If you’ve lived in Hong Kong for more than a month, I’m sure you’ve heard of the infamous Monkey Hill from friends telling tales of their journey into this monkey-laden territory. Thankfully, they made it out alive and are able to warn possible Monkey Hill-goers of the dangers that await them upon stepping off the comforts of a public bus and into the wild world of the Macaques. Unfortunately, many people (much like myself) do not heed these warnings. Instead, we feel a need to see what this Monkey Hill is “really about”.
If you’re crazy enough to want to head over to Monkey Hill, you’re probably doing it to see exactly what everyone else is talking about; you might think to yourself, “there is no way there are that many monkeys around Hong Kong?!” or “they’re so cute! I’m so excited to see one (or hoards of them) in real life!”.
How to Get There:
You’ll need to take the MTR to Lai Chi Kok or Kowloon/Austin Station. If you’re heading to Lai Chi Kok, you can hop on KMB bus 72 from Cheung Sha Wan Bus Terminus. From Kowloon/Austin, you’ll be heading to the Jordan Bus Terminus (oddly named since it’s not close to Jordan..) on To Wah Road to catch the KMB bus 81.
Both buses will take you pretty much along the same path to get to Monkey Hill (Kam Shan Country Park), though bus 72 goes all the way up to Tai Po if you’re interested in ending your hike up that way.
What Stop to Get Off at:
We got off at Shek Lei Pui Reservoir (both buses stop here) and were instantly greeted with monkeys hanging out all over the place; on trash cans, road signs, and the bathroom and pavilion roof. There are other stops you can get off on Tai Po Road that are probably equally covered in monkeys. All just depends on where you want to start and end your hike.
Words of Warning:
There are many signs warning visitors to NOT feed the monkeys, which apparently many people don’t understand as I saw a man feeding bananas to some Macaques from his van. This has become a huge problem over the years and is clearly why these monkeys will get up close and personal when they see humans around. They can become quite aggressive and will snatch a plastic bag out of your hand thinking it is food. You should also probably not stare at them, which I learned the hard way.
Kam Shan Country Park:
We weren’t exactly dressed to go hiking, since our main purpose was just to see the monkeys. However, we felt that it would be pointless to come all this way and not do a quick hike. We went on the Kam Shan Tree Walk – very easy (mainly flat, paved road) and quite short (no more than 30-45 minutes, depending on how fast you’re walking).
As we were heading into Kam Shan Country Park, there were relatively no monkeys throughout the forested areas. They only resided near the main entrances/exists, clearly where the most people are, in hopes to get some food.
Monkey See, Monkey Do:
I had heard from others who had gone to Monkey Hill that it was absolutely crawling with Macaques. Fortunately, there weren’t as many as I had anticipated. There were families of monkeys, swimming monkeys, angry monkeys, curious monkeys, and everything in-between. Overall, I’m glad I went just so I know what it is like, however, it is highly unlikely I would ever go back to Monkey Hill again.