Updated: Sep 7, 2021
Pat Sin Leng (aka The 8 Immortals) is one of Hong Kong's most scenic hiking trails. Located close to the Chinese border, the ridgeline offers extraordinary panoramic views from start to finish, with regions of Shenzhen to be seen in the North and Hong Kong's picturesque Plover Cove in the South. This breathtaking 12km route certainly deserves priority on your list of Hong Kong hikes.
Hike Location: New Territories, Pat Sin Leng Country Park
Hike Difficulty: Moderate (5/10)
Hike Length: 3-4 hours
High Distance: 12km
Elevation Gain: ~700m
The hike begins in Hok Tau Wai, just inside Pat Sin Leng Country Park. The most direct way of reaching Hok Tau Wai is to catch a train to Fanling MTR station. From here get on a 52B green minibus, jump off at Hok Tau Wai and follow the road up towards Hok Tau campsite.
The paved road will lead you to the far side of Hok Tau Reservoir where you can find the 'Hok Tau Reservoir Family Walk' archway. Once you reach the archway the route to the Pat Sin Range is clearly signposted.
You'll first be presented with a gruelling stair section that takes you up a good few-hundred meters of incline.
The forest trees then thin out and are replaced with a unique hilly landscape resembling the likes of a Welsh countryside.
As you can see in the photo below there is a clear cut path that makes its way through the hills. Most people will take this route. However, if you're looking for something more adventurous then I highly recommend following one of the smaller overgrown paths that lead you to the ridge line. The views here are insane.
From here, simply stick to the ridge line route and aim for the next peak in the distance. Looking out to your left you'll now have a clear view of Shenzhen.
At the next peak there is a trig point and the first of two off-piste paths, marked by a danger sign. These paths are usually very adventurous but this first one actually takes you back down to Tai Po via a selection of ribbons and thick overgrowth, and avoids the Pat Sin Range. I took this route previously when visibility on the ridge was poor. If the weather is on your side then I certainly suggest continuing along the main trail, otherwise this is an option for cutting the hike short.
So continue eastwards along the main trail and prepare yourself for the undulating 8 Immortals that make their way down towards Plover Cove and Tai Mei Tuk.
Relentless steps undulate over the next 8 hills taking you past many large rocks and ideal look-out points. Follow the signposts to Tai Mei Tuk as this is the neighbourhood in which the trail ends.
We finished this last section of the trail at sunset and the views did not disappoint.
At the top of the final hill there is a second off-piste, danger-marked path. This will take you down the side of the mountain via a more adventurous route. I'm yet to attempt this myself but from what I've read it seems manageable and consists of some light bouldering. But if this isn't for you, then stick to the marked trail which will bring you down to Bride's Pool Road and follow the road back to Tai Mei Tuk.
At Tai Mei Tuk there are numerous place to finish off the day with a celebratory drink and the nearest MTR station is only a short taxi ride away to Tai Po Market. Enjoy!
See the route I took on the MAP below (green dot is the starting point) and download the KML file to see the route in Google Earth 3D. Watch my KML tutorials for downloading the map on both laptop and mobile.
Below is a screenshot from the Google Earth KML file.