The extinct Tai Mo Shan volcano is the highest peak in Hong Kong, rising 3,140 feet (957 meters) above sea level. The surrounding 3,558 acres (1,440 hectares) of highland are home to the scenic Ng Tung Chai waterfalls, several panoramic lookouts, and a range of flora and fauna, including snakes, insects, and more than 100 species of bird.
Hiking tours provide an escape from the city and are typically tailored to suit the party’s fitness levels, with lower reaches hosting trails more suited to families or casual walkers and a number of signposts providing geographical insight. Visitors with more time can hike toward the summit, discovering scenic waterfalls, viewpoints, and a weather observatory along the way, or continue on to the Shing Mun Reservoir via the Lead Mine Pass and Pineapple Dam.
Things to Know Before You Go
- While the hike is generally moderate, some sections can be challenging.
- Remember to bring water and any necessary energy snacks, as the shops are located at the base.
- Comfortable walking shoes are a must.
- The rugged slopes aren’t accessible for wheelchair users; however, a parking lot at 2,723 feet (830 meters) elevation offers sweeping views of the north-west.
How to Get There
Tours with round-trip transfer will help you avoid the hassle of locating the out-of-town site. Otherwise, take the MTR to Tsuen Wan Station and transfer to the bus No. 51; take that to the Country Park stop.
When to Get There
Unlike other scenic attractions in Hong Kong, Tai Mo Shan doesn’t rely on sunny weather for memorable views—and it’s a good thing, too, because the volcano experiences the most rainfall in Hong Kong. While clear days do offer far-reaching vistas, the atmospheric mist has charms of its own, and the highlands are the only place in the subtropical territory where it’s possible to see ground frost, particularly in the early morning or after dark.
Volcanic Hong Kong
Tai Mo Shan isn’t the only significant volcanic behemoth in the territory. In fact, the very landscape of Hong Kong as we know it today is the result of mega volcanic activity that took place some 140 million years ago. Head to the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark to discover more volcanic rock formations, and drop by the Volcano Discovery Centre for scientific insight and hiking recommendations.