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I can see for miles and miles.

Climbing Tai Mo Shan

semi-overcast

Sign For Tai Mo Shan Country Park.

Sign For Tai Mo Shan Country Park.

Today I climbed up Tai Mo Shan, which at 957 metres, is the tallest mountain in Hong Kong. Tai Mo Shan is located right in the middle of The New Territories and is surrounded by a country park which occupies an area of 14.4 square kilometres. Apparently Tai Mo Shan means Big Hat Mountain and it gets this name because its top is often shrouded in cloud. In winter the temperature at the peak of this mountain can drop below zero. There are not many places in Hong Kong where this happens. I remember one cold spell where Hong Kongers flocked up here hoping to see snow. They didn't, but there was frost.

To get to Tai Mo Shan I took the number 51 bus from Nina Mall One Bus Station and got off at Tai Mo Shan Country Park. The bus was just a single decker and was very crowded. Apparently this bus is fairly infrequent, but I must have been lucky. I got it straight away both at the start and end of my hike.

Near the bus stop there is a little park called Tai Mo Shan Rotary Park. There are a lot of cherry trees here, though most of them were not flowering yet. I actually went to this park at the end of my hike.

Tai Mo Shan Rotary Park.

Tai Mo Shan Rotary Park.

Cherry Trees.

Cherry Trees.

There are many routes up Tai Mo Shan, it's even possible to do the whole walk up on the road. I didn't do this. I started by walking to the Tai Mo Shan Visitor Centre which has a snack shop, which is apparently famous for its tofu. Here there are also toilets and a Tai Mo Shan Information Centre. I don't think this was open. I walked past the toilet to the left of the snack shop and began climbing up Maclehose Trail Section Eight. This was the only hard part of my walk as it involved lots of steps.

Maclehose Trail Sign.

Maclehose Trail Sign.

The beginning steps are paved and easy.

The beginning steps are paved and easy.

But they get rougher.

But they get rougher.

And rougher.

And rougher.

And rougher.

And rougher.

There were some lovely flowers. This is India Hawthorn.

There were some lovely flowers. This is India Hawthorn.

And plants on the way up.

And plants on the way up.

Piles of logs.

Piles of logs.

Every now and again there were flat areas at the sides of the steps from where it was possible to enjoy beautiful views. On the day I went up there was a bit of cloud, but the views were still stunning.

Looking over Tsuen Wan and Tsing Yi.

Looking over Tsuen Wan and Tsing Yi.

Looking over Tsuen Wan and Tsing Yi.

Looking over Tsuen Wan and Tsing Yi.

When you finally reach the top of these seemingly endless flights of stairs, you'll get your first view of Tai Mo Shan in the distance. It is very easy to spot as it has an observatory on its peak.

First view of Tai Mo Shan.

First view of Tai Mo Shan.

After climbing all that way, you start to go down a few flights of stairs to reach picnic site number three. From this point I left the trail and started to climb Tai Mo Shan on its road. There is some traffic so it's necessary to proceed carefully.

Signs on the way.

Signs on the way.

Tai Mo Shan is an extinct volcano. There are lots of igneous rocks around.

Tai Mo Shan is an extinct volcano. There are lots of igneous rocks around.

After a short walk up the road, I reached picnic site number four and a lookout point. The views from here are towards Yuen Long. I noticed lots of flowering red trees and realised I was looking at Shek Kong Barracks with their cotton trees. This was where I tried to go on my last walk, but couldn't. I used my zoom to get a good shot of these. There are also good views of Rooster Ridge from here. The lookout point is on top of a sub-peak of Tai Mo Shan called Wo Tong Kong which is 702 metres high. There's a triangulation point here. Behind the lookout point there's a derelict building. I'm not sure what it used to be.

Sign for Picnic Site 4.

Sign for Picnic Site 4.

The Lookout Point.

The Lookout Point.

Viewpoint.

Viewpoint.

The Look out.

The Look out.

View from the lookout point over Rooster Ridge .

View from the lookout point over Rooster Ridge .

Close ups of Shek Kong Barracks

Close ups of Shek Kong Barracks

Close ups of Shek Kong Barracks

Close ups of Shek Kong Barracks

Looking down on the lookout.

Looking down on the lookout.

At the lookout looking up the way.

At the lookout looking up the way.

Triangulation Point and View.

Triangulation Point and View.

The abandoned building.

The abandoned building.

Abandoned Building.

Abandoned Building.

Inside the abandoned building.

Inside the abandoned building.

After enjoying the views from the look out I returned to the road. Soon I reached a barrier. From this point on, only authorised cars can pass, so there's less traffic on the road. The road is really easy to walk on as it meanders back and forth and has a very gentle incline. There are several steep shortcuts if you choose to abandon the road and take a narrow path instead. I didn't do this. I usually find the steep ways exhausting and it's less tiring just to walk further.

At the Barrier.

At the Barrier.

At the sides of the road I started to notice lots of beautiful little flowers. Apparently Tai Mo Shan has quite a lot of orchids, too. The vegetation all around was lovely and colourful.

Beautiful light pink flower.

Beautiful light pink flower.

Lovely dark pink flower.

Lovely dark pink flower.

These purple flowers were everywhere.

These purple flowers were everywhere.

Tai Mo Shan had lots of colourful vegetation.

Tai Mo Shan had lots of colourful vegetation.

Colourful Plants.

Colourful Plants.

Silver grass.

Silver grass.

Foliage.

Foliage.

Colourful foliage lines the path.

Colourful foliage lines the path.

Bright Red Foliage.

Bright Red Foliage.

Colourful Foliage.

Colourful Foliage.

From the road there are beautiful views over Tsuen Wan like the earlier views but further away.

Views over Tsuen Wan From Further Up.

Views over Tsuen Wan From Further Up.

Views over Tsuen Wan From Further Up.

Views over Tsuen Wan From Further Up.

View over Bridges.

View over Bridges.

There are also more views over Yuen Long like the ones from the lookout point and on the other side there are beautiful views over Plover Cove, Tai Po and the giant Kuan Yin statue at Tsz Shan Monastery which is 76 metres high, much bigger than the Big Buddha on Lantau Island.

View over Yuen long from higher up.

View over Yuen long from higher up.



Looking over Plover Cove

Looking over Plover Cove

Looking over the road and Plover Cove.

Looking over the road and Plover Cove.

Looking towards Tai Po and the the giant Kuan Yin Statue.

Looking towards Tai Po and the the giant Kuan Yin Statue.

There were also lovely views up the way towards the observatory itself.

Looking Towards the Observatory.

Looking Towards the Observatory.

When I got right up next to the observatory there were lots of cows grazing on the slopes just below it. Hong Kong has quite a lot of wild cattle. Some of them are the descendants of former dairy cows who were set free when the dairies closed.

Cows and Observatory.

Cows and Observatory.

Close up of one of the cows.

Close up of one of the cows.

I had watched many people struggling to cycle up Tai Mo Shan. It looked much harder work than walking. A group of cyclists were celebrating making it to the top outside the observatory when I arrived.

Cycling up Tai Mo Shan.

Cycling up Tai Mo Shan.

Cycling up Tai Mo Shan.

Cycling up Tai Mo Shan.

Cyclists at the top.

Cyclists at the top.

At the top of the mountain.

At the top of the mountain.

At the top of the mountain the road continues to the other side. I think it goes all the way to Tai Po. I decided to climb up a little path and get as close to the top of the mountain as I could. The private observatory is at the very top. There was just one other person on the path with me. I saw a beautiful bird here and it perched on a wire just in front of me.

At the end of the path one person and view.

At the end of the path one person and view.

View from the very top.

View from the very top.

Bird on a wire. I think it's a kestrel.

Bird on a wire. I think it's a kestrel.

Looking down on the meandering road.

Looking down on the meandering road.

As well as spectacular sweeping views, the mountain scenery here is wonderful, too.

Mountain Scenery.

Mountain Scenery.

Mountain Scenery.

Mountain Scenery.

Of course, I had to have a go at a selfie and the scenery. I'd have asked someone to take my photo, but with COVID cases through the roof people want to keep their distance.

Selfie with view.

Selfie with view.

I spent some time enjoying the views from the top.

View from the top.

View from the top.

Road and View.

Road and View.

View back down the road.

View back down the road.

View from top over colourful foliage.

View from top over colourful foliage.

View towards Lantau.

View towards Lantau.

I think I'm quite slow and I stop to take photos constantly as you may have noticed. It took me about two hours from the bottom to the top of Tai Mo Shan.

Of course on the walk down I got to enjoy the spectacular views all over again. When I reached the Maclehose Section 8 trail I could not believe how many stairs I had climbed up. They were even more painful on the way down, very hard on the knees.

View down the road.

View down the road.

Mellow lighting and colours on the descent.

Mellow lighting and colours on the descent.

Colourful Trees on the descent.

Colourful Trees on the descent.

Colourful Trees on the descent.

Colourful Trees on the descent.

Romantic Viewpoint on the way down.

Romantic Viewpoint on the way down.

Smoke rising in the distance as I make my descent.

Smoke rising in the distance as I make my descent.

On the way back I could see from a distance that the bus was at the bus-stop. There was a long queue of people getting on so I ran for it and amazingly the bus driver waited for me. This is quite unusual in Hong Kong. It was a very pleasant female driver. The bus was really crowded. I stood all the way back and got off at The. Wan Station rather than Tsuen Wan West Station. The 51bus stop is up on the roof of the station.

Cotton Tree near Tsuen Wan Station.

Cotton Tree near Tsuen Wan Station.

Posted by irenevt 14:31 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Have you put your name down for the next Olympics? --Running for a bus indeed.! Thanks for blog.

by alectrevor

Haha, amazed I could still run after my long walk. Thanks for visiting.

by irenevt

Love the flowers

by greatgrandmaR

Hi Rosalie, yes there were lots of pretty little flowers and lots of splashes of colour.

by irenevt

Good day for trekking the tallest peak, not too sunny :)
Amazing photos as usual ;)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna. yes for once the weather was about right for this walk.

by irenevt

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