Key information: Double Haven
- A lovely circuit through the rugged north-east of Hong Kong's New Territories to the remote bay of Double Haven.
- Wind through disused paddy fields beside a stream, passing crumbling traditional hamlets and farmsteads.
- Enjoy the calm of Double Haven, sheltered deep behind its promontories and islands. Wander through a fine traditional village before hiking back across steep mountains clothed in forest and scrub, taking in some fine views.
- Walkopedia rating82
- Natural interest14
- Human interest8
- Negative points0
- Total rating82
- Length: 3-4 hours
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
This walk starts at the typical New Territories village of Wu Kau Tang scruffy concrete 3 storey boxes crowded into an old site amid disused rice terraces.
The path soon disappears into a valley of old rice paddies beside a meandering stream under rough green hills, passing the crumbling remains of traditional farmsteads and hamlets. Enjoy a perfect picnic where the stream tumbles down a shelf of rock.
After traversing a rugged hillside, the path drops to a deep inlet of the beautiful Double Haven, a bay sheltered behind a series of promontories and islands. Behind the shoreline all is scruffy charm: overgrown fields, an ancestral village with a weedy square shaded by a huge Banyan tree, another with a laid-back eatery with a black-clad peasant granny perched in a corner.
And then a trek up across the steep ridge from Lai Chi Wo passing patches of abandoned hardscrabble farmland fighting a losing battle with exuberant sub-tropical growth back to the refreshment stalls at Wu Kau Tang. Alternatively, you can cut back earlier at Sam A Chung on a path that winds around the contours of the hillside back up the same valley.
Other accounts: share your experiences
Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
Hong Kong - Lonely Planet City Guide
A History of Hong Kong – Frank Welsh
Hong Kong – Jan Morris
Prisoner of the Turnip-Heads – George Wright-Nooth with Mark Adkin
An Insular Possession - Timothy Mo
Myself a Mandarin – Austin Gates
Good maps are easily bought in Hong Kong.
Best times to walk/weather
Best times to walk
October to March. Azaleas in spring.
Excellent (warm, sunny) October-January. Cool and cloudy Feb-March. Increasingly humid and hot April-May. Very hot and humid June – September. Can be wet from January onward.
Bus to/from the start at Wu Kau Tang. Or taxi (not cheap). Or car.
As described above.
Possible problems, health, other warnings
- Heat, humidity and strong sun at some times of year. Carry enough water and protect yourself.
See also the websites in our useful links page for more detailed, and up-to-date, information.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk. Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Guided or independent?
You can do this walk independently.
It is in theory possible to find guides, and there are companies that organize walks in Hong Kong, especially themed walks – e.g. WW2 history, which can be fascinating.
Community help requested: please let us know of any guides who do this walk.
Expedition organisers include:
Ramblers Holidays – do a Hong Kong focused walking holiday.
Explore! - reputable and experienced organisers. (potential affiliate)
Have a look at Infohub to see if they have any good deals for this expedition.
Check TripAdvisor for some reviews of this walk and walk organisers which may prove helpful.
PLEASE HELP Walkopedia by recommending any reputable tour organizers that you know of – local or otherwise
A huge range, from luxury hotels to hostels. Serviced apartments are also to be found.
Luxury – some wonderful hotels, including:
Conrad Hong Kong (Central)
Grand Hyatt (Wanchai)
Cheaper – a profusion of good (but seldom particularly cheap) accommodation includes:
Bishop Lei International House (mid-levels)
Newton (in North Point)
YMCA/YWCA (Kowloon and Central)
Other information and tips
Useful websites and information
There are many websites with information on this walk. Here are some that we think are useful or have been recommended to us.
· Hong Kong Tourism Board – www.hkta.org - for accommodation, eating
Other things to do in the area
A large number of excellent walks (many listed on this site), including parts of the Maclehose Trail, Hong Kong Island Trail, Wilson Trail and others.
Some lesser, but delightful, walks can be found in Derek Kemp’s Twelve Hong Kong Walks (possibly now out of print). See also Magic Walks by Kaarlo Schepel, which has charm (if a basic layout) and some great walks.
Hong Kong is a fascinating place with a huge amount to do. The Peak for its views; a ferry to an outer island or Macau. The Peak Tram is horribly crowded (queues can be endless) but hugely romantic. The Star Ferry still has atmosphere, but its new location in the wastelands of the Central Reclamation, a classic piece of Hong Kong planning stupidity, has reduced the magic.
Food – Hong Kong is one of the world’s great centres. Chinese food (obviously), but all Asian food is fantastic here.
Shopping, if you must
Endless. Getting clothes made well but reasonably cheaply (Tsim Sha Tsui backstreets). A profusion of fun tourist tat. Fascinating antiques (beware, majority are fakes) around Hollywood Road and Cat Street.
share your experiences
Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
Responsible travel matters, a lot. How you travel will make a real difference - for better or worse. PLEASE consider this when making plans. Read more