Kam Tin River is in the northwest New Territories; as the name suggests it flows through the Kam Tin area, to the east of Yuen Long. The river basin occupies around 44.3 square km. The horizontal length of the main stream of Kam Tin River is about 13 km. The main stream begins 400 metres to the north of the summit of Tai Mo Shan, at an altitude of 910 metres. This is the second highest origin of a Hong Kong river.

The main stream plunges down the steep slope on the northwest Tai Mo Shan, crosses Route Twisk, Lui Kung Tin and Tai Ling, and enters Kam Tin Plain. It then passes Sheung Tsuen, passing to the south of Shek Kong Barracks and Ng Ka Tsuen, before converging with another large tributary to the west of Kam Tin Shi. It then passes Nam Sang Wai, to the west of Sha Po Tsuen, and converges with Shan Pui River just south of Lut Chau, finally entering Deep Bay.

Headwater of Kam Tin River on northern slopes of Tai Mo Shan

Stream near the headwater of Kam Tin River (Tai Mo Shan)

View of Kam Tin River Basin from Tai Mo Shan

Middle course of Kam Tin River, flowing through Kei Ling

After leaving Tai Mo Shan and entering the eastern Kam Tin Plain, the main stream of Kam Tin River converges with the tributaries that pass Tsing Tam Irrigation Reservoirs and Ho Pui Irrigation Reservoir at Kam Tsin Wai and West Rail Kam Sheung Road Station, respectively. The main stream converges with another tributary at the west of Kam Tin Shi. This tributary, about the size of the main stream, originates from Kwun Yam Shan and is fed by many streams flowing from Tai To Yan and Kai Kung Leng.

The basin of the upper and middle courses of Kam Tin River is in the shape of a rhombus, bounded by the watersheds of Tai To Yan (to the east), western ridge of Tai Mo Shan (south), Ho Hok Shan (west) and Kai Kung Leng (north). The original downstream section passed the south of Nam Sang Wai and converged with Shan Pui River to the north of Shan Pui Chung Hau Tsuen, Yuen Long. Today, the lower course through Nam Sang Wai is an artificial channel, created by excavations of fish ponds at the end of the 1990s.

Original lower course channel of Kam Tin River

New lower course channel of Kam Tin River

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