Section Four includes dramatic mountain scenery --
and very strenuous climbs. Beginning at Kei Ling
Ha, the route winds through Ma On Shan Country
Park (2,880 hectares), then continues on towards
the Kowloon peaks.
The route climbs up the sheer
eastern face of Ma On Shan. It bypasses the 'horse
saddle' summit, 702 metres, then leads south along
the ridges. Here the Trail crosses a memorable
upland area, the undulating plateau south of Pyramid
Hill -- above Sai Kung. Section Four continues south
along impressive village boulder pathways, past
Buffalo Hill, and so on to Tate's Cairn.
The slopes of Ma On Shan have
a vegetation divide common in Hong Kong -- its
north-facing slopes have woodland but its south-facing
slopes support only grassland or shrubland. Throughout
the year, south-facing slopes receive more solar
radiation (or sunlight) -- and so remain drier.
South-facing slopes are also dried by the prevailing,
southerly winds, and they receive the full force
of typhoons. North-facing slopes, by contrast,
are cooler, damper and more sheltered -- and so
they can better support trees.
On Ma On Shan's eastern face woodland
spreads around to the north slopes -- where there
is rich woodland, including ashes, oaks, laurels,
camellias and rhododendrons. Even higher up, Ma
On Shan's northern ravines and gullies have a remarkable
diversity of flora. But the southern slopes of
Ma On Shan are almost entirely grassland, with
only pockets of shrubs and woodland. As a result,
this southerly plateau has an exhilarating, open
One popular route
to get to Ngong Ping is by means of the Ma On Shan
country trail via the disused mine and Ma On Sha
Tsuen. Infrequent village bus (84R) operates from
Yiu On Tsuen to Ma On Shan Tsuen.
There is a flushing toilet at
Shui Long Wo, the start point of section 4.