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.
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.