Though Shing Mun Reservoir is close to a densely packed residential district northwest of Kowloon, just a few minutes’ walk leads you well away from the city, and soon you are in a deep forested valley, with the reservoir beside you, streams tumbling down from the surrounding peaks. There are many birds here, more readily heard than seen, and troupes of macaques; as so often in Hong Kong, there’s a choice of trails, allowing for short strolls and long hikes.
2hrs travelling; 3-6hrs hiking
Getting there You can head to Shing Mun Reservoir (“Shing Mun Shui Tauong”) from Tsuen Wan MTR Station: At Exit B, cross a footbridge to take a red taxi from the (signposted) taxi stands, or minibus 82 from Shiu Woo Street.
Outings Arriving at the small minibus stop at Pineapple Dam, walk up the flight of steps on the left. There’s a country park visitor centre, where you might find the displays of some interest. From here, there’s an easy walk above the reservoir, along Pineapple Dam Nature Trail.
At the end of the nature trail, turn left along a country park access road, then right up another small road. You climb gently, then the road levels, with grand views over the forested basin around the north of the reservoir. You might see macaques here; males can be aggressive, so it’s advisable to keep food hidden away – and don’t stare into their eyes.
The road ends, and there’s a track into the woods. Follow this, and you’ll eventually curve down and right, to follow a small stream towards the reservoir. You arrive at the access road above the reservoir, where you could turn right to return to Pineapple Dam. Or, turn left, and you’ll cross the Tai Shing Stream and arrive at a junction by another stream.
From this junction, you could walk up to check out the Shing Mun Arboretum, with its collection of local trees, then continue up and over hills to drop down through Tai Po Kau Forest Reserve. Or, keeping to the low road, you can complete a circuit of the reservoir.