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10 best places to see waterfalls in Hong Kong

By Jen Paolini 5 March 2020

Header image courtesy of @shotswithshoots

It may not seem like it most days, but sometimes, we all need a gentle reminder that three-quarters of Hong Kong’s landmass is actually covered in lush woodlands and forests. But even with that in mind, it should come as quite a surprise to know that we also boast more than a dozen imposing and picturesque waterfalls, mostly scattered across the New Territories with a few on Hong Kong Island as well. Wading through rock pools, dipping your feet into pristine waters, snapping a few pics for the social feeds, and mostly, getting a true sense of nature in Hong Kong—what’s not to like about a waterfall adventure? Almost all of the scenic falls on this list will require a hike of some sort to get to, so strap your boots on and get to adventuring!

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Ma Dai Stream

This hidden waterfall is considered one of Hong Kong’s best-kept secrets amongst those in the know, and you might even miss it if you don’t know what you’re searching for. Fight your way through the rugged cliffs and lush wilderness of Ma On Shan Country Park and it will eventually reveal its glories, allowing you to enjoy the splendour of the Ma Dai Stream. This magnificent waterfall comes with a secluded rock pool for those keen on a private dip. While the hike to the waterfall itself isn’t a long one, there are stretches of strenuous clambering over rocks and uneven ground, so be ready to use your hands and get ready to climb.

How to get there

  1. Take the Ma On Shan line to Tai Shui Hang Station (Exit B).
  2. Head along Hang Tak Streetin the direction of Chevalier Garden.
  3. Turn left onto Hang Shun Street, and left again into Tai Shui Hang South Street.
  4. Make a left into Tai Shui Hang North Street and continue until you arrive at stairs leading up to a forest path.
  5. Continue along the path to get to Ma Dai Stream.
Photo credit: @kennymama.foto

Ng Tung Chai

A collection of four stunning streams, the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls come together as one of the New Territories’ most prominent natural beauties. This three-hour hike consists of steep inclines, scaling large rocks, and general adventuring, but it comes with immense rewards, as you’ll get to splash around in shallow rock pools, each more splendid than the next, and take in the tallest waterfall in Hong Kong. Best of all, it only takes a few hours to get there. Read our detailed guide on how to hike to the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls here.

How to get there

  1. Take the East Rail line to Tai Wo Station.
  2. At the station, take Exit A for the Tai Wo Bus Terminus.
  3. Board bus 64K to Yuen Long (West) and alight at Ng Tung Chai bus stop.
  4. The road up to Ng Tung Chai village is clearly marked.
  5. Pass through Man Tak Yuen Temple and simply follow the signs.
  6. After 30 minutes, you’ll arrive at Bottom Fall.
  7. Follow the main trail and you’ll eventually hit the rest of the waterfalls.

Bride’s Pool

One of Hong Kong’s most beloved day trip destinations, getting to Bride’s Pool near Tai Mei Tuk is a breeze and suitable for families with children as well. It’s one of the many scenic places in Hong Kong that doesn’t look like Hong Kong at all, and you can spend the better part of a day exploring the cascading pools and surrounding wildlife.

You would never guess that this majestic fall got its name from a Chinese folk tale: Legend has it that a bride was being carried in a sedan chair by four porters on her way to meet her groom in stormy weather. As they passed the pool, one of the porters slipped and the bride fell into the pool and drowned. Therefore, the pool was named Bride’s Pool in memory of the bride’s tragic fate. Fortunately, there’s nothing gruesome about it on the surface—in fact, its glistening waters tell quite the opposite story. Click here to read our guide on how to cycle to Tai Mei Tuk to see Bride’s Pool.

How to get there

  1. Take the East Rail line to Tai Po Market Station.
  2. At Tai Po Market Station, follow the signs to the bus terminal.
  3. Board minibus 20C to go to Tai Mei Tuk.
  4. From there you can hike for an hour or take a taxi to Bride’s Pool.
  5. If you’re going on a weekend, take bus 275R straight to Bride’s Pool.

Sheung Luk Stream

One of Sai Kung’s hidden gems, Sheung Luk Stream behind Tai Long Sai Wan is located in Sai Kung East Country Park. This pristine and crystal-clear pool plays host to summertime swims amidst delicate waterfalls. With only a manageable hike to conquer (it takes about an hour from Sai Wan Pavillion if you’re fleet-footed!), it’s a great destination to put on your list if you’re already making your way out to Ham Tin or doing a section of the MacLehose Trail on the weekend. Pro tip: If you hike a little further up the stream, you’ll come across Thousand Threads Falls, which marks one of the four consecutive pools in the area, though this one requires a steady hand and heart to scale—it’s definitely not to be done in sandals.

How to get there

  1. Take minibus 29R or a taxi from Sai Kung town to Sai Wan Pavilion.
  2. The pavilion marks the start of the trail—follow the signposts and paths directed to Sai Wan.
  3. Keep walking along the beaches of Sai Wan until you see a stone bridge at the end of it.
  4. The opening to Sheung Luk stream is hidden in shrubs next to the stone bridge before crossing the bridge.

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Waterfall Bay

This urban waterfall is perfect for families with kids, and with its central location in Pok Fu Lam and compact distance of just under three kilometres, you don’t even have to dedicate a full day to your trip. While the family-friendly path to Waterfall Bay won’t be sweat-inducing or all too challenging (it’s mostly flat), you’ll get a lot out of the experience with the area’s gorgeous coastal views and, of course, a marvellous waterfall, and there’ll be a bit of fence-hopping as well for the intrepid adventurers. You’ll also get to take in unique cultural relics, such as the seaside statue garden filled with figurines of gods, deities, and religious figures from religions across the world.

How to get there

  1. Take minibus 58 or a taxi from Kennedy Town to Cyberport Waterfront Park.
  2. Walk straight through the Cyberport Waterfront Park, then exit the park and walk uphill on Cyberport Road.
  3. Hop the fence on Cyberport Road when you spot a flash floods warning sign and a path leading downhill.
  4. Continue down the path and you’ll come across a rock pool.
  5. Keep going until you hit a blue fence—you’ve reached the BBQ area.
  6. Follow the blue-fenced path out of the BBQ area; you’ll have to do a bit of fence-hopping here as well.
  7. Continue past the beach to reach Waterfall Bay.

Tai Tam Mound Waterfall

Tai Tam Mound Waterfall is a shaded and brief hike around the Tai Tam Reservoir area reveals a cute little waterfall hidden by lush woodlands, so if you’re looking to splash around and have a chill day out with enough time for a leisurely picnic, this is the one for you. You’ll have to go off-trail to find the base of the waterfall, but the hike there (it’s really more of a walk) only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, and you’ll be rewarded with cascading waters and a half-moon-shaped beach that’s shallow enough for a bit of wading around.

How to get there

  1. Take the Island line to Sai Wan Ho Station (Exit A).
  2. Take bus 14 to Stanley Fort (Gate) and alight at Tai Tam Reservoir (North) bus stop.
  3. Backtrack in the direction the bus came from until you reach the hiking trail signpost.
  4. Follow the trail and pass through two bridges.
  5. After the second bridge, carefully climb down the rocky path to your left to reach the base of the falls.
Photo credit: @pixsoulhk

Ping Nam Stream

Head off the beaten track and prepare yourself for a wet hike across Fanling’s overgrown backyard. Ping Nam Stream is a trek for more experienced hikers, as it involves a fair bit of climbing further along the trail, but only if you want to see the entire collection of waterfalls in the area—you could also just settle for the whimsically-named Hula Skirt Falls, which is the first one you’ll come across after a manageable hike. While we think the sight from the base of the falls is striking enough, you can climb to the top of the waterfall as well to do even more exploring, but as usual, exercise caution when doing so, especially when it has been raining and rocks are slippery.

How to get there

  1. Take the East Rail line to Fanling Station (Exit A).
  2. Take minibus 55K or taxi to Nam Chung Children’s Playground.
  3. Head down South Bay Road until you see the entrance to Nam Chung Country Trail.
  4. Do not follow the path up to Nam Chung Country Trail; instead, keep on South Bay Road.
  5. South Bay Road eventually turns into the end of Wilson Trail Stage 10.
  6. When you see a blue gate by the dam, turn right and take the path into the forest.
  7. Ribbons mark the path all the way to Ping Nam Stream.

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Lotus Stream

More than just a pretty moniker, Lotus Stream (and its affiliated river) counts itself amongst one of Hong Kong’s nine big rivers and is a popular destination for dedicated trekkers in the city. The stream is located at the upper right-hand corner of Tai Lam Chung Reservoir between Yuen Long and Tuen Mun and has a great number of falls and pools for you to explore and take a dip in.

Take your pick from the fanciful Rainbow Fall, Lotus Terrace Fall, Fairy Lotus Fall, and Curl Dragon Fall, or choose to see them all in one day—it’s not often you come across such whimsically-named waterfalls. It’s not a dry hike—you’ll pass through streams with rocks so your shoes will probably get wet—and it’s advised to wear proper shoes for this secluded journey of the Tai Lam Country Park.

How to get there

  1. Take the West Rail line to Kam Sheung Road Station.
  2. Take Exit C towards the bus stops.
  3. Board bus 251B going towards Pat Heung Road Bus Terminus.
  4. Alight at the final bus stop and walk along Pat Heung Road to the Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange.
  5. From here, follow the trail markers and head onto Tai Lam Chung Country Trail.
  6. Head towards MacLehose Trail (Section 10). Go up the concrete route and carefully look for ribbons on your right.
  7. You’ll head down a steep loose dirt path and you will arrive at a stream.
  8. Follow the stream to arrive at Lotus Stream Waterfall.
Photo credit: @kev561

Silvermine Waterfall

Here’s another waterfall that requires little effort and rewards bountifully in return. Mui Wo’s Silvermine Waterfall is located near the old Silvermine Cave northwest of town, noteworthy for its silver mining business back in the nineteenth century. Divided into the upper falls and lower falls, Silvermine Waterfall is highly prized by day-trippers and picnic-goers, and it’s just an easy-peasy three-kilometre hike on the paved Islands Nature Heritage Trail—barely a hike at all.

The best time to visit is usually from May to October, as the falls depend heavily on rain for a spectacular flow. You’ll find the Silvermine Bay Waterfall Park right next to the falls, where you can take rest in a Chinese pavilion and admire the cascading waters from afar if you don’t want to get your feet wet.

How to get there

  1. Take the ferry from Central Ferry Pier No. 6 to Mui Wo.
  2. Make your way to Mui Wo Rural Committee Road.
  3. The road eventually turns into the Islands Nature Heritage Trail.
  4. Simply follow the trail and you will get to Silvermine Waterfall.

Yellow Dragon Stream

This waterfall hidden away in the depths of Tung Chung will require some agility and rock scrambling, but most visitors with moderate hiking experience should be able to tackle it without a problem. What we like most about it is that it’s just a short three-kilometre hike, though most of it will be over rugged terrain and streamside trekking, so you’ll want to come prepared with the right clothing and shoes.

Previous hiking groups have left ropes for climbing around the rocks, but we strongly suggest to double-check their condition before you use them. You’ll pass through several small waterfalls and pools before you reach the main falls, so you’ll want to save your swimming and river-bathing until you get to Yellow Dragon Waterfall and the “three dragons” beyond it—Left Dragon Waterfall, Right Dragon Waterfall, and Dragon Tail Waterfall.

How to get there

  1. Take the Tung Chung line to Tung Chung Station (Exit A).
  2. Take Tak Tung Road and make a left on Shun Tung Road.
  3. Continue down Shun Tung Road and make a right on Yu Tung Road.
  4. Hang left on Chung Yan Road and you will soon spot Wong Lung Hang Road on the left.
  5. Continue on Wong Lung Hang Road all the way to the end of the road. Do not take Wong Lung Hang Trail.
  6. At the end of the road, go left on the slope down to the stream. 
  7. Right into the stream, you will see a dam on the right and one on the left. Go right.
  8. Climb the dam, then the ladder to bypass the water pool.
  9. Continue down the main stream until you reach Yellow Dragon Waterfall.
  10. If you continue on, you’ll reach the Three Dragons Waterfalls.
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Jen Paolini

Content director

Born in Hong Kong, raised in Germany, and educated in the U.S., Jen is an award-winning creative with a background in illustration, communication design, art direction, and content creation. When she’s not getting lost in a good book, you’ll find her doing crosswords, eating dim sum, covering all sides of a “Hamilton” number, and taking naps.

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