Because most Hong Kong hikes tend to head straight up a mountain with steep stairs, it's a rare occurrence to find a flat, easy trail. But that's what the Fung Hang Family Walk in northern New Territories is. Not only that, but this dog-friendly hike has beautiful views of Starling Inlet and the Yantian District of Shenzhen. It's a perfect way for the whole family to enjoy some time in nature.
Planning for the Fung Hang Family Walk
As you may know from watching my stories on Instagram, sometimes I walk various pups (that are not my own) around my neighborhood. But recently, I was delighted when my favorite sausage dogs' mom invited me along for a walk up in northern Hong Kong. (Follow these cuties on IG -> @hksausages!)
Despite living in Hong Kong for four years, I'd never been that far north. The Fung Hang Family Walk is located in Plover Cove Country Park in northeastern New Territories. It's so close to the Hong Kong - mainland China border that you can see Shenzhen from the trail!
Who Should Hike It?
The section of the Fung Hang Family Walk that we completed is a flat trail that's quite easy to walk. Although I call it a "hike" it's mostly a waterfront walk on a paved concrete path. However, some parts are on a dirt trail and there is a small hill with stairs towards the beginning of the walk.
Almost anyone should be able to complete this hike, including small dogs and children. However, because of the steps and dirt trail sections, this trail is not stroller or wheelchair accessible.
When to Hike It?
Since the Fung Hang Family Walk is an easy, flat hike, it would be a pleasant hike in any season. However, you won't find much shade on the trail. So, I'd avoid hiking during midday in the summer heat. If you do, be sure to apply sunscreen liberally.
Despite hiking on a weekday, we encountered many people along the trail. I'd guess that this area is quite popular on weekends, so be prepared for crowds.
Items for Your Hike
Here are a few helpful reminders of things to bring on your hike:
Getting To Kai Kuk Shue Ha
We began our hike on the Fung Hang Family Walk in Kai Kuk Shue Ha - an old Hakka village in Luk Keng in northeastern New Territories.
Getting to Kai Kuk Shue Ha by Taxi
Because we needed transportation for both us and the dogs, we took a taxi from Kennedy Town to Kai Kuk Shue Ha. The taxi cost ~HK $400 (one-way) for two humans and two dogs and the ride took ~50 minutes.
Pro Tip: After our hike, it was quite difficult to get a taxi. Luckily, we had a contact to message for a taxi pick-up. Since this area is so remote, it may be best to arrange pick-up transportation ahead of time.
Getting to Kai Kuk Shue Ha via Public Transportation
If you are not hiking with dogs, you may wish to take public transportation to get to Kai Kuk Shue Ha. Although it will be cheaper, it could take a while to get there.
First, ride the MTR to Fanling Station on the East Rail Line. Then catch the 56K Green Minibus to Nam Chung Lee Uk Village. After disembarking, you'll walk ~1.5 km (~1 mi) further on Luk Keng Road to reach Kai Kuk Shue Ha.
Pro Tip: On weekdays, the 56K green minibus runs less frequently than on weekends - only every 30 minutes! When we left, we passed the minibus stop and noticed a long line of people waiting at the stop, so be prepared for a wait.
According to Google, reaching Kai Kuk Shue Ha via public transportation would take at least 2 hours from Kennedy Town. Since I haven't tried it myself, I cannot verify the accuracy of this timing.
Overview of Fung Hang Family Trail Hike
The Fung Hang Family Walk is comprised of two segments, however, this post will only focus on Section 2. The route we took is shown on the hiking trail Google Map below on which you can click to open and follow.
Although you could finish this hike in 1.5 hours at a fast pace, we spent a few hours slowly making our way along the path. Since you have to come back the same way you hike out, you could also turn around sooner if you don't want to walk as far.
*Note: Although I've labeled this hike as the "Fung Hang Family Walk", you'll notice on Google Maps that this family walk doesn't extend as far as we walked. Instead, the coastal trail becomes the Tiu Tang Lung Path after a fork in the trail.
However, the Tiu Tang Lung Path continues much further up to Tiu Tang Lung Peak so it's easier to call the coastal section the Fung Hang Family Walk for this article.
Why We Skipped Section 1
On the map above, you can see where the first section of the Fung Hang Family Walk begins on Bride's Pool Road. Since it's a hilly trail, we skipped that section. With their short legs, dachshunds have a difficult time going up and down stairs. So the flat, coastal section of the trail was much better for them.
Taxi Drop-Off at Kai Kuk Shue Ha
After a long drive from Kennedy Town, our taxi dropped us in the old Hakka village of Kai Kuk Shue Ha. A few village dogs greeted us as we arrived. They seemed pretty tame and weren't aggressive towards the sausage dogs.
Toilet Tip: A few meters before you reach Kai Kuk Shue Ha, you'll find public portable toilets along the road you can use before starting the hike. They were pretty clean - certainly not the worst I've used in Hong Kong! You'll find several more portable toilets along the trail as well.
Starting out on the Fung Hang Family Walk
Beginning the hike, we made our way out of the village and began walking along the Fung Hang Family Walk. Along the trail are beautiful views of the rolling green hills surrounding Starling Inlet.
Shortly after leaving Kai Kuk Shue Ha village behind, you'll come to a fork in the path. Turning right to go up the stairs will take you up to the first section of the Fung Hang Family Walk. This way will eventually lead to Bride's Pool Road.
As I mentioned, we skipped this part of the family walk. Instead, we continued straight along the coastal path which becomes the Tiu Tang Lung Path.
Mangroves on Starling Inlet
As you continue along the waterfront path, be sure to admire the mangroves growing along the shoreline.
Mangroves are a group of trees and shrubs which grow in salty, coastal intertidal zones in tropical and subtropical climates. Approximately 80 species of mangrove trees exist and Hong Kong is home to 8 true mangrove species.
Climbing a Small Hill
Despite being mostly a flat trail, there is one section of the trail which heads inland and up a small hill. It's about a 27 m (88 ft) climb on paved, gradual steps.
At the top of the hill, there's a grassy area that's nicely shaded which is a good spot to rest for a bit. Then the trail heads right back down the other side of the hill.
Look Out for Wildlife
In addition to village dogs, you might also spot some wildlife on the Fung Hang Family Walk. A grazing cow provided an exciting diversion for the pups at the bottom of the hill. Their interest was unrequited however as the cow ignored them them and kept eating.
Obviously it's never a good idea to approach wildlife, including cows. So we didn't actually allow the dogs to get close to the cow.
In addition to cows, the Fung Hang Family Walk is a great spot for bird watching. We saw several white egrets throughout the day. But you may also see herons.
Back to the Waterfront
Once you descend the stairs, you're back to the waterfront walk. At the bottom of the stairs, you'll find a small local restaurant. Next to the restaurant, you'll also find the only non-portable public toilets along the trail.
Continuing along the trail, you'll find various small beaches on which you can stop to rest and take photos. Or dig a hole, you know, if you're a dog.
However, the water didn't look the cleanest, so no swimming for any of us, doggies included.
Village Houses and Historic Buildings
Although this area of Hong Kong seems pretty remote, we passed a few villages and small communities along the way. At the last village, we encountered another pack of village dogs.
Even though these dogs seemed mellow, they were curious about the sausage dogs. To avoid any confrontations, we carried the dachshunds through these villages.
At one point on the walk, we passed the historic building pictured below. Not sure if it's still in use or what it was, but it's a pretty cool old building.
Views of Yantian District, Shenzhen
As we walked further east, the views of the border between Hong Kong and mainland China got better. Rising up across the water, we could make out various buildings in the Yantian District of Shenzhen.
In addition, you can clearly see the water border where the blue barriers stretch across Starling Inlet. So close in proximity, yet so far away when you factor in border restrictions and quarantine!
Kuk Po Public Pier
Although it's hard to tell exactly where we turned around, it was somewhere close to the Kuk Po Public Pier on the map.
Since we were so far north, we lost data coverage a few times. When this happened, I think my little blue dot telling me where I was on Google Maps got confused.
Just after the Kuk Po Public Pier, the Tiu Tang Lung Path turns inward and begins heading upward into the hillside. Since we weren't keen to climb the steps and it was getting late, we turned around to head back to Kai Kuk Shue Ha.
The Fung Hang Family Walk is a picturesque, dog-friendly hike in northern Hong Kong that is a perfect way to get out in nature. Because of it's flat terrain, it's a great hike for any season and for any level of hiker!
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