The Buffalo Hill hike, from Wong Nai Tau to Pak Sha Wan, is the perfect blend of scenic and challenging. At almost 7 km long, the best way to describe the hike is that it has a long climb up, and a long walk down. But the incline and decline are relatively moderate.
On the way to Buffalo Hill, you get to appreciate views of Shatin, Plover Cove Reservoir, and even Shenzhen if it’s a clear day! And on your way down, you’ll be in awe of the breathtaking views of Sai Kung and Ma On Shan Country Park.
From on top of West Buffalo Hill and Buffalo Hill, you get to admire gorgeous 360-degree panoramic views. It is worth noting that these are two different peaks, and although they’re side-by-side, they offer different perspectives of the same view.
So, if you’re up for a scenic and challenging hike, here’s what you need to know about the Buffalo Hill Hike.
Buffalo Hill Hike – Map & Elevation Profile
At almost 7 km, the Buffalo Hill Hike isn’t exactly short. Although you can rush through the hike and complete it in 3 hours, you’d want to take your time to really admire the views.
The highest point on this hike is Buffalo Hill at 606 metres, which is a good 111 metres higher than Lion Rock. But because the incline of the Buffalo Hill hike is less steep, the Lion Rock Hike feels far more intense.
Click here to open the hiking directions on Google Maps.
And here is a quick video of the entire hike to give you a glimpse of what lies ahead.
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To start the Buffalo Hill Hike, make your way to the Wong Nai Tau Bus Terminus in the Shatin district. How to arrive here will depend on where you’re coming from. But there are plenty of buses that terminate or stop at the Wong Nai Tau Bus Terminus and the easiest way is to Google Maps your way.
Once you arrive at the bus stop, walk up the path and you’ll immediately notice a signpost for West Buffalo Hill. This is the starting point.
Now with all my hikes, I like to break them down into sections or parts which makes them easier to remember.
Wong Nai Tau Bus Terminus to Fa Sam Hang Village
The first part of this hike is pretty straightforward. From the bus stop, follow the path that points you in the direction of West Buffalo Hill. This paved path goes around a couple of houses before arriving at Fa Sam Hang Village, at a 3-way intersection.
From here, turn right and continue down the path till you arrive at the next sign that points you towards the start of the trail for West Buffalo Hill.
Fa Sam Hang Village to the hidden trail
The start of this trail is a mix of low steps and inclines. Fortunately, it’s covered all along the way.
A few minutes later the paved trail ends right next to a sign for Shek Nga Pui. Continue on this path for another 10 minutes. Fortunately, this section of the trail is also covered.
As the trail twists and climbs, keep an eye out for a narrow turn that slips away from the main trail. In fact, we missed this turn and continued walking for another 2 minutes. Once we realised our mistake, we traced our steps back to this hidden trail that is essentially a shortcut to West Buffalo Hill.
The hidden trail to West Buffalo Hill
You could continue hiking along the trail to Shek Nga Pui and make it to West Buffalo Hill too. But taking this hidden trail will drastically reduce the time taken and distance covered.
From this point on, the incline gets slightly more challenging. The trail remains visible all the way through, but it does get quite narrow. I was wearing shorts and my legs did get scratched up quite a bit by the low bushes.
Also, we didn’t find too many hikers on this path. But whenever we did, one of us had to be more accommodating to allow the other to pass.
The first quarter or so of this section of the hike is shaded, but once the trees clear you begin to get great views of Shatin behind you. And the views only get better as you climb higher.
At the halfway point, the views are absolutely fantastic! On a clear day you’ll be able to not only see Shatin below, but the Plover Cover Reservoir, the Tsz Shan Monastery, and the Shenzhen skyline! Somewhere around here, there’s a giant boulder that you can climb on top of and shoot some pretty amazing photos.
Soon after the boulder, you arrive at the spinal ridge of West Buffalo Hill. This section of the hike was quite beautiful in my opinion. The incline gets less intense and there is no obstruction on the sides to block those amazing views.
However, you will have to conquer one last short, steep incline before arriving at West Buffalo Hill.
West Buffalo Hill to Buffalo Hill
At 604 metres, West Buffalo Hill has some truly incredible views of Sai Kung in front, Shatin at the back, and Ma On Shan Country Park on its left.
The triangulation station on top is clearly a very popular spot for photos. All the while we were there, it had someone standing on top of it.
Buffalo Hill is a short walk ahead of West Buffalo Hill. The path is clearly visible as it dips between the two hilltops. The two vantage points and the path between them was my favourite part of the hike.
Buffalo Hill to Buffalo Pass
I personally preferred the views from Buffalo Hill to those from West Buffalo Hill. At 606 metres, Buffalo Hill sticks out in the front more than West Buffalo Hill. The views of Sai Kung from here are much more panoramic and obstruction-free.
There is a cluster of rocks at the Buffalo Hill peak, right before the slope. This is the best spot to enjoy the views!
Once you’ve soaked in all the surrounding views, cut through the rocks and you’ll see the trail continuing downhill. Be careful as you descend as I did find this section to be slightly slippery.
As you slowly come to the bottom of Buffalo Hill, you’ll notice a cleared path in front of you. This is Buffalo Pass (Ta She Yau Au). From Buffalo Pass, continue straight and follow the sign towards Sam Fai Tin.
Buffalo Pass to Mang Kung Wo Road, along Qibishan Ancient Path
Don’t breathe easy yet, we still have a long way to go to finish the Buffalo Hill Hike. From Buffalo Pass, the trail towards Sam Fai Tin starts off fairly easy. It’s mostly flat and descends gradually. Once it opens up, the views of Pak Sha Wan are quite beautiful from up here.
But soon the trail becomes rugged and a bit jarring on the knees. Potholes the size of craters force you to watch your every step. And although Pak Sha Wan seems so close, it really is quite far.
If I’m being honest, this section of the hike seemed never-ending. We just kept going down, and down, with no end in sight.
But then suddenly, we saw a house in the middle of nowhere. To us, this signalled the start of civilization.
The nature trail ends in front of the house and gives way to the paved road (just a quick word of caution, we saw plenty of wild boars along this road). This lonely road twists and turns for another 5 minutes as it makes its way towards the cemetery on Man Kung Wo Road.
Mang Kung Wo Road to Pak Sha Wan
The quality of the tarmac dramatically improves as you reach Mang Kung Wo Road. The road continues to gradually go downhill and before you know it, more houses start to appear alongside.
Just before you hit Hiram’s Highway in Pak Sha Wan, there is a beautiful monastery that you pass by. We were there around the evening and found it so peaceful with the chanting. Because within the next few minutes, we were in the midst of Pak Sha Wan.
Buffalo Hill Hike Guide
We thought that the best way to finish the Buffalo Hill Hike was to celebrate it with a beer and some delicious food at Padstow, a restaurant and bar located in Pak Sha Wan. Simply turn right when you reach Hiram’s Highway and walk a couple of minutes. Padstow is one of our favourite restaurants outside the main city in Hong Kong.
Or you could simply catch a bus or taxi back into the city or towards Sai Kung, which is also pretty close.
We hope you enjoyed our detailed guide to the Buffalo Hill Hike. As always, feel free to share this post on the social media channel of your choice or leave a comment below.