Dragon's Back is a fairly easy 8km hiking trail that offers beautiful views of Hong Kong Island's eastern side and the South China Sea. Take bus 9 from Shau Kei Wan and get off at Tei Wan, just before reaching Shek O. At this point, Stanley's lowrises are just behind you.
Half hour later, Shek O and the ocean were at my footstep.
To the north, the densely-built suburb of Tseung Kwan O comes into view. They are still building over there.
After a long stretch of open space, the downhill part becomes bushy and shaded again, and at the bottom of the staircase is a junction point to head back to the bus stop or to continue to Chai Wan or Big Wave Bay.
This part of the trail is more sheltered but the sea breeze has been blocked. After a long stretch, pockets of open space allow views towards the north, including Kowloon.
Another junction point gives you a chance to either head downhill to Chai Wan or Big Wave Bay. I chose the long downhill trod through the forest to the beach.
Big Wave Bay's beach looks quite low-key, with only a few shops and no high-end eateries selling at food with a view prices.
Shek O is about a 2km walk further south.
Shek O is a much larger town with lowrises dominating the narrow streets.
The headlands area has some hiking trails and lots of opportunities to come close to the ocean.
Shek O's beach is more easily accessible from the city than Big Wave Bay, and hence is much busier.