Tai Shui Hang Waterfall Hike Up Madai Stream (馬大石澗)

by forsomethingmore
(Last Updated On: August 26, 2020)

Fast Facts – Tai Shui Hang Waterfall Hike Up Madai Stream

Not Including Breaks

4 hours

Round Trip Distance

7.1 km

Cum. Elevation Gain

590m

Route Difficulty

Med.-Diff.


Tai Shui Hang Waterfall Hike Up Madai Stream: A Hong Kong Hidden Gem With Something For Everyone

The Tai Shui Hang Waterfall hike up Madai Stream is perfect for both families and thrill seekers alike. Of course, one part is more suitable for families, and the other for thrill seekers, but we’ll get into all those details below.

A man rock climbing on the wall above Tai Shui Hang Waterfall
A man rock climbing on the wall above Tai Shui Hang Waterfall

More broadly speaking, if you’re keen for an off the beaten path waterfall hike in Hong Kong, this is an excellent choice. In the summertime Madai Stream is perfect because it has countless swimming holes.

a pool on Madai Stream
This is one of the many pools we swam in!

If you want to experience the Tai Shui Hang waterfalls with nearly no one else around, consider hiking here in the winter months. Last but not least, if you want us to guide you on this hike, send us an email, or click below!

Want a guide?

No matter what you decide to do, if you have questions or comments, drop us a line below, and then get hiking! NOTE: This hike takes you up a flowing stream bed. It is inherently dangerous. Please read our disclaimer below.

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

Gear For Hiking Tai Shui Hang Waterfalls Up Madai Stream

We call this the Tai Shui Hang Waterfall hike up Madai Stream because, that’s exactly what it is – a stream hike. More to the point, for a good portion of this hike you are going to be anywhere from ankle to waist deep in a flowing stream.

We recommend you bring the following items to be best prepared.

You may want the following items.

Below is the specific gear we use and why we use it.

Water

You can’t live without it. For this hike we recommend at least 2 liters per person. In the summer, on the full loop (not suitable for families) we recommend you bring 3 liters per person. These reusable bottles are good for the environment. They’re also insulated, so they will keep your water cold.

Sun Protection

If you do the full loop of our route, you’ll need sun protection for the descent, as it’s fully exposed to the sun.

Hiking Shoes (Or Water Shoes)

We use our trail running shoes when we hike to the Tai Shui Hang Waterfall up Madai Stream. Wet or dry, our trail running shoes provide us good traction and support. If however, you don’t want to get yours wet, make sure to use a sturdy pair of water shoes.

Hiking Socks

No matter the season, we hike in wool socks. They naturally help prevent blisters, they are breathable and relatively quick dry. For this hike we use our thinner pairs.

Snacks

Hiking burns calories. A few snacks never hurt, and these ProBars are DELICIOUS!

Camera (Optional)

This is the camera setup we use. It’s small, lightweight, weatherproof, and optically speaking, amply powerful for our purposes.

Baby Backpack (Optional)

man using a baby backpack

If you want to hike the Tai Shui Hang Waterfall up Madai Stream with a little one who can’t yet handle all the rock scrambling, this is an essential piece of gear. We love this Osprey pack, and it has allowed us to venture all over the world with our son Peri. We’ve even used it to trek up to Poon Hill in the Himalayas of Nepal with him as a baby.

Water Filter (Optional)

Especially in the summertime, it’s nice to be able to drink from Madai Stream. Doing so also allows you to lighten your pack. One of the only ways to drink safely however is by using a water filter. We have used all of these. The smaller and lighter ones are the best choice for hiking the Tai Shui Hang Waterfalls.

Getting To And From Tai Shui Hang Waterfalls

The Tai Shui Hang Waterfall hike up Madai Stream is nearly hidden in plain sight. So, while not too many people know about it, it’s easy to get to. Just make your way to the Tai Shui Hang MTR Station, Exit B, and you’ll nearly be at the trailhead.

start of the trail up to Tai Shui Hang Waterfall
The trailhead, right near Tai Hang MTR, Exit B

This hike can either be done as a loop, or as an up-and-back hike. Either way you’ll end this hike at Tai Shui Hang MTR Station, Exit B. So again, use the MTR to get to and from the trailhead. Once you’re at the trailhead, you can follow our route map.

Difficulty, Duration, Distance and Elevation – Tai Shui Hang Waterfall Hike

a collection of rocks on Madai Stream
This pool is past the family-friendly section.

Not Including Breaks

4 hours

Round Trip Distance

7.1 km

Cum. Elevation Gain

590m

Route Difficulty

Med.-Diff.

Tai Shui Hang Waterfall hike up Madai Stream route map
If choose to follow the full loop, do so in a counter-clockwise direction.
Tai Shui Hang Waterfall hike up Madai Stream elevation profile
The elevation profile for the full loop

The Full Loop

The full loop of our route up the Tai Shui Hang Waterfall hike via Madai Stream is only suitable for strong-intermediate and advanced hikers. The full loop is not family-friendly. The stream climb is quite strenuous.

Tai Shui Hang Waterfalls
Some of the many falls you will see along the way.

Moreover, the trail down is completely exposed to the sun and on some semi-slippery gravel trails. It is beautiful, and will give you lovely views of Pat Sin Leng, but again it’s not family friendly.

on the way down from the waterfalls
A view of the Tolo Harbor and Pat Sin Leng off in the distance.

Family Friendly Option

However, if you want to bring your little ones to experience Madai Stream, you certainly can. Just don’t plan on doing the whole loop.

We had a great time rock scrambling.
We had a great time rock scrambling.

We suggest you follow our route for as long as you feel comfortable (but no further), and then play in the numerous pools. There are swimming-worthy pools just a few hundred feet from the paved road – quite family friendly.

We also had a great time swimming.
We also had a great time swimming.

When you’ve had your fill, turn back around and retrace your steps back to the trailhead. With Julia 23-weeks pregnant, our 15-month old son, a 2-year old and a 5-year old, we slowly went up Madai Stream for about an hour before turning back. Again, the full loop is not family-friendly.

moms carrying kids up Madai Stream
Two badass ladies – Julia at 23-weeks pregnant and our friend carrying her 2-year old!

Our Route On A Map – Tai Shui Hang Waterfalls

General Notes

  • We recommend you use the Guru Maps app (iOS/Android) to navigate. Google Maps data for this area is incomplete.
  • The red line on the map is the general route we took. It is not an exact path. You will need to pick your own route up the stream bed and in some places improvise a bit. If our red line strays from a path marked on Guru Maps, we recommend you follow Guru Maps, not our red line.
  • There are a few places where it is not possible to climb up the stream, so you will have to take a small side trail around. The side trails are not hard to find, and they are marked by ribbons.
  • There are no sections we experienced where it was necessary to do any “technical” or “challenging” rock climbing. We did have to scramble up a few sections.
  • If you find yourself needing to do any “technical” or “challenging” rock climbing to continue upstream, you have likely gone the wrong way. Carefully go back down a bit, and look for a side trail that goes around the challenging spot.
  • See our route in pictures for visuals of everything.

Guru Maps

We highly recommend you download the Guru Maps app (iOS/Android), in order to follow our Tai Shui Hang Waterfall hike route up Madai Stream. Once you have downloaded the app, simply download either the KML, GPX or GeoJSON file (linked in the top right-hand corner of the map below), and then open said file using the Guru Maps app. The data will be saved to your mobile device, so you’ll be able to use it to navigate when you’re out in the wild, even if you’re offline.

Google Maps

We do not recommend using this Google Map to navigate while you’re out on the trail, as the dataset for this area is incomplete. We have provided it for reference only.

Our Route In Pictures – Tai Shui Hang Waterfalls Hike

the start of the trail
This is the start of the trail. Go straight, and then turn left down the cream colored stairs on the left.
follow this sidewalk
Walk straight until you see this left hand turn. Go up the stairs, and then turn right.
go up the stairs
Go up these stairs. Then, turn right.
arrive at the stream
In a matter of moments, you will be here. Make your way up the stream however you’d like.
play on the rocks
Tai Shui Hang Waterfall Hike Up Madai Stream has some tricky parts
To get over these falls, use the small ladder on the right.
kids can climb up the ladder
Even kids can make it up the ladder!
mom carrying baby up madai stream
Some kids must be carried up.
kids and man swimming in madai stream
Enjoy a swim in any or all of the pools!
pregnant woman liming up Tai Shui Hang waterfall
Then continue upward.
man with baby in backpack in Madai Stream
Again, make sure to enjoy a swim or two.
family climbing up to Tai Shui Hang Waterfalls
Then, head onward and upward.
Turning back point for families.
This is where we stopped going up. Families should likely stop here.
View this post on Instagram

??Whether or not you’re a parent, can you relate❓⁠ ⁠ I’ve recently had to just come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to agree ✅ with my parenting style or choices. ??‍♀️⁠ ⁠ Some say what we do with our boy is risky and reckless. ?Some say we are exposing him to the great outdoors ? and that what we do is commendable. ??⁠ ⁠ What I know is, I feel good about the amount of risk we take with Peri. He is an adventurous and outgoing child that thrives on that time outside. ⛰️ It makes me ? that he feels comfortable to take risks on his own in the presence of us so we can guide him to be as safe as possible. ⁠ ⁠ The truth is, I’m letting other people’s negative judgements get to me less and less. Of course I believe in being open ? to the opinions of others, but when those opinions become down right mean, I’m going to pull an Elsa and just let it go. ?⁠ ⁠ Recently, we did this beautiful stream hike with our friend and her two young kids. You can go as far as you feel comfortable and that’s the beauty of this walk. ??‍♂️⁠ ⁠ For those adult adventure seekers out there, ditch the kids and try the entire circuit. Your legs may be tired ? at the end, but the views ?, peace ☮️ and serenity will be worth it! Click the link in our bio for all in the ℹ️ you need to do this trail on your own.

A post shared by The ShySkis??‍♂️???? (@forsomethingmore) on

Thrill Seekers Keep On, Main Falls Ahead

Madai Stream
Continuing on, you’ll reach more pools.
nearing Tai Shui Hang Waterfall
Then, continue heading upstream.
waterfalls near Tai Shui Hang Waterfall
Enjoy this collection of waterfalls.
ribbon trail
This is the ribbon trail. Follow it up and around to the left.
follow the ribbons
Keep going up to the left.
Tai Shui Hang Waterfall
Soon you’ll arrive here, the Tai Shui Hang Waterfall – The Main Fall!
the pool at Tai Shui Hang Waterfall
Take a swim! The water is perfect!

Above Tai Shui Hang Waterfall

looking down from the main fall
Enjoy the view behind you. You were just down there!
above the main fall
Keep heading up!
the top stream
Follow the stream up.
looking back
Another view looking back.
cool jungle area
Keep going.
fork in the river
Go left at the fork.
banana grove
This banana grove is at the edge of the farms.
an aquaponic farm
Carefully walk through the aquaponic farm.
a farm
Follow this path.
a path through a farm
Keep going up.

The Descent Through Ma On Shan Country Park

turn off for the trail
Turn left, and go up this trail.
view of Needle Hill
Enjoy the view of the Shing Mun River and Needle Hill.
Ma On Shan
Look back, and you’ll see Ma On Shan.
Pat Sin Leng
Follow the trail down. Enjoy the views of Pat Sin Leng in the background.
survey marker
Eventually, you’ll arrive at this survey marker.

Other Hong Kong Waterfall Hikes

If this Tai Shui Hang Waterfall Hike up Madai Stream has only whet your appetite for other waterfall hikes in Hong Kong, you should consider checking out the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall Hike, the Bride’s Pool Waterfall Hike or even the Waterfall Bay Hike. If you’re looking for some more far flung waterfalls, consider heading to Bosnia and Herzegovina and using our Bosnian Waterfall Guide to experience many of the off the beaten path gems that B&H has on offer.

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11 comments

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Sherianne Higgins August 20, 2020 - 10:30 pm

Wow! I am impressed you scrambled over the rocks of the Madai Stream at Tai Shui Hang Waterfall with children on your back! But the photos of everyone splashing around in the pools look inviting. What a great family memory! It looks and sounds like a difficult hike but that view of views of Pat Sin Leng would make it worth it. Feeling like I need to be a bit more adventurous after reading this.

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forsomethingmore
forsomethingmore August 21, 2020 - 5:21 pm

Thanks for the kind words Sherianne. Come join us sometime!

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Agnes August 21, 2020 - 5:16 pm

I love Waterfall Hikes. I did not know that in Hong Kong, there are so many possibilities for active recreation. Hong Kong is on my bucket list. If I go one day, I will go on this hike. It is an excellent article with lots of valuable tips and recommendations!

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forsomethingmore
forsomethingmore August 21, 2020 - 5:22 pm

Thanks for this lovely comment! If you’re ever here, hit us up!

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Linda (LD Holland) August 22, 2020 - 3:14 am

I love when hiking spots like this have different paths for people with different ability. And even better that to know that Tai Shui Häng Waterfall Hike had swimming holes too! While I would love to do the full loop, I might follow the family route and be safer. Good to know to use a map app to help with navigation. Looks like there are some lovely spots along the hike.

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Umiko August 22, 2020 - 5:49 am

This is the first time I read about this hike in Hong Kong. To be honest, I never thought there’s a place like this in HK! It looks strenuous to me, and you have a kid on your back! Definitely I want to go here when I visit my friend in HK.

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blair villanueva August 22, 2020 - 1:44 pm

I admire how those kids enjoying the experience! That baby carrier looks very comfortable and making the baby safe as well. I’ll add Tai Shui in our next Hong Kong visit.

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Aradhana August 22, 2020 - 7:57 pm

Waterfall hikes are so refreshing, and the visual depiction of the trail on your post, made me feel like I’m actually walking past those big rocks and into the Tai Shui Hang waterfall. How cool that you could swim in the waters, that too with children in tow. 🙂 There seem to be some excellent sights en-route. Would love to go on this adventurous hike, Hong Kong is definitely on my bucket list, also have a friend who lives there plus its so close to India.

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Bhushavali N August 22, 2020 - 9:47 pm

Wow! I’m super fascinated. I love how you’re carrying your 2 kids and going on a moderate-difficult hike. I go out all the time with my toddler in a babywrap. Been on a couple of simple hikes too, but never a difficult one. So hat’s off! One of our friends use the Osprey pack and loves it. I’m a wrapper and I’m more comfortable with it.
Thanks for the explaining the difference between the difficult & family-friendly trails. Its awesome that you guys managed to do this when Julia is 26 weeks pregnant. The little pools looks adorable. Perfect for toddlers to enjoy. My gal would love that too.

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Arnav Mathur August 23, 2020 - 4:11 am

I could so use this right now. I love having such rewarding hikes on my travel itineraries wherever possible.Its like a perfect escape from the city, and that too within city limits. Going through those photos, i felt like i was actually hiking, and the very thought was so mentally satisfying.

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Yukti Agrawal August 23, 2020 - 4:16 pm

I always thought Hong Kong as a big metro city and lots of skyscrapers and never thought of having waterfall too. Tai Shui Hang Waterfall Hike Up Madai Stream really looks like a hidden gem near Hong Kong. You have beautiful photo of view of the Tolo Harbor and Pat Sin Leng off. Good to know that this is a family hike and now I will surely plan for it when I visit Hong Kong.

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