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Tai Mo Shan Hike: The Highest Peak In Hong Kong


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Carol Delao



Welcome to Hong Kong, a bustling and vibrant city renowned for its skyscrapers, bustling markets, and world-class cuisine. While Hong Kong offers a myriad of urban attractions, it is also home to stunning natural landscapes that shouldn’t be missed. One such gem is Tai Mo Shan, the highest peak in Hong Kong.


Standing tall at 957 meters above sea level, Tai Mo Shan provides an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, offering breathtaking panoramic views and an opportunity to reconnect with nature. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a novice explorer, this is a hiking experience you won’t want to miss.


In this article, we will guide you through the wonders of Tai Mo Shan, offering insights into its natural beauty, hiking routes, scenic views, flora and fauna, and safety tips to ensure a successful and enjoyable adventure.


So, put on your hiking boots, pack your backpack, and join us as we embark on an unforgettable journey to the summit of Tai Mo Shan.


Overview of Tai Mo Shan

Tai Mo Shan, which translates to “Big Hat Mountain,” is located in the New Territories of Hong Kong. It is known as the highest peak in the region, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and the impressive Shing Mun Reservoir. The mountain is a prominent landmark and a popular destination for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts.


With its lush greenery, diverse wildlife, and tranquil atmosphere, Tai Mo Shan provides a perfect escape from the busy city life. The mountain is part of the Tai Mo Shan Country Park, a protected area that spans approximately 1,400 hectares. The park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers.


The summit of Tai Mo Shan is often shrouded in mist and clouds, creating a mystical and ethereal ambiance. On clear days, hikers are rewarded with magnificent panoramic views of distant mountains, valleys, and sometimes even the Hong Kong skyline. The ever-changing weather conditions add an element of unpredictability, making each hike a unique and exhilarating experience.


Aside from its natural beauty, Tai Mo Shan is also steeped in cultural significance. It is believed to be a sacred mountain by local residents, and it is home to several temples and shrines. The mountain holds a special place in Chinese folklore and mythology, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the hiking experience.


Whether you are seeking adventure, tranquility, or simply an opportunity to reconnect with nature, Tai Mo Shan has something to offer. It is a must-visit destination for nature lovers, photographers, and anyone looking to escape the urban jungle and immerse themselves in the beauty of Hong Kong’s natural landscapes.


Hiking Preparation

Before embarking on your Tai Mo Shan hike, it is essential to make adequate preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some important steps to follow:

  1. Research the Route: Familiarize yourself with the different trail options available. Consider factors such as trail difficulty, distance, and estimated time required to complete the hike. You can find detailed trail maps and information online or visit the Hong Kong Tourism Board for guidance.
  2. Check the Weather: Hong Kong’s weather can be unpredictable, so it is crucial to check the forecast before heading out. Avoid hiking during extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or thunderstorms, as this can pose safety risks. Dress appropriately for the weather and consider wearing layers to accommodate temperature changes.
  3. Wear Proper Gear: Invest in a good pair of hiking shoes or boots that provide ankle support and have a sturdy grip. Opt for moisture-wicking clothing to keep you comfortable during the hike. Don’t forget essentials such as a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Carry an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike. It is recommended to bring at least 2 liters of water per person, especially during warmer months. Consider carrying electrolyte tablets or sports drinks to replenish lost minerals and salts.
  5. Pack Nourishing Snacks: Bring lightweight, energy-boosting snacks such as granola bars, trail mix, or fresh fruits. These will provide you with the necessary fuel to keep going during the hike. Avoid heavy meals before the hike to prevent discomfort.
  6. Equip Yourself with Essentials: Carry a fully charged mobile phone with emergency contacts saved, a small first aid kit, and a whistle in case of emergencies. It’s wise to carry a power bank in case you need to recharge your phone.
  7. Inform Others: Let a friend or family member know about your hiking plans, including the route you intend to take and your estimated time of return. This ensures there is someone aware of your whereabouts and can raise an alarm if needed.
  8. Hike in a Group: If possible, hike with a partner or a group. Not only does it add to the fun and camaraderie, but it also enhances safety. In case of any mishaps or injuries, having others around can provide assistance and support.
  9. Respect Nature: Remember to follow Leave No Trace principles and respect the natural environment. Don’t litter, stick to designated trails, and observe any guidelines or restrictions put in place by the authorities. It is important to preserve the beauty of Tai Mo Shan for future generations.

By undertaking these preparatory steps, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable hiking experience on Tai Mo Shan.


Route Options

Tai Mo Shan offers a variety of route options, catering to hikers of different skill levels and preferences. Here are three popular routes to consider:

  1. Ng Tung Chai Waterfall Trail: This trail is perfect for nature enthusiasts who want to experience the beauty of Tai Mo Shan while enjoying the serenity of waterfalls. The trail starts at the Ng Tung Chai village and takes you through lush greenery, passing by multiple cascading waterfalls before reaching the summit. The trail can be challenging at certain parts, with steep steps and rocky terrain, but the reward of witnessing the magnificent waterfalls makes it worthwhile.
  2. Pak Kung Au Trail: This trail is a popular choice for those looking to challenge themselves with a more strenuous hike. The trail begins at the Tai Mo Shan Country Park Visitor Centre and ascends directly to the summit. It offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including the Shing Mun Reservoir and distant mountains. Be prepared for steep inclines and rugged terrain, as this trail is known for its challenging sections.
  3. Tai Mo Shan Family Walk: If you’re looking for a more leisurely hike that is suitable for families and beginners, the Tai Mo Shan Family Walk is ideal. The trail starts at the Tai Mo Shan BBQ Area and offers a gentle ascent towards the summit. Along the way, you’ll encounter informative signboards that provide insights into the local flora and fauna. The trail is well-paved and suitable for strollers or wheelchairs, making it accessible to all.

These are just a few route options available on Tai Mo Shan, and there are plenty more to explore. Depending on your fitness level, time constraints, and personal preferences, you can choose the route that best suits your needs. It’s always a good practice to research the trail conditions and obtain the latest information before setting off on your hike.


Remember to stay hydrated, carry essential supplies, and enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility that Tai Mo Shan has to offer.


Trail Description

Tai Mo Shan offers a variety of trails that lead to its magnificent summit, each presenting hikers with unique experiences and breathtaking views. Here is a general trail description to give you an idea of what to expect:


The trail to Tai Mo Shan typically starts at the base of the mountain and gradually ascends towards the summit. As you begin your hike, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush vegetation and the soothing sounds of nature. The trails are well-marked, making navigation relatively easy.


While the specific paths and distances may vary depending on the trail you choose, most routes to the summit will include sections with moderate to steep inclines. Be prepared for a challenging ascent, especially in certain parts of the routes. However, the sense of accomplishment and the astounding views awaiting you at the peak make it all worthwhile.


Throughout the hike, you’ll encounter various landmarks and points of interest. These may include serene waterfalls, picturesque viewpoints, and scenic spots overlooking the valleys below. Keep an eye out for informative signboards that provide insights into the local flora, fauna, and historical background of the area.


As you approach the summit of Tai Mo Shan, you’ll notice a change in the surrounding landscape. The dense forest gives way to sprawling grasslands, creating a unique and contrasting environment. The summit itself offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, with distant mountains, reservoirs, and even the city skyline visible on clear days.


Depending on the time of year and weather conditions, you might have the chance to witness the mountain’s famous “hat” – a cap of mist or clouds that often surrounds the summit, further contributing to the mystical atmosphere of Tai Mo Shan.


Remember to pace yourself during the hike, taking breaks when needed and staying hydrated. It’s also important to respect the natural surroundings and follow any guidelines or regulations put in place by the authorities to preserve the beauty of the mountain.


By immersing yourself in the captivating trail of Tai Mo Shan, you will experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Hong Kong’s highest peak and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.


Scenic Views

One of the highlights of hiking Tai Mo Shan is the opportunity to witness breathtaking scenic views along the way. Here are some of the memorable panoramas you can expect to encounter:


1. Shing Mun Reservoir: As you ascend Tai Mo Shan, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of the picturesque Shing Mun Reservoir. The vast expanse of water nestled amidst lush green hills creates a tranquil and idyllic scene, offering a sense of serenity in the midst of nature’s grandeur.


2. Panoramic Cityscape: On clear days, when the weather cooperates, hikers can enjoy panoramic views of the awe-inspiring Hong Kong cityscape from the summit of Tai Mo Shan. The juxtaposition of the urban skyline against the backdrop of natural beauty creates a harmonious blend of man-made and natural wonders.


3. Misty Summits: Tai Mo Shan is often enveloped in mist and clouds, giving it an ethereal and mystical ambiance. The sight of mist swirling around the mountaintop adds a touch of enchantment to the hiking experience. The ever-changing weather conditions create a dynamic atmosphere, making each visit to Tai Mo Shan a unique and dramatic experience.


4. Valleys and Countryside: Along the hiking trails, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of lush valleys and verdant countryside. The rolling hills, dotted with clusters of trees and patches of wildflowers, create a picturesque landscape that feels miles away from the bustling city below.


5. Waterfalls and Streams: Depending on the trail you choose, you may encounter several waterfalls and streams along the way. These hidden gems provide a scenic respite and a chance to immerse yourself in the soothing sounds of cascading water while taking in the beauty of the surrounding natural landscape.


The scenic views on Tai Mo Shan are awe-inspiring and offer a glimpse into the diverse beauty of Hong Kong’s natural surroundings. From the tranquil reservoir to the dynamic cityscape, every turn and ascent on the mountain presents an opportunity to appreciate the wonders of nature from different perspectives.


Remember to bring your camera and capture these unforgettable views as you hike through the stunning landscapes of Tai Mo Shan.


Flora and Fauna

Tai Mo Shan is not only a haven for scenic beauty but also a rich ecosystem that supports a diverse range of flora and fauna. As you trek through its trails, keep an eye out for these fascinating plant and animal species:




The mountain is home to a variety of plant species, including distinctive flora that has adapted to the higher altitudes and cooler climate. You’ll find dense forests of trees such as Chinese firs, ginkgoes, and Taiwania, which add to the lush greenery of the landscape. Rhododendrons and azaleas bring bursts of color during the blooming season, while ferns and mosses carpet the forest floor, creating a magical atmosphere.


Look out for the iconic Tai Mo Shan “Hat Trees,” which have been shaped by the strong winds and mist that often shroud the summit. These bent and twisted trees add a touch of whimsy to the mountain’s scenery and are a testament to the power of nature.




Tai Mo Shan is also home to a diverse range of animal species. Birdwatchers will delight in spotting various avian residents, including the spectacular silver-eared mesia, the elusive silver-backed needletail, and the charismatic red-billed blue magpie. Keep your binoculars handy to catch a glimpse of these colorful and melodious creatures.


Other wildlife that call Tai Mo Shan home include mammals such as wild boars, macaques, and porcupines. If you’re lucky, you might spot these creatures as they forage through the undergrowth or swing through the treetops.


While exploring the streams and waterfalls, keep an eye out for amphibians and reptiles such as frogs and lizards. These agile creatures can often be seen sunning themselves or taking a refreshing dip in the cool waters.


Tai Mo Shan’s diverse flora and fauna remind us of the importance of preserving nature’s delicate balance. As you hike through this natural wonderland, take a moment to appreciate the interconnectedness of these species and the remarkable biodiversity that thrives in this mountainous ecosystem.


Safety Tips

While hiking in the scenic beauty of Tai Mo Shan, it is important to prioritize safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Plan and Prepare: Research the trail, check the weather conditions, and assess your fitness level before setting out. Choose a route that aligns with your capabilities and ensure you have the necessary equipment and supplies for the hike.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Carry an ample supply of water to prevent dehydration, especially during hot and humid weather. Drink regularly and refill your water bottle at visitor centers or streams along the trail if available and safe to do so.
  3. Wear Proper Gear: Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good ankle support to navigate rugged terrain. Dress in layers appropriate for the weather and consider wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  4. Watch Your Step: Pay attention to the ground and watch for uneven surfaces, loose rocks, or slippery areas. Take extra caution when hiking on steep or narrow sections. Use trekking poles if needed to maintain balance and stability.
  5. Be Aware of Wildlife: While encountering wildlife can be an exciting experience, maintain a safe distance and do not attempt to feed or approach them. Keep an eye out for snakes and other potential hazards along the trail and notify park authorities if you encounter any injured or distressed animals.
  6. Carry a Map and Compass: Familiarize yourself with the trail map and carry a compass or GPS device to ensure you stay on course. It is essential to have a backup navigation tool in case cellular reception is limited.
  7. Stay Together: If hiking in a group, stick together and keep a close eye on each other. Do not wander off alone, especially in unfamiliar or remote areas. Communicate your whereabouts and any changes in plans to fellow hikers.
  8. Follow Leave No Trace Principles: Respect the natural environment by leaving no trace of your visit. Dispose of litter properly, stay on designated trails, and avoid damaging plants or wildlife. Preserve the beauty of Tai Mo Shan for future visitors.
  9. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your physical condition and take breaks as needed. Hiking can be challenging, so listen to your body’s signals and do not push yourself beyond your limits. Seek medical assistance if you experience any signs of distress or injury.
  10. Inform Others: Before embarking on your hike, inform a friend or family member about your plans, including the trail you will be taking and your estimated time of return. Check in with them upon completion of your hike to ensure your safety.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy a memorable and secure hiking experience on Tai Mo Shan. Embrace the beauty of nature while prioritizing your well-being and the preservation of this stunning mountain.



Tai Mo Shan, the highest peak in Hong Kong, offers a remarkable hiking experience that combines natural beauty, scenic vistas, and a sense of tranquility. As you embark on your journey to the summit, you’ll encounter lush forests, cascading waterfalls, panoramic views, and diverse flora and fauna along the way. Whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner, exploring Tai Mo Shan’s trails is an opportunity to connect with nature and escape from the bustling city life.


From the enchanting mist that frequently envelops the summit to the breathtaking views of the Shing Mun Reservoir and the city’s skyline, Tai Mo Shan will captivate your senses and leave an indelible mark on your memory. As you hike, remember to prepare adequately, stay hydrated, wear appropriate gear, and prioritize safety.


Beyond the physical and scenic aspects, Tai Mo Shan holds cultural and spiritual significance, making it a place of reverence for locals. The mountain’s temples and shrines bear witness to its deep-rooted history and connection to Chinese folklore.


As you explore Tai Mo Shan, remember to tread lightly and respect the natural environment. Follow the Leave No Trace principles and uphold your role as a responsible hiker, ensuring the preservation of this beautiful natural landscape for generations to come.


Whether you’re seeking solace in nature, an adrenaline-filled adventure, or simply a chance to immerse yourself in Hong Kong’s natural wonders, Tai Mo Shan will not disappoint. Embrace the challenge, relish the beauty, and create unforgettable memories as you hike to the highest peak in Hong Kong.