The 10 transformative stages of a Pat Sin Leng hike

There is a hike in Hong Kong that tests the mettle of all. It is the combination hike of Pat Sin Leng (八仙嶺, “Ridge of the Eight Immortals”) and Cloudy Hill (Kau Lung Hang Shan, 九龍坑山).

It is beautiful. It is difficult. It takes longer than you think it could. It hurts more than you imagined it should.

If one starts in Tai Mei Tuk/Bride’s Pool and finishes in Tai Wo, plan on passing through these ten mental stages:

1. Before the hike

“What a nice day for a good, long stroll in the hills.”

2. On the way up the first 500 meter ascent

“Damn I feel pretty shabby. Did I eat breakfast? Yes. Did I drink too much last night? No. Are we really hiking for five more hours? Did I bring enough water?”


Perhaps the initial ascent is easier without a shirt. (On Choi Wo Fung peak, the first major climb, and looking toward the other Seven Immortal peaks along Pat Sin Leng.)

3. On the top of the Pat Sin Leng ridge line

“We are on top of the world. We are Gods.”


We are Gods with out heads stuck in the clouds. (View from the Pat Sin Leng towards Tolo Harbour.)

4. Finishing the eighth peak climb of “The Eight Immortals”

“Wow, we are already midway through this hike!”

*Consult map*

“Shit. Not even half way.”


View of the still expanding Pat Sin Leng ridge line that comes after the initial “Eight Immortals.”

5. Still on the ridge

“How did that old guy make it up here with only one bottle of water and transistor radio? Did he die up here? Was he a ghost?”


Still going

6. Coming steeply down the Pat Sin Leng ridge and toward Hok Tau Reservoir

“I hereby dub this shitty, winding, uneven, unending, nightmarish set of steep stone stairs ‘The Corkscrew to Hell.'”

“And I think I’ve pounded every scrap of cartilage out of my knees.”

No photo 1-2

7. Starting from the low altitude of Hok Tau Reservoir and climbing up the back of Cloudy Hill

*The silence of the forest is broken only by the sounds of swearing and weeping.*

No photo 2-2


8. Still climbing up Cloudy Hill

“Where am I? Who are you? Who am I? I am floating! Why does floating hurt so much?”


No photo 3-2

9. On top of Cloudy Hill

“We are Gods.”


View from Cloudy Hill

10. Final descent 

“I need a cold Coke.”

“A cold Coke and a hot shower.”

“A cold Coke, a hot shower and a soft couch. Yep, that’s it.”

“A cold Coke, a hot shower, a soft couch and a bottle of Ibuprofen.”

“Ok, a cold Coke, a hot shower, a soft couch, a bottle of Ibuprofen and a bag of salty potato chips.”

(When are we going again?)

5 responses to “The 10 transformative stages of a Pat Sin Leng hike

  1. That is the most realistic description of a long hike I’ve ever read! I’ve past through the very same stages on Irish hills.

  2. …and plasters. Do you need to add plasters to your list for all the blisters you must have earned on your immortal hike? So pleased you survived The Corkscrew to Hell and lived to share the tale.

  3. Just finished a trail run along this exact route awesome weather but foggy so no views. Love your pictures and hilarious description (wll true!!!) and guess i may have to do again with a view to enjoy the peak views

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