Tai To Yan: a Hong Kong razor ridge hike

View from a drone~

Tai To Yan trail in Tai Po is one of the most popular trails in the area, running roughly north to south and offering a panorama of New Territories and even Shenzhen east and west of it. The name Tai To Yan in Cantonese is a reference to the razor-like ridge that characterise this trail. It is a good hike that can be done in half a day and here’s how to hike it:

Tai To Yan Hike in Summary:

tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eatDifficulty: 3.5/5

Time taken: 4 hours

Pros: amazing view of the surrounding area with razor ridge, and relatively easy to reach via public transport

Cons: a lot of stairs!

 

How to get there

The Tai To Yan trail is relatively straightforward between Kadoorie Farm and Fanling East Rail Station, with either acting as starting or end point. Usually, we hike from Kadoorie Farm as the ascent is easier and also to let ourselves end at the Rail station directly without taking the bus out.

Kadoorie Farm start

tai-wo-exit-A-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eatExit A at Tai Wo

Take exit A into the shopping mall and follow the sign and go down to the bus station via the stairs. The bus stop for 64K towards Yuen Long should be just across from the staircase. bus-stop-64k-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eatThe Kadoorie Farm stop is about 25 minutes in, make sure to watch out for the station.

kudoorie-farm-bus-stop-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eatFrom the bus stop, simply cross the road and the trail start is before the reverse route bus stop. Look out for the signboard if you are unsure:

kudoorie-farm-trail-start-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat

Fanling East Rail Station start

From Fanling East Rail station, take exit B and take the skywalk. Once you get down, cross under the subway and the trail start is the slope that goes up. This section is known as the Butterfly path (Wu Tip Shan Path).

 

Since we always take the path from Kadoorie Farm, this will focus on how to hike from this way:

 

Tai To Yan

The first half an hour of the trail consists mostly of uphill climbs, with mostly stairs and trees sheltering the way.

stairs-at-start-of-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
Stairs at the beginning

You’ll also pass a small radio/signal station where there is a small section of downhill.

 

radio-station-start-of-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eatOnce you hike above the foliages, you’ve reached the beginning of the Tai To Yan and that’s the end of the first (and toughest) ascent.

above-vegetation-part-of-trail-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
Going above vegetation
first-peak-view-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
First panorama

The mountain you see to the left is Kai Kung Leng, and if the pollution isn’t bad you can also see all the way to Shenzhen. To the right is Tai Po.

second-panorama-with-kai-kung-leng-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
A little further on and you can see the whole Kai Kung Leng
undulating-path-to-come-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
Undulating path to come

The trail then undulates for a bit before reaching the razor ridge that gives it its name. It’s easy to see when you have reached this path as it is marked by massive rock outcrops.

start-of-razor-ridge-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
start of razor ridge part

This part of the trail is narrower, so definitely be a bit more careful especially if there are people coming from the other way.

drone-view-of-razor-ridge-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
View from a drone~

We discovered a sturdy looking rock on the ridge that faces west and makes for a good photo spot!

viewpoint-to-west-razor-ridge-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
not bad, right?

From the ridge, it’s a relatively straight path to the peak of Tai To Yan, which stands at 566m above sea level.

peak-of-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
Just in case you don’t know this is the peak
going-down-from-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
Speedy way down

The trail then quickly dips down where it continues to North Tai To Yan.

 

North Tai To Yan

to-north-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
Again, the path goes up and down

This is perhaps the most leisurely part of the trail, with the path undulating all the way to North Tai To Yan.

peak-north-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
The peak

But don’t expect too much of a view at the peak as there are many vegetation around it.

 

Wu Tip Shan Path

Continuing on, the majority of the way is shaded and well signposted, but there are two diverging paths that are a little ambiguous, but basically keep to the left and you should be fine:

keep-left-from-north-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
just
keep-left-from-north-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
keep
keep-left-from-north-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
left

Once you reach this part with a green fence and concrete paved path, it signifies the beginning of the end of the trail.

wu-tip-shan-path-start-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
But take the right path here to the concrete paved path!

While it’s mostly downhill, there is a big section of stairs that goes up:

stairs-up-wu-tip-shan-path-start-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
Last crazy uphill stretch

There are several pavilions and rest points along the way from here, many are newly decorated and act as viewpoints as well.one-of-the-viewpoints-by-wu-tip-shan-path-start-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat

Before you end the trail, there’s another small peak at 256 – Kei Lak Tsai, marked by the white-black pillar.

kei-lak-tsai-wu-tip-shan-path-start-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
Kei Lak Tsai

 

Huge signs with end destinations are abundant at this stage so it’s easy to follow. But here are the key turns just in case:towards-fanling-wu-tip-shan-path-start-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat

stairs-down-wu-tip-shan-path-start-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
P.S. there’s still like 10 minutes of stairs

Once you reach the arched sign, you are almost at the end with the path taking you straight to the subway that connects to Fanling Station!

arched-sign-wu-tip-shan-path-start-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat

end-of-wu-tip-shan-path-start-tai-to-yan-tai-po-hong-kong-laugh-travel-eat
Fanling station is just across the road!
The razor ridge hike of Hong Kong, Tai To Yan trail in Tai Po is one of the most popular trails in the area, running roughly north to south and offering a panorama of New Territories and even Shenzhen east and west of it. It is a good hike that can be done in half a day and here's how to hike it #hongkong #hike
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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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