Wrong Way Waterfall

Wrong Way Waterfall

Hills: Occasional but not too steep
Steps: Occasional but not too many
Running water: Plentiful
Busyness: Moderate on weekends/holidays
Shade: Plentiful
Hiking time: 1:15hrs round trip to the middle fall

A fatal mistake at the first hurdle

A beautiful young lady stands beneath a sign pointing towards a waterfallAs the bus continued on, I became less confident, and it was quite clear that Kaleigh had already lost all confidence in me. We were on our way to find some of Hong Kong’s highest waterfalls, in an area of National park which I’d visited alone a few times before. Checking the bus number again on my phone before trying/failing to reassure Kaleigh that we were in did heading in the right direction.

When I noticed the mountains disappearing behind us as a city loomed ahead, it was time to swallow my pride. Which was particularly painful as I’d rushed us onto this, the wrong bus, in the first place.

Before getting off and switching direction, we had to wait for a way to cross the main road. Each time the bus stopped and we couldn’t get off, another nail was firmly hammered into my coffin. We reached the city of Yuen Long – which has no waterfalls – before spotting a bridge to cross-over. By this time, Kaleigh was rightly raged.

Resuscitating the adventure

We crossed and waited in the heat of a blazing sun, for a bus to take us backwards. A journey which was made infinitely worse when a Muslim lady’s earphones unplugged from her walkman. Wailing prayer music filled the bus and nobody (including us) seemingly had the heart to tell her.

Ears still wailing, an hour after originally departing from the same spot, we arrived back where we’d begun, at Kam Sheung Road MTR. The driver pulled into seemingly the exact same spot as its directional counterpart had picked us up at. Same bus number, same bus stop, different direction. An easy mistake to make when you’re trying to rush and your girlfriend is nagging you to slow down – right?

Not to be defeated, the two of us continued onwards, finally in the right direction. 30-minutes further (finally in the right direction) we arrived at the Kalgoorlie Farm bus stop. By now, my lovely lady had kindly forgiven me; mostly. We began walking downhill in the same direction as our bus continued on. A few minutes along the busy main road, we arrived at the next bus stop before finding the trail’s entrance.

A lesser lady would have gone home, changed the locks, and thrown my clothes to the street below. Not Kaleigh. She swallowed down all the bad things that could’ve been said on how grossly unprepared and foolish for rushing I was. Instead, she simply smiled and delivered the occasional jibe.

Wrong Way Waterfall 2

 The adventure begins in earnest

As we walked beyond a towering wall of bamboo, the long boring bus journey was finally rewarded with some spectacular scenery. Our vantage point above the village gave a great view down through the verdant valley, which snaked its way towards the harbour city of Tai Po, with a tremendous backdrop of mountains bathing in clouds behind.

The path led us further into the jungle upon well-maintained concrete. On and off came the occasional call of a wild bird, along with the tantalising sounds of water flowing invisibly by. At one point, as the splashes sounded particularly loud, I spotted a dirt track leading left into the jungle. Following it for a few minutes revealed a river oasis in the jungle, occupied by nobody but us.

A few photos later, we trekked ur way back to the true path and carried on towards our final destination. Rambling up and a down a few small hills, we reached the base of the three famous falls after approximately 45-minutes easy walking. Unlike the peaceful riverside oasis we’d left behind, the lower falls were packed full of local kids wadding in the water, so we decided not to stop.

Onwards and upwards to the piece de resistance

Taking the stairs onwards and upwards, we were pleasantly surprised to find the mid-fall in only ten minutes, less crowded, and far more impressive than the first. From atop a sheer 60ft cliff, the river spewed. Water gushed to the floor below, before forming a river which dropped to the lowerfall only 15ft away.

It was a cool 23-degree October afternoon, so nobody was dipping more than a toe or two; until I came along. Being an unacclimatised, sweaty Westerner, I was in need of stripping off my shirt and refreshing myself. What better place than under a waterfall surrounded by rising jungle. Wading knee-deep through the pool, I became aware that it wouldn’t be entirely enjoyable. but, without second thought, I Plunged my body straight the thunderous fall. That natural jet of icy water stole the wind straight from my lungs, and more thankfully, the heat from my skin.

We had hoped to make it to the third and final upper fall, however, our earlier bus fiasco had left us an hour short on time. Walking back through a rural mountain farm which we passed on our way in, Kales and I lamented our imminent return to the city. Those quaint little country huts, sat beside flowing river, surrounded by nature and jungle – far more our style than the city which awaited our return.

Directions

Ride the MTR Purple line to Kam Sheung Road, exiting out of door C. Directly in front of you will be the bus stop for 64K (Do not rush. Ask the driver if he is going towards Kadoorie Farm). You’ll Ride the 64K through town, before ascending a rather large hill. The driver will pull into the farms stop at the top, before going downhill to the next stop which is yours. On the opposite side of the road, you’ll see the trail’s beginning.

Map/Visual Directions

     

Top Tips

  • There are toilets along the path.
  • Hear running water, find the mud path, discover your own peaceful piece of  riverside.
  • The walk back is even easier than the hike in.
  • The middle fall is only 5-minutes from the bottom fall.
  • Winter won’t be as impressive as summer.
  • Make a day of it and visit Kadoorie Farm first.
  • Food and drinks are served at Kadoorie Farm, but your best off stocking up on water and snacks before leaving the MTR Station.

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