Sunday, October 18, 2020

City One (Sha Tin) to Pak Sha Wan (Sai Kung), via West Buffalo Hill (西水牛山) & Buffalo Hill (水牛山)

Duration:  9 km (4.5h)

Difficulty: 7/10. 552m elevation gain. 

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 1.5 liters. 70% shaded. 

Appreciation: 8/10

Exercise Area: No

Transportation:  City One MTR station, Exit 'D'. Return via bus available at the end of the trail (92, 96R, 101M, others).

Why it's worth it:

Exit 'D' at City One MTR station, Ma On Shan line

Turn left onto Chap Wai Kon street immediately upon exiting the MTR station

Turn-right on Siu Lek Yuen Rd, crossing the street. That's about 3-5 minutes into the hike (400m)

Take the tunnel to cross Shat Tin Wai road. 0.8 km and 12 minutes in.

About 25 minutes from City One exit 'D', you arrive at this bus stop which is also the beginning of the hike proper (this and the next 2 pictures). Go around the bus stop... (who can also take the stairs there, same difference)


Then there's this gentle slope to the trail head

Trail head. Follow the sign in the direction of West Buffalo Hill

Stay on the left on the path

Head right on the village road, and stay on this road for a few minutes...

Until you reach this point with a sign pointed (not very well actually) to the path to West Buffalo Hill. Take the path sloping up on your left.

Then just a few meters after, you'll see this fork. Take a left.

After a 15-20 minutes mostly uphill climb (about 700m distance), you will reach this point where you must head left and up in a somewhat hidden path. It is not obvious to fing if you are not paying attention. Note the 2 trees in the middle of the main path which will be your indicator that you are at the right spot to branch off the main path and onto the 'secret path'

You will reach this point where the 'secret path' meets the main path (on the right). That is about 2 hours into your hike (from Exit 'D') and about 4.2km distance. Obviously, don't go right. Rather, go slightly left and straight towards the top of the hill.
You will reach West Buffalo Hill within 20-30 minutes.

Buffalo Hill. The path down is beyond the rocks. It is quite slippery and steep at times

At the bottom of the hill, you will intersect Maclehose Section 4.
Head right and go for about 5-10m...

... you will then see this sign on your left pointing to Sam Fai Tin, take that path.
The path is clear all the way to the end. You have another hour, hour and a half to go

You will eventually reach your destination, Hiram's highway. You will see the bus stop going back to the city immediately to your right

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Tsuen Wan to Sham Tseng via Tin Fu Tsai

Duration:  15 km (4.5h)

Difficulty: 7/10. 545m elevation gain. Now, part of the trail is overgrown and unclear. There's some risk of getting lost as part of the trail gets less clear towards the middle of it. Better make sure that you start no later than 11am so you do not get lost when night falls.

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere

Water needs: 2 liters. 95% shaded. 

Appreciation: 7.5/10. Nice if a bit ordinary.

Exercise Area: No

Transportation:  Tsuen Wan MTR, Exit 'A'. Return via any of the many busses available at the end of the trail.

Why it's worth it:


Tsuen Wan, Exit 'A'

You will be following a pedestrian walkway for about 1km which follows the train track on your right. Go all the way to the end of it.

At the end, you will reach that point. go across the plaza and there is going to be an escalator...

Go down the escalator, then left. You will be on Mei Wan street

Go right on Tsuen King Circuit road. You will see the police station right in front of you.

About a 6-7 minutes walk later, you'll see On Yin street on your left, take it.

Then take a right at the end of On Yin street

After another 100m or so (right after the playground on the left), you will see a path and stairs on your left...

Take the stairs up (sign to Yuen Tsuen Ancient Trail)

Right and then go all the way up the stairs
Head right at the road at the top of the stairs. You will be walking on that road for about 3.5km

('A' on the map above) 
After 3.5km, you get here and must take a left over the little concrete bridge

('B' on the map above) 
Very soon after, you take another left, following the main path at the building

('C' on the map above) 
At the 4-way crossroads, keep straight

('D' on the map above) 
Where the concrete path stops, you continue a little bit on a dirt path and you will soon see a path to your right with a noticeable concrete block. Take that path.

You will mostly be following the catchwater on your left. Do not take any paths on the right.

You will get to this point with a concrete bridge on your left, and house on your right. 
Go left over the concrete bridge.

The section after the little pavilion and until the slide is a bit messy and overgrown.
Follow the concreate path, sometimes just bits of it, ribbons and directions and you should be fine. If you got the general orientation, you should be OK.

Concrete slide at the now defunct Lin Fa Shan Public School (蓮花山公立學校)

Go straight right by the slide.

Then right at the stone path (Yuen Tsuen Ancient Path)

Then right in the direction of Sheung Tong as the sign indicates.
(The road is marked as closed)

Ghost village

After a few KMs, you will reach Maclehose Trail Section 9 (there's a picnic table).
Head left onto it

About 100m after, keep going straight on Section 9

Yet another branch after another 100m or so. Keep right, still on Section 9

600m later, another intersection, take a right. That is still Mac Section 9

A short while after you pass the Tin Fu Tsai camp site. You will see a smaller path on your left, after the red PCCW communication system and the sign. Take that path.

This path will get you back to the Tsuen Yuen Ancient trail. But just for about 15m...

... as you will take an almost immediate left onto the path towards Tsing Fai Tong village

Quite easy and smooth sailing from this point on. Once past Tsing Fai Tong and its Lilli pads, you will be about 1.75km away from your final destination, Sham Tseng...

Arrived in Sham Tseng

Turn left onto Sham Hong Road, going under the car overpass

Then left on Castle Peak road where you will find a stop for tons of bus routes

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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!