The Big Hat Mountain

Hong Kong’s highest peak is Tai Mo Shan (大帽山) which literally translates to “Big Hat Mountain” – perhaps because its 957m tip is often shrouded in cloud and mist. On a good day, however, you are rewarded with great views of the city in all directions. It is located in the smack middle of the New Territories and the centerpiece of the Tai Mo Shan Country Park.  Technically the last few meters to the top are off-limits to the general public, as the summit is occupied by a Hong Kong Observatory weather radar station.

TaiMoShanRoute

The unusual route taken to the top of Tai Mo Shan.

There are several ways to reach the summit, the most common being to just follow the MacLehose Section 8 trail. However we choose a rather unusual route by starting at Chuen Lung village (mainly because of the availability of a pre-hike breakfast) and then taking a local route through old Heung Shek Cemetery and approaching the mountain from the south. The last section of the trail is a winding paved road to the weather station at the top. Once at the summit, we enjoy the milder temperatures and panoramic views before descending and finishing at Tsuen Kam Au via a portion the MacLehose trail.

Despite being the city’s highest point, Tai Mo Shan is not the steepest or most challenging of hikes, but there is still some satisfaction in taking this peak off the “to-do” list of Hong Kong mountains. The tougher Ng Tung Chai trail and its beautiful waterfalls (which we hiked last year) are part of the northern side of Tai Mo Shan.

Tai Mo Shan

Chuen Lung village, the starting point. Very popular on the weekends.

Tai Mo Shan

Hiking fuel: A hearty dim sum breakfast.

Tai Mo Shan

This is an old-school dim sum restaurant. Everything is self-serve. Table manners and food hygiene optional.

Tai Mo Shan

The dishwasher station. This is why you wash everything again in boiling water before you eat!

Tai Mo Shan

Villagers selling produce to visitors.

Tai Mo Shan

Onwards! Here approaching Heung Shek cemetery on the mountain.

Tai Mo Shan

In Hong Kong even the cemeteries are densely packed.

Tai Mo Shan

This is a popular cemetery. Graves and tombs cover most of the mountainside.

Tai Mo Shan

Looking back you can just make out Tsuen Wan and Tsing Ma bridge in the distance.

Tai Mo Shan

Further along the trail and up the hills, the observatory at Tai Mo Shan peak is visible.

Tai Mo Shan

Nearly at the top. This last section is restricted to authorized vehicles only.

Tai Mo Shan

Almost there… one of the observatory towers.

Tai Mo Shan

Looking down the winding path which is quite popular with cyclists also.

Tai Mo Shan

The weather radar station at the peak.

Tai Mo Shan

At the top! This is as far as the public can go – restricted access beyond.

Tai Mo Shan

The lookout and picnic area at Tai Mo Shan Road. On a good day you can see all the way north to the Mainland.

Tai Mo Shan

A rest before continuing east on MacLehose Trail Section 8.

One response to “The Big Hat Mountain

What do you think? Any ideas or suggestions? Let me know.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s