Planning to do the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike? Excellent.
The Ng Tung Chai Waterfall is one of our favorite hikes in Hong Kong. It takes you through unimaginably lush greenery and a total of six swimmable waterfalls, and we are not talking about waterfalls that just trickle off a rock surface. The waterfalls in Ng Tung Chai are some of the most impressive ones in Hong Kong.
That is why we have written this guide on Ng Tung Chai Waterfall in Tai Mo Shan Country Park so you too can enjoy some of the finest nature in Hong Kong.
Is The Ng Tung Chai Waterfall Hike Worth It?
If you like hiking through some of the lushest jungle-like environments to arrive at epic waterfalls, then Ng Tung Chai is perfect for you. Ng Tung Chai Waterfall is actually a total of six waterfalls, all of which are perfect for a refreshing swim.
A few of those waterfalls are some of the highest waterfalls in Hong Kong and they are jaw-dropping to see, especially after a big rainstorm. So whether you want an adventurous hike, refreshing swim, or iconic Instagram photos at stunning waterfalls, the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall is perfect for you.
The Ng Tung Chai Waterfall is also on the way to Tai Mo Shan, the tallest mountain in Hong Kong. The waterfalls are perfect spots to cool down after the long arduous Tai Mo Shan hike. So without a doubt, hiking the Ng Tung Chai waterfall is totally worth it!
Hong Kong Ng Tung Chai Waterfall Hike Summary
Not sure if the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike is right for you? Here is a quick summary.
How Long Is The Ng Tung Chai Waterfall Hike?
The total duration of the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike is about 2.5 hours out-and-back. However, most hikers decide to continue onto Tai Mo Shan and descend that way after visiting the falls, which would take a total of 3.5 hours instead. The total length of the hike is 7.5 kilometers out-and-back and 11.7 kilometers via Tai Mo Shan.
If you are planning on swimming in the waterfalls, then make sure you include some time for that as well!
How Difficult Is The Ng Tung Chai Waterfall Hike?
Even though the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike is only 2.5 hours, it can be quite a challenging hike. Out of a score of 10, we would give it a 6. If you are going via Tai Mo Shan, the score would be 7 simply because that route is longer.
The hike is quite short but you do gain quite a bit of elevation quickly. The hiking trail has lots of big steps which makes going up and down a bit more exhausting.
Hiking in the rain makes this hike a lot more treacherous. Though the waterfalls are much more powerful, the terrain is very slippery and muddy. Be extra careful if you plan to head out during that time.
Want an easier hike? Check out the interesting Rhino Rock hike!
How Much Elevation Do You Gain On The Ng Tung Chai Waterfall Hike?
On average, you can expect to gain about 400 meters in elevation from the start of the hike to the final Ng Tung Chai Waterfall. If you are hiking to Tai Mo Shan, then expect to gain about 830 meters in altitude. But keep in mind that because the trail has lots of ups and down, you’ll end up gaining more elevation in totaa.
How to Get To The Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls
The quickest way to get to the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls is through Ng Tung Chai (obviously), a small village in the Tai Po District of the New Territories. Though it is a bit “out there”, Ng Tung Chai is connected by the 64K bus or the 25K minibus.
The 64K bus is further connected with the West Rail Line at Kam Sheung Road Station or the East Rail Line at Tai Wo Station. Alternatively, the minibus 25K also stops at Tai Wo Station, so visitors have plenty of options if they go to Tai Wo Station. We took the 64K bus from Kam Sheung Road Station and it was really convenient and easy.
Both buses will drop you off at the bus stop outside of Ng Tung Chai Village. Then to get to the waterfalls from here, you will have to walk through the village and find the trailhead. On the way, you will pass the Man Tak Yuen, a charming Taoist temple where visitors can have a look.
It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the first waterfall (bottom fall) from the Ng Tung Chai bus stop. To get to the farthest one (Yuk Nui Waterfall), it takes about 1.5 hours.
Alternatively, you can come via Tai Mo Shan, which means you will first summit Tai Mo Shan then descend to the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls. This would be the opposite of what we did and it should take about 2.5 hours to get to the waterfalls.
Our Experience Hiking Ng Tung Chai Waterfall
Getting to the Start of the Hike
Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike is one of our favorite waterfall hikes in Hong Kong because it is so easy to get to. Since we were staying near Austin, all we needed to do was take the West Rail Line from Austin Station to Kam Sheung Road, which took no more than 25 minutes.
Once we got to the Kam Sheung Road Station, we got out of Exit C and found the bus 64K stop. The bus arrived shortly because it is a popular route (unlike buses that go to Sai Wan Pavilion in Sai Kung). The bus journey took about 45 minutes and we got off at Ngau Len Wo, which is the bus stop for Ng Tung Chai.
We entered Ng Tung Chai and followed the signs for the waterfalls. They are everywhere so don’t worry about not finding your way.
After about 10 minutes of navigating through the village on the road, we arrived at a marker on the ground that says “Ng Tung Chai Wa”. It was a really old marker but we guessed that it meant we were at the start of the hike.
Hiking to the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls
The hike to Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls started on the pavement, and we were a little bit disappointed. However, we soon figured out the reason why.
The beginning of the trail is a path that led to the Man Tak Yuen, a quaint Taoist Temple that offered snacks and beverages to hikers. Admission is free and visitors can walk around the small complex and admire the architecture.
Though the Man Tak Yuen temple was beautifully nestled in the mountains of Tai Mo Shan Country Park, we found the Man Tak Path Obelish even more gorgeous. This incredible landmark is a testimony that nature and modern construction can co-exist.
After passing the Man Tak Yuen, the official dirt trail began. Compared to other waterfall hikes in Hong Kong, the Ng Tung Chai hike is very lush and scenic. As we went deeper into the Tai Mo Shan Country Park, we were completely surrounded by greenery.
The Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hiking trail was in pretty good condition. Shade was abundant and the nearby waterfalls made the trail a little cooler than others. However, it was very humid, possibly due to how “enclosed” the trail was. Vegetation was very thick in certain places (not on the trail) and it made us feel like we were in Jurassic Park.
After about 45 minutes, we arrived at the first waterfall of the series: Bottom Fall. The waterfall wasn’t on the trail but on a small detour on the left. It was nearly impossible to miss it, thanks to a well-placed sign on the trail.
The sign took us to the first waterfall of our hike!
The bottom fall was a small cascading fall surrounded by lots of greenery and hanging vines. Though it wasn’t a huge waterfall, the setting made it a lot more appealing. The bottom fall emptied into a small pool, where sweaty hikers can go for a refreshing dip.
We didn’t see anyone swimming though (the few times we hiked the trail), but that is probably because of all the other epic waterfalls along the hike.
We didn’t spend a lot of time at the Bottom Fall because we wanted to get to Tai Mo Shan, so we went back on the main trail. In about 5 minutes, we encountered another sign. This time, it said “Middle Fall”.
The Middle Fall was another small detour off the main path. Unlike the Bottom Fall, the Middle Fall was much taller in size. In fact, we were able to hear it before we even saw it. Unfortunately, the sound of the cascading waters was mixed with tons of chatter. When we got to Middle Fall itself, we found a huge crowd of about 20 people.
It wasn’t really surprising though, considering how gorgeous the waterfall was and how there was a perfect pool for swimming. There were a few visitors already soaking in the pool. A group of hikers was sitting on some of the rocks and one hiker made a remark of how beautiful this waterfall was after a heavy rainstorm. We didn’t doubt him.
We swam in this waterfall on one occasion, but given how crowded it was, we decided to press on.
The hike from the second waterfall to the third waterfall was more challenging. Not only was the distance longer, but it often involved big steps that tested our flexibility. Cell service was absolutely non-existent out here, and if it were for the eager weekend hikers, we would’ve felt like we were in the jungle alone.
It took us about 20 minutes to arrive at the next waterfall: the Choi Hung Fall, which translates to the Rainbow Waterfall. Unlike the other waterfalls in Ng Tung Chai, the Choi Hung Fall didn’t have its own sign. The small detour to Choi Hung Fall took us to a secluded place with a small waterfall and pool.
The Choi Hung Fall earned its name from the frequent rainbows that visitors can see when the sun strikes the water. We have yet to see a rainbow at this place, even after visiting a few times. So if you are here for the rainbow, you might be disappointed.
The waterfall did feature a small pool for swimming, but it was probably the worst one out of the six waterfalls that we saw.
Ten minutes away from the Choi Hung Fall was the main waterfall of Ng Tung Chai, whose name is Main Fall (surprise!). The Main Fall is definitely the biggest attraction at Ng Tung Chai Waterfall, and the government knows that and has built a small viewing platform on the side.
Every time we visited, the Main Fall has been the center of attention. It is known as the highest waterfall out of all the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls, though its actual height is unknown. The water flow wasn’t as great as it could be. We could only imagine how incredible the Main Fall would look after a heavy rainstorm!
Most people usually turn around after seeing the Main Fall, but that is a huge mistake. You don’t want to miss the remaining two waterfalls, especially the last one.
The next waterfall on the trail was Scatter Fall and it only took about 5 minutes to arrive from the Main Fall. It earned its name from the way the water usually scattered around as it made its way down to the pool.
Because the pool at Scatter Fall is usually quite shallow, visitors typically don’t swim there. However, some visitors like to stand underneath the falls and feel the force of gravity and cascading water against their bodies.
Strangely, there is a cave right next to the Scatter Fall. We obviously didn’t go in the caves as passageways to the underworld (just kidding). It did look a bit sketchy and menacing.
This is usually the furthest hikers will go because they believe that the Scatter Fall is the last waterfall on the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike – we did as well. Until one day, we stumbled upon a gorgeous waterfall about 5 minutes away from Scatter Fall called Yuk Nui Fall.
At this point of the trail, there were hardly any people. In contrast to the other waterfalls on the hike, the Yuk Nui Waterfall sat quietly amidst tempting greenery and sheer rock faces. It was one of the most beautiful waterfalls we have seen in Hong Kong.
A sizable stream cascading down on the rock surface emptied into a small pool, which made it perfect for a refreshing dip. We didn’t get to jump in though, as we were in a rush to summit Tai Mo Shan.
Getting Back to Civilization
The Yuk Nui Waterfall is the sixth waterfall you see when hiking Ng Tung Chai Waterfall. It took us about 1.5 hours to arrive here with minimal breaks.
At this point, you can decide whether to go back the way you came from or continue onto Tai Mo Shan and exit that way. The trail back is a little bit steeper (you would have gained about 400 meters in elevation when you arrive at the last waterfall), which is why going that way might not be a terrible idea.
If you return the way you came back, it should take around 1 hour. If you venture into Tai Mo Shan, it is another 2 hours!
Along the way, more gorgeous greenery awaits!
Ng Tung Chai Waterfall Hiking Tips
There are some things you should know when you hike Ng Tung Chai Waterfall.
- Bring insect repellent. There are lots of bodies of water along the trail, making it the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.
- The volume of the waterfalls depends heavily (though not as bad as Sheung Luk Stream in Sai Kung) on whether it has rained recently or not. If you visit right after a rainstorm, just be careful of the wet trail. This isn’t a difficult trail, especially when compared to Lantau Peak, Sharp Peak or Twin Peaks, but it can get quite muddy.
- If you hike to Tai Mo Shan, you might actually not get a good view. Tai Mo Shan translates to Big Foggy Mountain in Cantonese, and that is because it is usually covered by a layer of fog (or rain if you are unlucky). Bring a lightweight waterproof layer just in case.
- The Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike is going to be very popular in the summer because of the numerous refreshing pools. However, you still need to do a hike to get to them. Many hikers suffer heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses during the extreme summers of Hong Kong.
If it gets too hot, just don’t hike. Try one of the indoor activities in Hong Kong instead.
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This concludes our guide to the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall hike. We hope you leave with the knowledge of how to hike to this magnificent waterfall in Hong Kong!
Any questions? Leave them in the comments!
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