Sharp Peak: conquering one of the toughest trail in Hong Kong

Sharp Peak is dubbed as the ‘sharpest peak’ in Hong Kong, hence the name, though in Chinese it’s known as Nam She Tsim. Hidden in the depths of Sai Kung Geological Park, it’s known for the steep ascent and descent as well as the sandy terrain. However, it also boosts a spectacular view of the best beaches in Hong Kong and worth a challenge for those who are prepared!

Summary of Sharp Peak hike

Difficulty: 5/5 – consider one of the toughest in Hong Kong not only because of the trail but also because of its length

Time needed: 6 hours depending on transport method, but commonly 7 hours, if not 8

Gears needed: good hiking shoes, gloves (for climbing/manual labour gloves), enough water and some snacks

Pros: bragging rights on completing the trail, as well as a great view of the beaches

Cons: very difficult and not for inexperienced hikers, also fairly long

Note: There are no easy exit routes and there has been reported death due to heat stroke and heart attacks. Do not attempt unless you have some experience hiking and it’s best to go with experienced hikers

How to get to Sharp Peak

sharp peak seen from chek keng sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

The hike for Sharp Peak starts at Chek Keng and the bus stop is right across from the Bus Station Uk Tau. There are two buses that can reach there: 94 and 96R. 94 starts from Sai Kung town center, while 96R only runs on Sunday between Diamond Hill and Wong Shek Pier.

If you want to walk less, you can go all the way to Wong Shek Pier on both buses and catch a ferry to Sha Tau. The ferry only runs on the weekend – you can find the schedule here but only in Chinese. It basically goes: Wong Shek -> Wan Chai Camp site -> Sha Tau -> Wong Shek. The cost is 15 HKD for ordinary ferry and 18 for fast. The journey takes almost 40 minutes.

Sometimes, you can also find speed boats who are willing to take you to and from for 20 HKD per person.

Hiking Sharp Peak

The trail starts on Chek Keng, which is also MacLehose Trail Stage 3, and is a relatively long walk on paved concrete path. Here are some photos of the walk in: it’s a little mundane but it is, at least, straightforward.

There is a bathroom at the trail start, and then it’s about 30 minutes until you reach the village Chek Keng. There is the last bathroom until you turn back.

The good news is that this is almost halfway to the ascent trail that branches off from MacLehose Trail.

trail up to sharp peak from chek keng sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

Another 30-40 minutes of ups and downs brings us all to a staircase on the left that heads up.

From here, it feels more like the regular hiking trail on dirt path and surrounded by greeneries with a view of the sea.

trail up to sharp peak sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat-2
Towards Sharp Peak! And no, that’s not a landslide but a trail
panorama of beaches on trail up to sharp peak sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

The view gets better once you get to Nam She Au, but that’s also where the uphill starts getting technical.

It’s best to bring gloves for climbing, as it is basically impossible to avoid.

The trails here are kind of sectioned because of the nature of the hill, giving you natural stops to catch a break. As you climb higher, the view of the beaches get better until you turn towards the last stretch up the peak.

Sharp Peak 

drone shot on top of sharp peak sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

It’s surprising for me to learn that Sharp Peak isn’t very high at all at 468 m above sea level. The very top is a reasonably sized clearing with the black and white pillar marking it as the highest point.

view point at the top sharp peak sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

To the left (in the direction you face as you come out) is a small landing a little lower that has a perfect view of the beach and headland that’s a great photospot. It’s usually where people stop for lunch.

descent sharp peak sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

The trail to go down is across from the one that takes you up and it’s a steep descent immediately. Like the ascent, it’s periodically flat so there are rooms to catch your breath.

descent sharp peak sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat-2

When in doubt, stick to the side near vegetation where it’s less gravelly and sandy, and go on your butt. The view gets good once you reach flatter ground.

Once you reach a large clearing, you start to go up again towards Mai Fan Teng.

Mai Fan Teng

sharp peak to Mai Fan Teng sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

Translated as rice noodle top, Mai Fan Teng is the last peak before the descent to the beach.

Mai Fan Teng sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat
Coming dow

There’s another hill in front but it’s not part of the trail. It’s actually a pretty good view from here too with a better angel over to the beach.

Mai Fan Teng to tai wan beach sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

It’s a steep descent from here on until we reach more vegetation.

Past Tung Wan to Tai Wan

Luckily for us, we don’t have to go up the mountain in front. Instead, we turn right in front of the mountain towards Tung Wan.

I totally thought we were going to go down, but instead, we emerged on a grass field and took the path to the right from where we emerged.

It’s marked by an orange ribbon and found ourselves crossing a river.

The we head unexpectedly up on terrain that looks similar to Pineapple Hill in Tuen Mun.

Tung Wan is more of a rocky beach and we skirt past it on from above. Then we got on a flatter stretch and finally got closer to the long stretch of beach.

Mai Fan Teng to tai wan beach part 2 sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat-8

This whole stretch is a little confusing, but so long as you follow the ribbons, you’ll end up at the Tai Wan beach.

Getting out

tai wan beach sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

Once you reach the beach, there are several ways for you to get out.

Back to starting point

tai wan beach to tai long village sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

In the middle of the beach there is a shabby looking shack at the back that’s a makeshift toilet, and beside it should be an orange ribbon marking a fast track up to MacLehose trail stage 3. Just follow the ribbon and you’ll end up connecting to the Tai Long Village.

tai wan beach to tai long village sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat-3

It is possible to get a speed boat to come to the beach to pick you up back to Sai Kung Town Center.

services at tai long village sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

But you’ll be looking at at least 200 HKD per head minimum, depending on how many of you are there.

Chek Keng Village

From the Tai Long Village we got back on Chek Keng and hiked about an hour back to Chek Keng Village, passing our starting point.

speed boat chek keng village sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

We encountered a few speed boats offering 20 HKD per person to Wong Shek Pier. These are privately run and will depart as soon as the boat fills up. It’s a good idea if you don’t fancy the last 30-40 minutes trek out.

speed boat chek keng village sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat-2

I totally thought it would be a cake walk but it’s not – I was super tired towards the end. So if you are already a a bit beat, DO take the ferry out and save your legs.

Sai Wan Pavilion

Not recommended if you are running slow since the last minibus leaves at 6:30 promptly. The area is known to have little signal, so if you don’t think you will get there in time, which is usually the case, then it’s best to stick to the Chek Keng route.

Sharp Peak is dubbed as the ‘sharpest peak’ in Hong Kong, hence the name, though in Chinese it’s known as Nam She Tsim. Hidden in the depths of Sai Kung Geological Park, it’s known for the steep ascent and descent as well as the sandy terrain. However, it also boosts a spectacular view of the best beaches in Hong Kong and worth a challenge for those who are prepared! #HongKong #hiking

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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