The Tsz Sha Ancient Trail is an 800-year-old trail that once served as a shortcut between Tsz Wan Shan and Shatin. Hence, the portmanteau – Tsz Sha.
Although it’s incredibly easy to get around Hong Kong today, it wasn’t always this convenient. Numerous ancient trails around the region were once used by the people to get from one village to another.
Today, the Tsz Sha Ancient Trail still serves as a shortcut between the two districts, and also as an easy hike and nature trail.
Tsz Sha Ancient Trail Hike
With all the development in Hong Kong, the Tsz Sha Ancient Trail is now part nature trail and part paved road.
In fact, the nature trail section of the hike is quite beautiful and serene!
Although we hiked in the winter when streambeds weren’t full of water, we were greeted by beautiful pink flowers all along the nature trail.
The Tsz Sha Ancient Trail starts from Tsz Wan Shan (North) Bus Terminus. Unfortunately, there is no MTR station nearby and it’s best to arrive here by bus or taxi.
Feel free to use Google to tell you the best way to arrive here.
Once at the Tsz Wan Shan (North) Bus Terminus, locate the steps at the back. Climb up the steps to the landing and turn right.
To Kwun Yum Temple
Once on the path above the bus stop, stay to the left at both forks ahead.
Towards the end of the path, there is a stairway up the hill on the left.
Now, there are a couple of paths to reach the Kwun Yum Temple. The simplest is to take the steps on the left up to the next flight and turn right.
The other option is to continue walking on the path. And just before the end, there is a gate. Turn left before the gate and walk up the catchwater to the flight of steps. And then, follow the signs to the Kwun Yum Temple.
Both these paths merge just below the Kwun Yum Temple. The Kwun Yum Temple was built in 1853 and is devoted to the Goddess of Mercy.
My favourite Kwun Yum Temple is the one in Repulse Bay.
To Shatin Pass
From the Kwun Yum Temple, the next section of the trail is a 200-metre climb up steps.
Fortunately, this is the only section of the trail that has steps. So, go slow and take it easy.
Notice the many seating areas alongside the steps.
I’m not entirely sure if these seating areas were once a part of the ancient trail.
The steps end on Shatin Pass Road. Once on the road, turn right and walk up to the Tsz Chuk Pavilion.
Just ahead of Tsz Chuk Pavilion are the steps up Lion’s Pavilion.
If you’ve reached the entrance to the Lion Rock Country Park (Maclehose Trail Section 5), keep on Shatin Pass Road till you reach Shatin Pass.
As you emerge from the steps on Lion’s Pavilion, walk straight on the road towards the small snack store. If you were to continue walking to the right on Shatin Pass Road, it would lead you to Tate’s Cairn.
And the slightly hidden steps in front go up to Temple Hill.
The snack store (恒益商店) is fairly popular with hikers as it sits between Maclehose Trail and Wilson Trail. Stop by for their tofu or siu mai if you’re hungry.
There’s also a public toilet opposite the store.
Locate the entrance to the nature trail
From the snack store, the Tsz Sha Ancient Trail is not easily visible. To locate the entrance, start walking on the Wilson Trail Section 5.
Just before the first bend, there is an entrance to a nature trail on the right with a sign for Shui Chuen O Estate.
Enter this trail.
To the Shatin Pass Barbecue Area
The next section of the Tsz Sha Ancient Trail is absolutely peaceful!
We walked this trail on a cold winter afternoon while it was drizzling and still found it beautiful. Can’t imagine how lush it would look after the rainy season.
The Kwun Yam Shan Stream flows alongside the nature trail section. And its sound throughout made us feel closer to nature.
There are a few benches and tables next to the stream to sit and relax.
As you continue walking, the trail enters the Shatin Pass Barbecue Area, a beautiful shaded picnic spot (in the pre-Covid days) with a pavilion.
Step behind the pavilion or over the bridge to admire the stream from here.
To the Shatin viewing point
After the barbecue area, the trail continues gently downhill.
Much like the Kap Lung Ancient Trail, the Tsz Sha Ancient Trail is also made using granite stones. This makes it extremely slippery on humid days or after the rains.
During our hike, we noticed that the side of the hill opposite us was scattered with pink flowers!
It added such a colourful contrast to the usual shades of green and brown during a hike.
The pink flowers were the highlight of this section of the trail!
Further downhill, granite stone trail gives way to a dirt trail. And that’s a sign that the viewpoint is just around the corner.
Although not a marked viewing point, the bench on the trail serves as a resting area to enjoy the views of Shatin and beyond.
From here, not only could we see Shatin but also the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery!
To the banks of Kwun Yam Shan Stream
From the viewing point, the trail begins its descent on paved steps.
The steps are quite gentle and continue to have views of Shatin ahead.
At the bottom of the steps is the most scenic section of the Tsz Sha Ancient Trail.
The trail runs parallel with the Kwun Yam Shan Stream. But unlike the previous sections, there is plenty of open space and rocks to sit on the banks of the stream.
The flat terrain and open space make this location an extremely scenic site. Not to mention the boulders and the trees that add to the charm of the stream.
We sat beside Kwun Yam Shan Stream, which had some water when we visited, for a couple of minutes to appreciate how lucky we are to live so close to nature.
Imagine how beautiful this area would look when the stream is full of water!
To Shui Chuen O Estate
From Kwun Yam Shan Stream, the nature trail section of Tsz Sha Ancient Trail is almost over.
A few hundred metres ahead, the nature trail ends and the paved road begins.
Keep walking downhill on the paved road towards the residential tower of Shui Chuen O Estate.
At the end of this downhill section is a barrier where the paved road merges with Pok Chuen Street.
End the Tsz Sha Ancient Trail
As I mentioned earlier, today the Tsz Sha Ancient Trail is a mix of nature trails and paved roads. Once on Pok Chuen Street, turn left onto Shui Chuen Au Street and continue walking downhill.
Although you could end the trail here and catch a taxi or bus to your destination, it isn’t a bad idea to continue to the end of the Tsz Sha Ancient Trail.
Continue walking downhill on Shui Chuen Au Street, past the public housing and village houses.
Fortunately, Shui Chuen Au Street ends at the Sha Tin Wai MTR Station.
Such a modern end to an ancient trail!
Tsz Wan Shan to Shatin
We hope you enjoyed our guide to the Tsz Sha Ancient Trail. It is an easy and scenic trail and we couldn’t help but imagine how much more beautiful it would be when the streambeds are full!
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