13 May, 2024
hong kong waterfall main i
hong kong waterfall main i
Health & Wellness, What's On HK

Must-Do Waterfall Hikes In Hong Kong

13 May, 2024
hong kong waterfall main i

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 refreshing break at a waterfall. Fortunately, our city is home to dozens of cascading waterfalls and rock pools. While several of them are a mission to find, you may be surprised to learn just how close you live to some of these natural wonders! We’ve compiled a list of some of Hong Kong’s most accessible waterfall hikes that are 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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hong kong waterfall Ng Tung Chai

Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls – Home to the Hong Kong’s tallest 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:
To reach the lower waterfalls, take minibus 25K from Tai Wo Station to Ng Tung Chai Road. Disembark and walk for about 10-15 minutes until you see a path branching right past the village houses. Follow it straight to Man Tak Yuen Temple, then continue beyond the temple to reach Bottom Fall – the first cascade on the main trail. The path gets much steeper after Bottom Fall, but leads to the most spectacular falls.

Length: 3km (one way)
Time at a leisurely pace: 2 hours
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 retrace your steps back the way you came for the return hike. You can also continue hiking up to Tai Mo Shan until you reach the Rotary Club Campsite, where the trail ends. From there, catch bus 51M to Tsuen Wan, then transfer to the MTR.

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 minibus 29R or a taxi to Sai Wan Pavilion. Then hike 40 minutes to Sai Wan beach, sticking left until you reach the end of the stream. Continue another 15 minutes into overgrown shrubs, with fenced farmland on your left, to find the falls.

Length: 3.5km (one way)
Time at a leisurely pace: About an hour
Difficulty: Beginner
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 along the same route you came or arrange for a sampan boat ride. The sampan ride typically takes around 45 minutes and costs from $100, departing from Sai Wan or Ham Tim, the neighbouring beach in the inlet. It is advisable to make arrangements for the boat before leaving Sai Kung town, as they can fill up quickly or be affected by weather conditions.

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hong kong waterfall bride's pool

Bride’s Pool And Mirror Pool – Scenic waterfalls 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. Alternatively, you can opt for a taxi ride, which typically takes around 25 minutes. Once you arrive at Bride’s Pool, you’ll find clearly marked paths for the Bride’s Pool Nature Trail. Proceed past the trailhead, descend the stairs, and cross the bridge. From there, take a left turn to reach 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)
Difficulty: Beginner
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.

Silvermine Waterfall – Three sets of waterfalls near Mui Wo

An easy waterfall hike from Mui Wo Pier, Silvermine boasts three tiers of falls perfect for the wet season. Lower Silvermine, Pearl, and Main falls 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:
To reach the waterfalls and Silvermine Cave, start by walking towards the beach from the ferry pier. Follow the beach until you reach Silvermine Beach Resort. Just before reaching the resort, take a left turn and continue straight. Along the way, you will find signs guiding you to the waterfalls and the shuttered Silvermine Cave.

Length: About 3km (one way)
Time at a leisurely pace: About an hour
Difficulty: Beginner
Avoiding wrong turns: Be mindful when you reach a fork in the path approximately 300 meters after leaving the beach. Stay to the left of the creek and continue on the left path.

Getting home: While there may be longer hiking paths connected to these trails, for a shorter trip, returning along the same path is the easiest option.

Read More: The Best Shaded Hikes In Hong Kong

hong kong waterfall Little Hawaii Falls

Little Hawaii Trail – Tropical paradise walkable from Po Lam station

Escape the concrete jungle and head to tropical paradise on the Little Hawaii Trail in Sai Kung. The well-paved path winds through vibrant greenery before dropping down to the main sight – the charming Little Hawaii Falls. Though the top waterfall may not impress, press on downstream to uncover the true star – the magnificent Lin Yuen Terrace Falls. With bubbling currents and blue-green pools, this postcard-perfect scene begs for a refreshing swim or splash-filled photo op. Just don’t forget your waterproof camera!

Getting there: From Po Lam MTR station, take exit C and make your way to Po Hong Road towards Tseung Kwan O Village. Follow the path leading to Au Tau, and you’ll spot the starting point of Little Hawaii Trail.

Length: About 2.5km
Time at a leisurely pace: 2 hours
Difficulty: Intermediate
Avoiding wrong turns: Be sure to follow the well-marked Little Hawaii Trail, taking the right turns at any junctions or crossroads you encounter, and continue along the main path while listening for the telltale sounds of the bubbling stream until you arrive at your picturesque destination.

Getting home: Simply retrace your steps back to the cross junction, then turn right to follow the steps leading down to Tseung Kwan O village. From there, the closest MTR station for your journey home is Po Lam station.

hong kong waterfall Wong Lung Hang Stream

Wong Lung Hang Stream (Yellow Dragon Stream) – Picturesque waterfall trek 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 scenic, introductory-level stream treks. Lung Mei (Dragon’s Tail) Falls is 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: From Tung Chung MTR, take a taxi to Chek Lap Kok Village. Begin at Wong Lung Hang Picnic Area, following the trail into the stream. At the end, go left towards a downward slope and begin the walk towards the stream. Onwards, follow the right dam to cross the pool and reach the falls.

Length: About 10km
Time at a leisurely pace: 3 hours (Wong Lung Waterfall is 2 hours into the trek and 1 hour into the stream, where there is a really nice pool for swimming.)
Difficulty: Intermediate
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.

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hong kong waterfall Ma Dai stream

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. While canyoning and sliding through the water are possible here, it’s essential to engage the services of an experienced guide. However, you can still enjoy the beauty of the waterfall with a relatively short hike, although be prepared to get wet as you navigate 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: Approximately 5km
Time at a leisurely pace: 2 hours (one way)
Difficulty: Advanced (may require climbing on all fours)
Getting Home: To return, continue following the path until you reach a fork. Take the left turn and proceed past the private farm onto Man On Shan Country Trail. Pass the picnic area, turn left onto Man On Shan Tsuen Road, and follow the directions to Heng On MTR.

hong kong waterfall Ping Nam Stream

Ping Nam Stream – Picturesque and lesser known Hong Kong waterfall

This scenic hike takes you up near Wilson Trail section 10, offering an off-the-beaten-track experience as you traverse rocks and streams to reach a breathtaking waterfall. Along the way, you’ll encounter Hula Skirt Fall followed by Twin Falls, all while enjoying stunning views of Nam Chung Trail and, on clear days, even catching a glimpse of 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 time for a dip)
Difficulty: Intermediate
Avoiding wrong turns: At the dam (2.5km from the bus stop), don’t attempt to jump the fence. Instead, climb the stairs on the right, turn left at the top, following the railing. Then, take another left and look for a loosely defined footpath going through the bushes, which is the correct route.

Getting home: Return the same way you came.

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hong kong waterfall Tai Yuen Stream

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 note 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’ll come across the catch-water facilities of Tai Yuen Stream. Continue onwards, and you’ll reach the entrance of the stream.

Length: 2km
Time at a leisurely pace: 40 minutes from Yuen Yuen Institute
Difficulty: Intermediate to advanced (the path can get very slippery)
Avoiding wrong turns: Stay on the right path by following the stream throughout the hike.

Getting home: To return, simply retrace your steps back along the same path you came.

hong kong waterfall tai tam mound

Tai Tam Mound Waterfall – A hidden gem in Tai Tam

This hidden gem, tucked away on Hong Kong Island, promises a rewarding payoff for minimal effort. It’s just an easy hike along Section 6 of the Hong Kong Trail until you reach the cascading waterfall – keep an eye out for the rocky path leading down to the main event. Soak in the soothing sounds of rushing waters as you admire the natural scenery. Just resist the temptation to take a dip, as swimming is off-limits to preserve the reservoir’s drinking waters.

Getting there: From Sai Wan Ho MTR (exit A), take bus 14 to Tai Tam Reservoir (North) stop.

Length: 1km from Tai Tam Reservoir
Time at a leisurely pace: Around 20 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner
Avoiding wrong turns: Enter Tai Tam Country Park, pass two bridges, then take the rocky path down on the left before the third bridge.

Getting home: Return the same way to Tai Tam Reservoir bus stop for bus 14 towards Sai Wan Ho MTR.

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Sassy Tip: Before embarking on any hike, it’s essential to research the trail’s difficulty and take necessary precautions. Be mindful of the weather forecast, carry sufficient water, wear appropriate clothing and footwear with a good grip, stay on the designated path, and ensure your mobile phone is charged for emergency situations.

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 hikesbeginner hikeshikes under two hours and hikes to get you to the beach.

Editor’s Note: “The Best Waterfall Hikes In Hong Kong” was most recently updated in May 2024 by Catherine Pun. With thanks to Eleni H and Fashila Kanakka for their contribution.

Main image courtesy of janetymw via Getty, image 1 courtesy of Pak Ling Lie via Flickr, image 2 courtesy of Nikolaj Skov Jespersen via Flickr, image 3 courtesy of Lui Raymond lui via Flickr, image 4 courtesy of My Pixelated life via Flickr, image 5 courtesy of 攝影 札記 via Flickr, image 6 courtesy of Jerome Taylor via Flickr,
image 7 courtesy 長期 梁美 via Flickr, of image 8 courtesy of sch0705 via Flickr, image 9 courtesy sch0705 via Flickr, image 10 courtesy of Will via Flickr, image 11 courtesy of lenfoong via Flickr.

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