High Junk Peak (344m) has a weird but distinct English name and is one of the lesser known hikes in Hong Kong to foreigners (as compared to Dragon’s Back etc). It is also known as one of the 3 “treacherous peaks” or the easiest of the three sharpest peak in Hong Kong.
The summit of High Junk Peak stands at 344m, which is actually just a hill if you think about it. The hike itself is reasonably short dayhike, achievable within 2 hours, and isn’t all that challenging.
However, it is the highest accessible point on the Clear Water Bay Peninsula, overlooking the magnificent Clear Water Bay. The peak itself is quite distinct looking, piercing the sky like a spire over the area.
Along the trail and on the summit, you can experience a view of two worlds, which basically defines Hong Kong hiking. On one side, you have the lovely bays and village houses of Clear Water Bay, on the other the industrial areas and high rises of Tseung Kwan O. This beautiful juxtaposition of urban development and country trail is extremely fascinating.
If you are in Hong Kong and wish to do a short and exciting trail away from the crowd, High Junk Peak is an urban hike you should consider!
Distance: 4.5km – 6km (depending on exit)
Duration: 2h- 4h (depending on which exit)
Area: Sai Kung District
Starting point: Ng Fai Tin
End point: Clear Water Bay or Po Toi O Chuen
Trail terrain: Mostly gradual and easy forest trail. There are some gravel sections. The parts closest to High Junk Peak, and Tin Ha Shan sections are steepest and with rocks, where one might scramble
Trail Markers: There are official trail markers (distance post) and signs along the way which guides the general direction. There are some split roads along the way which might be confusing at times, but I’ll highlight them in the detailed trek directions below.
Highlights: Beautiful views over Clear Water Bay peninsula, slightly steep rocky path to the summit which makes it slightly exciting
Note: There are no shops or water-points in between so carry enough water and food. The viewpoints are all open summits which means they are not sheltered so be careful if there is any lightning risk. You can easily rely on google maps also to find the way!
Directions (How to get there)
The main entrance or starting point is known as the Ng Fai Tin bus stop.
Of course you can enter from the exit point, but most people start from Ng Fai Tin stop.
There are many ways to get there, the most common being taking the bus from these stations. I will highlight the most common one.
Tseung Kwan O MTR
How to get there: Take the MTR to Tseung Kwan O (purple line) and exit at Exit A1 which is very close to the bus terminus.
Take the 103M Mini bus to Ng Fai Tin stop. Let the driver know. It’ll stop opposite the start of the trail.
I prefer taking this because my sister was staying near Tseung Kwan O MTR station and the bus stop was way easier to find
Hang Hau MTR Station:
From Hang Hau MTR Station, walk 10 minutes to Po Ning Road and catch the 103M minibus to Ng Fai Tin – alight at the Chinese style pavilion on the right hand side of Clearwater Bay Road. You can also find taxis lined up outside the Hang Hau MTR Station, with the journey taking no more than 10 minutes.
From MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2, take bus 91 to Ng Fai Tin.
From MTR Po Lam Station Exit A2, take green minibus 16 at the Public Transport Interchange to Ng Fai Tin.
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/vrsMcBPoFqdFpqLT6
Hong Kong Official Map: https://www.discoverhongkong.com/common/images/see-do/great-outdoors/maps/184.108.40.206-High-Junk-Peak_EN.pdf
You can download a cartoon version map from: https://www.discoverhongkong.com/content/dam/dhk/intl/explore/great-outdoors/high-junk-peak/en-high-junk-peak.pdf
If you wish to exit like me at Clear Water Bay, the google map trail is like this below or you can use my GPS.
For the full trail, there are 7 main checkpoints. For me, I exited earlier at Clearwaterbay after High Junk Peak instead of heading to Po Toi O. There are 2 smaller hills or false summits before the High Junk Peak, also known as Sheung Yeung Shan and Miu Tsi Tun.
1) Ng Fai Tin bus stop entrance
2) Sheung Yeung Shan (1st viewpoint)
3) Miu Tsai Tun ( 2nd viewpoint)
4) High Junk Peak
5) Clearwaterbay Exit / Head to Tin Ha Shan (if you are doing the full trail)
6) Tin Hau Temple / Joss House Bay
7) Po Toi O Chueng (End Point)
There are nice views the moment you hit Miu Tsai Tun / Sheung Yeung Shan. The path to high junk peak is slightly narrow and steep, with a bit of scrambling.
To know that you are on the right track, just follow these general rules
==> Follow the official metal markers/distance posts. You are starting from C3101. The ending point is after C3111. If you wish to exit like me at Clearwater Bay, it is C3106
==> Follow the path to Tai Miu
==> If there is a split road, the path on the left is most likely the right path. Take the ‘Country Trail’ path
==> There is only one split road section which is confusing towards the High Junk Peak. Take the path to the left with the barrier!
==> If all else fails, just use google maps. The trail can be found there also
Detailed Trail Directions
I hiked High Junk Peak with my sister, dad and brother-in-law when we were visiting my sister in Hong Kong in December. We started late morning around 8 am. The weather was slightly cloudy and misty, so it didn’t allow for very nice pictures. As we needed to be back for lunch, we ended the trail earlier by exiting at Clear Water Bay instead of going to the end at Po Toi O Chueng. So the detailed trail directions is only until Clear Water Bay, but that should be sufficient as it covers the High Junk Peak summit!
Stop 1: Ng Fai Tin
It was quite straight forward to take the bus from Tsueng Wai O MTR as the bus station was at the MTR. We took bus 103M and landed on the opposite side. The starting point is the Ng Fai Tin bus stop. There is a green pavillion right at the entrance.
There is also a signboard which shows the trail. The stairs is just to the right of the pavilion and goes on for around 10 minutes. Soon, it becomes a proper trail and is guided by markers. The first marker appears at the end of the stairs.
Follow the sign that leads to Miu Toi. It is usually the path to the left. The trail will become somewhat of a forest trail which gradually goes uphill.
We hiked for awhile in the forest and was perspiring. I was glad to be in an open space as a clearing appeared! This is also the place to see the first official marker or ‘Distance Post’.
It is quite cool to see these official distance post on the trails even though this is a lesser known trail. This shows how much effort Hong Kong actually puts into maintaining their trails!
As long as you are following the signs, it should be correct!
After around 20 minutes, a split road will appear. One side will say the mountain bike trail, the other the country trail. Take the path to the left (country trail)! The trail will be slightly more rugged and steeper as compared to before but it will lead you to the first checkpoint, or false summit! Apparently the bike trail is harder and leads to the same place, but I’m not going to do it because I don’t really want to encounter mountain bikes while hiking! It is an accident waiting to happen. So stick to the country trail please!
Stop 2: Sheung Yeung Shan (260m)
The first of the false summit is known as Sheung Yeung Shan. This is the first “viewpoint” and provides a glimpse of the surrounding areas.
It was a nice relief to reach a place out of the forest as I was perspiring like mad. The weather was quite hazy or cloudy so we didn’t really have nice pictures. I was slightly afraid it was going to rain.
However, it was honestly quite a treat to be able to see a view after walking only 30 minutes.
It was quite cool because we could see the different small islands as well as the coast or bay area. Also, the trail felt like a ridgeline trail as we descended before ascending towards the next false summit.
Miu Tsai Tun (335m)
The trail does get slightly confusing from here on. We followed the country trail as we entered the forest again after leaving the first plateau.
After entering the forest, the trail goes on for another 10 minutes. The road might split but as long as the trail says “country trail”, it is the right trail.
We reached this junction where we got confused. The sign says to Tai Miu but it seems to point to the path on the right. The path on the left is blocked by a “barrier”. The path to the left is with the barrier is the correct trail to the summit! This is because the trail to the right goes downwards!
It goes through a narrow path surrounded by bamboos before reaching a clearing while ascending. You are on the right path towards the next false summit, or hill, or viewpoint also known as Miu Tsai Tun (335m).
The view showcases more of the city side of Hong Kong. The towering blocks of apartments dot the bay area, as well as noticeable resort areas and construction.
From here, we looked further down the path and we saw a distinct looking peak. That was definitely High Junk Peak! It made a pretty cool view and felt slightly like a ridge-line trail towards to the peak. Behind the peak, the sun shone over the water and highlighted the inlets and little islands to create quite a mesmerizing view, as if it was sunset!
Stop 3: High Junk Peak
The trail is quite obvious from the 2nd false summit. We had to descend slightly, before going on flat ground and ascend to the summit. The trail is quite narrow, with some rocky section. This trail is obviously lesser used because the leaves and grass are more likely to cut into you.
The path to the summit is steeper than the rest of the trail. The initial ascent is still a forest trail. There is a split road where one of the path leads down the mountain, of course take the path on the left!
Honestly, the ascent is nothing particularly challenging, but one might end up using a bit of your hands. It is still fun nonetheless! The last part of the ascent is a bit more rocky and you can see the other hills behind you!
We reached High Junk Peak around 1h 20min from the starting point. This was including breaks and going at an average pace. Having said that, I think my sister, dad and brother in law are pretty fast hikers, so take 1.5h – 2h as an average time.
Luckily for us, at 10am the sky cleared. Perhaps it was the morning clouds initially, but we had nice warm sun and clear skies at the summit!
We met some Hong Kong locals and had a chat with them, asking them about what is good to eat around and discussing about hiking. They were extremely friendly and fun to talk to, and also surprised that we have heard of such a peak.
High Junk Peak has a fantastic 360 degree view of the area and the hills behind. However, it is unsheltered so it can be very hot! Luckily we were hiking in December where the weather wasn’t that bad so we could soak in the views with the clear skies. It made up for all the misty and ‘lousy’ weather we had in the beginning of the hike.
Stop 4: Exit at Clear Water Bay Road
The descent is one of my favorite portions of the hike! The descent goes down a steep rocky path. I think this was what the other blogs mention about it being steep. As long as you can go down carefully it should be fine. The initial descent gives some pretty sick views as you descend and see the views along the coast.
As we went lower, it was just buildings and more buildings. The trail is still mainly rocks guarded by grass.
We took around 20 minutes to descend to the marker, C3106. At this junction, you can either continue on towards Po Toi O Chuen or exit to Clear Water Bay.
The rest of the trail was flat, wide and back amongst the trees. At this point, all I cared about was having a nice shower and a good meal so the rest of the trail was pretty unmemorable. There is a signage along the way which pointed to the Clear Water Bay bus stop.
You know you’re on the right path if you see the stone slabs. It means you are getting close to the exit! We walked on the stone slabs all the way to Clear Water Bay road. It was another 20 minutes walk to the exit on the stone slabs.
Once you exit, you can see the big signage with the map, which can be found at the various entrance or exits of the trail.
The bus stop is right at the exit to take to the nearest MTR. Alternatively, you can walk further down to the toilets or to the Tai Au Mun toilet/carpark/bus stop. The exit is known as “Sheung Sze Wan” on google maps. You can refer to the map below.
Instead of taking a bus, we took a taxi instead. It can be quite hard to get a taxi around here not many empty taxis ply the route, so the only way is to get a Uber or wait for the bus. We had to wait some time for an Uber to take us back.
High Junk Peak is a fantastic short hike with a high reward to effort ratio. It is accessible for beginners, short enough and with some challenging aspects to make it interesting or memorable.
One can easily reach the summit in 1 hour. The trail is easy enough, with some portions which are steep but not too challenging or long. I mean my dad who is above 60 did it pretty easily. The views are fantastic for such a short hike, both in terms of distance and altitude. Lastly, not many people do this hike in Hong Kong so it is good to just do it to enjoy outdoors and hiking.
So if you like views of bay areas, if you like sharp peaks that isn’t that difficult, this is for you. I highly recommend beginners to do High Junk Peak if you are in Hong Kong and wish to get away from the famous trails, just remember to bring enough water and follow the directions!
These are other links I highly encourage you to view to cross-reference!
1) https://droneandslr.com/travel-blog/hong-kong/high-junk-peak/ -> This post has a good video on it
2) https://www.laughtraveleat.com/asia/high-junk-peak-the-second-sharpest-peak-of-hong-kong/ -> Good picture references