Kai Kung Leng (Rooster Ridge) Hike in Lam Tsuen Country Park

December 14, 2021


On a cool, clear Saturday morning, we set out on another hiking adventure. This time, we'd tackle the Kai Kung Leng hike near Yuen Long. A steep and exposed trail, it offers epic 360-degree views for almost the entire hike. And so far, it's the best view of the Shenzhen skyline that I've found in Hong Kong! In this article, I'll show you how to hike this incredibly scenic trail in Lam Tsuen Country Park.

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Preparing for the Kai Kung Leng Hike

The Kai Kung Lung hike is a steep climb on a grassy mountain ridge in Lam Tsuen Country Park in northern New Territories. This trail is also sometimes referred to as Rooster Ridge, in English. 

Although not a long hike, it's still fairly difficult due to steep and slippery trail conditions. Plus, since trees are sparse, the sun exposure on the hike is intense.

Distance: ~6.6 km / 4.1 mi
Duration: Approx. 4 hours 

Elevation Gain*: ~630 m / 2,067 ft
Elevation Loss*: ~613 m / 2,011 ft

*All elevation gains/losses are approximate based on my Google Maps calculations.

Jeremy hiking up grassy hill on Rooster Ridge-min

Hiking the Kai Kung Leng trail from west to east as we did, you'll begin by climbing up steep, rickety stairs. Then, the trail turns into a dirt path which leads you over several peaks on your way to the top. After conquering the tallest peak on the ridgeline, it's a steep, slippery descent to the other end of the trail.

Who Should Hike It?

In my opinion, the Kai Kung Leng trail is a difficult hike due to the trail conditions and sun exposure so I'd recommend this hike for experienced hikers. And apparently so does the HK Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

We encountered this warning sign (below) as we finished our hike. It was a bit too late for us, but luckily, we were prepared anyway.

Safety in Kai Kung Leng sign

Warning sign for the Kai Kung Leng Trail

Whereas many hikes in Hong Kong have stairs on the steeper sections, much of the Kai Kung Leng trail is rocky, dirt scrambles. Proper footwear is essential to avoid slipping and falling. Even still, you have to be careful about loose rocks as you go. 

When to Hike the Kai Kung Leng Trail?

Due to the sun exposure on the majority of the trail, I recommend this hike for cooler months in Hong Kong. Just be sure to pick an unpolluted day to fully appreciate the spectacular views from the Kai Kung Leng trail.

View of Rooster Ridge Trail

Way up in northern Hong Kong, this trail doesn't get overly crowded, even on weekends. So, you could really hike it any day of the week.

Items for Your Hike

Here are a few things I suggest you remember to bring on your hike:

  • Water and Snacks: It's steep hike with lots of sun exposure so be sure to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated, plus snacks to keep you going.
  • Sunscreen: Even in winter, the sun exposure on this hike is no joke so be sure to wear sunscreen or other sun protection.
  • Hiking Shoes: Hiking shoes or trail sneakers with good traction are essential on this steep, slippery, rocky trail.
  • Hiking Poles: We still don't have hiking poles, but this is a trail where I wished we had them - especially climbing down the rocky trail.
  • Cash: Be sure to bring cash and small change along for taxis/red minibuses. 

Getting to Kai Kung Leng

To get to the Kai Kung Leng hike, we took the MTR to the Yuen Long Station on the Tuen Ma Line (switching lines several times). 

From Yuen Long, you can get to the trailhead a couple different ways.

Green Minibus

At Yuen Long Station, on the other side of Yoho II Mall, you can catch the 603 Green Minibus to the Mo Fan Heung stop on Fung Kat Heung Road. From there, it's a short walk to the trailhead.

Because it was our first time to Yuen Long and I'm terrible at navigating through malls, we gave up looking for the minibus and took a taxi instead.

Taxi

By far the easiest way to get to the Kai Kung Leng trailhead is to take a taxi. Simply exit Yuen Long Station at exit G1, then follow signs towards the taxi stand. 

We showed our driver that we wanted to go to Fung Kat Heung Road. I think she realized we wanted to hike that trail and drove us down to the basketball court which is almost at the trailhead. The ride only cost HK $36.  

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

Overview of Kai Kung Leng Hike

The trail along Kai Kung Leng, or Rooster Ridge, is a steep, rocky hike with breathtaking views. In this guide, I'll share the route we hiked, plus show you some of its incredible views. 

Along the way, I'll provide some stats to give you an idea of what to expect on each section of the hike.

Quick Overview of Kai Kung Leng Hike

Distance: ~6.6 km / 4.1 mi
Duration: Approx. 4 hours 

Elevation Gain*: ~630 m / 2,067 ft
Elevation Loss*: ~613 m / 2,011 ft

*All elevation gains/losses are approximate based on my Google Maps calculations.

Kai Kung Leng Hiking Map

If you'd like to follow the route we took to hike Kai Kung Leng through Lam Tsuen Country Park, click on the map below to open the map in Google Maps.

Kai Kung Leng Hiking Map

CLICK TO OPEN IN GOOGLE MAPS

Kai Kung Leng Trailhead

We began our hike up Kai Kung Leng on Fung Kat Heung Road in Kam Tin village in northern New Territories. As I mentioned, we took a taxi to get there. The trailhead is just past a basketball court on the right side of the road.

At first, we weren't quite sure we'd found the trailhead. But seeing us hesitantly circling it, a friendly minibus driver helped us out. As he drove by, he honked and pointed at the stairs to let us know we'd found the right spot. So up towards the electrical lines we went.

Kai Kung Leng trailhead in Kam Tin

Toilet Tips: Although you won't find public toilets at the start of the trailhead, there is one a few hundred meters away - Wah Shing Tsuen Public Toilet. Likewise, you won't find them at the end of the trail either but there's one nearby - Ying Pun Tsuen Public Toilet. There are no toilet facilities on the Kai Kung Leng trail.

Beginning the Kai Kung Leng Climb

The first part of the Kai Kung Leng trail is a steep climb on rickety steps that have seen better days. The dirt which makes up the actual step has been washed away on some of the stairs, just leaving a piece of wood sticking up into the trail. Almost makes it more difficult to climb than if there were no stairs at all!

Start of Kai Kung Leng trail

Shortly into the climb, you'll begin to see the magnificent views. Down below you, you'll see the village of Kam Tin. In the distance, Tai Mo Shan - the tallest peak in Hong Kong - towers above Lam Tsuen Valley.

View of Lam Tsuen Valley from Kai Kung Leng

Climbing the First Peak - Kai Kung Shan

Once you get to the ridgeline, be sure to look behind you to appreciate the views back towards Yuen Long. The wetland areas of the Nam Sang Wai fishponds offer a different kind of scenery than you usually find in Hong Kong.

Trail to Kai Kung Leng

As you make your way higher, the stairs disappear leaving a dirt path for the trail. At this point, the steep hills become more challenging to climb since you have to navigate dusty slopes. 

Trail to Kai Kung Shan
Rocky trail to Kai Kung Shan

Reaching the first peak - Kai Kung Shan (374 m / 1,227 ft), you'll feel pretty accomplished already. Though you still have a lot of climbing to go.

Kai Kung Shan peak

From Kai Kung Shan, you'll have incredible views of the sprawling Shenzhen skyline as well as Deep Bay and the Nam Sang Wai fishponds in northern Hong Kong.

Views of Deep Bay and Nam Sang Wai fishponds

Looking out over the scenery, I also noticed a few large suburban developments that seem much different from any others in Hong Kong.

Quick Summary - Part 1: Ascent to Kai Kung Shan

Distance: 1.4 km / 0.9 mi
Elevation Gain: ~345 m / 1,132 ft

Start Time: 12:45 pm
End Time: 1:50 pm

Short Descent 

After Kai Kung Shan, the trail descends slightly as you traverse a flatter part of the ridge. It's a nice break for the legs and offers beautiful views of the mountainside ahead. 

Becky at Kai Kung Shan peak

Since we hiked this trail at the beginning of December, Rooster Ridge still had a bit of green mixed with the brown hillside. In my opinion, this mix of colors was beautiful and made the hills look a bit like a tapestry. Further into winter, I imagine the hillside will turn completely brown.  

Lam Tsuen Country Park - Rooster Ridge

Climbing the Rocky Rooster Ridge

Next up on the Rooster Ridge Trail, you'll face a series of steep, rocky climbs. Honestly, the photos don't do justice to the steepness of the trail. I'd seen photos before hiking this trail and thought, "Oh, it doesn't have stairs so it can't be that steep." I was wrong.

Trails through brown grass Lam Tsuen Country Park

Much steeper than it looks!

Although you'll see several paths on many sections of this hike, it doesn't really matter which one you take. They all lead back to the same place. Try to choose one that looks less dusty and has natural stairs worked into the rocks.

View of Lam Tsuen Country Park

Looking over the hillside, you can see other trails leading up to the Kai Kung Leng Trail

As you hike from west to east, natural breaks occur throughout the climb. These breaks are good spots to rest, take photos, and appreciate the majestic views surrounding you.  

Becky on Kai Kung Leng hike

Behind me is the part we'd already hiked - explains my red face, right?

People on Kai Kung Leng trail

A more adventurous climber than I am posing on the rocks.

Summits of Kai Kung Leng

Once you reach the first summit, you'll probably think you're at the top. The views are spectacular and you can see for miles and miles. 

Shenzhen skyline from Lam Tsuen Country Park

However, then you'll see that there's actually one more peak to go. Kai Kung Leng has two peaks that are almost the same height. The first peak is 572 m / 1,877 ft. The second peak is 585 m / 1,919 ft, which is the highest point in Lam Tsuen Country Park.

Kai Kung Leng Peak

Between the two peaks, you'll have a short downhill section before going straight back up.  

Quick Summary - Part 2: Ascent to Highest Point on Trail

Distance: 2.4 km / 1.5 mi
Elevation Gain: ~264 m / 866 ft
Elevation Loss: ~64 m / 210 ft

Start Time: 1:50 pm
End Time: 3:05 pm

Steep Descent on the Kai Kung Leng Trail

After passing the final peak on the Kai Kung Leng trail, you'll begin a steep, rocky descent which doesn't relent much until you've finished the hike. Slowly making our way downward, I was glad we hadn't climbed up this direction.

Though if we'd had, due to our timing, we'd have seen a gorgeous sunset on the hike back down the western side of Lam Tsuen Country Park. Something to consider when planning your hike.

Rocky eastern trail on Kai Kung Leng

Throughout the entire descent, the dusty trail was very slippery. On a flatter section, I ended up slipping because I wasn't being as cautious as I had been on the steeper sections. Luckily, I caught myself and only ended up with a dusty hand.

Views of Tai To Yan

The Tai To Yan mountains look much greener than Kai Kung Leng. 

As you make your way downhill, you'll have beautiful views of the other section of Lam Tsuen Country Park - the mountainside of Tai To Yan. Perhaps we'll hike that ridgeline later this winter.

Jungle Trail to Fan Kam Road

From open and exposed trail to hacking your way through a jungle, the final part of the Kai Kung Leng trail is quite a difference! The dense brush wasn't my favorite as the overgrown branches scratched up my calves. If I'd been in shorts, it would have been worse. 

Overgrown section on Kai Kung Leng trail

Once you hit the concrete path and stairs leading down to the road, you're almost to the end. Emerging from the forest, you'll come to a peaceful village setting. Duck under the pipe and head up the steps to the Fan Kam Road.

Concrete path to Fan Kam Rd
Pipe on trail
Quick Summary - Part 3: Steep Descent

Distance: 2.8 km / 1.7 mi
Elevation Gain: ~14 m / 46 ft
Elevation Loss: ~565 m / 1,853 ft

Start Time: 3:10 pm
End Time: 4:40 pm

Returning to the MTR

At Fan Kam Road, turn right to head towards the 77K bus stop. Although our plan was to take the 77K bus back to the MTR, we ended up on a different bus.

Bus stop on Fan Kam Rd

As we stood waiting for the 77K, a red minibus (going to Yuen Long) pulled over and stopped for us. Since I hate just waiting around, we hopped on that bus instead. Luckily, the driver told us when to get off in Yuen Long to catch the MTR. The ride cost HK $11 per person and we paid in cash.

Dinner in Yuen Long

After our hike, we were pretty hungry and since the Yoho Mall has plenty of dining options, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We pretty much stopped at the first place we saw - Phở Lê - because who can turn down a big bowl of pho after a vigorous hike? Not me!

Pho at Yoho Mall

Final Thoughts

Although the Kai Kung Leng trail is a bit off-the-beaten path, it's a great hike with gorgeous views and worth the trip out to northern Hong Kong. With the right shoes, sunscreen, and plenty of water, it's the perfect hike for a cool, winter day.

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!


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Hiking Guide Kai Kung Leng Northern Hong Kong
Rooster Ridge Hike in Hong Kong
Kai Kung Leng Hike in Lam Tsuen Country Park
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