Monkeying Around In Hong Kong

Joe Macpherson   |   January 6, 2020

Hong Kong is a city full of surprises. I’ve written many articles about things to do in Hong Kong, from challenging hikes, waterfalls, swimming, historic heritage and even Ten Thousand Golden Buddhas. Just when I thought I had seen and done it all, Hong Kong, this magical majestic city once again enchanted and delighted me with another of its hidden gems.

Beautiful Hong Kong Nature

Shing Mun is one of Hong Kong’s lesser visited places but worthwhile nonetheless. What makes this place stand out most is, as the title suggests, monkeys. They roam around this country park like marauders, jumping from one place to another. They have been known to snatch your food and drinks so mind your surroundings. This park belongs to them and these cheeky monkeys don’t let you forget it.

Home to many curious monkeys

The trail is basically one giant loop of around 14 km and is as flat as a pancake, very casual. From the entrance you have the choice of left or right, I suggest left as this is the more common route. You’ll probably be greeted by monkeys as you start, perched on the ledge like kings on a throne, watching and waiting. Don’t mind this just carry on as normal. You’ll soon see a green open space, this is the butterfly garden.

Butterflies are all around

A plethora of natures beauties fluttering around you without a care in the world. If you’re quick enough this makes for some fantastic close up photos of natures kalaidescopes. There are also some picnic tables to rest and relax should you wish.

Nice place to rest

Keep following the trail, the crowds will be minimal so you can go at your own pace. Soon you will come to a large expanse which lies in the centre of the trail. This has a large body of water, big area of grassland, tall shady trees, and large boulders to sit on. A perfect place for lunch. The trees protect you from the sun and the nature is gorgeous. Usually there are wild dogs here too, but they are very friendly, so don’t worry.

Shady trees and local dogs

This is a great area for photography and you can spend a good hour here just getting lost in nature. The local cows also like to call this place home and you’ll no doubt see them grazing away on the grass or napping the day away.

Local cows

To get back onto the trail just take one of the paths upwards, it’ll connect to it. There is only one path so it’s impossible to get lost, keep an eye out for all sorts of flowers and fauna of different shapes and sizes. They are everywhere. The path is quite shaded by bamboo groves or something similar which makes it easier to pound on a hot day. Eventually you will get to some historic looking architecture. This is the original infrastructure of the reservoir, because in fact it’s not a lake after all. The building certainly looks and feels Victorian, a throwback to a bygone era. You’ll also get a sweeping view of the forest below you and for a brief second you may even feel like a king who has just conquered a land.

Original Architecture

Keep going and you will end up back where you started, no doubt passing more monkeys waiting for you. When you get back to the start you can exit the way you came.

Monkeys waiting for you at the entrance/exit


There is a shop at the entrance where you can buy food and water. There are also toilets here (these are the only ones on the whole trail)

Please note the monkeys are safe, however if you touch or tease them they do become aggressive.

To the starting point:

  • From MTR Tsuen Wan Station, Exit B1, take the green minibus 82 on Shiu Wo Street to Shing Mun Reservoir.

From the end point:

  • From Shing Mun Reservoir (Pineapple Dam) minibus terminus, take the green minibus 82 back to Shui Wo Street.

Estimated time 6 hours including rest stops.

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