Sai Sha Ancient Trail (西沙古道) offers a nostalgic trip via stone-paved roads through the villages of Sha Tin and Sai Kung, a passage into a forgotten way of life in rural Hong Kong.
The trail starts from Wong Nai Tau (黃泥頭) in Sha Tin, passing Nui Po Au (女婆坳) to Mui Tsz Lam (梅子林) and then branching into two paths, one of which goes to Sai Kung via Mau Ping and the other heading to Tai Shui Hang.
I set off from Wong Nai Tau at an altitude of around 200 meters.
After reaching the Fa Sum Hang Pavilion, I find a more natural trail that is made of mud and ancient stone blocks.
Hikers will be delighted to learn they could escape the noisy concrete jungle in less than 30 minutes.
At Nui Po Au, one could decide to go to Sai Kung via Shek Nga Shan (石芽山) in the east or head west to Nui Po Shan (女婆山) and then to Tai Shui Hang.
The eastern route is much longer and recommended for hikers with some experience, while the other route takes you to a forest of interesting stone formations.
There you will find an odd stone pillar about 5 meters tall standing on an inclined rock.
It looks quite stable when you stand next to it, but staring at it from afar it looks as if it were about to fall down.
Exercise care by wearing gloves while exploring the stone forest.
I once stayed overnight in the area one Mid-Autumn Festival. The starry night was breathtaking, and the cottages were like tiny matchboxes.
Going downhill via the ancient trail, you will reach Mui Tsz Lam village.
It is a Hakka village whose indigenous inhabitants are all surnamed Ng.
However, their ancestral hall has just been built so its architecture is of no historical significance.
To go to Wong Nai Tau: Take KMB bus 83K from Sha Tin Central Bus Terminus.
To return from Tai Shui Hang: Take MTR at Tai Shui Hang station.
Time: About three hours
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb. 25, 2015.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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