The MacLehose Trail is Hong Kong’s most iconic hiking route. It stretches 98km from Sai Kung to Tuen Mun. Here is the ultimate guide from sections 1 to 3, which you can do individually, group them together, or all at once in an epic ultra adventure. Section 1, 10km – estimated time to complete: two to three hours The MacLehose starts at Pak Tam Chung, near Sai Kung. You can take the MTR to Hang Hau, then a taxi to the start. Or take the 101 minibus to Sai Kung Town and take a taxi or bus from there. Once you reach Pak Tam Chung, pass the car barrier and keep walking straight along the concrete road. There are markers displaying a hiker about every 500m for the entire trail. The trail officially starts a few hundred metres down the road, so stop to take a picture by the sign to mark the start of your adventure. After a short hill, there is a roundabout. Turn right, and then it is a simple but long concrete road across three stunning dams. After the roundabout, it is hard to go wrong. Section 2, 13km – three to four hours After the third and final dam, turn left and start to climb the stairs. Soon, you will have views of Long Ke Wan, the first of three stunning beaches. Cross the beach and start a steep climb. Once at the top, you will follow a winding trail with views of Sharp Peak in the distance. When you hit the concrete path, turn right down to Sai Wan. Or you can turn left for a short walk to Sai Wan Pavilion, where you can catch a bus or taxi, rather than heading on for the full hike. The bus timetable is sporadic, so it is best to get a taxi if you can, even if it is just back to Pak Tam Chung where there is more regular public transport. Hiking the MacLehose: a guide to sections 4, 5 and 6 – from Ma On Shan panoramas to ‘Monkey Hill’ If you venture on through the rest of section 2, you will soon come to Sai Wan. The small village, nestled in a beautiful beach, is worth the trip alone. You can stop here for food or save your appetite for Ham Tin. After crossing Sai Wan beach, and climbing over a headland, you will see Ham Tin. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with perfect white sand. The MacLehose Trail snakes behind the beach, but it’s worth walking along the beach for the views. At the far end, over a rickety bridge, are two restaurants. Walk out the back of the restaurant to rejoin the trail, and start the steady climb up a concrete path to a saddle between two hills. Down the other side, snake along the waterfront and start a final climb back to the end of section 2. Here, at Pak Tam Au, you can fill your water bottle, or get a bus or taxi back to civilisation. Section 3, 10km – three hours After section 2, cross the road and turn left. Walk along the pavement and you will see stairs on your right to start section 3. You will face a steep climb, which sets the tone – it is a tough section. The first few kilometres are easy to navigate with few crossroads, except for one left-hand turn at the Cheung Sheung campsite. At the wide flat grassy area, take the left-hand turn just before the map sign board, then left again at the next fork, not far along. You will now face another tough climb. The path then flattens, following the contour of the mountain. You will then come down a rocky, technical trail so make sure you are wearing proper hiking shoes. You will arrive at a junction with three paths. Take the middle road – it is marked “The MacLehose” on a sign. The other two signs point to Yung Shue O and Pak Tam Road. You will face yet another climb, the toughest of the section. It is exposed to the sun and steep. But at the top of the climb, you can look back and see the mountains of Sai Kung stretching out before you. The descent is via a path made of natural trails and steps. It winds through a forest, eventually reaching Sai Sha Road. There is a public toilet, a vending machine and a water fountain. You can get a taxi or bus back to town. Or venture on to the middle sections of the MacLehose, which hold the toughest but most stunning mountains of the trail.