The Ridge of the Eight Immortals is located at the Northeast of New Territories. The eight peaks refer to the 8 immortals and transcendent fairies in Chinese mythology. The name of the ridge so powerful and spiritual, the massif, so magnificent and stunning with the backdrop of Ma On Shan, Tolo Harbour, Plover Cove Reservoir and the metropolis of Shenzhen!
Starting point: Mini bus 52B from Fanling Railway Station to Hok Tau, or take the taxi. You can ask the driver to go straight up to the reservoir entrance after the BBQ area.
Hike Duration: Allow around 4-5hours
End Hike: There are 2 ways you could go either to Bride Pool Road (12km) or Tai Mei Tak (10km)
Hike Difficulty: 4/5
Scenery Rewards: 4.5/5
Alternatively, take Bus 275K from Tai Po Market to Tai Mei Tuk and walk up.
Or you can drive/cab all the way to the start – as there are spaces (but limited) to park. There will be a big sign saying “Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail” – this is where you enter.
Another slightly obscure trail on Bride Pool Road is a short cut 10km, it starts by the bus stop of the BBQ area. Basically if you come up from here you will be entering from the west instead of east! I reckon the hike up from here is much tougher and steeper!
Whichever side you begin from, it is epic and arduous, you will be hiking mostly on the top of the ridge and there is no shade. If attempted on a hot day do bring loads of water!
Start of Hike at Hoi Tau Reservoir
The trail starts at the entrance of the reservoir. If you are walking from Hoi Tau Wai village just walk straight and keep left, you will reach the entrance.
The walk around the reservoir is flat, peaceful, calming with many birds, filled lovely sights of lush greenery and reflected on the emerald lake!
Ping Fung Shan
When you arrive at the pavilion you will see the Hok Tau Country Trial, we won't be doing the family trail but the one on the left, the Wilson Trail. After a gentle ascent through the pine forest, make left and follow the signpost to Pat Sing Leng. The climb to the top takes about 45-60 minutes. The steps are steep, at this point there are some trees that can offer shade.
At mid-level, you will see Shenzhen skyscrapers northward, and the emerald reservoir of Hok Tau below! From here there will be better sights to come!
The trail leads up to a relatively flat area and you will be able to view Nam Chung and Sha Tau Kok at the northwest. Hike on for about 20-30 minutes, you will reach the cliff edge of Ping Fung Shan.
A relatively flat area with slight undulation over the rolling hills, it will take another 20-30 minutes before reaching the ridge of Pat Sing Leng. There is a little hilltop on the right from the trail along the cliff area, you can get breathtaking views over Ma Shi Chau, Tolo Habour and Ma On shan from there!
Pat Sing Leng
As you approach Pat Sin Leng ridge, take a break and behold the wonder! Wonder how you are going to complete the 8 peaks from here!
There are 8 peaks ahead of you, each named after the fairies of the 8 Immortals Chinese mythology, you look back, feel accomplished with the 5km of trodden path & build up your spirit to complete the cherry on the cake!
1. Shun Yeung Fung (590m)
The first peak is Hong Kong's 16th Highest at 590m. The ascend from the west side is extremely steep. Just need to take it really slow as you decent!
2. Chung Li Fung (527m)
3. Kao Lao Fung (543m)
4. Kao Li Fung (522m)
5. Tsao Kau Fung (508m)
6. Choi Wo Fung (489m)
7. Sheung Tsz Fung (513m)
8. Hsian Ku Fung (511m)
There will be gentle descents and ascents as you hike across the 7 other peaks towards the west.
The view of Tai Mei Tuk becomes clearer and clearer as you move across the peaks – Ma On Shan (another fascinating hike) is visible in the distance, as well as Sharp Peak from Sai Kung. If the sky is clear, you can just about point out Lion Rock (another iconic hike).
Do remember to look backwards and appreciate the view and your trodden path!
Once you have reached the 8th peak, it is a steep decent downhill! It will take around 1 hour to go back down. We took the Tai Mei Tak route and it ends further up the Bride's Pool road. You would save about 2km if you take this way.
The 8 Immortal Hike has to be one of the most challenging hike I have attempted in Hong Kong. It's altitude gain is mild but the length of the trail is epic!
We did it on a rather cloudy day, I would not dare phantom how it would be like on a hot and humid day! So my best advise is to do it in winter when the days are not too hot!
Truly spiritual, majestic and rewarding! It is a rugged part of Hong Kong you need to experience and see!
Date visited: 15th December 2019