The Tai Mo Shan hike is a special adventure because it is the highest peak in Hong Kong. The hike takes you on a journey through the jungle, passing by several incredible waterfalls before you reach the peak, which overlooks Hong Kong on a clear day.
TAO MO SHAN HIKING GUIDE
In this blog post, I’ll share everything you need to know about the Tai Mo Shan Waterfall Hike including where it is, how to get there, and when it’s best to visit.
TAI MO SHAN HIKE DETAILS
- Hike Distance: The hike distance was 10.37km. However, it can be done as an out and back loop or you can even drive up halfway and hike from there. There are lots of options for routes but I suggest my route because you also get to visit the incredible waterfalls.
- Hike Duration: The hike up and down took me 2 hours and 40-minutes of moving time. However, you should bargain some time for enjoying the view at the summit and to explore the waterfalls.
- Hike Difficulty: The hike was relatively safe with no exposure/drop-offs on the trail for the most part. It was very steep in parts of course but it was more a consistent climb up rocky steps. I found the hike quite straight forward and would be suitable for all who are confident with that level of incline.
- Hike Incline: The total hike incline to the Tai Mo Shan summit was 895m from start to finish. However, the summit itself is the highest peak in Hong Kong at 957m above sea level.
HOW TO GET TO TAI MO SHAN: THE HIGHEST PEAK IN HONG KONG
There are several routes, which will all take you to the top of the highest mountain in Hong Kong, Tai Mo Shan. The simplest route is to drive up from the Rotary Club campsite and park at the parking lot mid-way up. This will mean you have about 2-kilometers of hiking to the summit and then return 2-kilometers to your car. It’s quick but to be honest, the viewpoint is less impressive than the hike itself when you do it the adventurous way.
The details I will share below is the route I took and I have included my map, public transport directions, and tips. This route includes the Ng Tung Chai waterfalls on the way to the Tai Mo Shan summit.
You NEED the Octopus Card
TRAVEL TIP: In Hong Kong you NEED the Octopus Card to use public transport and ferries, which is how everyone gets around. Pre-Book your Octopus Card with a Pre-Loaded balance of 50HKD so you can pick it up at the airport (very easy) and then catch public transport straight to your hotel.
- Conveniently ride the MTR, bus, ferry, coach, and tram with just a tap of your Hong Kong Tourist Octopus Card
- Conveniently pick up your card with a preloaded credit of HKD50-100 at the Hong Kong International Airport
TAI MO SHAN HIKE DIRECTIONS
- Take the MTR to Kam Sheung Railway Station
- Catch the 64K bus to Ng Tung Chai Bus Stop
- Backtrack 100m to the trail entrance on the opposite side of the road (sign marked NG TUNG CHAI)
- Follow the signs to the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls
- Follow the signs to Tai Mo Shan
- Walk down to Tai Mo Shan Visitor Center
- Walk a further 200m to the bus stop and catch the 51M (doesn’t come frequently, we waited for 40-minutes)
- Get off the 51M at Tsuen Wan MTR Station and catch the train back to TST/Central.
The above instructions should work for you and I’ve included my map below so you can follow that as you go although there is limited service on the trail but it is well signed. If you want to download the GPX map for smartwatch or app you can Click Here to download my Tai Mo Shan hiking map.
MY EXPERIENCE HIKING TO TAI MO SHAN: HONG KONG’S HIGHEST PEAK
As always, a little bit of transit preparation is required before a Hong Kong hike but with the 64K bus dropping us at the trailhead, we set off into the forest. The trail began like many in Hong Kong, a paved road winding up through the foothills. There were a few forks in the road but following the signs to the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls seemed to do us well.
I hadn’t planned to visit any waterfalls, I was only interested in the Tai Mo Shan summit but it turns out that this region has some great cascading waterfalls. In fact, there was one intersection early on that pointed to the right and said “Tai Mo Shan via Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls’ and the other suggested it was not via the waterfalls. It was only an extra 15-20 minutes so we decided to visit the waterfalls as well, which I highly recommend. In reality, it would add on a lot of time as you will want to explore and maybe swim in the waterfalls but the trail itself isn’t much of a detour.
Early on, the trail takes you under a beautiful archway, past some small waterfalls, and through the wild jungle. This was the most wild I had seen in Hong Kong so far, which was surprising considering we hadn’t traveled far from the city.
After about 30-40 minutes we reached the first waterfall called ‘Bottom Falls’. Although it isn’t as big as ‘Main Falls’ further up the track it was our favorite because it is in a tiny slot canyon and it’s a magical little spot. We hung out here for almost an hour soaking it all in. No-one else was around and it was my favorite part of the hike.
MY 4 FAVORITE HONG KONG TOURS
- Victoria Peak Tram & Sky Terrace: If you visit Hong Kong, you have to visit Victoria Peak!
- Aqua Luna Victoria Harbor Cruise: Sail Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour on a traditional Chinese wooden junk boat.
- Hong Kong Disneyland Park: An awesome experience for all ages!
- M+ Museum Ticket: Most popular museum in Hong Kong!
Click the orange button below to view all of the top-rated tours on Klook
The hike continues with a theme of rocky steps, which lead you up the relentless incline. We passed a few more waterfalls but none as impressive as Bottom Falls. I’ve pictured them below and they were great for a quick photo stop but we didn’t have time to hang out at them all and felt we had chosen wisely by spending the majority of our time at Bottom Falls.
It’s important to keep in mind that we visited in dry December, so it may be much more impressive to visit the waterfalls after heavy rain. There were many signs warning about flash-flooding so keep that in mind.
With the waterfalls behind us, we now locked in on our mission to reach the Tai Mo Shan summit. We still had 500m of incline to climb and it was a battle! The trail was still incredibly wild although well-signed throughout so it was hard to get lost. There are multiple trails and routes leading to the top. You can see mine on the map above but it is one of many so as long as you reach the top you are all good.
The final few hundred meters of the incline was along the road for us on the route we took. It was the final push and unfortunately, we could see we were headed into the clouds as it was foggy at the summit.
At the summit, there are a few radio towers and buildings but no defined viewpoint so we hung out on a few of the nice rock perches in the area and enjoyed the view while it lasted. The clouds were rolling quickly and we managed to enjoy the view for about half an hour with a bit of sun even creeping in momentarily. However, shortly thereafter the clouds overtook the scene and we were engulfed in a ball of white. It was time to retreat down the mountain towards the Tai Mo Shan Visitor Center.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE TAI MO SHAN HIKE
- Highest Peak: Tai Mo Shan is the highest peak in Hong Kong, standing at approximately 957 meters above sea level. Hiking to the summit provides a rewarding experience with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
- Challenging Hike: The Tai Mo Shan hike is known for its challenging terrain and steep ascent. Hikers should be well-prepared physically, have prior hiking experience, and be equipped with appropriate gear and supplies for a strenuous journey.
- Weather Considerations: Due to its elevation, Tai Mo Shan is often shrouded in mist and experiences cooler temperatures compared to the lower areas of Hong Kong. It’s important to check the weather forecast before embarking on the hike and dress in layers to adapt to changing conditions.
- Scenic Beauty: The hike to Tai Mo Shan takes you through lush forests, serene reservoirs, and picturesque landscapes. Along the way, you’ll encounter stunning waterfalls, vibrant flora, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of local wildlife, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
- Access and Transportation: Tai Mo Shan can be accessed from various starting points, such as Tai Mo Shan Country Park or Route Twisk. Public transportation options, including buses and taxis, can take you close to these starting points. Plan your journey accordingly and consider checking bus schedules in advance.
By keeping these key points in mind, you can prepare for an exhilarating adventure to Tai Mo Shan, embracing the physical challenge, admiring the scenic beauty, and relishing the rewards of reaching the highest peak in Hong Kong.
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- Best Value Hotel: Metropark Hotel Causeway Bay – 4-star hotel for less than $100
- Best Value Luxury Hotel: Hotel ICON – $150 for a 5-star hotel with an epic pool
- Best Hiking/Adventure Base: Hotel Stage – Located in Kowloon and right next to lots of epic hikes.
Check out my full guide here: BEST AREAS TO STAY HONG KONG
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