Every time I visit Tuen Mun, I’m always awestruck by Castle Peak. With its recognisable summit with the transmitting stations, Castle Peak (or Pui To Shan, 杯渡山) towers over the district and is visible for miles.
Castle Peak is also one of the three “Sharp Peaks of Hong Kong”, and at 583 metres it’s the tallest among them. The other sharp peaks are High Junk Peak and Sharp Peak. Castle Peak also has the distinction of being the only prominent peak in Hong Kong not within a country park.
As with the other sharp peaks of Hong Kong, the Castle Peak Hike is both challenging and scenic. But it also has cultural and historical significance, which I’ve highlighted below.
Needless to say that the views from the hike and the summit are gorgeous, and even unique thanks to the Castle Peak Hinterland, the basin that resembles the Grand Canyon (but on a smaller scale).
Castle Peak Hike via Tsing Shan Monastery
When it comes to the Castle Peak Hike, there are a couple of hiking trails to the summit. The two popular ones are via the Tsing Shan Monastery, and via Leung Tin Au.
However, this guide will focus on the hike to Castle Peak via the Tsing Shan Monastery.
The Castle Peak Hike via the Tsing Shan Monastery is shorter but steeper than the hike via Leung Tin Au. Also, a considerable portion of this trail is shaded.
However, if you’d like to know how to reach Leung Tin Au, you can follow our guide for the Pineapple Mountain Hike. But for now, we’ll only focus on the trail via Tsing Shan Monastery.
The starting point for the Castle Peak Hike is Hing Choi Street in Tuen Mun. Depending on your location, you may need to use a combination of MTR, bus, or Light Rail to arrive here. We suggest using Google Maps to map your arrival to the starting point.
If you plan to take the Light Rail, know that Hing Choi Street is in-between Tsing Wun and Tsing Shan Tsuen stops, where numbers 610, 615, and 615P stop.
Once you reach Hing Choi Street, get onto the same side as St. Peter’s Church.
To Tsing Shan Monastery Path
Once at St. Peter’s Church, walk till the end of Hing Choi Street, and then turn left onto Yeung Tsing Road.
Walk for another 20 metres till you notice an ornate gate for Sze Lo Temple. Cross the road, and onto the path next to the gate. This is the start of Tsing Shan Monastery Path.
To Tsing Shan Monastery
Tsing Shan Monastery Path may be short but it has a couple of attractions along the way. It’s also the point from where the uphill incline begins.
As you walk up Tsing Shan Monastery Path, past the shrine on the side of the path, you’ll come across the first Buddhist temple complex. Unfortunately, the temple complex was closed when we visited.
Continue walking down the path till the next attraction, the Heung Hoi Ming Shan Memorial Archway.
About Heung Hoi Ming Shan Memorial Archway
The Heung Hoi Ming Shan Memorial Archway was erected in 1929 and is a Grade One Historic Building.
The archway was built to commemorate Sir Cecil Clementi’s (the 17th Governor of Hong Kong) visit to Tsing Shan Monastery in 1927 and 1928. The engraving of the four gilded characters on the archway, heung hoi ming shan (香海名山), meaning Fragrant Sea and Prestigious Mountain, was done by Sir Cecil Clementi. You can learn more about the Heung Hoi Ming Shan Memorial Archway here.
The next attraction along the Tsing Shan Monastery Path is the Tsing Shan Monastery. The path narrows slightly before approaching the steps that go up to the entrance of the monastery.
The Castle Peak Hike continues towards the left, but you can take a quick break to admire Tsing Shan Monastery and learn about its history.
About Tsing Shan Monastery
Tsing Shan Monastery, or Castle Peak Monastery, is one of the oldest monasteries in Hong Kong. It’s significance as a historic landmark is unmatched as it’s proven to be the birthplace of Buddhism in Hong Kong.
It also has a beautiful legend behind its origin as it was once the resting spot for an Indian monk, Pui To, who traveled across the ocean in a wooden cup. He was attracted by natural surrounding of the location and built himself a chalet here for practicing meditation. You can read all about history on the Tsing Shan Monastery website.
But the Tsing Shan Monastery also has a very important role in recent cinematic history. It was featured in the opening scene of “Enter the Dragon”, the 1973 Bruce Lee movie, and was the location for one of most famous scenes involving the “pointing finger” lesson.
Tsing Shan Path
To be honest, the Castle Peak Hike doesn’t really start till the Tsing Shan Path. Up till this point, it’s a relatively easy walk up an incline.
The Tsing Shan Path starts from behind the monastery. I like to think of the path in three visibly distinct sections. The first section consists of well-maintained steps that have yellow side rails. The second section consists of more rugged steps with green side rails. And the final section consists of steep steps and incline with no rails.
Steps with the Yellow Rails
From behind the Tsing Shan Monastery, walk up the steps with the yellow railings till the Tsing Shan Pavilion, about 100 metres ahead.
Continue straight from the pavilion (don’t turn right), and up the steps till the pavilion on the right. Next to this pavilion is a sign warning hikers of the steep climb that awaits them ahead.
Go up the steps to the pavilion and begin the arduous climb up the Tsing Shan Path. From this point on, it’s a constant uphill climb! Just what the sign said.
So, go slow and climb at a comfortable pace. Fortunately, almost the entirety of this section is shaded.
Just before this section comes to an end, the steps give way to a flat incline. And as the incline emerges from the shaded area, Castle Peak and its transmitting stations are finally visible above.
At the point where the yellow railing meets the green railing, there is a really nice resting area on either side of the trail. We highly recommend taking a break to catch your breath, and enjoy the views.
Steps with the Green Rails
There is an immediate and visible change in Tsing Shan Path from the resting area. But fortunately as the trail gets more rugged, the views get better!
In fact, there is a small viewing platform along the steps shortly after the resting area. Although the views are nice, they’re still primarily of Tuen Mun below.
Shortly after the viewing platform the hike becomes steeper and more challenging. And you wouldn’t even realise it, but soon the green rails along the steps disappear.
Final Section of Tsing Shan Path
The final section of the Tsing Shan Path is a rugged, dirt trail. There are a couple of steep sections, but for the most part it’s not too difficult.
Along one of the stretches of the trail is a viewing ledge. And from this height you can finally get amazing views of Tuen Mun and even Shenzhen.
As the trail continues, the transmitting station on top of Castle Peak keeps getting closer. And at the end of the last flights of steps, there is hope in the form of a pavilion.
The Pavilion Below Castle Peak
Just below Castle Peak is a pavilion that sits at the meeting point of the two trails – the one from Tsing Shan Monastery and the other from Leung Tin Au.
But before you summon the energy to complete the last 100 metres of this hike, take a moment to walk behind the pavilion and admire the Castle Peak Hinterland.
This hinterland is a large rocky basin mostly designated as a firing range for the People’s Liberation Army. Its rugged beauty has often been compared to that of the Grand Canyon, but on a much smaller scale.
Within the Castle Peak Hinterland is the popular hiking spot – Pineapple Mountain, or Por Lo Shan. The hill is literally named after the pineapple bun, and commonly referred to as the mini-canyon of Hong Kong. I highly recommend a hike to Pineapple Mountain.
After you’re done admiring the hinterland, it’s time to complete the Castle Peak Hike!
The final climb to the Castle Peak Transmitting Station from the pavilion is relatively easy because it’s short. As you approach the various structures of the transmitting station, turn left and walk between the fence and the transmitting station.
Behind the fences is the Castle Peak triangulation station marker. But the best part of the summit are the views!
Walk to the edge of Castle Peak and look down to get a sense of what you’ve accomplished! And moreover, to appreciate the epic views!
From the top of Castle Peak, everything from the hinterland, Shenzhen, the bridge connecting the two cities, and a large part of the New Territories, Lantau Island is clearly visible. The views are absolutely spectacular!
After admiring the views from Castle Peak, you can make your way back on the same trail.
Or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike back via Leung Tin Au. To do so, continue straight towards the small transmitting station from the pavilion instead of turning right.
Once you arrive at Leung Tin Au, you can follow our Pineapple Mountain guide to reach the San Wai Court bus stop and Light Rail stop.
Castle Peak Hike
We hope you enjoyed our detailed guide to the Castle Peak Hike and learned a bit more about the history of Hong Kong along the way.
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