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.

 

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

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

Lantau Peak: Absolute Pinnacle of Freedom

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.

The trail ends at Ngong Ping, so you can visit it after hiking

HOW TO GET THERE

To get there you should take MTR to Tung Chung station exit B and grab the bus 3M, 11 or 23. 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. Alternative is to take the cable car located on the way to the bus station

HIKING AROUND

In the beginning of the hiking trail there are indications that just need to follow. Right behind there is Sunset Peak, which is another hiking trail slightly easier than this one

Photos taken along the way

Reached to the top there is a small refuge.. After this point, starts the descent with great views of Lantau and Ngong Ping

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Before reaching to Ngong Ping it’s the Windom Path.

Reached to Ngong Ping, worth to visit the Big Buddha & Po Lin monastery. Just will take few minutes

To come back to Tung Chung, grab the bus 23 at the bus terminus into the village. Another option is taking cable car to Tung Chung too. Bus costs is about 17HKD and cable car about 140-180HKD

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: 5 hours
  • Weather conditions: unpredictable! Cloudy at 23 degrees, foggy, sunny and windy
  • Season: Mid of November
  • Score: 9/10

Dragon’s Back: Shek O

Dragon’s Back is a ridge in southeastern Hong Kong Island between Wan Cham Shan and Shek O Peak. It lies within the Shek O Country Park and it’s the most popular and touristic hike of Hong Kong.

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.

HOW 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.

Return to the bus terminal is the same way, finished the hike you will arrive to Shek O road. Take the bus 9 towards the bus terminal in Shau Kei Wan

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HIKING AROUND

Arrived to the Trail Start point in Shek O road, follow the crowds towards Dragons Back direction. The starting is made by rocky stairs to the top.

The top of the trail will offer you amazing views of Shek O. This scenic spot is the perfect place for lunch or snacking, since is more quiet than any other spot found further ahead and offers perfect views

Continuing walking reaches to the the hilltop sightseeing platform on Shek O Peak. Also perfect place to enjoy the panorama

 

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Further ahead there are several spots to get more panoramas of Shek O before starting climbing down.

The way down may take roughly 1.5 hours to Shek O road

There are several sections and paths within this area for longer hikes. The section chosen was the section 8, which is the easiest. So depending on your time, Shek O may offer several alternatives

Tip: If you still have time after Dragon’s Back hike and the weather conditions are good enough, you may take the Tram from Shau Lei Wan towards Central and enjoy of a perfect ride at 2.3HKD. Sitting on the second floor of the tram offers a good views of the ride and fresh air while resting after a hiking day

DETAILS

  • Location: Dragon’s Back @ Shek O Road, Hong Kong Island
  • Transportation: MTR to Shau Kei Wan exit A3
  • Time spent: 4 hours
  • Season: November, 23 degrees
  • Weather conditions: cloudy and very windy
  • Score: 9/10

Lion’s Rock Hill

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 despite its slight difficulty

HOW TO GET THERE

Take the metro to Won Tai Sin metro station and then take the exit B. From there, you can start the trail towards Sha Tin Pass Rd until reaching to Lion’s Pavilion. From there the hike will start.

HIKING AROUND

The trail will take around 4-5 hours, depending of the way you are taking. During my experience, I joined to a hiking group with a friend since it was my first time in this area. As I per remember, our way was really tough. There are many different trails to choose, so the estimation will rely on the trail you choose and your rate. A good rate with some moments to breath and take photos, will take around 4-5 hours.

Whether you are thinking to hike through the hardest way, I’d recommend you a good pair of shoes with a good traction, long pants and t shirts to avoid scratches, a lot of water and sun block

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During the hike, we faced few troubles due to some sections were a bit dangerous and the queues slowed down our rate.

Due to these difficulties, there are attached ropes to help you during the climbing. Some rocks were a bit slippery, so these ropes were wisely attached there, and also due to the slope

After suffering some difficulties along the hike, it’s worth the effort and time spent, and you will see the excellent views of Hong Kong.

The summit provides one of the best views ever seen in Hong Kong. Good moment to take some photos!

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If you are a hiker and thinking to travel to Hong Kong, I would recommend you Lion’s Rock Hill over other hikes within the city, such as The Peak (if considered hike)

DETAILS

  • Location: Lion’s Rock Hill @ Won Tai Sin
  • Transportation chosen: metro to Won Tai Sin station
  • Time spent: 7 hours
  • Season: November
  • Weather conditions: Sunny
  • Score: 9/10