MacLehose Trail Stages 1 & 2

Maclehose Trail Stages 1 & 2

Maclehose Trail Stages 1 & 2 mapThe Sai Kung section of this long-distance trail boasts an impressive collection of nature’s works of art — sea caves, sea stacks, hexagonal columns and dykes — that will delight hikers and geologists alike.

Starting Point — High Island Reservoir East Dam
High Island Reservoir East Dam

This day-long hike starts at a majestic dam overlooking a sweeping seascape. Constructed in the 1970s, High Island Reservoir is an architectural wonder that blends in with the geological grandeur. This is also the gateway to the many treasures of Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark.

Hexagonal rock columns
Hexagonal rock columns

This huge wall of reddish hexagonal rock columns is only a fraction of an area of over 100 square kilometres of volcanic columns — a legacy of volcanic activities 140 million years ago. Further down you will see another magnificent cliff of rock columns bended by earthquakes and folding forces.

Sea cave
Sea cave

A wooden boardwalk that is part of the High Island Geo Trail leads you to the opening of a large sea cave. Interpretation panels provide information on how it was formed.

Po Pin Chau
Po Pin Chau

A sea stack that has broken away from the mother rock can be easily seen at East Dam.

Long Ke
Long Ke

Follow the sign for Long Ke Village near the pavilion and continue on MacLehose Trail Stage 1 for half an hour. This descent gives you a bird’s eye view of the gorgeous scenery of the cove of Long Ke — a quiet beach with emerald waters, smooth white sand and breaking waves.

Sai Wan Shan
Sai Wan Shan

The lookout on Sai Wan Shan at 314 metres offers breath-taking views of the four beaches of Tai Long Wan and beyond as you conquer this strenuous climb.

Chui Tung Au

Exit Point
If you don’t feel like continuing the hike, exit at Chui Tung Au towards Sai Wan Pavilion, where you can take minibus NR29 to Sai Kung town centre.

Sai Wan and Ham Tin
Sai Wan and Ham Tin

Sai Kung is known as ‘the back garden of Hong Kong’, and the turquoise waters and pearly white sands of Sai Wan and Ham Tin are definitely its highlights. Ham Tin was once home to a vibrant farming village but most of the villagers have now moved out. Greet the herds of feral cows as you leave the beach and continue on the hill path.

Chek Keng
Chek Keng

A 200-year-old village in a serene inner gulf, this natural hideout embraces photogenic meadows and calm waters. Look for fiddler crabs and mudskippers amongst the lively mangroves along the shore.

End Point — Pak Tam Au

Congratulations on finishing MacLehose Trail Stage 2. This pass commands a fine view of Ko Tong Hau and Wong Shek Pier below.

Trail photos provided by HK Discovery.

Sai Kung District
Starting point:
High Island Reservoir East Dam
End point:
Pak Tam Au
Average hiking time
East Dam to Chui Tung Au: 3.5 hours
Chui Tung Au to Pak Tam Au: 3.5 hours
East Dam to Chui Tung Au: 7.5 km
Chui Tung Au to Pak Tam Au: 10 km
Replenishing stations:
There are village stores in Sai Wan and Ham Tin but the opening hours are irregular, so best to stock up before setting off.
Very Difficult
Long route without much shelter; with much uphill and downhill trekking over various terrains
How to get there
To the starting point:
  • From MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2, take bus 92 to Sai Kung Town, then taxi to East Dam; or,
  • from Sha Tin New Town Plaza Bus Terminus, take bus 299X to Sai Kung Town, then taxi to East Dam; or,
  • from MTR Hang Hau Station Exit B1, take minibus 101M to Sai Kung Town, then taxi to East Dam.
From the end point:
  • From Pak Tam Au on Sunday and public holidays, take bus 96R to MTR Diamond Hill Station.
  • From Pak Tam Au on Monday to Saturday, call for a taxi to your preferred destination.
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