Nice easy stream and spectacular “desert” like scenery in the West of New Territories.
- Difficulty: 6/10. Good grip rocks, little rock scrambling required, if any, in the stream. Tons of different route options which require navigation skills.
- It can get long. 13km and 600m elevation gain in our case this time.
- Map with the alternative routes in blue
And the Garmin track.
Yuen Long MTR station. Walk to Tai Fung Street minibus stop.
Minibus 33 going to Ha Pak Lai (下白泥). The very end of the line, so there is no way to get lost here. The bathroom there is the start point. Walk a bit through the concrete lanes of the little village and you will arrive at the stream. In the video you can see everything that you will encounter from there on.
You can try to find a way to avoid it, but, in our case, we were walking in the water every now and then. Way easier. Initially on the sand and little rocks. The path is quite simple.
The ascent is very gradual, with no many difficulties. A little dam. More rocky areas. Some small waterfalls. I wonder how the heck this bike arrived up till here, several kilometers up the stream… 🙁 After the fork marked on the map.
I knew the left option (SE direction). Way steeper. Some big waterfalls and the Ching Dai Shek (青大石) stream per se. We decided to explore the West direction this time instead. Initially, the route is way flatter and therefore the stream calmer and with little falls. In one of the river banks we found a huge kind of beehive, with massive insects similar to bees coming in and out. We kept some distance and they did not even pay attention to us.
In some sections, if you want to be as close to the stream as possible, you will need to get very wet or climb a bit, like he was doing here.
But actually, it is not necessary. In those areas you can find your way up and down the rocks (quite some ribbons). In the pic above some of the guys just went up through the right upper corner. A detour of no more than 50m and back down to the stream (you can see them going back down in the video).
In some areas the smell can be quite bad. At the beginning I thought that water might be somehow polluted, even if it was crystal clear. Someone pointed out though that they were the plants around. Tons of Nepenthes Mirabilis, Hong Kong’s carnivorous plants.
The stream later turns Southward. Inclination increases and for a big section you walk next to a lot of waterfalls. None specially big, but beautiful overall.
Once the waterfall section ends the inclination decreases again and walking on the stream becomes really complicated without a machete. Therefore we found a way out, in the Opencyclemap here.
The path is not clear, above all after the wet season, with quite some bushes to traverse (get cover for your arms and legs). Steep but not technical ascent later.
And the landscape changes completely. Into the badlands. You could be in the (USA) Far West.
Here are tons of paths to explore.
Gorges, completely bare hills, black trees reminder of fires not long ago…
It can be a very entertaining maze to explore. But these guys were tired already and we headed up out of it.
A pic with the civilization below.
And down we went
through what it looked like the shortest path.
It is quite steep and bit slippery, but doable. I was not guiding there though, helping and chatting with the stragglers. And the person in front did not follow the ribbons and we ended up “creating” a new path and walking a couple of extra kilometers…
In the map I have marked three other options. The easiest one would be to continue Northward. This path will take you to a concrete road down. If you head South you will climb to Castle Peak itself. Very steep: almost 200m altitude gain in less than a kilometer. From there Tsing Shan Path stairs down. Last option, the one that I wanted to take, shortest, is in the middle, purple line connecting with a road.