If the thought of spending 6+ hours out in Hong Kong’s vast greenery and rolling hills with little shade and no going back sounds like an adventure you’re willing to tackle, then Plover Cove is perfect for you. This hike starts in Tai Po and takes you in a circle(ish) to Tai Mei Tuk, making for a long and sometimes grueling hike to the finish line if you go in the summer. Despite the length of this hike (approx. 17 km), the route itself isn’t too difficult if you’re relatively fit. Be sure to bring plenty of water, and leave early in the morning to fully enjoy and appreciate the stunning views along the Plover Cove hike.
Getting to the starting point of Plover Cove hike
Take the MTR to Tai Po Market Station, Exit A1. Make your way to the bus station and hop on bus 275R (Note: this bus only runs on SUNDAYS and PUBLIC HOLIDAYS). Ride this bus until the final stop: Bride’s Pool.
Bride’s Pool to Wu Kau Tang
Begin the hike at Bride’s Pool Barbecue Site (see first photo above) – there will likely be quite a few other hikers at the beginning of this route. You’ll walk over a small river and up some stairs to your left. Then, you’ll reach a fork in the path (see second photo above); go left. Shortly thereafter, you’ll reach another fork with a similar sign to the second photo above; go left again.
Keep going until your reach a large sign for Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail (see third photo above) – at this point, when we were hiking, all the other hikers continued straight, however, you’ll go right and head up the stairs just behind the country trail sign.
Wu Kau Tang to Ma Tau Fung
As you continue up the first climb, you’ll break out of the bush and be at Ma Tau Fung when you reach the range poll (see first photo above). The view from this part actually shows you the entire Plover Cove hike route (see second photo above) – you’ll end the hike at the end of the long white dam. From here, follow the path down to Luk Wu Tung.
Ma Tau Fung to Luk Wu Tung
At this point, there really is no chance of getting lost – the route is straightforward. As you go along, you’ll be able to look out to your left over Crooked Island and see the Yantian Harbour in China (see first photo above). Continue along until the path makes a hard right with a sign that says Tai Mei Tuk. If you look out into the distance from here (to your right), you can see the numerous hills you’ll be hiking up and over in the distance (see second photo above). While it doesn’t look particularly challenging, it will certainly feel like it goes on forever. Once you’re ready, begin heading down the path towards Tai Mei Tuk (see third photo above).
Luk Wu Tung to Tai Mei Tuk
At the end of the trail, you’ll abruptly come to the first dam (see first photo above) – walk alongside it and around the little hill to your left (do not climb up the stairs). You’ll then walk along another similar damn; again, go left around once you get to the end (don’t go up the stairs). From here, you’ll be walking on a road for 20 minutes until you get to the final dam where you’ll see plenty of people riding bicycles up and down. Walk down the dam where you’ll see some great views on either side of you (see second photo above). At the end of the dam, head left and walk down a short path until you get to Tai Mei Tuk. Here you’ll find a few little shops that sell water, ice cream, and beancurd pudding. Continue along until you reach the bus terminal.
Congratulations – you’ve completed the Plover Cove hike! Now, take bus 75K back to Tai Po Market Station MTR.
Journey Length: 16 km
Time: 6 – 7 hours