I like this hiking route. It allows you chance to glimpse into the past of Hong Kong while seeing some unique landscape. Hiking Route: from Hok Tau Reservoir, to Ping Shan Chai (平山仔）to Sha Lo Tung (沙螺洞）to Feng Yuen (鳳園) to Ting Kok Road (in Taipo).
To begin with, the Hok Tau Reservoir, surrounded by trees with color leaves, is a pleasant sight.And I like the part of the route before reaching Sha Lo Tung, which is stone-made traditional path with views that evoke desolate feeling. I find the landscape very touching and distinct.Once a prosperous village area, Sha Lo Tung is now deserted with only abandoned houses which have been classified as heritage buildings by the government. The burnt ground in front of the Cheung UK (張屋)village is disheartening. Was it caused by hillfire or a result of arson?Despite the desolation, the temple next to the abandoned houses remains alive. The Chinese New Year celebration sees former villagers coming here to pay tribute, as evidenced by the offering at the altar and the firecracker shreds scattered around. Nearby, a family is running a restaurant for hikers during the weekend. They still use wood fire to cook. As a Hakka family, they make hakka food, rich in taste. Their home-made bean curd dessert using the water from the mountain is very popular among hikers.
Sha Lo Tung is a special place in that it is of high ecological value, especially in terms of the dragonfly species it breeds- 70 per cent of Hong Kong’s dragonfly species can be found here and some of the world’s rarest species as well. Legal proceedings were conducted before between a developer who wanted to develop the area into a golf club and residential project, and environmental groups who wanted to preserve the area. The latter won in the end and some of the abandoned village houses will be turned into a nature preservation education centre.The difficulty level of the route is moderate, with most of the route flanked by trees and the last part going downhill.
Walk straight from where you get off and it will be 10 minutes before you get to the reservoir.
It takes about 2-2.5 hours to finish the route. Once you are on the Ting Kok Road, just take bus or minibus to Taipo train station, from where you can go in whatever direction you want.