Monday, July 9, 2012

Wang Chung stream (橫涌石澗)

(Updated: 2020:JUL-26)
Why it's worth it: 

Bus stop to stream (bridge): 8 minutes. 0.4k
Stream: 2-3 hours, ~2k
Hike back to minibus at dam: 25 minutes, 1k
Total: 3-3.5 hours

Map & Details:

6/10. Not very hard. Still stream trekking though so it is more challenging than regular hiking. Please, do not attempt to climb directly in the larger falls. People did lose there lives there. Instead, follow the ribbons to bypass the larger falls.

Cel phone coverage: Rare coverage on stream. Full coverage on trail coming back.

Water needs: 1 liter.

Exercise Area: No

Appreciation: 9/10 lower part of the stream, 7/10 higher part; the big falls are in the first half. Need to go once it has rained a lot to get decent water flow however.

Transportation: Go on Sundays, you'll have the luxury of taking KMB bus 275R from the Tai Po MTR station which will drop you off very close to the stream entrance (otherwise, you'll have to walk an extra hour to the stream).  Same way return. Note that the last bus is at 18:45 so don't be too late.

Take the East Rail MTR to Tai Po. Exit A3, tunnel, then follow directions leading you to bus stop 275R (it is behind the pillar although the schedule is in front of the pillar).
(1) No choice but to get out as your stop is the terminus station.
Follow the road back towards where your bus came from.

Quite a short walk actually; about 8 minutes to the bridge where you will see the stream on your right.

(2) Take the steps down right by the sign that tells you not to enter... ;-)
You will walk along the stream for a few meters then enter the stream proper.

(3) 15 minutes into the stream, you'll see this first medium size fall. Bypass it on the left .

(4) DragonBall Waterfall(龍珠瀑). One of the most spectacular waterfall I have seen in Hong Kong,  after good amount of rain. Clear bypass on the left, marked with ribbons. Don't try to climb the waterfall.

The bypass. Going back to the top of the waterfall.

Right at the top.

(5) About 20 minutes after the waterfall, you'll reach this dam.
Pass to the left, there's a path to avoid the subsequent pool.

(6) Another 20 minutes and you'll reach this large pool. Although the climb looks easy enough, if you want to do so, you'll have to swim there. Otherwise, bypass it following ribbons.

(7) 15 minutes after, you'll get to the other major falls. Quite pretty when there's good waterflow. Bypass on the right .

(8) 30 minutes or so after, the final set of falls with a wading pool in front.
Although  I didn't think the water was all that clean (there were vegetables in the water at the dam!)

The stream becomes flat, narrow and relatively uninteresting afterwards.
Use the various footpaths on either sides.

(9)  Eventually, a bridge on the Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail (八仙嶺自然教育徑) will be in sight., about 20-25 minutes after the last set of falls. You can't miss it. That's the end of the stream for you.

(9) Head right on the bridge. The path parallels the stream for a short while.
It will take you about 20 minutes to get back to the bus stop.

You'll eventually get to the direction stones, follow on the right towards Bride's Pool.
If it is early enough, go check-out the Bride's Pool's falls. Afterwards, bus 275R will bring you back to Tai Po
(stop is right by the gazebo).

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Please, don't litter!

Hiking is about communion with nature. So please pickup after yourself. There's no excuse to leave plastic bags, water bottles or any rubbish on or around the trails; if you managed to bring it, you can manage to bring it back!