How to Hike Pat Sin Leng – The 8 Immortals and Wong Leng

December 3, 2021


In Hong Kong's northeastern New Territories, Pat Sin Leng Country Park is home to a fantastic hike on a gorgeous mountain range. Undulating peaks offer a tough workout for the legs. But stunning 360-degree views reward hikers for their efforts. In this post, I'll show you how to hike the Eight Immortals and Wong Leng in Pat Sin Leng Country Park.

More...

About Pat Sin Leng Country Park 

The Pat Sin Leng Country Park is located just north of Tai Po in the northeastern New Territories region of Hong Kong. Although remote, it's fairly easy to reach via green minibuses or taxi.

Brief Summary of Pat Sin Leng and Wong Leng Hike

Distance: ~12.6 km /  7.8 mi
Duration: Approx. 5 - 5.5 hours 

Elevation Gain*: ~815 m / 2,674 ft
Elevation Loss*: ~841 m / 2,759 ft

*All elevation gains/losses are approximate based on my Google Maps calculations and the height of the peaks.

The hike through this country park begins on a forested nature trail which leads up to the Wilson Trail, Sec. 9. Once on this trail, you'll traverse several peaks as you hike from east to west through Pat Sin Leng Country Park:

  • Pat Sin Leng, or Ridge of Eight Immortals - Eight distinct peaks ranging from 489 m - 590 m /1,604 ft - 1,936 ft in elevation. 
  • Wong Leng, or Yellow Ridge - 639 m / 2,097 ft

From these peaks, you'll have sweeping 360-degree views of Plover Cove Reservoir, Tolo Harbour, as well as notable Hong Kong peaks, including Tai Mo Shan and Ma On Shan. Since this park is so far north, on a clear day, you can even see the Shenzhen skyline. 

View of Tolo Harbour

Pro Tip: Get an early start! Getting to/from the trailhead will likely add at least a couple hours to your journey, especially if coming from HK Island.

Who Should Hike the Wilson Trail, Sec. 9?

In my opinion, the Wilson Trail Sec. 9 leading over Pat Sin Leng and Wong Leng is a difficult hike. Not only is it incredibly steep in certain sections, but it's also fairly rocky terrain. 

Plus, the undulating ridgeline means you're constantly going up or down stairs for much of the hike. 

Pat Sin Leng trail

One of many sections leading down before heading straight back up!

As a result, I recommend this hike for more experienced hikers with a good level of fitness. Even though I like to think this describes me, I had sore legs for a several days afterwards!

When to Hike the Pat Sin Leng Range?

Since the trail leading over Pat Sin Leng and Wong Leng is very exposed with little shade, I'd recommend this hike for cooler months. Or perhaps, on a partially cloudy day. No matter what, just remember your sun protection!

In order to take full advantage of the views from the peaks, try to hike Pat Sin Leng on an unpolluted day.

Sunny Wilson Trail, Sec. 9

Our Experience Hiking the Pat Sin Leng Trail

When we hiked Pat Sin Leng on a Saturday in late-November, it was perfect. The skies were fairly clear which meant we had amazing views. And even though it was sunny, it was cool enough that we didn't overheat (too much).

Despite hiking on a Saturday, the trail wasn't too crowded. By that I mean, even though we passed plenty of other hikers, we moved at different paces. This helped us not to feel like we were on top of each other.

However, I can't say the same for the lines to get a taxi/minibus out to the park! More on that in a bit.

Items for Your Hike

A few things that I would specifically recommend for this hike:

  • Water and Snacks: It's a long hike with lots of peaks to climb so be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you going.
  •  Sunscreen: Lots of sun exposure on this hike so be sure to wear sunscreen or other sun protection.
  • Hiking Shoes: Highly recommend good hiking shoes or trail sneakers with good traction and ankle support due to the rocky terrain.
  • Hiking Poles: Could be useful, especially climbing down the rocky descent. (We don't have them, but have seen others using them.)

Getting To Pat Sin Leng Country Park

Although there are several ways to get to the Wilson Trail, Sec. 9 in Pat Sin Leng Country Park, we chose to hike east to west beginning in Tai Mei Tuk Tsuen and ending in Fung Yuen.

Due to the park's location up in northeastern Hong Kong, it takes a while to get there from where we live on western Hong Kong Island.

From Kennedy Town, it took us ~2 hours to get to the trailhead in Tai Mei Tuk Tsuen. This is partially due to how long we had to wait in the taxi line.

How to Get to Tai Mei Tuk Tsuen

To get to the trailhead in Tai Mei Tuk Tsuen, we took the MTR to the Tai Po Market Station on the East Rail Line (switching lines several times).

When we arrived in Tai Po around noon, we encountered long lines at both the minibus station and the taxi stand.

Taxi line in Hong Kong

On a busy weekend, you can get started on your tan just waiting in the taxi line at Tai Po Market Station!

Ultimately, we took a taxi from Tai Po Market Station to the Plover Cove Country Park Tai Mei Tuk Management Centre - the start of the hike. It cost HK $85 (US $11) and took around 20 minutes.

To get to the trailhead on public transportation, take the 20R Green Minibus from Tai Po Market Station and get off at the Shuen Wan Country Park stop.

Green Minibus in Hong Kong

New to Hong Kong? Check out this Guide to Using Public Transportation.

Overview of Pat Sin Leng Hike

This challenging 12.6-km / 7.8-mi hike through the Pat Sin Leng Country Park traverses several peaks while offering incredible views. In this hiking guide, I'll walk you through the route we followed.

Plus, in each section, I've put together a brief summary chart with some stats like the one below: 

Distance: ~12.6 km /  7.8 mi
Duration: Approx. 5 - 5.5 hours 

Elevation Gain*: ~815 m / 2,674 ft
Elevation Loss*: ~841 m / 2,759 ft

*All elevation gains/losses are approximate based on my Google Maps calculations and the height of the peaks.

Be aware that since you're climbing up and down several peaks, you'll end up conquering more elevation gain than you might expect. That's something I hadn't really considered when I decided to work my way up to the higher peaks this winter!

Pat Sin Leng and Wong Leng Hiking Map

Click on the map below to follow the route that we used to hike the Eight Immortals and Wong Leng through Pat Sin Leng Country Park.

Pat Sin Leng Hike Map

CLICK TO OPEN IN GOOGLE MAPS

Starting Point - Tai Mei Tuk

Once you arrive at the Plover Cove Country Park Tai Mei Tuk Management Centre on Bride's Pool Road, you'll find a visitor center and decent public toilets. Take advantage of them since you won't find any toilet facilities on the trail.

Plover Cove Country Park Tai Mei Tuk Management Centre

Then, follow signs to the Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail start your hike.  

Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail

Despite being a nature trail, which I generally I think of as easy trails, the Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail begins climbing immediately.

Start of Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail

At first, you'll have gentle stone stairs leading you upward with views of Plover Cove Reservoir and Tai Mei Tuk Tsuen below.

Stone steps on Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail

Along the way, check out the signs informing you what the various plants are. Other signs provide information about the reservoir and islands you can see below.

Across the reservoir, Ma On Shan looms over the landscape. Looking at that peak brought back memories of another challenging trail!   

View of Plover Cove Reservoir

Plover Cove Reservoir with Ma On Shan Peak off to the right.

Changing Terrain on Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail

As you climb higher, the terrain gets more difficult with plenty of boulders, rocks, and tree roots to navigate.

At first, the climb on the Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail is fairly gradual and mostly in the shade during the afternoon. Although later it evolves into steeper stairs.  

Rocky Trail Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail

Once you arrive at a fork in the trail with a stone sign pointing up towards Pat Sin Leng, you'll turn and leave the nature trail behind. 

Quick Summary of Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail Section

Distance: 2.1 km / 1.3 mi
Elevation Gain: ~300 m / 985 ft

Start Time: 12:45 pm
End Time: 1:30 pm

Wilson Trail, Sec. 10

At the fork in the trail, you'll turn left off of the Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail and onto the Wilson Trail, Sec. 10. This trail is basically just steep stairs leading up to the Pat Sin Leng mountain range.

Stairs on Wilson Trail, Sec. 10 to 8 Immortals
Stairs on Hong Kong hike

It's a short, yet steep climb. Kind of reminded me of The Twins hike on Hong Kong Island actually. Just stairs after stairs. Luckily, it was still mostly in the shade.

Stairs up to Pat Sin Leng with view

After this Stairmaster workout, you'll reach the first peak on the Pat Sin Leng mountain range - Hsien Ku Fung. 

Quick Summary of Wilson Trail, Sec. 10 Section

Distance: 0.5 km / 0.3 mi
Elevation Gain: ~160 m / 525 ft

Start Time: 1:30 pm
End Time: 1:50 pm

Pat Sin Leng Mountain Range

Once you reach the first peak on the Pat Sin Leng mountain range, the trail becomes the Wilson Trail, Sec. 9. You'll continue following this trail across the ridgeline.

View of Plover Cove Reservoir from Hsien Ku Fung

Because the trail on Pat Sin Leng is so exposed, you have clear 360-degree views from the various peaks. Of course, this exposure also means you're getting lots of sun so remember to hydrate as you make your way up and down the peaks. 

About the Eight Immortals

Each of the peaks you'll encounter on the Pat Sin Leng range is named after one of the legendary immortals (or xian) in Chinese mythology.

Below I'll list the peaks from east to west, plus include each one's elevation and the immortal after which it was named. 

Hsien Ku Fung

Hsien Ku Fung is the easternmost peak of the Pat Sin Leng mountain range and has an elevation of 511 m / 1,677 ft. It's named after the Immortal Woman He Xiangu.

Hsien Ku Fung sign

Once we got to the top of Hsien Ku Fung, I think it became clear just how tough this hike might be. Ahead, you can clearly see the undulating ridgeline of Pat Sin Leng.

Pat Sin Leng mountain range

The stairs between the first few peaks are somewhat difficult to navigate as the dirt has eroded away in several places. Take care not to trip over the wooden parts of the steps as you make your way down them.

Sheung Tsz Fung

Sheung Tsz Fung has an elevation of 513 m / 1,683 ft and is named after the Immortal Han Xiangzi.

Sheung Tsz Fung sign
Choi Wu Fung

Choi Wu Fung has an elevation of 489 m / 1,605 ft and is the lowest peak on the Pat Sin Leng range. It's named after the Immortal Lan Caihe. 

Choi Wu Fung sign
Tsao Kau Fung

Tsao Kau Fung has an elevation of 508 m / 1,667 ft and is named after the Immortal Royal Uncle Cao Guojiu.

Tsao Kau Fung sign
Stone steps after Tsao Kau Fung

After a couple peaks, the path becomes stone stairs which makes navigating it much easier.  

Kuai Li Fung

Kuai Li Fung has an elevation of 522 m / 1,713 ft and is named after the Immortal Iron-crutch Li Tieguai.

Kuai Li Fung sign

As you can see, even on the trail between the peaks, you'll have magnificent views. They're a nice distraction as your legs scream at you.

Pat Sin Leng Trail and Plover Cove Reservoir
Kao Lao Fung

Kao Lao Fung has an elevation of 543 m / 1,782 ft and is named after the Immortal Zhang Guolao.

Kao Lao Fung sign
Becky on Pat Sin Leng Trail

From here, I can see the last of the 8 Immortals ahead. Well, technically you can see it all the way from the start, but it's much closer now!

Chung Li Fung

Chung Li Fung has an elevation of 529 m / 1,736 ft and is named after the Immortal Zhongli Quan.

Chung Li Fung sign

Of all the peaks on the Pat Sin Leng trail, Chung Li Fung is the only one that you cannot seem to get to the top. The trail leads you by this sign, but there doesn't seem to be a way through the brush to get to the summit or to see a view. 

Shun Yeung Fung

Shun Yeung Fung is the westernmost and tallest peak on the Pat Sin Leng mountain range. It has an elevation of 590 m / 1,936 ft and is named after the Immortal LΓΌ Dongbin. 

From the top of Shun Yeung Fung, you can easily look back over the entire Pat Sin Leng mountain range and see where you started on Hsien Ku Fung.

Shun Yeung Fung sign
Quick Summary of Pat Sin Leng (8 Immortals) Section

Distance: 1.2 km / 0.7 mi
Elevation Gain: ~133 m / 437 ft
Elevation Loss: ~56 m / 184 ft

Start Time: 1:50 pm
End Time: 2:45 pm

Only Hiking the Pat Sing Leng (8 Immortals) Range? 

If you're only interested in hiking the Pat Sin Leng mountain range, you could turn around once you reach Shun Yeung Fung. Going back the same way, you know exactly what to expect!

If you only hike to the end of the 8 Immortals and back, the hike is 7.6 km / 4.7 mi in length with ~655 m / 2,149 ft of elevation gain.

Continuing to Wong Leng on Wilson Trail, Sec. 9

Despite my tired legs, we kept pushing forward to Wong Leng since that was our original plan. I tend to get very determined to finish once I've set a hiking goal.

Jeremy on Wilson Trail, Sec 9 to Wong Leng

After Shun Yeung Fung, the Wilson Trail, Sec. 9 descends about a hundred meters (330 ft) or so. The terrain alternates between stone steps and very rocky trail.

Although you won't find much shade, the views continue to be spectacular as you make your way across the grassy hills. Eventually you'll begin to climb uphill again as you make your way towards Wong Leng.

Rocky Climb on Wilson Trail, Sec. 9

Looking off to the right, I could see the area with the easy, coastal trail along Starling Inlet that I hiked the week before with the sausage dogs. Across the inlet, you can easily see the Yantian District of Shenzhen. 

View of Starling Inlet and Yantian District

Climbing Wong Leng

Roughly 2 km (1.3 mi) from the last Immortal, you'll reach Wong Leng. To climb to the summit, take the rocky path up to the top of the hill.

Though you might be tempted to skip it, it's not far and is worth that extra scramble to reach the highest peak in Pat Sin Leng Country Park. 

Rocky scramble to Wong Leng

Wong Leng Summit

At the top of Wong Leng (639 m / 2,097 ft), you'll find stunning 360-degree views.

To the south, you'll see Plover Cove Reservoir, Tolo Harbour, and Tsz Shan Monastery with its large State of Guanyin (Goddess of Mercy). Across Tolo Harbour, Ma On Shan Peak rises above the rest of the landscape.

View of Tolo Harbour from Wong Leng

Meanwhile, on a clear day, you'll see the sprawling metropolis of Shenzhen to the northwest, just across the border in mainland China. Although a tad hazy on the day we hiked to Wong Leng, we could still make out the skyline.

View of western Pat Sin Leng Country Park and Shenzhen from Wong Leng
Quick Summary of Pat Sin Leng to Wong Leng Section

Distance: 2 km / 1.2 mi
Elevation Gain: ~153 m / 502 ft
Elevation Loss: ~100 m / 328 ft

Start Time: 2:45 pm
End Time: 3:40 pm

Wilson Trail, Sec. 9 towards Hok Tau

After climbing down from Wong Leng, you're roughly halfway through your hike. I'll admit, at this point I was asking, "How are we only halfway finished?!" 

Trail from Wong Leng over green hills

Luckily, the rest of the trail is mostly downhill as you follow the Wilson Trail, Sec. 9 towards Hok Tau. For us, this meant the second half of the hike distance-wise passed more quickly than the first half since I hike faster going down the hills.

Rocky trail in Pat Sin Leng Country Park

As you make your down across the hillside, the trail is rocky yet a fairly gradual sloping downhill. But after a couple kilometers, the trail turns into steep, rocky steps that require a slower pace.

Ironically, I think this downhill section is what killed my calf muscles for several days. 

Steep rocky trail in Pat Sin Leng

Because the sun sets earlier these days, the second half of our hike ended up more shaded than expected with a nice evening glow.

Hazy evening glow on mountains
Quick Summary of Wong Leng to Hok Tau Split

Distance: 3 km / 1.9 mi
Elevation Gain: ~3 m / 10 ft
Elevation Loss: ~476 m / 1,562 ft

Start Time: 3:40 pm
End Time: 4:50 pm

Split in Trail for Returning Home

After a long sharp descent, you'll reach a split in the trail. At this point, you can decide which way works best for you to end your hike. Both ways lead you to minibuses that can take you back to the MTR.

Trail split sign for Ping Shan Chai
Trail to Ping Shan Chai

We chose Option 2 towards Ping Shan Chai, which is the route on the Google Map I've provided, but I'll share both ways.

Option 1: Trail to Hok Tau Reservoir

If you turn right towards Hok Tau, you'll reach Hok Tau Reservoir where you'll join up with the Hok Tau Reservoir Family Walk. Turn right and follow the trail around the reservoir towards Hok Tau Road. 

After 2.6 km / 1.6 mi, you'll reach Hok Tau Village where you can catch the 52B Green Minibus to Fanling Station on the MTR's East Rail Line. 

Click here for the Google Map instructions for this portion of the hike. 

Option 2: Trail to Ping Shan Chai

Because apparently, I hadn't walked enough, we chose option 2. It's a slightly longer route to the minibus stop at 3.8 km / 2.4 mi.

However, this pretty trail takes you through peaceful forests, past old abandoned villages, and ends with beautiful views of Tai Po.

Forest trail to Ping Shan Chai
Ping Shan Chai trail with Wong Leng in background

As you follow the trail, be sure to look behind you for views of the Pat Sin Leng mountain range you just hiked. When you reach the open field, continue to follow signs for Fung Yuen. 

Sha Lo Tung Cheung Uk

After the field, you'll pass the abandoned village and paddies of Sha Lo Tung. This traditional Hong Kong hamlet contains about 10 village houses which have been taken over by greenery. 

Sha Lo Tung abandoned village
Sha Lo Tung ghost town houses
Sha Lo Tung ancestor worship

If it hadn't already been getting dark, we would have stopped to explore this ghost town further. But we weren't sure how much longer we had to hike, so we kept going.

Steps to Fung Yuen

After Sha Lo Tung village, continue to follow the paved road towards Fung Yuen.

Road to Fung Yuen

However, about one kilometer (0.8 mi) after leaving the village, you'll come to a long set of stairs off to your right with a sign pointing to Fung Yuen. Be sure to take those stairs! 

Stairs to Fung Yuen

On Google Maps, the way the road and stairs are represented seem to be switched. If you continue to follow the road, you might have a much longer walk. On the stairs, you'll have gorgeous views of Tai Po and if you're lucky, a sunset!

View of Tai Po in sunset
Fung Yuen

When you reach the bottom of the stairs in Fung Yuen, you'll find some portable toilets as well as a road leading towards the minibus stop.

Fung Yuen - end of hike and portable toilets
Quick Summary - Ping Shan Chai Trail to Fung Yuen

Distance: 3.8 km / 2.4 mi
Elevation Gain: ~66 m / 216 ft
Elevation Loss: ~209 m / 686 ft

Start Time: 4:50 pm
End Time: 5:55 pm

Returning Home from Fung Yuen

We took the 20P Green Minibus towards Tai Po Market Station on the MTR's East Rail Line. From Tai Po Market Station, we returned home on the MTR. 

Our return journey from Fung Yuen to Kennedy Town took around 1.5 hours, though stopped to eat a snack before getting on the MTR at Tai Po Market Station.

Evening in Tai Po

If you're feeling up to it, you could grab a bite to eat at one of the many local eateries in Tai Po. 

Since I was exhausted and badly wanted a shower, we went straight home this time. We'll have to save exploring Tai Po for another day!

Looking for other Hong Kong hikes? Check out my HIKING page!

Final Thoughts

The hike through Pat Sin Leng Country Park is a beautiful, yet challenging trail which takes you over the undulating peaks of the Eight Immortals and Wong Leng. Its stunning views and varied terrain make it an absolute must for experienced hikers in Hong Kong.

Hike in Pat Sin Leng Country Park for Beginners

Even if you don't hike the peaks, it's worth a trip out to Tai Po District to visit Pat Sin Leng Country Park. In fact, beginner hikers might enjoy a hike from Fung Yuen up to Sha Lo Tung. Then, walk the forest trail to Ping Shan Chai and around Hok Tau Reservoir to finish at Hok Tau Village. This hike is another great way to experience the gorgeous natural beauty and lush greenery of this country park.

Other Hikes You Might Enjoy

If you're looking for other challenging hikes in Hong Kong, you might enjoy the following hiking guides:

Happy hiking!


Like this article? Pin it!

A Hiking Guide 8 Immortals + Wong Leng
Hiking Pat Sin Leng - How to Hike 8 Immortals & Wong Leng
  • I must admit to being intrigued by hiking to a spot called the Eight Immortals. Interesting to read more about them. What amazing views you got over the Plover Cove Reservoir. I am just not sure I am up to hiking along the undulating ridge line. So awesome to get this view though your eyes. But we would visit the Pat Sin Long Country Park to enjoy some of the outdoor beauty in this area.

    • The name “Eight Immortals” does have an epic ring to it, doesn’t it? Although the ridgeline is a challenging hike, you could definitely do some of the lower trails and enjoy the views from there as well.

  • Plover Cove Reservoir with Ma On Shan Peak with no civilization in sight (at least not for someone with my eyesight) looks almost a bit like Bora Bora. Your hikes seem to be getting more challenging each time you head out, Becky! I like the clear structure of your hiking posts and to be honest, I’m thinking about using a similar structure for one of my upcoming posts, hope that’s ok. πŸ™‚

    • Sometimes I think places in Hong Kong look like remote island getaways too, Stefan. I’m so glad you like the structure of the post. It’s nice to hear that feedback. I certainly don’t mind if you’re inspired to use a similar format in your articles. πŸ™‚ (Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond!)

    • All those hills were definitely a challenge for me, but Pat Sin Leng is one of the most beautiful hikes for the views. It’s so fun to get out and explore the more remote country parks in Hong Kong.

  • Wow Becky Eight Immortals and Wong Leng is a long hike and sounds hard! However, the views are incredible and I’m sure it would spur me on, as it did you. I also find the descent harder as it kills my knees lol. Another stunning Hong Kong hike to add to the list.

    • It was a challenging hike for me, Wendy. Luckily I’m always more motivated to continue when I know good views are to come. These Hong Kong hikes are definitely difficult on the knees – so many stairs!

  • What a day!! You continue to find all these hikes. I had no idea. And they are all so β€œestablished” with infrastructure too…

    • It was a gorgeous, clear day! I think Hong Kong has done a good job of clearing trails and establishing trails since you lived here. Although some trails are still not marked, you can see many of them on Google Maps which is how we typically find them.

    • Thanks, Jen. The scenery on the Pat Sin Leng hike kept me going. Plus, I’m always more motivated to continue to see something I haven’t yet than I am to return the same way I came. Even if it’s a harder route!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
    >