Ma On Shan: a world away

Ma On Shan 馬鞍山 is a saddle-shaped peak in east of Tolo Harbour in the New Territories of Hong Kong. With a height of 702 metres, it stands among the ten highest mountains in Hong Kong. The mountain borders Sha Tin and Tai Po districts.

This hike is one of the most challenging and reach to the peak has a great reward: AMAZING landscapes. But actually, no need to reach to the top of the mountain to really enjoy of these panoramic views. All the trail offers stunning views of the area: Ma On, Sai Kung, Sharp Island,…so all the effort on this hike will be rewarded with different panoramic views, breathtaking panoramic views…

Recommended for this hike a comfortable shoes with good grip, sun block, a lot of water and long pants.

HOW TO GET THERE

To get there take MTR to Ma On Shan Station exit B. The fastest way is to take a taxi from there to the BBQ site. Walk up to the BBQ site from MTR will take more than an hour and is all way up. Save energy for this hike would be essential.

HIKING AROUND

From the BBQ site find the indications to the Family Walk. Below is the route chosen for this hike:mapa

Family Walk > Tiu Shau Ngam > 馬鞍山(馬鞍頭) > MacLehose Trail sec. 4 > Ngong Ping viewpoint > Ma On Shan Country trail > Tai Shui Tseng > Walk to Sai Kung Pier & take a bus back.

The beginning:

A tough section up to the first peaks before the highest. All the hike up has a steep slope and only the last part of the section is sheltered. Narrow trail full of branches and trees. A section with a climbing part & a rope attached to the rocks (easy, no need the rope unless is wet with slippery slope)

Views up to the first little peak. From here can see Ma On Shan town, the Plover Cove Reservoir (right side), Pat Sin Leng Country Park (just in front), Tai Mo  Shan (left side)

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Continuing to the highest peak:

Leaving behind these amazing views, the highest peak is visible after. There is a shortcut and the next peak can be bypassed through a bushy trail on the right side. I didn’t notice of this bypass, just once I saw other hikers taking it instead of climbing up. But worth to climb all the peaks for stunning views like these and the most important reason, we are hikers not tourists

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The highest peak:

The highest peak is not so tough as the first peaks. The views of Sai Kung on the left side encourage you to the summit.

Views ahead from the top:

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The way down is through MacLehose Trail sec. 4. The views along the trail are simply gorgeous.

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Reaching to the Ngong Ping viewpoint

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From this point to Tai Shui Tseng is all way down and just need to follow the indications.

 

Hong Kong

As a Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong is situated on the southeast coast of China and offers plenty of places to visit inland and city outskirts

For nature & hiker lovers, Hong Kong is surprisingly amazing for these purposes despite is really an overcrowded city.

What to see in HK? I will number some recommended places accordingly to my own criteria and experience. I’m still exploring Hong Kong nowadays and I will continue updating my list

Please note that the list below is not sorted by relevance 🙂

1. The Peak

Victoria Peak is a mountain on the western half of Hong Kong island. Highly recommended for stunning views of Hong Kong, especially at night! To get there take the bus 15C from Central Pier 8 or take the Peak Tram from MTR Central Station exit J2. Alternatives, bus 15 from Exchange Square bus terminus near MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D or Minibus 1 from the public transport interchange at MTR Hong Kong Station Exit E

2. Quarry Bay

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One of the most popular places in Hong Kong for photography lovers, worth to take a look! To get there take the MTR to Quarry Bay Station and walk along King’s road towards Tai Koo until finding Montane Mansion (left side of the road). Further ahead on the road is located the other mansion with the red & yellow colors.

3. Ngong Ping

Ngong Ping is a highland in the western part of Lantau Island. It hosts Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha. Besides these 2 popular places, Ngong Ping Village is worthy to see and several meters away The Wisdom Path.

To get to the Big Buddha platform you have to climb its 270 stairs!

To get there take the MTR to Tung Chung Station. Once you reach to Tung Chung Station, take the exit B towards the bus station and grab the Bus 23. You will see some indications along the way to the bus station. The journey will take around 40 minutes and it costs around 17.20HKD (during holidays 27HKD). Alternative is by cable car on the way to the bus station (exit B and walk straight ahead)

More info here

4. Explore Tai O

Located in Lantau Island, Tai O is a fishing village in the western coast of Lantau island. With its unique design and traditional stilt houses, is one of the last authentic places in Hong Kong that still remaining.

To get there take the metro to Tung Chung Station. Once you reach to Tung Chung Station, take the exit B towards the bus station and grab the Bus 11. You will see some indications along the way to the bus station (Tai O direction). The journey will take around 50 minutes

More info here

5. Hike Lantau Peak

Lantau Peak or Fung Wong Shan is the second highest peak in Hong Kong and the highest point on Lantau Island, with a height of 934 meters above sea level.

The hike takes about 5 hours to complete and starts at Pak Kung Au and ends in Ngong Ping. To get there take MTR to Tung Chung Station exit B and grab the bus 3M. The bus station is passing by the cable car station. You have to get off at Pak Kung Au after 15-20 minutes of bus ride.

More info here

6. Hike Sunset Peak

Sunset Peak (Tai Tung Shan 大東山) is the third highest peak in Hong Kong located in Lantau Island and stands at a height of 869 metres (2,851 ft) above the sea level. The second highest peak is Lantau Peak located right in front of this mountain.

The hike takes about 4 hours to complete and starts at Pak Kung Au and ends at Nam Shan. To get there take MTR to Tung Chung Station exit B and grab the bus 3M. The bus station is passing by the cable car station. You have to get off at Pak Kung Au.

More info here

7. Visit Lamma Island

Lamma Island or Pok Liu Chau (博寮洲) is located to the southwest of Hong Kong and it is the third largest island. The main village is Yung Shue Wan with plenty of shops and restaurants. This village is perfect to spend few hours strolling around, to enjoy the local food or just to walk from Pak Kok San Tsuen 北角新村, Pak Kok Kau Tsuen 北角舊村 to Yung Shue Wan crossing by Tai Peng San Chuen. This walk is really pleasant and easy to finish within 1.5h hours

To get there take the MTR to Central pier 4, and grab a boat to Yung Shue Wan. The other side of the island is Sok Kwu Wan which is so far unexplored for me. There is a boat every half an hour and costs about 16HKD. The ride takes about 30 minutes and the approaching views of the island are really nice

More info here

8. Visit Sharp Island

One of the most popular island and famous for the BBQ activities, fishing, swimming and kayaking. There is a hiking trail from Kiu Tsui Port that cross the whole island to Hap Mun Bay Beach

To get there take MTR to Diamond Hill Exit C2 and then take the bus 92 to Sai Kung town. Once arrived, take a boat at the Public Pier to the island. Alternative, from Sha Tin Bus Terminus take the bus 299X to Sai Kung Town and then take a boat. Alternative B, from MTR Choi Hung Exit B take the bus 1 to Sai Kung town and then the boat to the island

9. Visit Cheung Chau island

Little island full of seafood restaurants and a good beach. The streets are packed with little shops, stalls and souvenirs. Worth to have a look and try its famous Mango Mochi!

To get there take the MTR to Central and get a ferry from Central Pier 5. The fast ferry takes about 40 minutes and the slow one takes about 1 hour

10. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park 中山紀念公園 is located in Hong Kong Island, facing Victoria Harbour. This Park is one of the main checkpoints for many locals and foreigners to enjoy peacefulness. Great pace to read a book or do outdoor exercises

To get there take the MTR to Sheung Wan Station Exit D. Turn right and walk about 5-10 minutes.

More info here

11. Nan Lian Garden

This garden was designed with hills, water features, trees, rocks and wooden structures and it’s an ideal place for a walk, photography and relax. Its design is really beautiful and well conserved, surrounded of greenery and peace.

To get there take MTR to Diamond Hill exit C1. Then simply follow the indications towards Nan Lian Garden.

More info here

12. Hike to Lion’s Rock Hill

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Lion Rock Hill is a mountain located between Kowloon Tong and Tai Wan of the New Territories in Hong Kong

If you want to have one of the best views of Hong Kong island, can’t miss to hike this mountain! To get there take the MTR to Won Tai Sin Station exit B. From there, you can start the trail towards Sha Tin Pass Rd until reaching to Lion’s Pavilion.

More info here

13. Hike Kowloon Peak

Kowloon Peak or Fei Ngo Shan 飛鵝山 is a mountain in the northeast of New Kowloon, Hong Kong. The height of the mountain is about 600 meters and it’s situated in Ma On Shan Country Park

The ascent is pretty easy and the path is rocky with steps. The hike takes no more than 2-3 hours and from the top you will have stunning views of Hong Kong

To get there take the MTR to Choi Hung Station exit C1/C2. From Choi Hung Station there is a long way to the starting point of the ascent, so you can grab a taxi to Fei Ngo Shan 飛鵝山, which costs about 35HKD and 10 minutes.

More infor here

14. Hike Plover Cove Reservoir

Within this reservoir there is a hiking trail that starts at Wu Kau Tang Village next to Bride’s Pool Nature Trail and ends at Tai Mei Tuk village. There are several sections within Wu Kau Tang but the longest trail is thru Ma Tau Fund > Tai Tung > Luk Wu Tung > Tai Mei with a total duration of 7-8 hours and 18km though uphills & downhills. The last 5km are on road and takes about 2 hours, so basically are 13km of uphills and downhills. So if you are fit, this hiking trail is really great with stunning views of the Reservoir and Sai Kung

To get there take MTR to Tai Po Market and exit B to Tai Po Market Station Public Minibus Terminus. Take minibus 20R for around 20 minutes to Bride’s Pool Nature Trail on Bride’s Pool Road. It is the last stop
Also from Tai Po Market Station Bus Terminus, take 275R to Bride’s Pool Bus Terminus on Sunday and public holidays.

Return: In Tai Mei Tuk can take the minibus 20C or bus 75K to Tai Po Market

More info here

15. Hike Dragon’s Back

The difficulty of this hike is pretty low and may take about 3-4 hours, so is not a bad choice to spend a day in family here and enjoy of one of the most stunning views of Shek O, Tai Long Wan, Stanley, Tai Tam, and the South China Sea.

To get there take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan exit A3. Right in front of the exit there is a bus terminal. Take the bus 9 towards Shek O Road. The cost of the journey is about 7HKD and takes 20 minutes. Once you can see the people alighting, just follow them!

More info here

16. Victoria Harbor

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Victoria Harbor is the most popular attraction in Hong Kong where you can enjoy the views of the harbor, skyscrapers and the avenue of stars. Highly recommended at night with the price of overcrowding.

To get there take MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui exit E and follow the indications to Victoria Harbor

17. Walk up to Gardens Hill

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Located in Shek Kip Mei, the top of this little hills offers you stunning views of this neighborhood as the image above. Highly recommended to walk up during sunset time and wait for night views

To get there take the MTR to Shek Kip Mei exit A or Sham Shio Po exit D1 and find the indications to Gardens Hill

Enjoy your time in Hong Kong! 🙂

Lamma Island: Yung Shue Wan

Lamma Island or Pok Liu Chau (博寮洲) is located to the southwest of Hong Kong and it is the third largest island. The northern village is called Yung Shue Wan and the eastern village is called Sok Kwu Wan

Most people visit this island because is a quiet and pleasant place with its walking trails at one end that leads to the fishing village of Sok Kwu Wan, and the other end is the village of Yung Shue Wan

The main village is Yung Shue Wan with plenty of shops and restaurants. This village is perfect to spend few hours strolling around, to enjoy the local food or just to walk from Pak Kok San Tsuen 北角新村, Pak Kok Kau Tsuen 北角舊村 to Yung Shue Wan crossing by Tai Peng San Chuen. This walk is really pleasant and easy to finish within 1.5h hours

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HOW TO GET THERE

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From Central pier 4, grab a boat to Yung Shue Wan. The other side of the island is Sok Kwu Wan which is so far unexplored for me. There is a boat every half an hour and costs about 16HKD. The ride takes about 30 minutes.

 

EXPLORING AROUND

Arrived to Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier, on the right side is located the town with restaurants, shops and little markets. The views of the port are great and a walk through the town is a must. The town is kind of tourist made, so I don’t think is the best place to buy groceries or maybe get a perfect meal.

Views of the port & town

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For a pleasant walk and if the time is tight, I would recommend to walk through the paved Family Walk which may start at the entry of the town.

From the port to West Lamma Channel

From West Lamma Channel to Pak Kok Tsuen Pier

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Continuing walking from the Pier there are 2 villages: Pak Kok San Tsuen 北角新村, Pak Kok Kau Tsuen 北角舊村

These 2 villages are very close one with each other, just within 10 minutes

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The path splits into 2 at this point: turn to Luk Chau Wan or walk to Yung Shue Wan through Tai Peng San Chuen village to back to the main town

The walk back through Tai Peng San Chuen takes about 1 hour and is pretty relaxing

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The island is pretty big just to spend few hours. There are many places to visit and hikes to do.

If you are looking for hiking, there is a recommended trail from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan. The trail takes about 1.5-2 hours

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Lantau Peak II: Touching Heaven

Lantau Peak or Fung Wong Shan is the second highest peak in Hong Kong and the highest point on Lantau Island, with a height of 934 metres above sea level. It is most famous for the sunrise scenery viewed from the summit.

During my first hike to this amazing trail the skies were totally covered by layers of dense fog, clouds, winds…but this time I could experienced this hike with perfect weather. Views and photos speak for themselves

The route chosen again was the same, from Pak Kung Au to Ngong Ping. To get there you should take MTR to Tung Chung station exit B and grab the bus 3M. The bus station is passing by the cable car station. You have to get off at Pak Kung Au

The first section of the trail there are views of Hong Kong Airport and Tung Chung. Behind is visible Sunset Peak mountain

After this section, the trail becomes unsheltered. The left side of the trail there are views of Cha Kwo Chau, Shek Kwo Chau & Soko Islands, as well as Pui O Beach

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Before getting to the summit there are few sections slightly tough but short.

Arrived to the summit there will be 360° views of Lantau Island and the islands mentioned before. The path to Ngong Ping and the Big Buddha, Wisdom Path and Po Lin Monastery is also visible from the top. On the other side there are views of the airport and Tung Chung.

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There is a shelter at the top to rest under the shadow

The descent to Ngong Ping is formed by hundreds of rocky steps and sheltered sections, and it may take some time but the views are worthy.

Finished the descent and once found a paved path means the trail is already over. The path takes to the Wisdom Path and the Big Buddha. Worth to spend 15 minutes and have a look

The return can be done by taking the bus 23 to Tung Chung located at the Bus Terminus in  Ngong Ping. The journey takes about 30 minutes

DETAILS

  • Location: Lantau Peak & Ngong Ping @ Lantau Island, Hong Kong
  • Transportation: MRT to Tung Chung & bus 3M to Pak Kung Au // Return: bus 23
  • Time spent: 4-5 hours
  • Weather conditions: Sunny
  • Season: 1st April
  • Score: 9.5/10

Plover Cove Reservoir: A well-deserved Victory

ENGLISH & ESPAÑOL

Plover Cove Reservoir is located within Plover Cove Country Park in the northeastern New Territories. It’s the largest reservoir in Hong Kong in terms of area, and the second-largest in terms of volume.

Plover Cove Reservoir is a natural fish pond that supports a diverse wildlife, including many freshwater fish species. Tai Mei Tuk at the northwestern end of the main dam is a popular BBQ site in Hong Kong.

Within this reservoir there is a hiking trail that starts at Wu Kau Tang Village next to Bride’s Pool Nature Trail and ends at Tai Mei Tuk village. There are several sections within Wu Kau Tang but the longest trail is thru Ma Tau Fund > Tai Tung > Luk Wu Tung > Tai Mei with a total duration of 7-8 hours and 18km though uphills & downhills. The last 5km are on road and takes about 2 hours, so basically are 13km of uphills and downhills.

So far this is the tougher trail I have completed in Hong Kong.

For this trail is recommended a good pair of shoes with good grip. There are slippery sections along the trail. Lot of water, cap if sunny day since this hike is unsheltered, your own food, mosquitoes repellent and a nice camera

HOW TO GET THERE

Take metro to Tai Po Market and exit B to Tai Po Market Station Public Minibus Terminus. Take minibus 20R for around 20 minutes to Bride’s Pool Nature Trail on Bride’s Pool Road. It is the last stop
Also from Tai Po Market Station Bus Terminus, take 275R to Bride’s Pool Bus Terminus on Sunday and public holidays.

Return: In Tai Mei Tuk can take the minibus 20C or bus 75K to Tai Po Market

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HIKING AROUND

From Wu Kau Tang village walk towards the trail to Ma Tau Fung. Have to pass through the village but is easy to get to the trail by following the indications.

Once in the trail, follow the distance posts as reference

The first section from the village to Ma Tau Fung is full of rocky steps but once on the top, the views are amazing

From Ma Tau Fung to Tai Tung there will be stunning views of almost the whole reservoir. This part of the trail is really beautiful

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On the right side there are views of the reservoir while on the left side views of Double & Crescent Islands. The trail look almost the same for the whole journey but at the end perhaps the trail gets harder and with steeper slopes

From Tai Tung to Luk Wu Tung there will be along the trail views of the whole reservoir. Personally the most beautiful section for views

The way from Luk Wu Tung to the Reservoir Sub Dam was personally the tougher since there is a certain sense of weariness. Uphills & downhills were here steeper, yet you can see a long way ahead full of hills.

 

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However the views are amazing. Sai Kung on the left side and the path done & Tai Mei Tuk on the right side

As told, the trail is not easy on this section for its steepy hills where the breaks were more often here. This section also was full of mosquitoes, thousands of them for almost 1.5h hours of journey.

Arrived to the Reservoir Sub Dam will offer views of Sai Kung and Mao On Shan.

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From this point to Tai Mei Tuk there will be about 4-5km and 2 hours of journey ahead. Walking through the dam there is a hill with stairs right in front. To continue the journey you may bypass these hills by the road on the left side. The road takes to Tai Mei directly

Once crossed the longest ever bridge in the world, will reach to Tai Mei. The port is really beautiful and there are some restaurants on the area.

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Walking towards the Bus Terminus there is a BBQ site and was really amazing. Bring your own food and cook it right there!

DETAILS

  • Location: Plover Cove Reservoir @ Plover Cove Park, Hong Kong
  • Transportation: MRT to Tai Po Market exit B & bus 20R to Bride’s Pool Nature Trail // Return: bus 20C or 75K from Tai Mei Tuk
  • Time spent: 7.5 hours – 18km
  • Weather conditions: cloudy
  • Season: Mid of March
  • Score: 9/10

Sunset Peak: Amidst the Mist

ENGLISH & ESPAÑOL

Sunset Peak (Tai Tung Shan 大東山) is the third highest peak in Hong Kong located in Lantau Island and stands at a height of 869 metres (2,851 ft) above the sea level. The second highest peak is Lantau Peak located right in front of this peak with Pak Kung Au in between.

My route started at Pak Kung Au through Section 2 and ended at Nam Shan near the Campsite. The total distance is 7km and about 4 hours. The trail is kind similar to Lantau Peak but perhaps due to the fog I really couldn’t to enjoy as much as I did in Lantau Peak despite it was also partially cloudy.

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HOW TO GET THERE

To get there you should take MTR to Tung Chung station exit B and grab the bus 3M. The bus station is passing by the cable car station. You have to get off at Pak Kung Au after 15-20 minutes of bus ride. You will notice of the stop easily, since many people will get off right there. Continue walking further ahead and you will see Sunset Peak indications to start the trail.

HIKING AROUND

The starting is the most difficult part of this trail since everything are steps and rocks for almost 40-50 minutes but with stunning views behind of Lantau Peak. You may see during the climbing the Lantau Peak trail and its mountains.

Almost arriving to the top of this first climb the views of Soko Islands are really great.

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By looking at opposite direction of Soko Islands is easy to see Tung Chung and HK Airport. Much better with clearer weather

Continuing walking the views will be clearer of Soko Islands, the Trail behind and Shek Kwu Chao. The views are stunning!

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The views heading to Yi Tung Shan are also amazing despite it was foggy during my day

Passing by the campsite there are a lot of allegedly abandoned shelters.

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Once crossed the Campsite, the descent will starts with views of Pui O and Chi Ma Wan Peninsula. Personally, the descent was rather tougher than ascent maybe due to the weather conditions.

The latest photo is a crossing to choose or continue to Nam Shan or turn to Tung Chung. According with the map, the trail back towards Tung Chung takes about 1 hour or so.

Finishing the Trail, once you see the road on the right side, simply get to the road, then turn left and go up to the bus stop. From there can grab the bus 3M to Tung Chung Station in about 20 minutes

DETAILS

  • Location: Sunset Peak @ Lantau Island, Hong Kong
  • Transportation: MRT to Tung Chung & bus 3M to Pak Kung Au // Return: bus 3M
  • Time spent: 4 hours
  • Weather conditions: unpredictable! Cloudy, foggy, cold, windy…
  • Season: End of February
  • Score: 8.5/10

Nan Lian Garden: Pavilion of Absolute Perfection

The Nan Lian Garden 南蓮園池 is a Chinese Classical Garden located in Diamond Hill, Hong Kong.

This garden was designed with hills, water features, trees, rocks and wooden structures and it’s an ideal place for a walk, photography and relax. Its design is really beautiful and well conserved, surrounded of greenery and peace.

Opening hours: 7am – 9pm

Nan Lian Garden 南蓮園池 es un jardín tradicional chino situado en Diamond Hill en Hong Kong

Este jardín tiene un diseño bastante tradicional y bien conservado y es perfecto para pasar medio día y para los amantes de la fotografía.

Horario: 7am – 9pm

HOW TO GET THERE

Take MTR Kwun Tong Line to Diamond Hill exit C1. Then simply follow the indications towards Nan Lian Garden.

Para llegar allí, coger MTR a Diamond Hill salida C1 y seguir indicaciones hasta el jardín

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EXPLORING AROUND

Arrived to the entrance and passed by the information office, just be free to walk around and enjoy of one of the most beautiful gardens in Hong Kong

Llegados a la entrada, hay una oficina de información en caso de necesitarla y a pasear!

Photos near the entry

Fotos cerca de la entrada

More photos along the walk

Fotos a lo largo del camino

DETAILS

  • Location: Nan Lian Garden @ Diamond Hill, Hong Kong
  • Transportation: MTR to Diamond Hill, exit c1
  • Time spent: 2 hours
  • Weather: Cloudy
  • Season: End of January
  • Score: 8/10

Kowloon Peak: The Uniqueness of Hong Kong in 180°

Kowloon Peak or Fei Ngo Shan 飛鵝山 is a mountain in the northeast of New Kowloon, Hong Kong. The height of the mountain is about 600 meters and it’s situated in Ma On Shan Country Park

The ascent to the summit is pretty easy and the path is rocky with steps. The ascent will take no longer than 2-3 hours, it depends on the rate of ascent, the time needed to take photos along the way and the section chosen.

For this hike I’d recommend to wear shoes with good grip, since the top is rocky and the cliff is not a joke, especially if your hike continues to Suicide Cliff located straight ahead of Kowloon Peak

HOW TO GET THERE

Take the MTR to Choi Hung Station (Kwun Tong Line) exit C1/C2. From Choi Hung Station there is a long way to the starting point of the ascent, so you can grab a taxi to Fei Ngo Shan 飛鵝山, which costs about 35HKD and 10 minutes.

Otherwise you can walk to the starting point that will take about 1 hour. Walk along Clear Water Bay road and then turn to Fei Ngo Shan road

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Reached to this point, the ascent starts. There are several indications along the way

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HIKING AROUND

From the starting point, the hike will take about 2-3 hours to Kowloon Peak. The section chosen was from Fei Ngo Shan

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During the ascent there will be beautiful views of Sai Kung, Sharp island…worth to keep looking behind for nice photos while hiking up

Views from the heliport aerea

Finally arrived to the rocky Peak, one of the best panoramic views of Hong Kong

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The way back will take about 1 hour + another hour of walking to the MTR.

DETAILS

  • Location: Kowloon Peak at Kowloon, Hong Kong
  • Transportation: MTR to Choi Hung Station (Kwun Tong Line) exit C1/C2 + Taxi
  • Time spent: 4 hours
  • Weather: Sunny with strong winds
  • Season: Mid of December
  • Score: 8/10