Kai Kung Leng hike is a challenging 7.5km trail across the mountain range in Lam Tsuen Country Park (林村郊野公園) between Yuen Long and Sheng Shui in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Also known as the Rooster Ridge hike, the hiking trail crosses three major peaks: Kai Kung Shan (雞公山), Kai Kung Leng (雞公嶺) and Lo Tin Teng (羅天頂).
Even though the steep hiking trail is difficult and the weather can be unpredictable, the view from the top is fantastic! On a clear day, you can see a 360º view of the area including Yuen Long, Nam Sang Wai to the west, Shenzhen to the north, Tai Mo Shan to the south, and Tai To Yan and Sheung Shui to the east.
Whenever I take the MTR on Tuen Ma Line towards Tuen Mun, I always look at this massive mountain on the right side as the subway approaches Kam Sheung Road Station. And after a little research, I realized that this is a hikeable mountain!
So keep reading and I’ll show you exactly how to hike Kai Kung Leng and see gorgeous views of the New Territories of HK.
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What you need to know before hiking Kai Kung Leng
Before you attempt the Rooster Ridge hike, take a look at my Hong Kong solo travel guide and get an overview of HK first.
Here are a few additional tips for the Kai Kung Shan hike:
- The best time for the hiking the Rooster Ridge is late autumn, winter and early spring. 95% of the trail is exposed to the sun so I would not recommend hiking on a hot sunny day.
- Bring at least 2L of water for a few hours of hiking.
- Bring sunscreen and other sun protection.
- Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking public transportation and use it for taking the MTR, minibus and bus to and from Kai Kung Leng. It costs $100HKD, but you can use $50 stored value and get your $50HKD refundable deposit when you leave HK.
- Use Google Maps to navigate your way to the start of the hike and during the hike. Google Maps has all the info you need for the day hike.
- My point-to-point route starts from west to east. It is possible to hike in reverse, from east to west. If you do, finish the hike before sunset so you can see the sun set over the horizon.
How to hike Kai Kung Leng in Lam Tsuen Country Park
The best way to hike Kai Kung Leng is to hike the mountain range from west to east. Start in Kam Tin on Fung Kat Heung Road, hike across the mountain ridge, passing three peaks and complete the hike in Lam Tsuen on Fan Kam Road.
Alternatively, you can hike in the reverse direction, from east to west and watch the sunset at the end of the hike.
Click on “more options” on the top left corner of Google Maps and the map will open in your browser or in the app on your smartphone.
And the elevation starts with a gradual uphill then a steep downhill. Take a look at the elevation profile below.
- Difficulty: intermediate to advance (many uphill and downhill and loose gravel trails)
- Duration: 5 hours
- Distance: 7.5km
- What to bring: hiking shoes, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), water, snacks, smartphone (for taking photos and navigation), climbing gloves, hiking pole
How to get to the start of Kai Kung Leng Hike aka Rooster Ridge hike
From anywhere in Hong Kong, take the MTR to Yuen Long Station. Then walk down to exit G1. At the bottom of the escalators, turn right, cross the road on the left, walk to the end of the row of minibus stops and find the stop for minibus 603.
When you are close to the entrance of the trail (see location), either press the stop button or tell the driver you want to stop at the start of the Kai Kung Leng hiking trail.
- Minibus 603: from Yuen Long Bus Terminus to the start of Kai Kung Leng hike
- Time: 20 minutes (every 25 minutes)
- Cost: $7.1HKD (use Octopus card)
- Check: 16Seats website for minibus 603 for more information
Start hiking up Kai Kung Leng hiking trail
The entrance to the Kai Kung Leng hike is a small opening in the road, with a couple of wooden steps and a handwritten sign in Chinese. The hiking path continues behind, next to the electric pole.
The first part of the Kai Kung Leng hiking trail is either a rugged path or a wooden stairway. The incline is gradual.
I take lots of breaks when I hike uphill. And I always look back and snap photos of the area behind me. And not far from the start of the hike, you can already see Kam Tin and Yuen Long from above. The view will only get better!
See the massive mountain range of Lam Tsuen Country Park
As you hike up the Rooster Ridge, you can start to see the entire mountain range in the distance. There are a few peaks along the ridge and you’ll be crossing each one in the next few hours.
And one of the best perks of hiking in Lam Tsuen Country Park is the views! You can see panoramic views of places next to Kai Kung Leng. You can continue to see the village of the Kam Tin area and you can see the wetlands in Nam Sang Wai in Yuen Long to the west.
Depending on the time you start hiking, you might want to rest next to the radio station. As I mentioned before, 95% of the Kai Kung Leng hiking trail is exposed. But you can stand beside the radio station to take a bit of a break from the scorching sun.
Keep hiking up the steep trail
There’s only one way across the Rooster Ridge – keep following the trail on top of the mountain ridge.
After a gradual hike at the beginning, the hiking path gets much steeper. The trail condition is fairly good. There isn’t a lot of loose gravel so you can easily hike up without a hiking pole.
Trek up the steepest part of Kai Kung Shan hike
After passing a small cluster of rocks, the hiking path gets even steeper!
This part may be the toughest part of the hike along the Rooster Ridge. The path is so steep that you may have to use your hands to help with climbing up the hill.
When I hiked Kai Kung Leng, there were these small patches of carpets on the steep hill. Someone had put these little carpet tiles on the hill to help with climbing up. And I’m so glad they were there because it really helped!
Reach the first peak: Kai Kung Shan
At the top of the steep hill you just climbed, you can see a triangulation station ahead. This is Kai Kung Shan, the first peak on Kai Kung Leng hike.
At 374m, the view from Kai Kung Shan is fantastic. Not only will you continue to see the area next to the mountain range including Kam Tin, Nam Sang Wai, the marshes of Mai Po, and you can also see the tall buildings in Shenzhen.
And beyond the first peak, you can see the rolling hills of Kai Kung Leng. The scenery is impressive and intimidating at the same time.
Trek over the undulating hills of the Rooster Ridge hike
The actual hiking trail between the first and second peak is not as difficult. You can see the hiking path ahead and it is a lot of ups and downs over the ridge.
But I think one of the hardest part of hiking Kai Kung Leng is the weather element. I think it is challenging to anticipate the condition when you are hiking an exposed trail at a high elevation. I remember it was very hot and windy when I hiked the Rooster Ridge and I was constantly taking on and off my jumper.
So it is best to wear layers. Moreover, bring a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
Continue trekking across the rolling terrain
Keep hiking across the undulating hills of Kai Kung Leng.
At one of the small peaks, there is a large cluster of rocks called 桂角石嶺. I didn’t get a proper photo there because there were many hikers next to the rocks. I think they were looking for a bit of shade. I continued forward to look for the next shady spot.
And as you hike across the terrain, you’ll notice that there are several paths on the hiking trail. Kai Kung Leng is popular with hikers and mountain bikers, which is probably why there are many “lanes” on the hills for both people on foot and people on bikes.
Hike up to the second peak: Kai Kung Leng
About halfway into your hike, you will reach the second peak: Kai Kung Leng.
Also known as Tai Lo Tin (大羅天), the view at 572m above sea level is something else. From the summit, you can get a 360º view of the surrounding mountain range.
When you look in the northwest direction, Nam Sang Wai, Yuen Long and Shenzhen look a bit smaller and further. And when you look south, you can see the southern hills of the Kai Kung Leng mountain range and Pat Heung, an area with several villages just south of Kai Kung Leng.
And when you look east, there’s another peak ahead. Yup, that is the third peak of the mountain range.
Reach the third peak: Lo Tin Teng
Continue hiking the ridge until you reach 585m above sea level. This is the third (and the last peak) on Kai Kung Leng and it is called Lo Ting Teng.
From the highest point on the Kai Kung Leng hike, you can also start to see views on the east side of the mountain range. The large mountain immediately south of Kai Kung Leng is Tai To Yan. I believe the hiking trail on Tai To Yan is similar to the Rooster Ridge hike: exposed and difficult. But I bet the view is amazing!
And further to the south, you can see the long mountain range with a peak in the middle. This is Tai Mo Shan, the highest peak in Hong Kong.
While you are enjoying the new views to the east, don’t forget to look back at the trail you just hiked. You can see Kai Kung Leng peak and the rolling mountains in the back. And give yourself a pat on the back – you just hiked this difficult part of the trail!
Descend the Rooster Ridge hiking trail
From the summit at Lo Tin Teng, the rest of the trail descends towards Lam Tsuen, which is a village west of Kai Kung Leng.
I thought hiking up Kai Kung Leng was hard but descending down the mountain is just as difficult. It isn’t super steep but there is loose gravel and rocks which makes the descent a bit more difficult.
If you brought hiking gloves or hiking poles, this is a good time to use them.
For me, I only put on my hiking gloves just in case I need to break my fall. But I felt pretty good because I wore my Merrell Moab 2 hiking shoes. The traction on the shoes is amazing. If you are interested in seeing my minimalist hiking gear, check out my post here.
As you descend down Kai Kung Leng, you can see the north part of the mountain range and Sheung Shui, a town in the New Territories. And as you keep going further down the mountain, you can get a closer look at the Tai To Yan mountain range.
Trail condition hiking down Kai Kung Leng
As I mentioned before, the trail going down Kai Kung Leng is quite challenging. But some parts of the hike down are quite easy and enjoyable. Along the way, the path continues over a rocky area, passes by several random marble rocks, and continues down a visible path down the mountain range.
Even though there aren’t any signs, you just have to follow the trail because that is the only way to leave the country park.
The last part of the steep descent: keep right
Perhaps the latter part of the descent is the toughest. The trail looks very steep. And you can see loose rocks and gravel. This is where your hiking gloves and hiking poles come in handy.
When you see the path splits, take the path on the right. This route will take you all the way to the main road where you can take the bus back to Kam Sheung Road MTR Station.
Take bus 77K to Kam Sheung Road MTR Station
Keep hiking down the rugged path and soon it will become a set of concrete stairs. Continue until you cross the bridge to Fan Kam Road.
When you get to Fan Kam Road, turn right and cross the road. The bus stop for bus 77K is called Kiu Tau and is on the other side of the street.
When you arrive at Kam Sheung Road MTR Station, you can see the mountain range of Kai Kung Leng. I caught a glimpse of the mountain at sunset. There was a reddish glow to the mountain. It was magic!
- Bus 77K: from Kiu Tau bus stop to Kam Sheung Road MTR Station
- Time: 35 minutes (every 20 minutes)
- Cost: $7.8HKD (use Octopus card)
- Check: KMB website for bus 77K for more information
Are you ready to trek the Rooster Ridge hike?
I really hope so because it is one of the most unusual mountains in Hong Kong. The mountain range itself reminds me of Uluru Rock in Australia – a large rock formation in the middle of flat land. But Kai Kung Leng is much smaller.
The Rooster Ridge hike is by far one of the most challenging hikes in Hong Kong. The terrain is tough and the weather is unpredictable. But the views are some of the best!
Let me know if you are going to hike Kai Kung Leng or if you have any other questions about this hike.
Other HK hikes you might be interested:
- Victoria Peak Hike: See Hong Kong’s beautiful skyline
- High West: A short hike to see the Victoria Peak sunset
- Dragon’s Back Hike: the most popular day hike in HK
- Red Incense Burner Summit on Braemar Hill: best spot for sunset and night views
- Mount Nicholson Hike: see hidden rock statues in the middle of HK Island
- Violet Hill and the Twins: hike over two mountains with over 1,000+ steps
- Rhino Rock Hike: see a rocky rhinoceros head in Stanley
- Pineapple Mountain: the Great Canyon of Hong Kong
- Lamma Island: hike from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan
- High Junk Peak: one of three sharpest peaks in HK
- Po Pin Chau: hike around hexagonal rock columns in Sai Kung
- Tung O Ancient Trail: hike the coastal trail in Lantau North Country Park
- Lo Yan Shan hike: hike Chi Ma Wan Country Trail in southern Lantau Island
- Trio Beach hike: see a secret beach and rocky headland in Sai Kung
- Cape Collinson hike: visit an old battery used during WWII on Hong Kong Island
- Tsing Yi Nature Trails: meander through the easy trails in Tsing Yi
- Tsing Yi Peak: hike the three peaks on Tsing Yi Island
- Ma Shi Chau Nature Trail: see 280 million year old rocks in Tai Po
- Fan Lau hike: explore the southwest tip of Lantau Island
- Po Toi Island: see Hong Kong’s South Pole
- Tai Tan Country Trail: hike an easy coastal trail in Sai Kung
- Mount David Hike: see an old military site on HK Island