TAI TO YAN HIKE – EPIC RIDGE TRAIL IN HONG KONG
Tai To Yan is a challenging ridge-line hike in the New Territories of Hong Kong. It is often referred to as the Dragon’s Back hike of the new territories. I thought it was a great trail, with lots of tough stair sections throughout the ridge. On a clear day, views of Shenzen are aplenty along the trail as well as lots of panoramic viewpoints.
TAI TO YAN HIKE DETAILS
Hike Distance: The total hike distance was 9km from Kadoorie Farm to Fanling MTR station start and finish points.
Hike Duration: Total moving time was just under 2.5-hours but you could bargain for about 3-4 hours to enjoy the viewpoints and relax along the hike. If you tried to run it or power through it could be done in under 2 hours.
Hike Difficulty: The hike was relatively safe with no major 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. The major component of difficulty was the 651m of incline. The incline is often in the form of a staircase.
Hike Incline: The total hike incline was 651-meters
HOW TO GET TO THE TAI TO YAN HIKE
- Take the MTR to Kam Sheung Railway Station
- Catch the 64K bus to Kadoorie Farm Bus Stop
- The trailhead is on the side of the road (same side the bus will drop you) where you will find a big map on a signboard.
- Follow the signs to Tai To Yan summit.
- Continue all the way along the ride until you reach Fanling MTR Station.
I’ve included the GPX map of my hike I recorded on my Garmin. You can follow the same route and if you choose to download it to your device you can do so by Clicking Here.
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE TAI TO YAN HIKE
On a cloudy afternoon, I headed out into the New Territories. I was hoping for the sun to break through but despite it’s best efforts, it would be a bit of a cloudy atmosphere for this hike. On a brighter day, the views would be that much sweeter but it was a great hike and maybe one of the best out and out ridges in Hong Kong.
When we got off the bus at Kadoorie Farm, the trail entrance was on the same side as the bus and off we set into the forest. The trail begins under dense coverage and begins in quite a relaxed fashion with no views to get you excited about. Lots of stairs and that beautiful smell of the woods will ease you into the Tai To Yan hike.
The trail is only about 3-kilometers to the Tai To Yan summit of 566m, but it is quite steep so it will take you a little bit of time and effort. Don’t expect to be up there in 40-minutes. At times the stairs were pretty relentless and the undulations gave us little time to take a breather and take in the views. Every so often I would turn around and despite the gloomy weather, be impressed by the backdrop as we climbed higher and higher.
The total incline for the hike was 656-meters, but most of it comes in these early stages as you climb your way up to the ridge. The section pictured below was probably the toughest climb of the lot. If you hate stairs, this trail (and most Hong Kong hikes) will not be your friend. It’s constantly up and down.