Autumn is here, which means it’s time to grab your gear and go for a hike with family and friends! Satisfy your senses by taking an easy hike from Temple Hill to Sha Kok across Mau Tsai Shan (which translates as “Kitten Hill”) and Fo Dau Ping (“Tadpole Highland”). Let the views take your breath away before hiking back into town to enjoy a delicious, well-earned meal!
*To get to Tsz Wan Shan Shopping Centre, take minibus 19, 19M or 19S at Diamond Hill MTR Station, Exit C.*
Hiking Trail: Temple Hill Fat Jong Temple --> Mau Tsai Shan --> Fo Dau Ping --> Shui Chuen Au Street
Approx. Time: 2.5 hours
Our starting point is Tsz Wan Shan Shopping Centre, located in the centre of one of the most iconic neighbourhoods in Kowloon, Temple Hill. Fuel up for your hike with a filling breakfast at One Love Congee, a congee place well known by locals.
We came in recently on a Saturday afternoon and saw fried dough sticks and congee being made on the spot. As we sat down and ordered the eatery’s signature pork liver congee, the aroma was already in the air and we were ready to dig in! If you aren’t already a fan of this traditional delicacy, the version at One Love will surely change your mind.
The congee came in a large bowl with generous pieces of pork and assorted pork innards; each mouthful was a different surprise. Carefully cooked and seasoned, the texture of each pork part had a different mouthfeel, and the burst of flavour was balanced by the thin strips of fresh ginger and green onion, which helped cleanse the palate. It was no wonder we saw other diners quickly emptying their big bowls of congee and taking big bites of their ox-tongue pastries and steamed rice rolls. This cosy neighbourhood eatery also serves corned beef congee and vegetarian alternatives. If congee is not your preference, consider Samuel Kitchen for a light Western-style breakfast.
Once you leave One Love Congee, head right and take the footbridge and escalators on Wan Wah Street to Tsz Wan Shan Road.
You will notice large, colourful temples along the way. Fat Jong Temple, where the hiking trail begins, is just around the corner.
After arriving at Fat Jong Temple, walk up Shatin Pass Road to get a great view of the concrete jungle of East Kowloon.
On a good day, you can even see clearly across the harbour!
The first resting point should appear after a 20 to 30-minute walk, at the Lion’s Pavilion. There, you can replenish your supply of drinks and snacks at the store and use the public restroom.
After walking past the restroom, stay to the left and in about 5 minutes, a small entrance to Wilson Trail Section 5 will appear on your right. Be sure not to miss it!
The nicely shaded Wilson Trail Section 5 makes for an enjoyable walk. Enjoy the breeze and look around and you’ll catch glimpses of stunning views through the foliage.
After passing the W048 and W049 checkpoints, stay to your right until you reach the Mau Tsai Shan checkpoint. Take another right and pass the transmission tower to find your reward – an amazing view extending from Sha Tin all the way to Tai Po.
The two mildly sloping hills on each side of the view look like the rounded ears of a kitten, giving this hill its cute name. The orientation of this location also captures golden hour light perfectly, making it an ideal spot to enjoy spectacular sunset views.
The view doesn’t end there. Take careful steps down the trail and follow a narrow path to your left. In about 15 minutes, you will see a short flight of steps which lead you to a spacious lookout dotted with trees. Congratulations! You have arrived at Fo Dau Ping (“Tadpole Highland”). While it may not be obvious from ground level, from a bird’s-eye view this space is shaped like a tadpole, hence its name.
The open space here allows for a true 360-degree view: anywhere you look, you can find a view worth using as your phone wallpaper. During a recent visit, we saw some teenagers and young couples set up beach chairs in the shade, making this place seem like a secret location for VIPs only.
The chef’s kiss of this entire trail lies at the edge of the field – a gorgeous panoramic view from Tai Wai to Sha Tin and beyond. If you look carefully, you can even spot Sha Kok Estate, the end point of our journey, by the unique colour patterns on its building walls.
Once you have rested and savoured the view, it is time to leave by walking downhill along Shui Chuen Au Street.
Make a right on Pok Chuen Street after passing the Hong Kong Girl Guides Association Pok Hong Campsite to catch minibus 812 to Sha Tin Wai MTR Station for lunch.
Sha Kok Estate, located right across from Sha Tin Wai Station, has over 40 years of history. Each of the seven buildings of the estate was named after a different bird species traditionally regarded as elegant and mystic in Chinese culture, such as the herring gull, bean goose, osprey and oriole. Cute drawings of birds can be found painted on the walls of these buildings, attracting people from afar to visit and snap a picture for Instagram. At the centre of the estate is Sha Kok Commercial Centre.
Deluxe Cuisine, on 3/F, offers value for money with its dim sum menu of traditional favourites, highlighted by the roasted goose noodles; or alternatively stir-fried glutinous rice and fried rice cake with fish, which are must-trys for this season. During a recent visit, the wait wasn’t long. We saw families join tables and chat happily about their week, and workers occasionally popping into the conversation. It was a relaxing environment to sip tea and enjoy the weekend with family.
Alternatively, you could treat your friends to the popular traditional cooked food stall Lau Man Lee, which serves classic dishes such as braised tofu with roast pork stew, and steamed pork patty with salted fish. Either would be a great location to wrap up this short but sweet adventure.
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