My calves are currently sore because of this wonderful adventure that occurred on 4 Feb 2012. Ng Tung Chai consisted of 4 waterfalls and at least an hour and a half to two hours of stair climbing resulting to my currently sore calves. In addition to Ng Tung Chai, we also headed up to the trail that leads to Tai Mo Shan peak and it was a gorgeous site. Tai Mo Shan peak is the highest peak in Hong Kong but we decided not to conquer that due to the lack of hiking equipment. That adventure would prove to be a risky undertaking because the sun was also on it’s descent. A mixture of the lack of equipment and sunset is a bad idea. Even though we didn’t go all the way up to the peak, the wonder and beauty of what my eyes and body experience made the whole trip worth while.
My adventure buds – Branden Ryan, Drew Wildes and Jjay Ho – and I started our trip from the Kowloon Tong MTR station. From there we took the KCR to Tai Po Market stop and jump onto bus 64K, which took us to the road heading up to Ng Tung Chai village. We were welcomed and directed by a cute hand drawn sign hanging on a red pipe that lead us to our destination by including the the phrase “Go ahead” and an arrow pointing up. I think if I had seen this later at night it would’ve proved itself to be a little bit sketchy (pun definitely intended). It was a hike going a the village in itself. The paved road going up to the village had a 1:5 slope that can slow down a mule. That climb compares to conquering Mt. Everest but not really… oh the woes of being out of shape.
After a grueling hike up a paved road and a few encounters with vicious barking dogs, we made it to the starting point of the hike to the 4 falls: Bottom Falls, Middle Falls, Main Falls and Scatter Falls. A map was located at the beginning and since we did not have any kind of orienteering map we needed to study it prior to our adventure. Due to frequent landslides on one spot of the looped path, there are two ways to see the falls in order to stay away from any kind of danger… The path that goes to the left up to the disconnected path takes you to the bottom, middle and main falls (1.5 hr to get to the main fall) while the other one just takes you up to the scatter falls (1.5 hr. trip). We decided to take the route going because we would be able to see three falls. We would soon encounter the Bottom Falls after a 10-15 minute hike. We didn’t just stay at the bottom of the falls. We took the risk and free climb the side of the falls to get on top of the falls. It was a decent climb up but an arduous way down because we forgot how we got up…
(Photo gallery will be at the bottom of the post in the order of the whole adventure)
We spent about 30-60 minutes there fooling around. It was now time to keep hiking up stairs and get to the middle falls. The Middle Falls was not as exciting as the Bottom Falls but it was still pretty nice. The waterfall was higher than the Bottom falls. I think the only way for these falls is up even though they go down. After a short picture break around the Middle Falls, we started our ascent towards the Main Falls.
The photo above shows our trip from the path from the Middle Falls to the Main Fall. The Main Fall is that little stream of water that you see on the top middle of the captured scene. Yea, it was far and it was up a buttload of stairs. It took us about 30 minutes to get there. It was tall and mighty but still didn’t compare to the adventure around the Bottom Falls. After a few pictures with the falls and a lunch break, we decided to go to the scatter falls en route the “disconnected path.” The picture on the left was the warning sign that told us to turn around or enter at our own risk. We entered at our own risk because we are rebels. We tackled that disconnected path like a bunch of bosses. It wasn’t a tough path at all as long as you are aware of your foot steps and follow the path that others have taken. There were pink strings to landmark and guide that you are on a path towards the Scatter Falls. On the way up, there were trees that recently fell from a landslide. It is still evident because the leave and trunk are still green even if they were broken away from the root. We also climbed on top of landslidden areas with loose rocks. If you are going to take on this challenge, just be mindful of where you step and make sure it is sturdy enough. It took use about 10-15 minutes to Scatter Falls, which was probably the smallest out of all four falls.
After going into a cave (there’s really nothing there) next to Scatter Falls, we headed up to the junction point of the path towards Lam Kam Road (back to the village) or up to the peak of Tai Mo Shan. We decided to take on another ascent that took us about 45 minutes because we took picture breaks during the climb. Aside from more grueling stairs, the view was gorgeous. The sky also opened up, which resulted to wonderful clouds and the sun – a rare site in Hong Kong. Another possibility for this phenomenon might be the elevation and we might’ve climb up high enough to get past the smog… (you actually see the layer of smog in some of the pictures down in the gallery) We didn’t go all the way up to Tai Mo Shan. We stopped around the shelter area where the path that we hiked intersects with the Maclehose trail. We stayed there for about 30-45 minutes. Jjay and I took advantage of the wonderful sun and sky by taking pictures of Hong Kong? People would definitely question if we were in Hong Kong or not because we were not in the typical Hong Kong. It took us about an hour and a half to get all the way down to the beginning of path that would take you back to the 3 other falls. Those were some killer stairs even if we were going down. Every time I would stop and take a little rest, my legs would shake. Since my stature is below average or within the average Filipino height, I had to double step the stairs to lessen the impact on my knees.
All I can say is that it was an awesome hike and would definitely recommend it if you visit Hong Kong. I did the Dragon’s Back hike to Big Wave Bay and I would vote on hiking Ng Tung Chai over Dragon’s Back. That little sentence is also foreshadowing a future post of a past hiking adventure that occurred prior to the creation of my wordpress.