For those of us who love to walk on the wild side, Kam Shan Country Park — better known as Monkey Mountain— is the perfect destination. Home to 2,000 macaques, this hidden gem in northern Kowloon is perfect for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.
Not so fussed about the wildlife? No problem! The sprawling park has multiple hiking and walking trails passing by Kowloon Reservoir and Shek Lei Pui Reservoir and is awash with historical military sites such as Smugglers’ Pass and Gin Drinker’s Line (though we’d recommend bringing water with you instead!). You’re also close to several barbecue areas and serene picnic sites on Cheung Yuen Road and Golden Hill Road, surrounded by lush greenery and plenty of lookout spots to take in the views of Lion’s Rock.
How to Get There?
Plenty of buses run from Kowloon. KMB buses 61X (running from Tuen Mun to Kowloon City) and 81 (running from West Kowloon to Sha Tin) take you directly to Shek Lei Pui Reservoir, which is at the edge of the country park. If you fancy taking the scenic route, take the Tsuen Wan line to Lai Chi Kok MTR station (exit B1) and then hike for an hour up Tai Po Road.
You can also drive and park in the car park that’s located just before you reach the Monkey Mountain public toilet. Getting home is easy even without a car — walk back to Shek Lei Pui Reservoir, down Tai Po Road, and to Lai Chi Kok or Cheung Sha Wan MTR stations.
Hiking with monkeys? We’re in!
Once you’ve arrived, there’s so much to do and see! Get your David Attenborough impressions ready, as you’ll immediately see macaques of different shapes and sizes. The park also has its fair share of unique flora and fauna as different exotic species have been slowly introduced since the 50s.
The walking trails and hikes always receive rave reviews:
- Section 6 of the famed MacLehose Trail (4.6 km, 3/10 difficulty) runs through the park, taking just over an hour to trek. Don’t worry if you’re not a hiking pro as this is the perfect route for a family walk through the park, and you’ll be in good company with plenty of monkeys to spot.
- The Eagle’s Nest Nature Trail (4 km, 3/10 difficulty) and Wilson Trail Section 6 (5.3 km, 6/10 difficulty) are equally lovely for a shaded stroll, offering panoramic views of the city and photography opportunities.
- The Kam Shan Tree Walk (0.86 km, 2/10) is especially suited for families with little ones.
The picnic sites are easily accessible and there are barbecue areas near Kowloon Reservoir Dam and Shek Lei Pui Reservoir. The reservoirs and dam also make for great viewing points, where you might spot macaques having a swim!
Do’s and Don’t’s for Monkey Mountain
We know how incredible it is to get out of the busy city and become immersed in nature, but make sure to always follow the park rules to keep Monkey Mountain and its trails safe and enjoyable for everyone. We’ve put together the following do’s and don’t’s for your trip.
✓ Bring your food in sealed bags/containers to keep them safe from hungry monkeys!
✓ Picnic and barbecue away from macaque families
✓ Take all your rubbish with you once you’ve finished
✗ Feed the monkeys—this is rule number one of the park and must be taken seriously!
✗ Leave your food or bags unattended
✗ Let your pets off their leads in areas with monkeys
✗ Touch, frighten, or startle the monkeys, especially when they’re with their babies
✗ Leave your car windows or doors open in the carpark
Now that you’re briefed and ready, you can plan your next trip out to Kam Shan Country Park! With enough water and cameras at the ready, you’ll have everything you need for an excursion to remember.
Been to Monkey Mountain recently? Let us know how it went in the comments!
Header image credits: Nicholas Chester-Adams via Unsplash