Two dazzling ridges with a steep drop down to an ancient trail in between. This tough 16-kilometer hike is a Hong Kong classic and a rite of passage for any serious local hiker. On a clear day, it provides amazing panoramas over Sai Kung and Plover Cove on one side and Sha Tin on the other.

Ma On Shan literally translates as ‘the horse’s saddle’, named after the shape of the mountain. With two climbs over 600 meters, we have chosen one of the more challenging paths up to the top.

We start with a steep up from City One MTR station to the peak of Buffalo Hill. From there, it’s an even steeper descent to the village of Mui Tsz Lam. From the village, things get a little easier with a gentle ancient trail past old village houses over to Ngong Ping.

From there we follow the ridge up and over Pyramid Hill and onto the summit of Ma On Shan, then finish the hike over The Hunch Backs and walk down to Wu Kai Sha MTR.

Distance: 16km

 Difficulty: 4

  Time: 6 Hours


Start with a minibus ride or a taxi from City One MTR to Kwong Yuen Estate, where you walk through a housing block to get to the start of the trail.

The path takes you to Heather Pass, where you take a sharp left up West Buffalo Hill before reaching the highest point at 606 meters on the peak of Buffalo Hill East.

Follow the ridge all the way down to the village of Mui Tsz Lam, where you look for the path at the back of the village to Sai Kung. This gentle forested ancient path takes you slowly up to a junction with MacLehose Trail Section 4. Head left onto the beautiful plateau at Ngong Ping, where you may find paragliders and grazing cattle.

Leave MacLehose Trail at this point and head up Pyramid Hill. Its name is a good description of what to look for. From the top, follow the ridge all the way up to the peak of Ma On Shan, which should be easy to find on a clear day.

Continue along the ridge over The Hunch Backs, following the path down towards Ma On Shan town. As you get close to the road there are three junctions in quick succession. Turn left on all three and you should hit the main road. Cross it and continue down to the town.