Hong Kong Hiking Challenge: From September to December 2022, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department organizes the Hong Kong Hiking Challenge to encourage nature lovers and hikers to set off for the countryside and take on the challenge! There are 25 checkpoints scattered in various scenic spots in the country parks, featuring a variety of picturesque views unique to Hong Kong’s countryside. The top of Hong Kong – Tai Mo Shan, the breath-taking sunset view at Mount High West, the enchanting historic Hakka village of Lai Chi Wo, the thousand islands reflection of the Tai Lam Chung Reservoir, and many more!
Participants can plan their own routes to visit these checkpoints based on their interest, physical fitness and hiking experience. Use a smartphone to check-in at the checkpoints to collect the unique local flora and fauna badges made for each checkpoint. You will also learn about the amazing biodiversity of Hong Kong! Collect a certain number of badges and you will get different rewards! Let the challenge begins!
Tai To Yan literally means“large knife edge” in Chinese; from far, the mountain ridge resembles a knife blade resting on its spine with the edge pointing towards the sky. A narrow walkway lines the ridge sandwiched by near-vertical slopes on both sides. On top of the physical challenge, on a windy day, the hike might call for more willpower as you manoeuvre the knife’s edge. Take a break on the flat grass field and adjust the rhythm of your breath and your body before climbing the summit.
Transportation, bus schedule and costs
Method 1: From Kam Sheung Road MTR Station, walk to the bus station, take KMB bus 64K to Tai Po, get off at Fong Ma Po (Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree) station.
Method 2: From Tai Wo MTR station, head to Tai Wo Plaza, take KMB bus 64K to Yuen Long and get off at Hang Ha Po
Return: Take the MTR from Fanling (Simple!)
- Take the MTR to Kam Sheung Road Exit C, head to the bus station and take 64K towards Tai Po Market Station Bus Terminus.
- Get off at Fong Ma Po (Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree) and head straight till you reach the fork road and turn left
- You will see a huge traditional Lam Tsuen archway (林村), there will be a small food vendor on the left side with tofu flower, on the right will be the famous Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree (You can’t throw an orange upwards anymore, but you can still make a wish here 🙂 )
- Follow the road and head straight, make a right turn, at the end of the road, make another right turn
- Once you see the Duke of Edinburgh Training Camp, follow the camping site, and you will reach a bridge
- Walk pass the bridge, then there should be a small uphill, once you see the gazebo, turn right
- When you reach the Ngau Kwu Leng Hiking Trail (牛牯嶺行山徑), congratulations, you can start climbing upslope (The hard part now begins), please take a rest at the gazebo when you need
- After about 1km, you will see a very small path (Yes, doesn’t look like a proper trail), get into the secret trail and keep walking
- At around 2.6 lm, you will see the hiking trail sign again, continue to follow the path
- When the fork road appears, follow the direction from the sign and turn left, then you will reach another fork road, and it will point you to another left turn
- WOHOO! Arrive the gazebo at Tai To Yan, take a rest and take lots of photos (Look back and you will see you walk a long long long way), have a snack for sure
- Time to return. Back to the fork road, follow the sign again and turn left to Fanling station. At the second fork road, turn right.
- Walking downslope is just stairs, simple enough. You will eventually see another fork road, take the path on the right side
- Another fork road (Third one), stay on the right side and it should all be concrete/stone road (simple simple)
- At the next fork road, stay right, you will see many gazebo that you can pick and take a rest (Some offers wide views)
- The Kei Lak Tsai hilltop is in front of you (photo time)
- A fork road again, stay left, then at the next fork road, turn right (If you are confused, just follow our photos above)
- See the Wu Tip Shan Hiking Trail (蝴蝶山行山徑)? We are almost there
- At the fork road (YES YES YES AGAIN), stay right then you will see the exit, head to the tunnel then you will eventually see the MTR station (Back to the city finally)
Little feedback: Since we are picking this route as a hiking challenge event, we picked a path that is relatively simple to head to the top of the hill. At the beginning you could take a look at the wishing tree and enjoy a sweet tofu flower, then slowly walk uphill. As for the return route, you can head straight to Fanling and take the MTR, which makes life a bit easier.
If you have enough energy (Or well prepared), can take a full walk of the Tai To Yan, the ending point is still at Fanling, which offers you an extremely wide view of the mountain, but there is no shade at all. For a complete hike of the Tai To Yan, you can get off the bus at Kadoorie Farm, the starting point is right next to the stop.