Mau Wu Shan is a relatively short hill in Tiu Keng Leng, most famously known for the Mau Wu Shan Observation Post, a beautiful Grade 1 historic structure.
The hike to the Observation Post and the top of Mau Wu Shan is moderately challenging, making it perfect for a quick workout while getting to explore another hidden historic gem in the city.
About the Mau Wu Shan Hike
Most hikers cover Mau Wu Shan as part of Wilson Trail Section 3, which starts with the Devil’s Peak, then Black Hill, before ending at Mau Wu Shan. However, it is also possible to do each of these hills independent of the other.
On its own, the Mau Wu Shan Hike is relatively short and moderately challenging. However, what makes the hike special is the Mau Wu Shan Observation Post (sometimes referred to as the Mau Wu Shan Bunker).
This historical structure appears at the halfway mark up Mau Wu Shan and serves as a reminder of how much history is hidden in plain sight and on the slopes of these hills in Hong Kong!
The starting point for the Mau Wu Shan Hike is Po Lam Road South and the easiest approach here is from the Haven of Hope Hospital.
Once here, walk onto Haven of Hope Road and then uphill to the exit gate.
To the steps
Exit the hospital compound onto Po Lam Road South and turn left.
Po Lam Road South starts shaded and flat. And it’s paved and mostly vehicle-free, it’s popular with runners, cyclists, and casual walkers who live close by.
But after approximately 300 metres, the road begins to climb. The incline starts gentle and then immediately increases in intensity.
Fortunately, the incline lasts only 100 metres before the road flattens again. As the road flattens, it splits in two, with the main road going left. But stay to the right because just ahead is the start of the steps.
To Mau Wu Shan Observation Post
Get your bug spray on and ready to climb some steps!
The initial flight of steps is fairly easy and not too steep.
At the top, the steps curve left onto a path that seemingly ends next to a massive fence. But worry not, just walk through the cut-out in the fence.
Just beyond the fence is a short but steep flight of steps. Walk up slowly as the steps and the railing aren’t as sturdy as they were at the start of the climb.
After the steps is a gentle incline, on a semi-paved path. And this is the theme for this section of the hike – steps, inclines, with sharp bends in between.
The trail continues to remain surrounded by trees with just a few glimpses of Tiu Keng Leng and Junk Bay below.
However, we did encounter countless spiders on the hike!
After a long, straight section of the trail, there are just two more bends before the Mau Wu Shan Observation Post.
About the Mau Wu Shan Observation Post
Unfortunately, the Mau Wu Shan Observation Post (or the Mau Wu Shan Bunker) is fenced and it’s not possible to get close to it. We were greeted by a friendly guard at the observation post, who was more than happy to allow us to admire the Observation Post from outside the fence.
As beautiful as the structure is, there’s not much known about the Mau Wu Shan Observation Post, including when it was constructed.
It is estimated to have been built before the British lease of the New Territories in 1898 with the stationing of Chinese troops.
The circular structure is believed to be a watchtower with windows facing the sea and Junk Bay, giving the observer clear views of any maritime movement.
There’s also a single-storey structure behind the watchtower believed to be the living accommodation of the official in charge of the post.
The Mau Wu Shan Observation Post is a historic building accorded with a Grade 1 Status.
To Mau Wu Shan
Once you’re done admiring the Mau Wu Shan Observation Post, you may choose to either return to the starting point or continue hiking to the top of Mau Wu Shan.
We decided to hike to the top of the hill because it is less than 200 metres from the Observation Post.
However, this section of the hike almost entirely consists of steep steps.
The steps are made of rocks and boulders and can be slippery when wet.
They’re also jagged and steep, so climb cautiously at a comfortable pace.
When we arrived at the top of the steps, we were greeted with a large flat area, with a pavilion and a seating area made with rocks.
I am not entirely sure of the significance of Mau Wu Shan to Buddhists, but many of the rocks at the top had Buddhist sayings or the different names of Buddha.
There aren’t any open spaces for views from up here. But you can catch a glimpse of Razor Hill and Clearwater Bay from the eastern side of Mau Wu Shan.
The day we hiked, there was a very cool breeze blowing through the trees. So, we just sat at the pavilion and enjoyed the breeze!
The True Summit of Mau Wu Shan
If you look at the maps, you’ll notice that this isn’t the summit of Mau Wu Shan. In fact, the summit lies another 100 metres to the north.
To reach the summit, take the trail that descends from behind the rocks. After 50 metres the trail splits in two. Take the unmarked trail to the right.
I made a quick run to the summit to check out if it offered any better views. Unfortunately, it didn’t have anything other than a small outdoor workout area.
So, you can consider the top of Mau Wu Shan to be the area with the Buddhist rocks and pavilion.
Options to end the hike
From the Mau Wu Shan pavilion, there are a couple of options to end the hike.
One option is to continue towards Black Hill and Devil’s Peak on Wilson Trail Section 3. To head towards Black Hill, follow the path towards Mau Wu Shan summit but instead of turning right at the fork, stay to the left. From there, continue straight till you see the signs for Wilson Trail Section 3.
The second option is to trace your steps back to the Haven of Hope Hospital and end the Mau Wu Shan Hike.
The Mau Wu Shan Hike
We hope you enjoyed our guide to the Mau Wu Shan Hike and Mau Wu Shan Hike Observation Post.
It might not be the most exciting hike, but it’s perfect for when you want something short and fun while trying to uncover yet another piece of Hong Kong’s incredible history!
Of course, it doesn’t compare to the structures found on Devil’s Peak, but you can always start from Mau Wu Shan and end at Devil’s Peak.
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