Updated: May 1
Tai To Yan is a remote 10km through-hike found in the new territories of Hong Kong. As with many Hong Kong hikes, it begins with an intense quad-burning stair section. Once you conquer the immediate incline the remainder of the hike is relatively flat and the trail winds its way through a dense, atmospheric forest before bringing you back down to the hustle and bustle of Fanling.
Hike Location: New Territories, Fanling
Hike Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Hike Length: 3-4 hours
Hike Distance: 10km
Hike Incline: 566m
This hike begins in the New Territories, directly opposite Kadoorie Farm on Lam Kam Road. One of the most direct ways to reach the trail head is to catch a train to Fanling or Tai Po Market MTR and then take a taxi to Kadoorie Farm. For a cheaper alternative the 64K bus regularly departs from Tai Po Market MTR and stops directly outside the farm. The trail head can then be found right next to the bus stop on the opposite side of the road.
The path takes you straight into thick forest and the first of many large stone steps shortly appears - a sight for sore eyes if you know what's coming. Simply stick to the steps and follow the sign posts up to Tai To Yan.
Push past the burn and eventually the tree coverage opens up to an exposed ridgeline with 360 degree panoramic views stretching across the New Territories.
The hardest part is certainly over and the rest of the trail makes its way along a lightly undulated ridge all the way back to Fanling. If it's a clear day you'll be able to see Shenzhen and the neighbouring mountain range known as Kai Kung Leng.
As per, a trig point crowded by groups of hikers with ever-extending selfie sticks signifies the Tai To Yan summit. This is roughly the half way point.
The exposed trail continues down the opposite side of the mountain before leading you back into the depths of the dense forest.
Stick to the forest path and continue to follow the signs to Fanling. Don't be put off by the time and distances shown on the sign posts, they didn't match our GPS-recording apps and often overestimated the distance back to Fanling.
As you near the end of the trail you'll pass through one final tough stair section before arriving at a popular pavilion and exercise area. From here just follow the green rails down to the main road.
Cross the road via the underpass and you're back at Fanling Station. Hope you enjoy this easy-going and incredibly scenic hike!
See the route I took on the MAPS below and download the KML file to see the route in Google Earth 3D. The KML file is compatible with both desktop and mobile but will only run if you have the Google Earth app downloaded on your device.
Below is a screenshot from the Google Earth KML file.