Needle Hill Hong Kong – conquering the third sharpest peak

Last updated on December 10th, 2020 at 01:10 pm

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Needle Hill is named after its needle-like shape, a mountain between Tsuen Wan and Shatin that is the third sharpest peak in Hong Kong. On the first part of the hike, you get a great view of Shing Mun Reservoir and Tsuen Wan in the distant background. On the second part, you will be walking alongside the Shatin neighborhood from the top – ending right by the East Rail station.

needle hill hong kong - Laugh Travel Eat-2

Here’s how to hike it:

Needle Hill Hike Summary

Time take: 4-5 hours

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Pros: A gorgeous view of the reservoir, Tsuen Wan, and Hong Kong Island

Cons: no cover up and down the hill itself. Bring hat and enough water

Getting to Shing Mun Reservoir

The trail starts by the Shing Mun Reservoir, and the closest way you can get there is by taking the minibus 82 in Tsuen Wan. But the queue can be long on the weekend so it’s worth getting 4-5 people together for a taxi.

shing mun reservoir stair case hong kong- laugh travel eat
DON’T go up these stairs – we accidentally did!

You can cut some time by asking the taxi to take you to the main dam, but they usually won’t do it (very common in HK). Once you get off at the reservoir minibus stop, go right along the Shing Mun Road. If you need a bathroom break, there is one to the left past the stairs and it would be your last chance. Don’t go on the stairs unless you want to do a loop of the Shing Mun Reservoir instead!

shing mun reservoir needle hill hong kong- laugh travel eat
On the road you will walk past a bit of the reservoir

This first part is a nice and leisurely walk. There are many monkeys along this path so do not take out any plastic bags or they might be ripped out of your hands!

monkey at shing mun reservoir hong kong- laugh travel eat
Don’t let them fool you!

Shing Mun Reservoir to MacLeHose Trail

shing mun reservoir to maclehose trail stairs needle hill hong kong- laugh travel eat
Stairs at the side of the main dam leading up to trail start

At the end of the main dam, there is a triple junction. The stairs up and the road to the right both lead up to the trail start and from there is a brutal steep hike up.

start of maclehose trail stairs needle hill hong kong- laugh travel eat
The start of MacLehose trail stage 7

If you are going on a sunny day, bring a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses as the path is completely unsheltered with many stairs. While the hike up isn’t far, it feels much longer given that you are going up to 532 m above sea level!

Needle Hill

needle hill hong kong- laugh travel eat
third glimpse of needle hill!

There are a few smaller hills before you reach the top, so be mentally prepared to go up and down a little before the last stretch.

me on needle hill hong kong - Laugh Travel Eat

Don’t forget to look back as you go up because the sceneries are stunning! There are two paths down Needle Hill, take the one that is directly across from the trail you emerged from and not the one to the right. You need to be careful going down as it can be slippery.

needle hill hong kong - Laugh Travel Eat-3
view of shatin!

Descend to Shing Mun Forest Track

end of stairs down needle hill hong kong- laugh travel eat
The end of the descent trail on dirt

Once you get down from the stairs and dirt trail, you will reach a concrete path. This is the Shing Mun Forest Track – Needle Hill Section. There are a few paths that diverge to the right from it, you’ll first pass some signs!

signs on the road down needle hill hong kong- laugh travel eat
After this sign
path down to shatin from needle hill needle hill hong kong- laugh travel eat
We turn right into this path!

Diverge down to Shatin via Yau Oi Tsuen

stairs down to shatin from needle hill hong kong- laugh travel eat
It was mostly stairs like this but steeper!

From here, we turn right and keep right to get down to Shatin. If you are looking to extend your hike, you can actually go up to Grass Hill by continuing on past the information sign. But we ran out of water that day and decided to get down.

going down to shatin via village needle hill hong kong- laugh travel eat
When you get to the village, head left (see the metal mesh fence?)

The path here becomes much more shaded and nicely paved, though there are many stairs – I wouldn’t want to be going up them! At the end of the trail, we reach Yau Oi Tsuen (a village). From there, go past the road sign and you’ll see a small path right along the metal fence that goes left. At the end of the trail is one of the exit to Shatin East Rail Station!

last stretch to shatin east rail station from needle hill hong kong- laugh travel eat
The bridge leads up to the East Rail station (hi Sora!)
Needle Hill is Hong Kong's third sharpest mountain. Between Shing Mun Reservoir and Shatin, the hike lasts less than 3 hours and here's how:
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Written by Nam Cheah

Hi, my name is Nam. I am 24 and spent half my life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. I believe there's endless experience and beauty in the world and this is me chronicling how to experience the best at the best price.

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