These Hong Kong waterfall hikes are perfect for warmer days. From the Mirror Pool at Plover Cove to the popular Ng Tung Chai waterfalls, this hiking guide has it all covered.
Heat and humidity are part and parcel of Hong Kong living, so we’re always keen for a hike that offers a water break. This city is home to dozens of waterfalls and rock pools. While several of them are a mission to find, you’ve probably been close to many of these natural cascades without even knowing it. We’ve compiled a list of some of Hong Kong’s most accessible waterfall hikes, just off the beaten path (keep in mind that the amount of water flowing will depend on how much it’s been raining).
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Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls – Home to the highest Hong Kong waterfall
Looking for more than one waterfall in one hike? This trail has four. The north-western face of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s tallest peak, boasts some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the city, with the highest being 35 metres tall. It’s the perfect place for swimming and picnicking, with a cultural stop at the Man Tak Yuen temple along the way.
Getting there: Take minibus 25K from Tai Wo station to Ng Tung Chai Road. Get off the bus and continue along the road for about 10 to 15 minutes until you see a path that branches off to the right. Follow straight on past the village houses until you reach a rock-paved path heading towards a temple. Continue past the temple as you reach Bottom Fall (the first fall on the main path). The path gets much steeper beyond that, but the views further up are worth the climb.
Length: 3km (one way)
Time at a leisurely pace: About an hour
Difficulty: Intermediate to advanced (depending on which waterfalls you tackle)
Avoiding wrong turns: Stay on the main path. It takes you to all of the falls and is much less slippery and steep than shortcuts that might tempt you.
Getting home: Best to go back the way you came.
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Sheung Luk Stream – Rock pool in Sai Kung
Picturesque photo opportunities atop breathtaking cliffs are everywhere in this tiered series of waterfalls and natural pools hidden in the hills between Sai Wan and Ham Tin beaches in the Tai Long Wan cove (just make sure to watch your step!). They are a perfect side stop for a day trip to the beach or during a camping weekend.
Getting there: From Sai Kung town, take the 29R minibus route to Sai Wan Pavilion, or take a taxi. Then it’s a 40-minute walk to the beach, but stick to the left until you see the end of the stream and trek into overgrown shrubs, where you will find fenced off farmlands on your left. Continue walking for another 15 minutes until you reach the waterfalls.
Length: 3.5km (one way)
Time at a leisurely pace: About an hour
Avoiding wrong turns: There is a cement footbridge that crosses the river – don’t go over it. Stay on the path to the left. As the path is mostly off-beat, it will be best navigated with someone familiar with the area.
Getting home: Either hike back out the way you came, or arrange a sampan which will take 45 minutes and cost from $100 up from Sai Wan or Ham Tim, the next beach over in the inlet. You should arrange your boat before you leave Sai Kung town as they can get full, or may not be running due to weather.
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Bride’s Pool And Mirror Pool – Waterfall hike at Plover Cove, near Tai Mei Tuk
Urban legend has it that the area gets its name from a bride who fell into the pool when she was being carried in a sedan chair during stormy weather. Today, there is a clearly marked, paved and flat path to get to the falls – phew! There are some beautiful trails around Plover Cove, so it’s worth using these as brief picnic and snack stops during a full day of wandering in the area.
Getting there: From Tai Po Market MTR station, take bus route 275R (only runs on Sundays and public holidays) to Bride’s Pool, or hop on a taxi which will take about 25 minutes. From there, there are clearly marked paths for the Bride’s Pool Nature Trail. Once past the trailhead, go down the stairs and over the bridge where you’ll need to turn left to arrive at the falls.
Length: Less than 1km to Bride’s Pool and less than 1km beyond that to Mirror Pool
Time at a leisurely pace: 30 to 45 minutes (one way)
Avoiding wrong turns: As there are so many trails around here, directions are clearly signed. If in doubt, Google Maps is your friend.
Getting home: Call or hail a taxi from the trailhead if there are no buses, or spend some time at Tai Mei Tuk (a nice waterfront area filled with restaurants and bike paths) on the way out. There are buses or taxis to take you back to the MTR from there.
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Silvermine Waterfall – Hike three sets of waterfalls
Even easier to get to than Tai O waterfalls, this series of waterfalls begins less than two kilometres from Mui Wo Pier. There are three sets of falls, the Silvermine lower falls, Pearl falls and Silvermine main falls. They are all heavily dependent on rain flow, so there isn’t much opportunity for swimming in summer – make the most of your trip by visiting in the wet season instead.
Getting there: From the ferry pier walk towards the beach and follow it along towards Silvermine Beach Resort. Right before Silvermine Beach Resort, turn left and head straight. You will see signs for the waterfalls and shuttered Silvermine Cave.
Length: About 3km (one way)
Time at a leisurely pace: About an hour
Avoiding wrong turns: The path will fork about 300 metres after you leave the beach, stay to the left of the creek, taking the left path.
Getting home: There are some much longer hiking paths connected to these trails but, for a short trip, the easiest path is simply back the way you came.
Wong Lung Hang Stream (Yellow Dragon Stream) – Scenic waterfall hike near Tung Chung
This hike is made all the more exciting by the fact that you can actually trek through the stream! Wong Lung Hang or Yellow Dragon Stream is one of Hong Kong’s most picturesque, introductory-level stream treks. Lung Mei (Dragon’s Tail) Falls is a very scenic gorge, surrounded on all sides by waterfalls and there are a few falls on the route with opportunities to climb up some of the waterfalls with ropes – but this is best left to experienced climbers.
Getting there: Take the MTR to Tung Chung and take a taxi to Chek Lap Kok Village. Walk to Wong Lung Hang Picnic Area and begin your trek along Wong Lung Hang Country Trail through to Wong Lung Hang Stream. At the end of the stream, go left towards a downward slope and begin the walk towards the stream. Onwards, follow the dam on the right and climb to cross the water pool where you will see the stream.
Length: About 10km
Time at a leisurely pace: 3 hours there and 3 hours back. Wong Lung Waterfall is 2 hours into the trek and 1 hour into the stream, where there is a really nice pool for swimming.
Avoiding wrong turns: There are a few smaller streams merging into Wong Lung Hang but you must stay on the main stream.
Getting home: Head back the way you came and take the MTR from Tung Chung.
Ma Dai Stream – Tranquil and accessible waterfall in Ma On Shan
Ma Dai Stream is located in Ma On Shan Country Park in the New Territories and is one of Hong Kong’s best-kept secrets. There are opportunities to go canyoning here and to slide through the water, but this needs to be done with an experienced guide. The waterfall itself can be appreciated by a relatively short hike, although be prepared to get wet as you’ll need to scramble over rocks.
Getting there: Take the MTR to Tai Shui Hang and leave at Exit B. Head left and follow along Hang Tak Street. At the end of the path take the road on the right, which will eventually lead you to a dam. The trail towards the stream will be on the left, just before the dam. Following the trail, turn left at the end where you will see another dam and bridge. Cross the bridge, turn left and you will arrive at the entrance of the stream and the beautiful Hero’s cliff.
Length: About 5km
Time at a leisurely pace: 2 hours (one way)
Difficulty: Advanced (involves you to climb up on all fours)
Getting home: If you keep following the path you will hit a fork, turn left and keep on the path past the private farm and on to Man On Shan Country Trail. Take a left past the picnic area and on to Man On Shan Tsuen Road and follow directions to Heng On MTR.
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Ping Nam Stream – Picturesque and lesser known Hong Kong waterfall
This hike takes you up near Wilson Trail section 10 and off the beaten track along rocks and through streams to a stunning waterfall. Hula Skirt fall is the first waterfall you’ll encounter followed by Twin Falls. There are also great views along the Nam Chung Trail and on a clear day you can see Shenzhen in the distance.
Getting there: Take bus 78K or mininus 56K from Fanling MTR to Nam Chung, then head towards Luk Keng Road. The stream will just be a quick 35 minutes ahead. When you reach an intersection, turn right and go straight ahead until you reach the dam. Follow the stairs on the right and turn left once at the top. Continue alongside the railing and turn left onto a dirt road before heading down towards the stream.
Length: About 6km
Time at a leisurely pace: 5 hours (including a dip)
Avoiding wrong turns: At the dam (2.5km from the bus stop), don’t try to jump the fence, climb the stairs on the right, then head left at the top, following the railing. Then left again and there’s a loosely defined footpath going through the bushes, that’s where you are going.
Getting home: The same way you came.
Tai Yuen Stream – A waterfall hike for the daredevils and nature lovers
This is another series of falls in the Tai Mo Shan area with a stream running from Tai Mo Shan to Yuen Yuen Institute. Two waterfalls, Cliff of Flying Monkey and Jumping White Dragon are some of the standouts on the hike, however please be advised that getting to these requires a steep scramble directly up the rock face and is definitely for confident and competent climbers.
Getting there: From Tsuen Wan MTR exit B2, head towards Shiu Wo Street to catch minibus route 81. Get off at the final stop which is Western Monastery on Lo Wai Road. The trail towards the stream begins at the back of Yuen Yuen Institute where you will find a footpath that leads towards the stream. Follow the path past Lo Wai Village and you will find catch-water facilities of Tai Yuen Stream. Continue onwards and you will reach the entrance of the stream.
Time at a leisurely pace: 40 minutes from Yuen Yuen Institute
Difficulty: Intermediate to advanced (the path can get very slippery)
Avoiding wrong turns: Follow the stream.
Getting home: Head back the way you came.
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Sassy Tip: Make sure to look up the difficulty of the trail route and take necessary precautions before and during your hike. Check the weather for high temperatures or unexpected rain, bring water, wear appropriate clothing and shoes with a good grip, stay on the path and keep your mobile charged in case you need to make an emergency call.
Once you’re a seasoned hike expert, make sure you check out the most challenging hiking trails Hong Kong has to offer. Or, better yet, see if you can complete every one of these bucket list hikes (tag us on Instagram if you do!). For more hike options, we’ve got a list of shaded hikes, beginner hikes, hikes under two hours and hikes to get you to the beach.
Editor’s Note: “The Best Waterfall Hikes In Hong Kong” was originally published by Eleni H and most recently updated in April 2023 by Fashila Kanakka.
Main image courtesy of Getty, image 1 courtesy of @christine.choux via Instagram, image 2 courtesy of Fashila Kanakka, images 3 and 4 courtesy of @rcee_xandrahrain via Instagram.