25 October 2016
A view of Ko Lau Wan from the North Ridge of Sharp Peak in Sai Kung East Country Park. Photo: HKEJ
A view of Ko Lau Wan from the North Ridge of Sharp Peak in Sai Kung East Country Park. Photo: HKEJ

Sharp Peak: What no experienced hiker should miss

Sharp Peak, High Junk Peak and Tai Yue Ngam Teng are nicknamed the “three treacherous peaks of Sai Kung”.

Situated in the northeastern part of the Sai Kung East Country Park and rising to a height of 468 meters, Sharp Peak, as the name suggests, is the most challenging of the trio.

The mountain bears an alternative name: Nam She Tsim (蚺蛇尖). Nam she, in Chinese, refers to pythons.

Explaining the moniker, some people say the name arose as the place was home to a particularly large tropical snake, while others say it was meant as a reference to the winding and rugged mountain path.

Dubbed as the ultimate Hong Kong wilderness hike, visitors are rewarded by magnificent views from the summit, finding themselves surrounded by wondrous natural landscapes.

In the northwest is the scenery of Pat Sin Leng mountain range and Plover Cove Reservoir, while Mirs Bay, Grass Island and other outlying islands are found in the northeast.

Mountain running enthusiasts would be aware of the annual 30-kilometer charity race of Care Action Cup, which gathers over 2,000 athletes uphill at Sai Kung every December.

In early years, participants were required to climb up to the summit of Sharp Peak. Due to safety concerns, the race has now excluded this section. Running up from Chek Keng to the middle of Sharp Peak is still no easy task.

There are three ways to get to Sharp Peak: from the North Ridge, East Ridge and South Ridge. The trail from the North Ridge, which is about four kilometers long, is the most difficult.

Starting from the Ko Lau Wan public pier (高流灣碼頭), hikers need to go to Nam She Wan (蚺蛇灣) and then go deep into the forest, where they’ll have to conquer a steep slope of an altitude of over 400 meters in order to reach the top.

The trail is recommended only for the highly experienced hikers.

The East Ridge trail begins at Ham Tin Wan (鹹田灣) and is also four kilometers long. The route starts from going up a small hill at the north of Tai Long Wan Beach. By following the Sharp Peak Path, hikers would reach to the summit soon after bypassing Mai Fan Teng.

Going and returning by South Ridge is the most desirable option, though it is slightly longer, with an estimated length of six kilometers.

Get off at the Pak Tam Au (北潭坳) bus stop and walk along the section two of the MacLehose Trail heading to Chek Keng. Then go up to Tai Long Au, where by the left is the way to the summit.

Getting there:

To go to / return from Pak Tam Au: Take KMB bus 94, or green minibus no. 7 at Sai Kung bus terminus.

Time: About six to seven hours

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 27.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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