Want to explore an off the beaten trail and see one-of-a-kind natural scenery in Hong Kong? Then you must spend an afternoon and hike Pineapple Mountain in Hong Kong.
Also known as Po Lo Shan (which literally means “pineapple mountain” in Cantonese), it earned its name because the mountain resembles the crackly crust of a pineapple bun (a Hong Kong classic food).
The off the beaten trail takes you up Pineapple Mountain across Tuen Mun and Lau Fau Shan where you can see panoramic views of the New Territory and Shenzhen, China. And the trail ends on the other side of the mountain where you can see a beautiful sunset in Ha Pak Nai Village.
I’ve included all the transportation and logistics information in this guide. So keep reading and learn how you can hike Pineapple Mountain, Hong Kong’s Great Canyon.
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What you need to know before hiking Pineapple Mountain
Before you head out to see the Hong Kong grand canyon, check out my Hong Kong solo travel guide and get an overview of the city first.
And here are some additional travel tips for the Pineapple Mountain hike in Hong Kong:
- The best time to hike the Pineapple Mountain trail is late autumn, winter and early spring. The trail is exposed the entire way, so I would not recommend hiking during summer.
- Wear a pair of light hiking shoes because some parts of the “canyon” can be slippery
- Make sure to bring plenty of water with you for the day hike. Or you can get water and snacks at Leung King Plaza at Leung King Light Rail Station.
- Wear sunscreen and bring a hat because the trail is completely exposed to the sun.
- Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking public transportation and use it for taking the MTR and light rail. It costs $100HKD, but you can use $50 stored value and get your $50HKD refundable deposit when you leave HK.
How to hike Pineapple Mountain in Hong Kong
The best way to hike Pineapple Hill in Hong Kong is to take the MRT to Tuen Mun and start your hike nearby by crossing Pineapple Mountain and finishing the hike in Ha Pak Nai Village.
Here is a brief summary of the Pineapple Hill hike:
- Difficulty: easy
- Duration: less than 2 hours
- Distance: 6km
- What to bring: light hiking shoes, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), water, snacks, smartphone (for taking photos and navigation)
How to get to the start of Pineapple Hill hiking trail
For solo hikers, the best way is to take public transportation. First, take the MTR to Siu Hong MTR Station, the second last stop on the West Rail Line. At the Siu Hong MTR Station, find the exit for Track 5 Light Rail Platform and look for light rail #505.
- Light Rail 505 (Track 5): from Siu Hong MTR Station to Leung King Light Rail Station (5 stops)
- Time: 11 minutes (every 4 minutes)
- Cost: $5.10HKD if you are only taking light rail or free for MTR passengers travelling with Octopus
- How to pay: tap your Octopus card on the payment terminal on the platform before you get on the light rail and when you get off
- Check: MTR website for more information
Walking to the start of Pineapple Hike Hong Kong
When you arrive at Leung King Light Rail Station, cross the tracks, and you will see Leung King Plaza. Then turn left and walk along the plaza’s south side, cross through the residential neighbourhood and keep walking east until you arrive at the road.
There isn’t any official sign for the Pineapple Hill trail entrance. But it is the opening on the right side of the road.
And as soon as you turn into the entrance, the trail begins to go uphill. You’ll see many little Buddha statues on a large rock near the entrance.
Views from Pineapple Mountain HK
The trail starts off pretty steep, meaning you will get to the top of the mountain in no time.
And along the way, you can see various sceneries. When you look in the direction of southeast, you can see a view of the buildings in Tuen Mun.
And when you look towards the south, you can see the pointy structure on top of Castle Peak. The pointy structure is a transmitting station. Also, you can see a trail zigzagging on the mountains between where you are and Castle Peak. So if you have time, you can follow the trail, hike south, and reach the top of Castle Peak.
Moreover, there are other trails on Pineapple Hill, where you can explore different parts of the mountain. But I followed Google Maps and went straight for the canyons. So if you have time, you can explore the rest of Pineapple Hill.
The actual canyon part of Pineapple Hill is on the other side of the mountain. It is not difficult to navigate Pineapple Hill’s trail because it is pretty much one main path going through the canyons.
As soon as you reach the top, you’ll walk down the hill and start to see Shenzhen in the distant background and Deep Bay which is the body of water that separates Hong Kong and China.
First Glimpse of Pineapple Hill HK, aka Po Lor Shan Great Canyon
You’ll know when you arrive at the Great Canyons of Hong Kong! You’ll see a big blue sign that says “dangerous road – no trespassing.” Umm…but everyone does.
But, of course, many parts of the canyon would deem as dangerous. Some parts of the canyon are quite deep, and certain paths are slippery (especially if you are not wearing proper hiking shoes). So do take care while you walk through the canyon.
When you are ready to cross the canyon, take the path on the right. A small path will take you to the other side of the canyon.
There is something so amazing about these land formations. It does remind me of the Grand Canyons in the US, but on a much smaller scale.
And as far as I know, the Pineapple Mountain hike is the only place in Hong Kong where you can see a natural landscape with canyon-like qualities.
I went on the Pineapple Hill hike on a weekday, so there weren’t many people. This is great news for hikers who want to enjoy nature and not be surrounded by a crowd (which often happens during weekends).
As for the canyons’ scale, it isn’t easy to see the scale by looking at these photos. The canyons are quite deep, and it is impossible to go to the bottom. You can only walk on the path around the canyons’ top areas.
As mentioned already, there is a small path on the right side to cross over the canyons. Take the path closest to the right side, as the left side seems really narrow and high. Take your time and be careful.
As you walk around the canyon area, look back toward the trail you came from. You can see the transmitting station at the top of Castle Peak, the windy path you were just on, and the vibrant colours of the canyon itself. On a nice day, the contrasting colours of the reddish-orange canyon beside the blue sky are striking!
Also, be careful when you are at the edge of the canyon. Some parts are quite high. I fear heights, so I didn’t dare to get too close.
At the last bit of the grand canyon on Pineapple Mountain
By the time you reach the second “danger road sign,” you’ve reached the end of Po Lor Shan Great Canyon.
Beyond the sign is a path going downhill towards Ha Pak Nai Village, where you can take a minibus to either Tin Shui Wai or Yuen Long, where you can hop on the MTR.
BUT, if you are hiking Pineapple Hill on the weekend or a public holiday, I suggest you walk back when you see this sign.
The reason is that Pineapple Hill is a very popular trail, and most people would want to make the most of the day and end the day trip to Ha Pak Nai, where they can see a beautiful sunset. If everyone hikes the same trail to Ha Pak Nai, many people will be waiting for the minibus back to the city.
And the problem is that each minibus can only seat 19 people at a time, and the minibus only comes every 18 to 23 minutes. I’ve read many blogs where people had to wait for a few hours, or they started to walk towards Lau Fau Shan Seafood Fishing Village to catch another bus, but this option still took several hours.
So if you don’t want to spend many hours waiting for public transport, walk back to Leung King Light Rail Station from this point.
Continue walking downhill toward Ha Pak Nai Village
But if you choose to continue the trail, you’ll see a bit of the canyon-like qualities along the trail. This is the only one way going down Pineapple Mountain towards Ha Pak Nai Village. It is pretty straightforward until you reach the main road.
Turn right at Nim Wan Road for Ha Pak Nai Village
As soon as you pass the warning signs (which I thought was quite hilarious as they are supposed to warn of you, and yet the main sign is moved to the side so you can easily walk through), turn right and follow the main road. This road is Nim Wan Road.
Minibuses at Ha Pak Nai: Green Minibus 33 and Residential minibus NR941
After about a 10-minute walk, you will see signs along the way indicating where the minibus stop is located.
First, you will see a small red and white sign with Chinese handwriting. It means “this way to Ha Pak Nai and minibus stop“. Follow the path to the right of the sign.
You will continue to walk through a village with small houses and fields. And you will see one more sign in red pointing the direction you are supposed to be going. Just keep walking on the same path.
I also indicated the exact path on Google Maps (see above), but the last bit of the map won’t let me link to the minibus stop. So in the last part of the path, trust me when I say there is a walking path for you to get to the road.
Green minibus 33
Most people arriving in Ha Pak Nai will return via the green minibus #33 to Tin Shui Wai MTR Station or Yuen Long.
- Green Minibus 33: from Ha Pak Nai to Tin Shui Wai MTR Station
- Time: 30 minutes (every 18-23 minutes)
- Cost: $11.6HKD (use Octopus card to pay)
- Check: 16seats website for more info
Residential minibus NR941
But there is actually another minibus that will take you from Ha Pak Nai to Yuen Long. I hopped on minibus NR941 and it is a white minibus with a green top (it doesn’t look like the typical red or green minibus you see all over Hong Kong). I found out later that it is a residential bus line that acts as an auxiliary route for minibus 33.
But if you see a minibus going towards the direction of Yuen Long on Nim Wan Road and it says “Yuen Long 元朗” or “NR941″ on the front, take this bus! You don’t have to wait at a bus stop, just hail the minibus and the driver will stop for you (if the minibus is not full).
- Minibus NR941: from Ha Pak Nai to Tin Shui Wai MTR Station
- Time: 30 minutes (every 20-25-23 minutes)
- Cost: $9HKD (use Octopus card to pay)
- Check: HKBus website for more info (turn on Google Translate)
Optional: watch the sunset at Ha Pak Nai
If you google the best sunsets in Hong Kong, you will see Ha Pak Nai has one of the best spots. And indeed, Ha Pak Nai is the optimal place on the west coast of the New Territories.
Although I don’t think the beach itself is that nice, and parts of the coast is mostly mud-flat area, I think it is still worth checking out. Just make sure you get there before the sun set as many others will do the same.
You can walk to the closest beach to watch the sunset by following the road beside the convenience store (see location), next to the minibus stop. Or you have to walk along the main road to Ap Chai Wan Seaside (see location). It is a 20-minute walk, but it is a nicer beach.
And if you are brave enough to watch the sunset in Ha Pak Nai on the weekend, be prepared for a long wait for the minibus to go back to the city.
Interested in other events and tours in Hong Kong?
Will you visit the grand canyons of Pineapple Mountain in Hong Kong?
I hope so because the natural landscape is simply out of this world! And who knew that a metropolis like Hong Kong has such beautiful natural scenery? Plus, this is one of the most unusual and easy hiking trails in HK that only locals know about. Definitely, a must-do if you love to hike.
If you already hiked all the popular hiking trails like Victoria Peak, The Twins and Violet Hill and Dragon’s Back, definitely add this to your list, as Pineapple Mountain is definitely off the beaten path.
And if you have more questions, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you!
Other HK hikes you might be interested:
- High West: A short hike to see the Victoria Peak sunset
- Rhino Rock Hike: see a rocky rhinoceros head in Stanley
- Lamma Island: hike from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan
- Red Incense Burner Summit on Braemar Hill: best spot for sunset and night views
- High Junk Peak: one of three sharpest peaks in HK
- Ma On Shan Hike: hike across the horse-saddle mountain to Sai Kung
- Pat Sin Leng Hike: hike over 8 peaks named after Chinese Mythological immortals
- Mount Nicholson Hike: see hidden rock statues in the middle of HK Island
- Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail: hike around HK’s largest reservoir
- Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff: See HK’s most dramatic cliff
- Po Pin Chau: hike around hexagonal rock columns in Sai Kung