• Outdoor Activities

“Aesthetic Fatigue” – The Amazing MacLehose Trail Stage 2

November 2, 2021

Name(English): MacLehose Trail Stage 2
Name(Chinese): 麥理浩徑第二段
Category: Outdoor Activities
Address(English): Sai Kung
Address(Chinese): 西貢
Address Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/68DBm2PRxvzT6YKu9
Address longitude and latitude: 22.40683689004739, 114.37332430887982
Opening Hours:
MON 00:00 – 23:59
TUE 00:00 – 23:59
WED 00:00 – 23:59
THU 00:00 – 23:59
FRI 00:00 – 23:59
SAT 00:00 – 23:59
SUN 00:00 – 23:59
Recommended Time to Visit: 9am
Accessibility Note: need to climb up mountains

In addition to the cityscape, why don’t take a glance at the rural area of Hong Kong? MacLehose Trail Stage 2 is cited by the National Geographic as “One of the world’s 20 dream trails”, in which lots of natural attractions are coveted by many hikers.

Planning your route wisely

Hopefully you will not suffer from aesthetic fatigue after traversing those magnificent coastlines, beaches, sea caves and hexagon rocks situated in the beautiful peninsula of Sai Kung. The 13.5km route, however, can be a bit grueling for beginners due to its length and rollercoaster-like slopes. It requires a good physical condition to conquer. If you’re tough enough, you may take 5 hours (excluding rest) to swagger thoroughly from the beginning to the end. For the confident hikers, High Island Reservoir East Dam is your starting point. 

Direction to Starting Point:

Taxi is the only vehicle taking you there, which costs around HKD 100 from Sai Kung City Centre. Grab one as earlier as you can, better by 9am, to make sure you have enough time to complete the trail before dark, and have the hardest part finished before noon. After half an hour, you will arrive the Pavilion situated in the area of East Dam. No hurry, first take some pictures with the enchanting scenery. South China Sea is on your right when the reservoir on your left. There’s only one way to enter MacLehose Trail Stage 2.

The First Deserted Beach – Long Ke

After 30-minute downhill walking, Long Ke is the first beach you will see. This is a deserted beach with almost no civilization in sight, only the sound of breaking waves. 

Don’t get lost in the wood and keep close to the path, then you may see the distance pillar “M021”, which implies that you will begin your ascend to Sai Wan Shan (316 metres). Take some rest in the pavilion and get some water, but don’t swill it all as there’s still a distance ahead.

The Best is Yet to Come – Sai Wan & Ham Tin Wan

Having arrived the summit of Sai Wan Shan, the trail will have turned easier. You will find yourselves at an intersection after 30 more minutes of hike: Here you have an option, to continue or to leave. Turn left for shuttle bus NR29 back to Sai Kung City Centre if you’re too tired (schedule), or turn right to continue with the second half of the trail. Next beach is Sai Wan Beach which is busier and more developed. Make sure to feed your tummy and refill your water supply at the stores before going further to the Ham Tin Wan.

You will arrive at Ham Tin Wan after an hour of hiking and this is the longest (and the last) beach you will see for your hike, so make sure you enjoy the beach before heading back to the city! It takes about another two hours before you get to Pak Tam Au where you can catch bus back to the city.


  1. Plan the route wisely and try to arrive Sai Kung by 9am
  2. Bring enough water, at least 2.5L
  3. Pay attention to the Distance Pillar “M0XX”, where XX is a number from 21 to 48. Every Distance Pillar is 500 meters apart so you can keep track on your progress to the end of the trail (transportation bck to city)
  4. If you consider going to beach only, please read Sai Wan Beach article (link) instead.

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Eric Wong

A HONGKONGER named Eric, is a writer and traveler, but simultaneously the clairvoyant in the city discovering its beauty people barely know.