Everything you need to know to hike Hong Kong’s second and third highest hills
By Time Out Hong Kong|
DESCRIPTION A very hard hike following the first 14km of the Lantau Trail from Mui Wo to Ngong Ping and the Big Buddha. It goes over the second and third highest hills in Hong Kong (about 1,500m of climbing). For the first 2.5km follow the South Lantau Road up the hill to Nam Shan. Here you set off up Sunset Peak and the next 4.5km is a steady climb on a dirt and rock trail with increasingly expansive views over the south side of Lantau Island. After crossing the ridge line at Sheung Tung Au (620m) you will come across a village of stone huts before reaching the highest point on Sunset Peak (800m). Ahead of you is the second challenge of the day − Lantau Peak. However, here the trail descends steeply to Pak Kung Au − the ‘gap’ between the two hills at around 300m. If you’ve had enough you can get a bus to Mui Wo, Tung Chung or Ngong Ping from here. Otherwise go up the east flank of Lantau Peak, passing pavilions and the Commemorative Plaque to the helicopter crew who were killed here while on an ambulance mission a few years back. The trail is a mixture of dirt and rocky steps, and is quite steep in places, with few respites, but the reward is reaching the highest point possible for the general public in Hong Kong − Lantau Peak (934m). If you’re not in the clouds then the views to Macao and mainland China are superb. The descent of 400m is very steep so take care. On reaching the wooden archway, the quick way to the Big Buddha and Ngong Ping village is to continue straight on for a few hundred metres. The entire hike takes around six hours from Mui Wo and over both hills. From Ngong Ping there are buses to Tung Chung and Mui Wo, and also the cable car to Tung Chung.
USEFUL INFO The entire hike is on paved paths or well-defined dirt trails. However, the section over Lantau Peak has a steep and rugged descending section which is tricky in wet conditions. Wear hiking shoes. This route is not suitable for beginners. Bring at least 3 litres of water and snacks. Bring a hat and sunblock − much of this route is without shade.
TIME OUT RATING Speed: 2.5 Length: 3 (about 15.5 km) Gradient (Ascent): 5+ (about 1,500m in total) Surface: 2.5 (all on well marked dirt trails, but some sections tricky when wet) Overall: 3.25 +0.25 for long continuous climbing = 3.5
GETTING THERE Head to Central Ferry Pier 6 and get on the boat to Mui Wo. Once there, set off on the Lantau Trail to the right as you step off the ferry.