Lau Shui Heung to Fung Yuen

Lau Shui Heung to Fung Yuen

By National Geographic

Musical inspirations in Lau Shui Heung

Hong Kong has about 250 species of butterflies and over 120 species of dragonflies. Take the Lau Shui Heung Country Trail past scenic reservoirs and hidden swamps to get to Fung Yuen, where these beautiful, fairy-like creatures often rest on wild flowers or flutter all around you.

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Lau Shui Heung Country Trail
Lau Shui Heung Country Trail

First stop: Lau Shui Heung Reservoir. Surrounded by thick forests, its glassy surface is especially stunning on a clear, windless day. Visit during the colder months to enjoy colourful autumn foliage as the cypress leaves transition from yellow to burnt orange. You can also observe the white-flower derris, which is a vine that crawls up tree trunks.

Hok Tau Reservoir Family Walk
Hok Tau Reservoir Family Walk

The area near Hok Tau Reservoir is a designated tree-planting site. The valley along the stream is home to many species of dragonflies and butterflies such as the common hedge blue butterfly. To reach the reservoir, there’s a shortcut. Along the country trail, turn left on Wilson Trail Sec. 9, then turn right on the Hok Tau Reservoir Family Walk.

Sha Lo Tung
Sha Lo Tung

Sha Lo Tung is a basin in Pat Sin Leng Country Park. The land is wet and swampy: a prime habitat for dragonflies and damselflies. Many species of butterflies can be observed here as well. While you’re in Sha Lo Tung, keep an eye out for blackbanded gossamer wings, a species of dragonfly that features a large, dark square on its wings.

Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve
Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve

Upon exiting Sha Lo Tung, walk down the flight of concrete steps leading to Fung Yuen. With an abundance of plants providing food for the caterpillars, this part of the valley has become a prime habitat for butterflies. Try to spot and learn about as many species of butterflies as you can during your visit. White dragontail butterflies are a favourite with photographers. Also commonly observed here are pale awlet, common birdwing, and red-base jezebel butterflies.

Trip ideas:

  • To visit the Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, you’ll need to become a member first. For more information on how to do so, visit: www.fungyuen.org
  • The best months for butterfly watching in Hong Kong are from April to June, as well as October to November. During these months, various species of butterflies can be encountered.
  • In spring and summer, the best times for butterfly watching are 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.; in autumn and winter, the best times are 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Most butterflies appear during the day; several species such as skippers and brown butterflies only appear at dusk.
  • Don’t capture the butterflies or dragonflies.
Info
Area:
Tai Po & North District
Starting point:
Lau Shui Heung Road, Hok Tau Road
End point:
Fung Yuen Minibus Station
Average hiking time:
3 hours
Distance:
About 7.5 km
Refuel:
There are no kiosks along the way, so it’s best to stock up on water and supplies before the hike.
Difficulty:
Moderate

Relatively easy hike.
How to get there
To the starting point:
  • From MTR Fanling Station Exit C, take green minibus 52B. Get off at the roundabout on Lau Shui Heung Road. Follow Lau Shui Heung Road till you pass the reservoir.
  • From the end point:
    • Take green minibus 20P to the Tai Po Market stop for the MTR. You can also take green minibus 20M to the Tai Po Central Bus Terminus.
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