Silver Mine Waterfalls at Mui Wo on Lantau Island
The Silver Mine Waterfall at Mui Wo, eastern Lantau, is one of the most easily reached of Hong Kong's best waterfalls. It's accessible by strolling gentle trails, passing by the beach, village houses, and through fields and woodland. Like all our waterfalls, it's best just after - or even during - spells of heavy rain.
There's an even better, "hidden" fall above.
One way of heading there is to arrive at Mui Wo by ferry or bus, then walk along the waterfront, towards the beach. Take a bridge over the creek, and walk above the beach till you come to the mouth of a small, mangrove fringed creek.
Turn left at the mouth of the creek, and you soon reach a narrow rural road. Turn right here, and the road follows the creek; the housing soon thins out, as the road narrows to a footpath..
Walking here you might see butterflies such as this lovely red helen, feeding on nectar on flowers by the path.
There's a small trail junction, with a signpost that may be in disrepair, or may point the way left, to the waterfall; past a big India rubber tree with a mass of aerial roots. Onwards! - and the environment is now verdant, with overgrown fields on the right. The path climbs a little, through woodland on Butterfly Hill. Then, down through more woods, and through overgrown fields, with a stream on the left.
Main Silver Mine Waterfall at Mui Wo, Lantau
There's another junction, and a right turn soon leads to the foot of the waterfall. Here, there's a pavilion, and you can scramble over rocks at the foot of the cascades - but if you scramble, be careful, especially if the stream's flowing strongly.
This is a good place to linger, and explore vantages for taking photos...
... and for shooting video.
"Hidden" Silver Mine Fall
A concrete path runs uphill from near the pavilion; up this - level with the top of the fall - is the entrance to an abandoned silver mine. The entrance is blocked (a little way inside), with only a small hole to allow bats to access and leave their daytime roost in the cool interior.
Above this mine is an even better waterfall. You can reach this by keeping to the concrete trail as it passes the top of the Silvermine Fall, turns left, and runs beside a small farmstead; this stretch is part of the Olympic Trail.
Take a right turn, across a footbridge over a stream. The path climbs gently, between a couple of farmhouses. Then, there's a small orchard. As the slope becomes steeper, and enters secondary woodland, look for a rough trail on the left, alongside water pipes: this is the trail to the "hidden" fall. The trail is level, and you soon arrive at the base of the fall.
Providing it is dry and there is not too much water flowing, it's possible to scramble up the left side of the cascades, to reach the topmost, best section of the waterfall - which as you'll see is really a series of falls.
Here, there's a large plunge pool, with water coursing over the rock below it, forming more pools, then plunging down the valley.
Back to the Ferry Pier
Back down below the silver mine, near the pavilion, there's this quirky signpost. To take a different way back to the ferry pier (and bus terminus), follow the signs towards Pak Ngan Heung and Man Mo Temple.
Soon after the signpost, there's a rather fine village gate; the path passes close by the Man Mo Temple, with it's bright n cheery exterior (looking gloomier inside, as is the norm with local temples). Then, on through a small village, and you can follow paths that wind back towards the ferry pier.