The hike to Ng Tung Chai Waterfall is possibly the most unique hike in Hong Kong.What’s interesting to note here is that Ng Tung Chai Waterfall isn’t just a single waterfall. It’s a series of four stunning waterfalls (Bottom Fall, Middle Fall, Main Fall, and Scatter Fall), each more beautiful than the last. These waterfalls located at the base of Tai Mo Shan can only be described as a hidden gem in the city.
With four waterfalls, it should come as no surprise that this hike is extremely popular in the summer. The pools under each waterfall offer a great way to cool off after a grueling climb. And even if you don’t want to get wet, I’m sure you’ll be enamoured by the raw beauty of these falls. So, let me share with you all the information you need before you head off for this hike.
Map & Elevation Profile
Here is a quick look at the map and elevation profile of the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls hike.
Unfortunately, Google Maps does not show the loop that covers all the four waterfalls. But if you follow my instructions, you should find the trail easy to navigate.
- Insect repellent
- Water (at least 1 litre)
- A towel and a swimming attire in case you decide to jump into the pools
And here’s a quick video of the hike and waterfalls.
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The Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike starts from Ng Tung Chai village on Lam Kam Road. This is the main road that connects Tai Wo to Kam Sheung in the New Territories. Depending on which of the two MTR stations is closer, you can approach the starting point either from Tai Wo or Kam Sheung.
From Tai Wo
- Make your way to Tai Wo Station on the East Rail Line.
- At the station, take Exit A and follow the signs towards the McDonald’s.
- Once you reach McDonald’s the bus stop is towards your left (if you’re facing the road).
- Board bus 64K to Yuen Long and alight at Ng Tung Chai, which should be the 14th stop.
From Kam Sheung
- Make your way to Kam Sheung Road Station on the West Rail Line.
- Take Exit C towards the bus stop.
- Board bus 64K going towards Tai Po Market Station.
- Alight at Ngau Len Wo, which is the 21st stop.
Ng Tung Chai Village to Man Tak Yuen Temple
Once you alight from the bus, follow the road going into Ng Tung Chai village. The road gradually inclines as it approaches the village. The signs for the waterfall are clearly visible along the road.
10 minutes into the walk, you should notice a ramp on the right with the sign for the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall. It’s even painted on the ground. Walk up the ramp and past the rows of houses on either side till you see a trail. From here on out, follow the trail as it runs along the Lam Tsuen River and a couple of farms.
You’ll soon come across a beautiful gate, which I believe is for the temple. Keep walking for another 10 minutes till you reach the Man Tak Yuen Temple, a Taoist temple built on the side of Tai Mo Shan.
You can take a quick break on the benches in front of the temple. Or continue on the path for 10 metres until you spot a bench in front of a mini-waterfall.
And no, this waterfall isn’t technically part of the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls. Feel free to snap a few photos, but I guarantee the waterfalls to follow will blow your mind!
Man Tak Yuen Temple to Bottom Fall
From this point on, the real hike begins. The cemented path gives way to the rugged terrain.
Shortly after the temple’s mini-waterfall you’ll come across a large sign for Tai Mo Shan Country Park, along with stairs heading to your right. Do not go up these stairs, but continue straight. The path that follows is mix of steps and inclines. Beware as you proceed because there are narrow sections ahead.
After a 20-30 minute grueling hike, your reward awaits. The first of the four waterfalls is called Bottom Fall. To reach it, you have to carefully descend a flight of narrow, slippery steps. At the bottom, it feels like you’ve descended into a magical world, that is covered by trees and moss, and there is a beautiful waterfall and stream flowing through.
Be careful while getting closer to the waterfall as the rocks can be slippery. Once you’re done admiring the Bottom Fall, it’s time to head back up, and re-join the trail.
Bottom Fall to Middle Fall
The journey to Middle Fall from Bottom Fall is relatively short and easy. Continue climbing on the main trail for another 5 minutes till you hear the gushing sounds of a much bigger waterfall.
The Middle Fall is right above Bottom Fall. But it’s much more majestic and grander than the waterfall that you left behind.
Take your time to admire Middle Fall and snap up all those pics. Because what comes next, is not easy.
Middle Fall to Main Fall
To make your way to the to the Main Falls, retrace your steps on the main hiking trail for about 5-10 metres until you spot a flight of stairs going up on your left. This is section of the hike is extremely narrow and steep. While climbing up, we encountered a large group of hikers coming in the opposite direction. We had to stand and wait in a corner to make space for the other group, as there wasn’t enough space for us to pass simultaneously.
When the steep stairs end, the incline continues. I know this part feels like it’s never-ending, but don’t stop now. Because just around the corner you’ll hear the sound of the Main Fall, and it is magnificent!
The Main Fall is the tallest among the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls. At the bottom of the waterfall is a large natural pool. And after this grueling section, it might be a good idea to jump into this pool to cool off. This pool is shallow enough to stand in. There is also a shaded, viewing point just in front of the waterfall. If you don’t feel like jumping into the pool, you can cool off here.
Take your time to relax here, because to get to the next waterfall you’ll need to summon up all that energy once again!
Main Fall to Scatter Fall
The final stop on the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike is the Scatter Fall. Located right above the Main Fall, the Scatter Fall looks like a flowing mane of hair.
The trail starts from the base of the Main Fall pool and almost immediately becomes challenging. The climb is short but very steep, and over large rocks. At times, I was forced to use my hands to pull myself up.
Once you arrive at the Scatter Fall, you’ll notice that it’s the smallest of the four waterfalls. However, it’s also the prettiest looking. The water scatters as it flows into a pool, which then feeds into the Main Fall. Watch out for the cave on the side of the hill. I’m not entirely sure how or why there is a cave next to Scatter Fall, but it’s there.
Scatter Fall back to Ng Tun Chai Village
To finish the hike, we’re going to complete the loop back to the Man Tak Yuen Temple. Start by climbing the stairs next to Scatter Falls. Continue for approximately 100 metres till the steps flatten and join another path. From here, go right. If you go left, that’ll take you to Tai Mo Shan peak.
Continue on this flat path for another 10-15 minute till you reach the another flight of steps going down. From here on out, follow the steps all the way down till they reach the path just after the mini-waterfall behind the Man Tak Yuen Temple. These were the steps that I had asked you not to take in the beginning (remember?).
You’ve now successfully completed the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall loop.
Make your way down to the village, and finally back to Lam Kam Road. From here, catch the same bus that you arrived on back to your destination.
Of all the hikes that I’ve been to in Hong Kong, I find this one to be one of the most memorable. The Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike takes you on a tour of not one, but four gorgeous waterfalls under Tai Mo Shan. It really is a hidden gem in Hong Kong. Of all the waterfalls that I’ve been to in the city, these were by far my favourite (Bride’s Pool comes in second).
I hope you find this post helpful. As always, please feel free to share it on the social media platform of your choice, or leave a comment below. Also, did you know that you can hire a guide for this hike?
That’s right. If you’re uncomfortable hiking through these waterfalls on your own, or are from out of town, I highly recommend hiring a guide to accompany you on this hike.