A Watery Wonderland
This unique 79-kilometer route begins in Tai Lam Country Park (just off Route Twisk) at an altitude of around 550 meters.
From this point, we’ll embark on one of the longest descents along a smooth asphalt road, weaving through dense forest, flowing through bend after bend before jettisoning you out at a turn-off to Tai Lam Chung Reservoir, the first watery offering of the day. This road section of the reservoir offers some of the best lookouts over this jewel of a pool.
From the quiet of the forest, we’ll ride to the Gold Coast resort for a pitstop before navigating a mixture of busy roads, cycle paths, and railway crossing as we make our way through Tuen Mun and on up to Hang Hau Tsuen. Here, we take a little detour to the remote sleepy village of Ha Pak Lai, where one can still find a few traditional houses on stilts dotted around the wetlands. On route are stunning views across Shenzhen Bay and its wetlands.
Retracing our route back along Deep Bay Road, long stretches of border fence flank our way before the landscape opens up to vast arrays of glass-like wetland fields glistening under golden-hour sunlight.
Next, we’re ferry-bound for a 57-second journey across a narrow ford that is perhaps the most eccentric point of the trip but an indelible moment as we disembark and make our way through a fragrant forest and on to the Kam Tin River to meet the setting sun. We end the ride (using the ever-useful cycle track) at Kam Sheung MTR station.
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- Starting in Tai Lam Country Park, enter MacLehose Trail Section 9 and head on up. Trees nicely shade the route, and you may see a monkey or two foraging in the forest.
- Tsuen Wan Urban lookout has knockout views as far as Victoria Harbor. Two kilometers on, at an altitude of 550 meters, our big descent begins.
- At Tin Fu Tsi Mountain Bike Park entrance, turn off and continue to Tin Fu Tsai Campsite to join Yuen Chun Ancient Trail, which segues into MacLehose Trail Section 10.
Rejoin the Yuen Chun Ancient Trail, which, 2 kilometers later, merges with Tai Lam Nature Trail.
Turn off the nature trail for a gentle road climb. This 3-kilometer section weaves high above the reservoir, where spectacular views await you at various lookouts.
Carry on to Tai Lam Chung Road, passing Tai Lam Correctional Institute, until you reach a right-hand turn onto Castle Peak Road en route to the Gold Coast resort.
Staying on Castle Peak Road, turn left at Hui Wing Road and onto Tuen Mun. A cycle track appears at the bridge, guiding you along a railway line and through the town.
After 6.5 kilometers, turn onto Tin Ha Road towards Lau Fau Shan, where you’ll make a left down Deep Bay Road on a 15-kilometer coastal detour loop. Packed with views along the way, it is well worth the effort.
From Ha Pak Lai village, retrace steps back towards Lau Fa Shan. Continue on to Sha Kiu Tsuen until you reach Tsim Bei Lookout. This stretch of road possesses outstanding views out towards Shenzhen.
At the headland, Border Fence Road begins, and the views change. To the left, a towering border fence embellished with dense foliage blocks views of Mai Po Marshes. To the right, grasslands emerge to give way to the wetlands.
After 3.4 kilometers, look out for a small opening on the right. On the other side, a glass-like array of wetlands await set across 360-degree views.
Exit onto Fuk Shun Street, following Fuk Hi Street and Wang Lee Road through an industrial estate and onto a cycle track alongside the Shan Pui River.
Join Wang Lok Street, crossing the bridge to head down Shan Ho Pui Road. At the end, a narrow path leads to Nam Sang Wai ferry pier.
Here, a quaint ferry journey awaits at a ford-like crossing. Two passengers with bikes can make the journey at once.
A narrow path takes you to Nam Sang Wai Road through an avenue of fragrant trees and onto one final brush with water along the Kam Tin River.
Our journey ends by navigating a cycle track to Kam Sham Sheung MTR station.