The Three Mountains of Maclehose Stage 3 (Long & Challenging Hike)

Feel like a serious fucking workout working up a bit of sweat? Look no further. The killer 3 mountains (5, if we’re being honest) of Maclehose Trail Stage 3 got us huffing and puffing up and down five hills last Sunday in preparation for the Spartan Sprint. If you want to join our team by the way, check the details below!

Distance: 10.2 kilometers

Duration: 4.5-5 hours (Can be 4, but we did more because we had to take a picnic break in between mountains to fuel up)

Difficulty: Hard AF (up and down!!!!) + long

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0231.JPG Maclehose Section 3: Pak Tam Au to Kei Ling Ha

Wear a cap, no tree cover for parts of this trail (maybe 30-40%)

I’ve been putting off this hike for the longest time because it takes practically 2 hours to get to the starting point at Pak Tam Au alone from Hong Kong Island. I have also resisted going on it because I like to have my lazy weekend mornings. But with the Spartan coming up in just a few weeks, no excuses could be brooked. We had to do a difficult hike, and Maclehose Stage 3 was our destiny that day.

Getting there

My usual drill:

  • MTR Hang Hau Station Exit B
  • Minibus 101M to Sai Kung Pier / Bus terminus
  • Bus 94 / 96R to Pak Tam Au
Maclehose 3 Map  Pak Tam Au to Kei Ling Ha

Zoom into this map to check how I labelled the journey, including best photo spots!

IMG_9207 MacLehose Trail Section 3 - The Hills

According to Signore Filippo (at that point we were comparing this to The Godfather 2 scene in Corleone and he was a pastore) – HK is so green while Italy would be all yellow…

So reverse a bit from the bus stop and start climbing westwards and into “some of Hong Kong’s least visited uplands” – Sai Kung West Country Park. At the campsite we got confused and almost backtracked, so be careful here. DO NOT follow any signs back to Pak Tam Road. Keep going up to Kei Ling Ha / Shui Long Wo. We asked around and checked Google Maps to verify – hopefully you’ll have service in these parts. Even if you don’t (as we didn’t), your GPS might still be working to help point you in the right direction.

IMG_9205 Maclehose Trail Sec. 3

Tricky crossroads! It didn’t say Kei Ling Ha but Shui Long Wo, so we got confused. FOLLOW THE SIGNS TO SHUI LONG WO! That’s on Sai Sha Road at the end

It took us 1.5-2 hours to do the first 35% of the hike, and what we had done was already more than a normal hike, but we still had 65% of the way to go. “How much more time till Kei Ling Ha?” we asked. “One hour?” The lady we were asking laughed, and said “more than two hours.” I think it took us three…

IMG_9198 Maclehose Trail Sec. 3, Sai Kung

Map at the beginning of the hike


First climb that “wasn’t even considered one of the three mountains.” ACTUALLY they were TWO mountains: Ngau Yee Shek Shan and Ngam Tau Shan so we did FIVE MOUNTAINS that day

The first part is a 400m climb which we mistakenly thought was the first mountain. It didn’t even count, according to the government hiking authority. But for me the first part contains the first 2 of 5 peaks we hit that day.

We were only able to take photos in the first part of the hike because a) views were much better at the beginning, and b) we were way too tired to take photos in the second part, we were just trying to survive.

Maclehose 3 Map

Google Maps graphs the altitude change of your walk nowadays, so you know what to expect from this trail…

IMG_9203 Maclehose Trail Sec. 3, Sai Kung

If you’re a mountain person, this trail is for you

IMG_9201 Maclehose Trail Sec. 3, Sai Kung

Spoilt with views of Kau Sai Chau’s golf courses and Sharp Island

Finishing up

Get a bus or a taxi on Sai Sha Road. There’s a picnic site and a public bathroom. Change clothes, because I’m sure you’ll have sweat a lot by this point as we did!

There are two bus stops, one southwards going back to Sai Kung and another northwards going to the brown line (Ma On Shan line). We just cabbed back to Sai Kung Town and had dinner at the plaza 🙂

Can/Should you do it?

It’s difficult but definitely beautiful, plus you get that sense of achievement. I am by no means the fittest person on earth so we had to pace ourselves.

Just make sure to:

  • Pack enough water
  • Bring food / snacks for a nice picnic to re-fuel you in between stops. I only brought 1 banana but it helped SO MUCH
  • Don’t do this on an extremely hot day, you will suffer a lot
  • Bring a cap and sunscreen for the sun


Join us for the Spartan Race


We’re not doing the elite sprints but the open 6km sprints. FOR FUN!

Spartan Race is the world’s best obstacle course race – expect to run, climb, push, pull, throw and crawl through walls, hills, trees, mud, barbed wire and other challenging but fun obstacles.

When: 14 April 2018

Leave a comment if interested!

Ciao x





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