Header image courtesy of @happyshar8.hk (via Instagram)
As the subject of countless postcard photos and a must drive-through en route to the Hong Kong International Airport, there is no questioning that the Tsing Ma Bridge is one of our city’s most emblematic landmarks. While the bridge itself is not well-suited for exploring—as there is no pedestrian access—you shouldn’t be discouraged from experiencing the grandeur of this engineering feat.
Nestled in the hills of Tsing Yi just a kilometre away is the Tsing Yi Nature Trail, where you'll be treated to unparalleled views of the Tsing Ma Bridge in its full, magnificent glory. Easy, accessible, and stunningly picturesque, this hike is one to take on whether you’re a budding photographer, an outdoor enthusiast, or an amateur trekker—so gather the whole crew and get ready for a scenic adventure!
Commanding the northwestern hills of Tsing Yi Island, the Tsing Yi Nature Trail whisks you along an immersive journey through the some of the region’s most remarkable natural and architectural sights. You may come to see the epic Tsing Ma Bridge against the backdrop of shimmering blue waters and the mountainous landscapes, but you will also be pleasantly surprised by the stunning Chinese-style, curved-pavilions, colourful wild blooms, and ravishing sunset views offered here.
The Tsing Yi Nature Trail comprises a network of paths with multiple entrance points and little trails to explore, so you can make your trip longer or shorter depending on your preference. However, for a thorough tour of all the best sights offered, we recommend the 4-kilometre route starting from Cheung Wan Estate, passing through Shek Wan and Kam Chuk Kok, and finally ending at Tsing Yi West Road. Even accounting for some detours along the way, you should still be able to complete the hike in around two hours. And if you wish to extend your time here and take the fun factor up a notch, enjoying a sunset picnic at one of the sitting-out spots would be a lovely way to do so!
You won't need any prior hiking experience, sophisticated navigation skills, or technical equipment to conquer this trail, as it's exceptionally well-paved and signposted. There are a fair bit of uphill steps involved, but nothing overly steep, and handrails are present along the way to aid those who need a little extra support. It’s a truly an accessible and family-friendly hike suitable for trekkers of all sorts!
Distance: 4.3 kilometres approx.
Total ascent: 182 metres
Total time: 2 hours approx.
Lying close to the city, the Tsing Yi Nature Trail is easily reachable by public transport. As mentioned, there are several ways of starting the hike, but the most intuitive route begins just uphill from Cheung Wang Estate, which can be reached by bus 248M and minibuses 409, 409S, and 409K. All have stops located a mere few minutes walk away from Tsing Yi MTR station and there’s little room for error as you’ll be getting off at the last stop. Upon alighting, simply follow along Liu To Road until you meet the northern entrance of the Tsing Yi Nature Trail at the end of the road.
At the trailhead, there will be two staircases on your right located just a stone’s throw away from each other—one zigzagged and the other going straight upwards. It doesn’t really matter which one you take as both paths rejoin at a three-way crossroad within the first five minutes of the hike. When you arrive at the junction, you will see a path veering off to the Kwai Tsing Celebration of Reunification Education Trail, which leads back out to Liu To Road.
To avoid prematurely ending your journey, stick to your right and continue on Ching Hom Path. This initial stretch is well-shaded and easily walkable, with several gentle slopes to get you warmed up—it’s really more of a light stroll, and there's even a wooden railing to keep the little ones from getting too close to the edge!
Keep an eye out for the next junction several minutes down the path, and don’t miss the small sidetrail to your right that takes you deeper into the forest. Although you are increasingly immersed in nature's pristine splendour, the trail stays fairly flat and even, but before you get too comfortable, prepare to tackle a long flight of stairs just before reaching the pavilion.
As you scramble uphill, the trees become sparser and thinner, revealing glimpses of the glistening sea and mountainous landscape just beyond. Meeting you at the top of the stairs an open clearing featuring a pretty Chinese-style pavilion, where you can plonk yourself down on the bench for a rest.
Advancing ahead, the trail grows considerably steeper, though hardly more technical thanks to the well-maintained concrete steps. After 10 minutes or so of stair-climbing, you will reach a gorgeous viewing point, where all your efforts will be rewarded with expansive views from every direction.
On your left will be a forest of residential high-rises while on your right will be the magnificent Tsing Ma Bridge and a smattering of container ships cruising their way across the channel. Cast your gaze a little further and you’ll even see Lantau Island at a distance! With so much to soak in, the best way to truly savour the views here is with a laid-back picnic. Of course, you’d have to be lucky enough to snag the only (and thus highly coveted) picnic table available!
Short this hike may be, but monotonous it certainly is not. The subsequent section brings you up and down along the undulating ridges of Tsing Yi’s northern hills, bypassing multiple sitting-out spots and giving you endless opportunities to take photos of the Tsing Ma Bridge and its scenic surroundings from different angles.
Equally as exciting as the far-reaching views are the mixed landscapes along the way. You alternate between shaded, tree-lined sections and exposed windswept stretches, and are periodically greeted by vibrantly coloured blooms. Look out for the trailing lantanas and bougainvillaea—their stunning purple pedals are bound to keep your camera busy!
If you have an extra 20 to 30 minutes to squeeze in, take a right at the next junction and make one final detour to the last lookout point. This quaint little path breaks free from tall trees and leads you to a grassy, open spot where you’ll be able to look back on the ridges you just conquered and revel in the sense of satisfaction. Also awaiting you at the end the of the path is another beautiful pavilion to add to the charm. Once you’re done exploring the area, return to the main trail to finish the rest of your journey.
Continue on for some 800 metres and you’ll eventually be spat out at Tsing Yi West Road. Turn left and head down the road until you reach the cluster of bus stops near the footbridge. From here, the options for getting you back into the city are endless. Buses 279X and 68E, and minibuses 88D, 88F, 140M, and 308M will all take you to within five minutes radius of Tsing Yi MTR station; but there are also plenty of buses serving all parts of the city!