Date: 13 Feb 2013 (the fourth day of Chinese New Year)
Route: Tai Mei Tuk (大尾篤) –Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail (八仙嶺自然教育徑)- Wang Shan Keuk Village (橫山腳村)- Wang Che Old Trail (橫七古道)—Che Muk Kiu Village (七木橋村)—Luk Keng(鹿頸)
I highly recommend this trail walk, which I finished in about 4 hours. The trail is rich in history, very green and serene, and a great pleasure to walk, without any steep slopes. The villages on the trail have long been abandoned, leaving behind fragments of walls and houses / temples only.The route is all the way dirt or stone paths, with Wang Che Old Trail (橫七古道) paved in the old days to connect neighboring villages in the area, a highlight of the route. No cement to walk on. Another reason for me to love and recommend the trail.Soon after you embark on Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail, you can have a fantastic view over Plover Cove Reservoir and its surrounding mountains and waters.Around the Chinese New Year, i.e. this time of the year, bell flowers (also called Chinese New Year flowers as they are in full bloom during the time) are blooming. A bunch of bell flower trees smiled in the sun.Bamboos, trees with color leaves and small streams dot the trail.
Towards the end, while approaching Luk Keng, Sha Tau Kok in mainland China is in sight with Shenzhen River separating Hong Kong from Shenzhen, its neighbor. In Luk Keng village where some houses are vacant/abandoned, elderly people are seen living there, peacefully. Houses were built as early as 1960s, which give visitors a glimpse of the old village life in Hong Kong.
How to get to the starting point:
Take bus 75K from Tai Po MTR station and get off at the last stop Tai Mei Tuk. Walk up the slope to reach Pat Sin Leng Visitor Centre (八仙嶺遊客中心) – a walk of about 10 minutes. There is a path next to the Centre, leading to Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail.
You can also do as I did. Take bus 275R from Tai Po MTR station, and get off at Plover Cove Country Park station(船灣郊野公園站), i.e. the stop after Tai Mei Tuk (Dragon Tail stop龍尾站). Where you get off, there is a path going up the hill, which is clearly labeled as Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail. It is easier to get to the starting point by taking bus 275R, as you don’t need to walk up the slope, but the bus runs only on weekends and during holidays.
During the first part of the trail, follow the signs that say going to “Wang Shan Keuk” or “Bride’s Pool”. At about the middle of the trail, you will see signs that point to the direction of “Luk Keng” and “Bride’s Pool”. Choose “Luk Keng” direction from now on.
Toward the end of the journey, when you see a public toilet, you should know you are at Luk Keng village. Turn left to enter the village and pass by it. You will come to a bustling place, with two small outdoor restaurants and the mini bus stop of 65K. Good to wind down at one of the restaurants after hours of walking.
65k mini bus will take you to Fan Ling MTR station. The bus is very popular during the weekends. There is usually a long queue but you have no other public transport option and have to wait.