Hong Kong has plenty of interesting hikes, but none quite as unique as the Pineapple Mountain Hike. Also known as Por Lo Shan (quite literally Pineapple Mountain in Cantonese), this is the only natural canyon formation in Hong Kong. No wonder it’s often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Hong Kong”.
The name “Por Lo Shan” is a tribute to the pineapple bun, a quintessential Hong Kong treat. The resemblance of the hill’s yellow, crusty surface to the top of the pineapple bun is the origin of its name.
The Pineapple Mountain or Por Lo Shan hike is a fun exploratory trail to a unique landscape in Hong Kong.
While learning about this hike, I was quite confused with all the names that are thrown around. And I couldn’t find a reputable source to correct me.
So, this is what I could guess – The canyon is unnamed but is popularly referred to as the Por Lo Shan Great Canyon (or Hong Kong’s mini Grand Canyon), which is located on Por Lo Shan (Pineapple Mountain). However, that’s not entirely true because Por Lo Shan is actually a small hill located between Leung King Estate and Shan King Estate.
The Por Lo Shan Great Canyon is located within the Leung Tin Au Gorge or is part of the Leung Tin Au Gorge. And you can access the gorge via Leung Tin Au Pass.
Confusion aside, we’re simply going to refer to the canyon as “Por Lo Shan” or “Pineapple Mountain“.
But what it’s not is the Pineapple Dam Nature Trail because that is located along the Shing Mun Reservoir.
If I’m wrong, someone please correct me by dropping a comment below.
Warning: Tsing Shan Firing Range
If you aren’t already aware, you should know that Por Lo Shan is located within the Tsing Shan Firing Range. The firing range used by the People’s Liberation Army and police forces in Hong Kong to carry out their drills.
If there is an ongoing firing practice, warnings are issued and the area is closed to the public. And these warnings can be found on the Hong Kong Government website, in the press releases section. Here’s an example from October 2020.
So, before you set off on this hike, please check if there is a press release for Tsing Shan Firing Range. Or else set out on the hike on weekends or public holidays as no drills are carried out on those days.
And with that out of the way, let’s talk about the Pineapple Mountain Hike.
Pineapple Mountain Hike Map
Below is the map and elevation profile, and 3D map for the Pineapple Mountain Hike.
Although the hike is not difficult, the uphill trail (as shown in the elevation profile) can be challenging for some.
The trail also offers amazing views of Tuen Mun, Castle Peak, and Shenzhen. But of course, the main attraction is the natural canyon-like rock formation in the valley.
And so, here’s a quick video to showcase the beauty of Pineapple Mountain.
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Por Lo Shan is located in the hinterlands of Tuen Mun West. To start the hike, make your way to the San Wai light rail stop. You can also start the hike from the Leung King light rail stop, but in this guide, we’ll use San Wai as our starting point.
- Take the West Rail Line to Siu Hong MTR station.
- From Siu Hong, catch the light rail 505 / 615 / 615P heading south to San Wai.
Alternatively, if you’re coming from Hong Kong Island, you can take the direct bus 960 from Wan Chai to San Wai, which stops right next to the light rail station. Other buses that stop here are 258D, 258X, 260X, and E33P.
Cross the light rail tracks towards San Wai Court.
San Wai Court to Castle Peak Range Road
After you cross the tracks, turn right and then left into San Wai Court. Alternatively, you can take the main road that turns left up ahead. Walking through the residential blocks is just a shortcut.
Continue till the end of San Wai Court, and walk along the main road as it turns right. Up ahead you’ll notice the barrier gate for Leung King Estate.
Walk past the barrier gate and just before the road turns right again, you’ll see a path on the left. This is the start of Castle Peak Range Road.
To Leung Tin Au
From this point on, the trail continues on Castle Peak Range Road. Just remember, it’s a non-stop uphill walk to Leung Tin Au.
Our advice is to go slow and take your time. The slope won’t get easier if you walk up fast.
As you get closer to the top, the vegetation thins out. This means the trees and shade slowly reduce. But fortunately, it’s not too long before you arrive at Leung Tin Au.
Leung Tin Au is essentially a pass that is a hub for multiple hiking trails in the region, including one for Castle Peak, the tallest peak in Tuen Mun. In fact, Castle Peak is clearly visible from the pass.
The top of the pass has an open seating space filled with discarded sofas and other seating arrangements. Sit down, take a break, and enjoy the views of Tuen Mun before continuing.
To Leung Tin Au Gorge
As you can probably tell by now, the topography of the surrounding changes after Leung Tin Au.
Continue straight on Castle Peak Range Road towards the back of the pass. The paved road continues uphill for the final time. And on the side of this road, and in the valley below, you might see lots of tall golden grass.
And for those wondering, the trail on the left goes up to Castle Peak from Leung Tin Au.
After the final uphill climb, the Leung Tin Au Gorge (or valley) appears on the other side. And before you know it, the paved road finally ends, giving way to a dirt trail.
Por Lo Shan
The yellow, crusty dirt trail is an indication that “Hong Kong’s Grand Canyon” is not too far away. In fact, a glance at the surroundings shows how different the landscape is in the Leung Tin Au Gorge.
As you continue down the dirt trail, you should be able to see Shenzhen across the bay. Unfortunately, we hiked here on a hazy day, which didn’t give us the best view across Deep Bay.
Just before the trail begins to descend, there is a vantage point where you can climb up to get better views of Shenzhen. And from that vantage point, you can also see the canyon right below.
Hong Kong’s Grand Canyon
A short walk down brings you to the Por Lo Shan Great Canyon. Although it’s often referred to as Hong Kong’s Grand Canyon, we should set expectations straight.
There’s nothing “grand” about this canyon. In fact, it’s more of a shallow ravine with sharp edges and jagged rocks than a canyon.
But what makes it “great” is that it’s a unique, eroded rock formation in Hong Kong. Its natural canyon-like features have made it very popular with hikers and photographers in the recent past.
Be careful as you walk around the canyon. It may be small, but has sharp, slippery edges with a steep drop. Also, make sure you walk across to the other side to catch a glimpse of the red-maroon edges.
How To End The Pineapple Mountain Hike?
One popular way to end the Pineapple Mountain Hike is to continue down Castle Peak Range Road, turn right on Nim Wan Road, and finish at Pak Nai Beach. The beach is an extremely popular location to watch the sunset, and even see Shenzhen right across the bay. And then after the sunset, catch the green minibus 33 back to Yuen Long.
Or you could simply trace your steps back to San Wai or Leung King, as we did. Fortunately, we saw a very pretty sunset on our way back without having to go to Pak Nai Beach.
Por Lo Shan Hike Guide
We hope you enjoyed our guide to the Pineapple Mountain Hike. A canyon (or ravine) in the hinterlands of Tuen Mun that’s become one of the most popular hiking and Instagram spots! One that is named after a pineapple bun, and dubbed as Hong Kong’s mini Grand Canyon.
We definitely think it’s worth checking out this unique land formation in Hong Kong!
As always feel free to share our Por Lo Shan Hike guide on a social media channel of your choice or drop us a comment below.