Tai Mo Shan is the highest peak in Hong Kong
, with an altitude of 957 m. It is located at approximately the geographical centre of the New Territories
.The area surrounding Tai Mo Shan is a known as Tai Mo Shan Country Park, which covers an area of 14.40 km sq. It is located to the north of Tai Lam Country Park.
Tai Mo Shan was once a volcano and has long been extinct, so it is made up of volcanic rocks from the Jurassic age. Today a small hill that is part of Tai Mo Shan known as "Kwun Yum Shan" still vents warm air though cracks in the rocks that lead all the way to the mantle.
These are stone terraces, running obliquely downhill to the valleys. Due to the height of the mountain, it is claimed to be Hong Kong's most misty area, as it is often covered in clouds. In summer it is frequently covered with cumulus clouds, especially on rainy days, and in winter stratus clouds and fog often cover the peak.
There are forest plantations in the southeastern part of the park. Limited by climatic and geographic factors, these plantations end at the 550 metre contour, above which shrubs and grasses dominate.In the past, Tai Mo Shan was famous for a type of green tea, called mist or cloud tea, which grew wild on the mountain side. Occasionally, local people can still be seen picking the tea shoots for brewing green tea.
More than 1500 species of plants have been recorded in Tai Mo Shan including 27 species of native wild orchids, the protected Chinese Lily (Lilium brownii) which mostly grows on the east side of the Mountain, 24 species of native ferns, including tree ferns, of which a total of only 4 tree ferns species have been recorded around the entire mountain, 19 species of native grasses, and 7 species of native Bamboos.
Some mountain birds and rare species of snakes and butterflies breed here. There are also freshwater crabs, feral dogs, feral cats, oxen and wild boar.
Places of interest
A series of barbecue and picnic sites are provided along Route Twisk, the Shek Kong - Pat Heung catchwater and the Tuen Mun
The Rotary Park at Tai Mo Shan is especially popular. Tourist groups often come here for a brief stop to enjoy the panoramic view, on a clear day even Lantau and its adjacent islands can be seen. Tai Mo Shan Visitor Centre is located not far away from the carpark, along Tai Mo Shan Road, which leads to the weather station on the top of the mountain.