28 October 2016
A view of Plover Cove Reservoir (L) and the "Devil's Fist" (R) at Wong Chuk Kok Tsui. Photos: HKEJ, HK Geopark
A view of Plover Cove Reservoir (L) and the "Devil's Fist" (R) at Wong Chuk Kok Tsui. Photos: HKEJ, HK Geopark

A great but demanding trek in northeastern New Territories

Despite being one of the most densely packed cities in the world, Hong Kong has managed to retain many undeveloped tracts of land and countryside, especially in the New Territories.

Largely preserving their originality, rugged landscapes and mountainous areas have become good spots for hikers seeking scenic trails.

Here, I’ll talk about a marvelous but tough trail in northeastern New Territories.  

For those willing to sweat it out, it is worth all the effort to walk to a vantage point and gaze at Double Haven (Yan Chau Tong 印洲塘) and Plover Cove Reservoir within the Plover Cove Country Park.

Not to mention the 400-million-year-old stunning rocks at the Hong Kong Geopark that lies nearby.

Bear in mind that it would take up to 7 hours alone to walk from Wu Kau Tang (烏蛟騰) to Wong Chuk Kok Tsui (黃竹角咀). Also, there are no intermediate exit points or village stops along the route where you can replenish your supplies. Hence, don’t underestimate the difficulty of the trek.

Getting off at the minibus stop of Wu Kau Tang and ascending the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail, hikers can see the mirror-like water surrounding Double Haven from afar in the northeast at Ma Tau Fung (馬頭峰).

Walking along the ridgeway, one can get the best view of Hung Shek Mun (紅石門) — the striking red shoreline composed of rocks of various forms and gradations of a unique red color — from the top at Luk Wu Tung (鹿湖峒).

The slope to Fung Wong Wat Teng (鳳凰笏頂) is so steep that it is not possible to walk through it without getting yours hands dirty.

Since it is an unofficial path, it is easy to get lost. Fortunately some former hikers have tied colored ribbons along the route to help trekkers determine if they are heading in the right direction.

After climbing two hilltops – Pak Kok Shan (白角山) and Ngong Chong Shan (昻莊山) — I made it to Tai Leng (大嶺). With the help of a rope, I climbed down to the rocky shore.

In the ancient Wong Chuk Kok Tsui rock formations, one can see the famous landmark “Devil’s Fist” reaching out from the sea. The “wrist” is only visible above the surface at low tide.

Getting there:

To go to/return from Wu Kau Tang: Take minibus route 20C at Tai Po Market MTR station.

Alternatively, leave from Wong Chuk Kok Tsui directly by hiring a private boat in advance at Wong Shek Pier, and take KMB bus route 94 to Sai Kung Town Centre, or route 96R to Diamond Hill MTR station (Sundays and public holidays only).

Time: About 7 hours (if exit by private boat trip) or 14 hours (if returning from the same path on foot)

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 9, 2015.

Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

 (Cantonese with English subtitles)

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