Yesterday I joined the Hong Kong Hiking MeetUp group for a hike in the New Territories, between Sai Kung and Sha Tin. We hiked about 10km and it took us 5 hours, as we had to climb the 600m high Buffalo Hill and descended on undefined path with lots of rubble, stones and overgrown grass.
We took the MTR to Diamond Hill and then a taxi to Pak Fa Lam, which is the start of the hike. The first kilometre is along the Sai Kung Ancient Trail, through a forest.
The path hits the Wilson Trail, Stage 4, as you can see from this unfinished house – it still looks the same as it did almost two years ago. Nothing has changed.
We walked a little bit along a catchment area before we hit the steps that lead to Tate’s Pass – that’s a gruelling 400m ascent, all exposed in the sun. We had to stop a couple of times to rest in the shade and drink some water.
After that we reached the Gilwell Camp, which is a major campsite run by The Scout Association of Hong Kong for wild camping and other Scouting activities. This is one of the checkpoints during the Oxfam Trail Walker event.
Then we continued along the MacLehose Trail stage 4 for a little bit, before climbing Shek Ah Pui, which is 360m, and then the back of the West Buffalo Hill.
The Buffalo Hills get their name not from their shape (this could have been likely, we were walking along the neck before hitting the head of the buffalo) but it seems that many decades ago farmers let their buffalos and cattle roam freely in this area.
The climb up to the West Buffalo Hill was really tiring – the path is undefined and overgrown, so we had to climb over rocks and push the vegetation aside. We were rewarded with amazing views – all over Sai Kung and Sha Tin.
The way down was even more tiring – we had to concentrate to not miss our step. It was pure bushwhacking, we all wore long sleeves and long pants plus some gloves to protect our skin.
After 4.5 hours of hiking we reached the village of Fa Sam Heng from which we took a mini bus to Sha Tin New Plaza, where the MTR runs. It was a great hike, but tiring in the sun – especially with all the bushwhacking.