Nu Tung Chai – Hong Kong’s waterfall hike

For the second day in a row, I needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong city and streets of Kowloon and decided to go on another hike. I choose one with amazing waterfalls but I found out it was more challenging than expected. I choose the Nu Tung Chai hike in the New Territories (an area which is located in the northern part of Hong Kong). Getting here was easier than expected, I took the East Rail Line on the MTR and got off at Tai Wo and left the station at exit A, then take the escalators on the right which leads to the bus stops and take the bus KMB 64 (not the one heading towards Tai Wo market). Then it’s a short distance to the bus stop at Nu Tung Chai.

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

From here I walked up the road (Nu Tung Chai road) and can be a bit of a steep climb in places. The hike is signposted clearly so once away from the housing estate, the hike has truly started. After about twenty minutes I came across the Man Tuk Yuen temple which was closed to visitors which was a shame but the trail from here now goes from concrete path to a woodland/gravel type path into the mountains. I am now walking through the Tai Mo Shan country park and the views are amazing, the higher up I go, over the treetops I look and I can look right into the heart of the valley which lies behind me. The sounds of the fast flowing water can be heard from down below.

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Taking the waterfall path route (there is a junction not long after the temple, carry on straight and don’t turn right) it takes a while to get to the first waterfall known as ‘Bottom Falls’. Probably the best out of all four waterfalls as it’s in a very scenic and green area with overhanging branches. No words can describe this place nor does the photos but the photos tried well to describe.

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

The next part of the hike is quite an uphill struggle if not used to hiking and in places it did kinda tired me out but the next waterfall put all those struggles to the back of my mind. ‘Middle Falls’ is a great one to get close to (not recommend) whilst a great place to cool down for a while and once again with all the rockery in the water, the scenery is calm and the sounds of nature lovely. Not a soul in sight and by this point (despite the light rain), I was really getting into my groove. I could do this hike for days, weeks or even months.

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Not far is the third waterfall which is ‘Main Falls, crashing down hard the mountain side from above into a huge pool of water and jetting off downstream. There is a rocky bench here and a great place to sit down and take in the surroundings. The next part of the trail is a bit confusing due to the lack of signposts but just left of the waterfall is a staircase. I took this and climbed up more rocks back in the direction towards the waterfall. Eventually climbing up all the rocks led to another trail path which took me to the last waterfalls ‘Scatter Falls’ which is directly above the ‘Main Falls’. 

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

The waterfalls are fantastic and a hidden treasure of Hong Kong but it was time to head back down the mountain. This is easier than coming up. By this point I think I climbed between 500-700 meters in elevation. The path down is easy, I carried on walking up a little from the Scatter Falls then I came to a junction where I walked straight (do not turn left). Here a sign side it will take one hour to get to the road (where the bus stop was). It was right. The path is easy to walk down with lots of steps but eventually after 35-40 minutes I came back to the junction near the temple where I took a left turn and headed back towards the housing estate and went back the same way as I came in. I got to the bus stop after one hour and took the bus KMB 64 back towards Tai Wo Market (getting off at the MTR).

Try another Hong Kong hike – the Dragon’s Back – my guide is here

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

Hiking Hong Kong's Nu Tung Chai

This hike was totally worth it. Not just for the amazing waterfalls, walking up over 500 meters in elevation and getting away from the city but I had time to reflect on what I want to do with my life plus it was nice to hear the raindrops against the branches, the sounds of the water flowing down the mountain side and most of the time, the sound of my feet hitting the trail. I love being close to nature, I love to hike and take it all in and for me this was probably one of the highlights for me visiting Hong Kong.   

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