“The Ridge of the Eight Immortals” (translation of Pat Sin Leng) is one of the most photogenic in Hong Kong, good for a “demanding” hike or run.
- Beauty/fun: 6.5/10. Nice views of Plover Cove, Ma On Shan, even Mainland in the distance. In the peak hiking season, even if it is not an easy path, can get bit crowded.
- Difficulty: 3/10. Clearly marked dirt and rock path. The difficulty is only due to the distance, the slope, and relative remoteness. There are early exits along the way, to the populated South, but they are mainly very steep and overgrown. For beginners or weaker hikers the full route would be the only option recommended.
I prefer to start with the long transportation first. MTR to Tai Po market and taxi or bus to Bride’s Pool barbeque place. If you haven’t been in the area before, I would suggest you to take some extra time to go down to Mirror pool waterfall. If you want to check more streams and have a really long day out, you can combine the route going up Wang Chung stream first.
Otherwise, your path up the hill is just next to the road.
The initial part is not so steep. You will connect with the end of the mentioned stream. Some flatter areas till the connection with the path that goes to Tai Mei Tuk. Time for some serious slope. Once up you will be rewarded with the views of the reservoir below,
Mainland on a clear day and the path that you will continue hiking. Get ready for quite some down
and ups. With different construction stairs: wood, earth, rocks…
In every peak, you will find the marker showing you where you are and the immortals you have yet to conquer.
But after Pat Sin Leng itself, the nice views do not end. What you have hiked on the left, what you have remaining on the right.
Go close to the ridge edge in all the possible options if you want to enjoy the views to the max.
If you turn right in the photosphere above, point to the West, you will see a triangulation pillar. This is the start of one of the possible early exits. Marked on the map above. But as I mentioned it is not easy at all. Overgrown.
Can you see the path in front? And that is the easy part… It is way steeper in other sections. And with nastier vegetation in others.
So you better be prepared (long sleeves, gloves…), go back down to the starting point, through the green line for example (thanks Javi in the comments for reminding me), or just continue on the longer route up.
The path is very exposed, almost no tree coverage, and the weather can be vary a lot. Beware of extremely sunny or stormy days. I have seen dehydrations and almost hypothermias here. Below, after walking in the mist for quite some time, finally able to see some of what we had in front.
More of the path to hike and Shenzhen far in front.
Very dramatic cliffs.
that are best enjoyed if you do not follow the Wilson trail itself but the path bit closer to the ridge. Once ended steep rock stairs down.
And different options to get out. I have marked on the map the most direct. You could go up Cloudy Hill continuing on Wilson Trail.
or other options, but not as nice (quite some concrete) as all you have hiked before. So recommended only for those who are hard training or similar. Trail running is how I discovered all this area going in opposite direction, starting from Tai Wo station.