Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk (河背水塘) And Fantastic Indian Pakistani Mix Food

by forsomethingmore
(Last Updated On: September 27, 2020)

The Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk, located in Hong Kong’s second largest country park – Tai Lam Country Park – is a fantastic place for an outdoor family adventure.


Fast Facts – Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk Only (Most Family Friendly)

Not Including Breaks

2 hours

Round Trip Distance

4.7 km

Cum. Elevation Gain

324 m

Route Difficulty

Easy


Fast Facts – Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk And Beyond

Not Including Breaks

3.5 hours

Distance

8.8 km

Cum. Elevation Gain

700 m

Route Difficulty

Med.


Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk Off The Beaten Path Yet Family Friendly

This family friendly hike (sorry it’s not pram friendly) starts in Ho Pui (河背), heads uphill on a paved road for about 1.0 km (0.6 miles) and then is virtually flat the entire way around the reservoir. The uphill part will get you sweating a bit, unless you drive up here, but when we hiked here we were so mesmerized by the stunning views of Kam Tin and Kai Kung Leng (Rooster’s Ridge) that we hardly noticed the hill at all.

First view from the Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
The views are amazing right from the start.

Completed in 1962, one of the coolest parts of this hike is walking across the 152 meter long and 15 meter high Ho Pui Reservoir dam wall. On one side you’ll be able to see the sky reflected in the glass smooth 120 million gallon reservoir – think ‘massive mirror.’

The Ho Pui Reservoir reflects the sky
We were fortunate to have great weather!

If you dare look down over the dam wall, you’ll see the magnificent cascading waterfall that results from the excess reservoir water flowing out the dam.

Ho Pui Reservoir Is Seldom Crowded

Aside from the dam wall being an instagram worthy photo spot in Hong Kong, the trail that loops the reservoir takes you through Hong Kong’s lush subtropical jungle and is gentle enough for a family friendly hike.

And, if you’re experience is anything like ours, even on a weekend, you’ll hardly see a soul the whole time. If you follow one of our routes, you’ll even end at what we’d say is one of the tastiest and best value Pakistani/Indian restaurants in Hong Kong.

To put all of this much more simply, if you want a beautiful and family friendly outdoor adventure, add the Ho Pui Reservoir family walk to your Hong Kong bucket list. And as always, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below.

Want to read this post later? Pin it on your Pinterest board!

Gear For Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk

Man hiking with child in Osprey backpack on the Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
Peri has his spoon to do a little snacking.

You’re not venturing deep into the back country when you do the Ho Pui Reservoir family walk, so you don’t need a lot of gear. As most of our route is comfortably shaded, you only need to worry about sun protection if you’re particularly prone to sunburn.

If you bring the following items, you should be good to go.

Although not necessary, we bring these items as well.

Water

The Ho Pui Reservoir family walk is not very strenuous. In Hong Kong’s cooler months (November – February) 1 liter per person should be fine. In the warmer months (March – October), or if you do one of our longer routes we recommend 2 liters per person. Hydro Flasks are durable, insulated and our preferred bottle.

Hiking Shoes

Our entire route is either on paved surfaces or flat clay trails. Therefore, boots are unnecessary. We hike in our Altra and Brooks trail shoes, and they provide us all the traction and support we need.

Hiking Socks

Wool socks naturally help keep your feet dry, and thus help prevent blisters. Even in the summer months we love our Smartwools!

Snacks

Even though most adults will not find the Ho Pui Reservoir family walk very strenuous, kids have shorter legs, so they usually work up more of an appetite. To this end, we usually bring a little snack for Peri, and he loves these ProBars.

Bug Spray

We find that the organic bug spray does not work as well as bad old DEET. We are careful to not spray it on our or Peri’s skin, but we do put a bit on our clothes to keep the mosquitoes away.

Sun Protection

Unless you are very sensitive to the sun, you will not need any sun protection for this very shaded route. If however you do burn easily, the below items are our go-to for keeping safe from the sun.

Baby Backpack (Optional)

Peri could walk the entire Ho Pui Reservoir family walk, but it would take him a super long time. Since the route is not pram friendly, while we do let him walk until he’s tired, we also like to have our Osprey baby backpack so we can all move at a faster pace.

Camera (Optional)

Who doesn’t like to have a camera on their outdoor family adventures? This is our setup, and we love it because it’s lightweight, weather resistant and photographically speaking quite powerful.

Getting To And From Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk

We recommend you take either public transit or an Uber/Taxi to get to Ho Pui (河背), and then of course follow our route. If you want to skip the uphill part in the beginning, you can even ask your taxi or Uber driver to take you right to the Ho Pui Reservoir.

The start of Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
This is where you’ll start from.

Pay Attention To The Bus You Take

If you take public transit to Ho Pui, and your route instructs you to take the 71 green minibus from the Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange to Ho Pui, make sure to ask the 71 bus driver if she/he is indeed going to Ho Pui and not the Kam Sheung Road MTR Station. In both directions of the 71’s route it stops at the Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange.

If you want to avoid the potential confusion of the 71, and you want a cost-saving hybrid approach to getting here, you can take public transit to the Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange and then an Uber or Taxi the short rest of the way.

Getting Home

For all three of our routes, you can get home via public transit or a taxi/Uber. There is no one best option, so choose the one that best fits your desire for convenience and budget. The Kam Sheung Road MTR Station will be your best option if you want to take the MTR home.

Possible Parking For Ho Pui Reservoir

The only official parking vaguely near the start of the trail is at the outdoor lot near the Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange, and it’s 1.8 km (1.1 mi) away – hence why we said ‘vaguely.’ Again, we really recommend public transit and/or a taxi/Uber to get to Ho Pui.

While we do NOT recommend doing this, there are a few places along the road leading up to the Ho Pui Reservoir, as well as right at the reservoir itself where a car could physically fit.

round about at the Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
A car could fit up here, right next to the reservoir, but parking here is not allowed.

If you’re willing to face the potential consequences of illegally parking, you might want to consider this option.

One last consideration is the hiking route you take. While our easiest route is essentially a loop, our more difficult routes do not end in the same place they started, meaning you may have to fetch your car at the end of your hike.

Consider Camping At Ho Pui Reservoir

One last thing to consider is whether or not you’re keen to do some camping in Hong Kong. If you are, the Hoi Pui Campsite (here on Google Maps) is right near the reservoir, and spending a night or two there could turn this day trip into an overnight outdoor adventure family experience.

Ho Pui Campsite
The Ho Pui Campsite is well maintained.
Ho Pui Campground is near Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
There are plenty of sites, and there is also untreated running water.

The camp sight is also right next to the Ho Pui Waterfall.

The Ho Pui Waterfall was rushing the day we were here.

Difficulty, Duration, Distance and Elevation Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk

The Red, Orange and Green Lines

The Ho Pui reservoir family walk connects to some other really beautiful and family friendly stretches of trail. If you want do the family walk we mentioned above, you follow the red line. For more distance and our favorite because of the scenery, follow red + orange. For the most distance, the most things to do, a bit less scenic of a route, but ends at our favorite Pakistani/Indian restaurant, follow red + orange + green. All these routes are phenomenal.

Map of Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
We’ll tell you about your three choices, right below.

1. Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk (The Red Line – Most Family Friendly)

Not Including Breaks

2 hours

Round Trip Distance

4.7 km

Cum. Elevation Gain

324 m

Route Difficulty

Easy

red line map
Red Line Map
Red Line Elevation Profile
Red Line Elevation Profile

If you’re looking for a beautiful yet mellow family friendly hike, this is the route for you. Again, the first uphill is easily missed since the scenery is so lovely.

pregnant woman hiking uphill to Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
There is a bit of uphill, but it’s not too bad, and the scenery is great.

Once you reach the reservoir, the trail around it is nearly flat and the views of the reservoir are beautiful.

Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
Look at that reflection!

Most of the terrain around the reservoir was so mellow that Peri was able to hike it.

Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
Peri was eager to hike.

Julia who was 33 weeks pregnant at the time, also had no trouble making it around.

Mother and son hiking.
Julia and Peri making their way around the reservoir.

There is even a lovely bamboo forest in one section.

bamboo forest at Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
Who doesn’t love a good bamboo forest?

Ultimately, hiking up to the reservoir, looping around it and then heading back down is a lovely family friendly outdoor adventure!

2. Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk, Burial Grounds and Beautiful Farm Land (The Red Line + The Orange Line)

Not Including Breaks

3.5 hours

Distance

8.8 km

Cum. Elevation Gain

700 m

Route Difficulty

Med.

Red + Orange Line Map
Red + Orange Line Map
Red + Orange Line Elevation Profile
Red + Orange Line Elevation Profile

Keen for a bit more distance? This route, red + orange, follows a nearly flat and paved catch water road that cuts through the rugged base of the outmost reaches of Tai Mo Shan. It may be a catch water, but it’s beautiful.

catch water leading away from Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
This catch water is quite beautiful.

We found this route memorably for a few reasons. The views of the Kam Tin Valley were killer. Both Kai Kung Leng and Tai To Yan are visible off in the distance.

Kam Tin Valley
The magnificent Kam Tin valley! Kai Kung Leng is off in the distance.
Tai To Yan
That’s Tai To Yan in front.

We got to pick our way through an overgrown village cemetery/burial ground.

burial grounds
Make sure you’re respectful coming through here.

And, at the end we passed by what seemed to be a permaculture based village as well as some exquisite conventional farm lands.

farmland near Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
There is farmland everywhere.
Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk

This route is the one we consider most beautiful of the three.

3. Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk, A Lovely Catch Water, And Directly to Pakistani/Indian Food (The Red Line + The Orange Line + The Green Line)

Not Including Breaks

4 hours

Distance

10.8 km

Cum. Elevation Gain

893 m

Route Difficulty

Med.

Red + Orange + Green Line Map
Red + Orange + Green Line Map
Red + Orange + Green Line Elevation Profile
Red + Orange + Green Line Elevation Profile

If you want to cover the most distance, the red + orange + green line is for you. You’ll carry on along the catch water for a lot of the way, but again, it’s beautiful.

a beautiful catch water near Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
Again, this catch water is beautiful.

You’ll also be able to visit the Tai Lam Ecogarden, where there are signs and labels on virtually every plant species in the garden. It’s a botanist’s dream!

eco garden
The Eco Garden
Lots of lovely flowers!
Lots of lovely flowers!

And, while we didn’t get a chance to stop, if you do this route on a Sunday, you’ll be able to visit the Farm Milk Cafe to buy some fresh milk.

The Farm Milk Cafe
The Farm Milk Cafe

And, almost better than the hike itself, if you do this route you’ll end right at the doorstep of one of the best Pakistani/Indian restaurants in all of Hong Kong – Tasty House. It doesn’t have much ambiance, but it’s delicious and great value!

Tasty House
Tasty House. Yum! (Photo Credit)

At Tasty House, everything is made fresh daily and is mouthwateringly delicious. We can’t help ourselves from ordering some Chicken Tikka Masala and Palak Paneer.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala (Photo Credit)

For Peri, it’s dal and rice, and for all of us of course, fresh out of the fire tandoori rotis. This. Place. Is. Good! When we’re done at Tasty House, we’re usually ready to roll home, but we never mind.

Download Our Route Map – Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk

Guru Maps

Even though all these routes are super easy to follow, we always like hiking with a map. The Guru Maps app (iOS/Android) is great for navigating just about anywhere in the world. That also includes the Ho Pui Reservoir family walk or any of the other routes we mentioned.

Once you download the Guru Maps App, if you want to download any of our Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk routes, it’s really easy to do.

Download Our Route

After Guru Maps is on your mobile device, look at the top right hand corner of the map below, and then download either the KML, GPX or GeoJSON file by clicking the link. Then, simply open the file using Guru, and you’ll be good to go. The data will be saved on your phone, so no worries if you don’t have service.

Notes:

  • 1: The red line is the Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk
  • 2: The red + orange is the family walk and the burial site and farm land
  • 3: The red + orange + green is the one that get’s you right to Tasty House

Google Maps

In case you’re more comfortable with Google Maps, you can use the one below. Click the menu button hike Lamma Island and either Yung Shue Ha or Sham Wan to see the full map details.

Other Family Friendly Walks And Hikes In Hong Kong

If the Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk has piqued your curiosity about other family friendly hikes in Hong Kong, let us just say, there are plenty. Maybe you and your kids like swimming? Consider the Tai Shui Hang waterfall hike up Madai Stream. If you’d like fantastic views of Victoria Harbor, you’ll want to hike Devil’s Peak. If a mellow stroll along Hong Kong’s southern coast and a waterfall sound nice, consider walking Waterfall Bay. And last but certainly not least, if you’d like to see Hong Kong Island’s green side, consider hiking Hong Pak Country Trail. No matter what you decide to do, if you have questions, leave them below, and in the mean time, happy hiking!

+++BEFORE using this information, please read our Legal Disclaimer.+++

You Might Also Like

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons