Hong Kong has one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Asia and we are so lucky to have so much greenery right in our backyard. You only have to walk 5 minutes to hit a trail (The Peak trail) if you live in Central or Wanchai and 30 minutes to get to Lantau, Lamma or any of the outlying islands or via MTR to New Territories where most of the trails are. More interesting is that there are lots of beautiful waterfalls unbeknownst to many, a fact due to the hilly terrains and high rainfall we receive in this island. We recently discovered Sam the Local, a local startup that offers customized tours by locals who would like to share their experience of Hong Kong with tourists or people living here who are looking to discover Hong Kong. The platform allows you to book anything from shopping trips, to food tours to guided art walks and hikes. Rory, one of the locals offers guided hikes to Hong Kong’s remote hilltops trails to secluded waterfalls. He shares with us his top 5 waterfall trails that are relatively easy to get to, for other hidden gems, you can book an outing with him at Sam the Local.
Bride’s Pool & Mirror Pool
These beautiful pools are very accessible; both can be sighted with little walking involved. Legend has it that en route to her wedding; a bride fell into the river above and was carried down the waterfall. With that said, these shallow pools do not possess any cliff jumping opportunities and are defined by a picture perfect cascade that drops into the Bride’s Pool. Combine a visit to the falls with some time spent enjoying the nearby village of Tai Mei Tuk. Grab a bite at one of the many restaurants around or dabble in some water sports to make for the perfect day out!
Getting there: Take the MTR East Rail to Tai Po Market Station and board the 20C minibus to Tai Mei Tuk. From there one will have to walk for a further hour or catch a $40 taxi to the Bride’s Pool car park. However, on Sundays and public holidays you can take the 257R KMB bus from Tai Po Market all the way to the Bride’s Pool. Be warned that the last bus departs at 6:45.
Man Cheung Po Infinity PoolVenture out to the far southeastern bounds of HK and Lantau Island to discover a beautiful vista. Less than four kilometers from the Tai O bus stop you can find 200 meters of layered tumbling waterfalls that include an infinity pool overlooking the South China Sea. If that isn’t enough, couple the adventure with a day exploring Tai O fishing village and keep an eye out for the famous pink dolphins off the coast. Be warned that it is prohibited to swim in the infinity pool itself, although continue upstream and there are plenty of rock pools to make your own.
Getting there: Hop on the MTR to Tung Chung or the Ferry to Mui Wo. From there, grab the number 11 or number 1 bus respectively, to the Tai O. Follow the pier near the bus stop, continuing along the shorefront path. About 3km into the walk you will see a sign on your left for Man Cheung Po, don’t take it. Instead simply stay on the coastal path until a set of stairs on the left comes into view; this is the way up the valley to the rock pools. The whole route from Tai O should take around an hour each way to complete.
Ng Tung Chai WaterfallsContaining one of Hong Kong’s biggest waterfalls, Ng Tung Chai consists of 4 waterfalls of different altitudes. Starting from below, you’ll discover the Bottom Falls (Fall under the well), Middle Falls (Horse Tail Fall), Main Falls (Long Fall) and finally the Scatter Falls. The path up is steep, but well constructed and well frequented. The bottom falls are truly idyllic, shrouded under a veil of vines and thick canopy pierced by ethereal rays. Whilst the sheer majesty of the main falls in full flow will take your breath away.
Getting there: Catch the 64K KMB bus from Tai Wo MTR station (exit A) to the Ng Tung Chai Village stop on Lam Kam Road. From there it is a 1-2 hour walk up.
Sheung Luk Stream
The Sheung Luk Stream in Sai Kung Country Park is quickly becoming one of the more popular summer spots to take a refreshing dip. Although the lower waterfall of Sheung Luk Stream is not the most picturesque waterfall going around, it is a lot of fun and serves as suitable refreshment after a day spent at the beach. This hangout spot has deep pools for swimming and cliff jumps of differing heights from little ledges to 7meter drops.
Getting there: From Sai Kung, take the 29R village bus or taxi to Sai Wan Pavilion. Walk for an hour to reach Sai Wan and then a further 10 minutes upstream from Sai Wan beach to reach the pools.
Tai Tam Mound Waterfall
Secretly tucked away above Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir, it’s easy to walk right past Tai Tam Mound Waterfall without a second thought. The natural beauty starts out as a stream over a low cliff, but then continues through a stretch of wild greenery, before dropping out of sight.
Getting there: Walk northwest along the Hong Kong Trail, north of Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir dam. Cross the bridge after 10 minutes and at the next wooden bridge, you will see a scramble down a tiny stream on the left.