The hike from Tai Tam Reservoir to Quarry Bay is a fairly popular hike on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island. The route for the hike is on Hong Kong Trail Section 6, followed by Mount Parker Road. Unfortunately, I find it quite plain vanilla because the route, except for the start, is on a paved road.
However, you can make the hike more challenging and adventurous by taking the unmarked trail via Boa Vista. The trail isn’t maintained, which means it isn’t suitable for everyone. But if you’re in the mood for a bit of “off-roading”, read on.
Boa Vista Hike
Boa Vista, literally “good view” in Portuguese, is a hill within Tai Tam Country Park with beautiful views of the reservoir and harbour area.
Depending on the direction in which you’re hiking, Tai Tam to Quarry Bay or Quarry Bay to Tai Tam, Boa Vista may come at the start or end of the hike.
To be fair, I only hiked up Boa Vista because I wanted to know if it really did have good views. It does. But because the trail is unkempt and unmarked, and there is a high probability of getting lost, I wouldn’t recommend this route unless you’re an experienced hiker. Also, this hike shouldn’t be attempted during the rains or rainy season as part of the hike is on a stream bed.
So, with that out of the way, let’s start this hike from Tai Tam Country Park.
Starting Point – Hong Kong Trail Section 6
To start this hike, make your way to the north end of Tai Tam Reservoir to the entrance of Hong Kong Trail Section 6.
To get here catch bus number 14 to Stanley Fort from outside Exit A of Sai Wan Ho MTR Station. Alight at Tai Tam Reservoir (North) bus stop. It’s the bus stop right before the Tai Tam Reservoir Dam. Once you’re on Tai Tam Road, be careful of the traffic because there is no sidewalk. The trick is to walk on the opposite lane from the flowing traffic.
From the bus stop walk back, away from the dam, till you reach the entrance to Tai Tam Country Park. This is the starting point.
The entrance to Boa Vista is the same as that to the Tai Tam Mound Waterfall.
To the hidden trail
There is no maintained trail to Boa Vista. There are a couple of unmarked trails that are relatively difficult to spot.
To get to the hidden trail for Boa Vista, enter Section 6 of the Hong Kong Trail. Walk on the trail for about 200-250 metres till you reach the bend that is shown in the picture below.
And just before the path bends, there is a hidden trail on the right-hand side. The trail is marked by colourful ribbons on tree branches. Enter the trail here.
The rocky section
The next section of the hike is the most difficult part of the entire hike, in my opinion.
As you enter the hidden trail, be sure to follow the colourful ribbon markers. The trail runs on what I believe is a stream bed, which makes it quite rocky.
The initial section is fairly easy to navigate, however, after about 100-150 metres is when it gets tough. The incline of the slope becomes steeper, and at times I did find myself clambering. My advice is to climb this section carefully. Be mindful of the rocks and the branches.
After about 400-500 metres, the rocky incline thankfully ends, and you emerge at a flat area of the hill.
The grassy section
The next section of the hike is also on an unkempt trail that is thankfully marked by ribbons. From the top of the rocky section, turn left and follow the path through the bushes and thickets.
You’ll be glad if your legs are covered during this section of the hike. Fortunately, the slope is gradual and moderate, unlike what you just climbed.
As you continue hiking, you’ll emerge onto a section where there are no more trees. Just bushes and thickets. It’s from here that the views of Tai Tam Reservoir and Tai Tam Harbour start to show. Make sure you turn around to admire the beautiful views below.
From this point, keep climbing for a couple of minutes more, and before you know it, you’ll arrive at the top of Boa Vista!
At 260 metres, Boa Vista is a relatively short hill and is overshadowed by Mount Parker and Mount Butler behind it.
But thanks to its location, it offers incredible 180-degree views. On the left are Mount Collinson and Shek O Peak, and Tai Tam Harbour. Straight ahead is the Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir. And on the right is Tai Tam Country Park and Reservoir.
Here’s a quick video showcasing the views around Boa Vista.
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After you’re done admiring the views from Boa Vista, make your way back to civilisation. The trail continues on the opposite side from where you emerged.
Follow the trail and the markers. It’s a very short trail downhill before it reaches the steps that bring you to the Hong Kong Forest Track.
Hong Kong Forest Track – Boa Vista Section
The next section of the hike is quite easy. Once you emerge from the steps, turn left and continue down Hong Kong Forest Track – Boa Vista Section for 1.5 km. It is a paved road that is mostly flat or on a slight decline.
What’s worth noting on this section of the trail are the views of Tai Tam Country Park. Once the trees clear up, you get beautiful views of Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir and the Country Park on the left. Further up ahead, you also get beautiful views of Tai Tam Reservoir.
What we loved most about this section was the lack of people. As this section of the Hong Kong Forest Track isn’t part of any other hike, we hardly saw anyone else. Unfortunately, this seclusion doesn’t last for long as the Boa Vista Section meets the Mount Parker Section.
Hong Kong Forest Track – Mount Parker Section (Back to Hong Kong Trail Section 6)
Turn right towards Mount Butler on Hong Kong Forest Track – Mount Parker Section when you reach the 3 point intersection at the end of the trail.
Now you’re back on Section 6 of the Hong Kong Trail after taking the Boa Vista detour.
The next section of the hike is also approximately 1.5 km, except it’s more challenging. The Mount Parker Section of the forest track is a steady and gradual uphill climb to Quarry Pass.
Once again, the trail is quite straightforward. Simply follow the road as it meanders its way to Quarry Pass.
Fortunately, the trail is shaded all the way and has a couple of outdoor seating areas. Take your time walking up this incline. Thankfully, there is no more uphill hiking once you reach Quarry Pass.
It’s no surprise that Quarry Pass is a very popular hiking junction. It is the meeting point of hiking trails from Mount Parker, Mount Butler, and Tai Tam Country Park.
Quarry Pass is a great spot to sit and relax while you recuperate or mentally prepare yourself to climb a hill. There is plenty of seating area and toilets.
Once you’re done resting, get ready for the last section of the hike which is the descent to Quarry Bay on Mount Parker Road.
Finish The Hike
Although the easiest route to Quarry Bay is on Mount Parker Road, it’s not very exciting. After all, there are quite a few World War 2 relics hidden behind Quarry Bay that can be explored on your way down.
Via The Wartime Stoves
On Mount Parker, you’ll notice a couple of trails heading into the woods. The most prominent one is the Quarry Bay Tree Walk. Towards the end of this walk is the site of the Wartime Stoves, an outdoor cooking area for soldiers during the war.
Via Mount Parker Viewing Point
Or you could continue on Mount Parker Road and enter the trail to Mount Parker Viewing Point. From here, you get unobstructed views of Tai Koo below. And from the viewing point, you can continue on the trail through the woods.
The trails through the woods offer a lovely contrasting view of nature and skyscrapers that we’ve come to love in Hong Kong!
Via Mount Parker Road
And if you don’t feel like taking one of these off-road trails, then continue on Mount Parker Road till the end.
You’ll still get amazing views of Tai Koo from Mount Parker Road. Remember to follow the signs for Quarry Bay if you want to end the hike close to an MTR station.
I’ve been down this section of Mount Parker Road on numerous occasions and it always feels like an endless downhill walk. And there’s always a sense of relief when it finally ends at King’s Road.
Tai Tam to Quarry Bay via Boa Vista
As you’ve understood by now, the hike from Tai Tam Reservoir to Quarry Bay is fairly straightforward and all on a paved road. But the detour via Boa Vista is only to add a bit of adventure!
Of course, you can do this hike without Boa Vista from Tai Tam Reservoir and the Tai Tam Upper Dam.
But if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to climb a hill with a Portuguese name in Hong Kong, then this is your guide. And as always, feel free to leave us a comment below or share this post on the social media channel of your choice.Also, come join us on Instagram 🙂.