhino Rock In Hong Kong
Generally speaking, the best time to do any hiking in Hong Kong is in the winter (December to March). The weather is the most moderate and the sun isn’t strong enough to melt your skin off.
We would consider the Rhino Rock a hike for beginners. However, if you are visiting Hong Kong in the summer, you might want to consider some indoor activities in Hong Kong because it will be HOT! Otherwise, plan your hike for the early morning or late afternoon to help with the heat.
Don’t forget to bring a considerable amount of water if you are hiking in the summer.
Besides the weather, you must also consider the number of hikers on the trail. When we visited on the weekends, there were simply too many hikers. Everyone had to queue up for a photo with the Rhino Rock. It was pretty insane.
Therefore, the ideal time to hike Rhino Rock would be in the winter on a weekday!
Tips For Hiking Rhino Rock
- Rhino Rock is located adjacent to the Stanley Prison and the Stanley Barracks, so flying a drone could get you in big trouble!
- We don’t recommend hiking Rhino Rock at night for the sake of seeing Rhino Rock. However, if you are into night photography, we heard that the area near Rhino Rock has some of the least light pollutions in Hong Kong.
- Combine a visit to Rhino Rock with a visit to Stanley for a full day trip in Hong Kong. Stanley is a gorgeous seaside village with very laid-back vibes and delicious food!
Read More: 20 Amazing Things To Do In Hong Kong At Night
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This is the end of our guide to hiking Rhino Rock in HK. We hope you get to enjoy this iconic geological formation the way we did!
Any questions? Let us know in the comments!
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