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Wanna go hiking in Hong Kong? Try the Lantau Peak Hike. It’s awesome.
Lantau Island is the largest island in Hong Kong. It’s also where Hong Kong Disneyland and airport are situated. The island is easily reachable by public transportation. Just hop on the metro and it will take you all the way from Hong Kong to Lantau Island. In just 40 minutes.
There are several hiking trails on the island. The Lantau Trail is the longest of them, stretching all the way from Mui Wo to Tai O and taking on average 2 days to finish it. The Lantau Peak Hike is one of it’s most popular sections.
It isn’t a hard hike. But it also isn’t among the easiest hikes in Hong Kong.
Simply because of the elevation gain, steep stairs and how exposed you are to the sun for most of the hike.
But if you like being in nature, then trust me, it’s worth it.
1. The Lantau Peak Hike: Basics
This trail is a part of the the Lantau Trail.
STARTING POINT: Pak Kung Au, get off the bus, cross the road, walk for 1 minute until you see the trail on your right;
TIME: around 3 hours to get to Lantau Peak and back to bus stop, or to get to the peak and down to Tian Tan Buddha (Lantau Island Big Buddha) on the other side of the mountain. More on this below;
DIFFICULTY: moderate, includes a lot of walking on stairs and rocks;
TIPS: don’t go on a very sunny and hot day. For the best views go hiking very early or in the afternoon (3-4 hours before sunset). Bring enough water with you, because the nearest shop is on the other side of the mountain, at Tian Tan Buddha. If you, like me, go on a cloudy day, be prepared to end up in the clouds. It might be cold up there.
Spring and autumn is the best time for hiking in Hong Kong. When it’s neither too hot or cold, not humid and cloudy. Check the weather information online.
Don’t do the Lantau Peak Hike on a very sunny and hot day.
The trail is easily accessible by public transportation. You’ll have to take a metro and a bus.
Take a metro (MTR) to the Tung Chung station. Leave the station via exit B. Right in front of you you’ll see a bus station. Walk across it. On the other side there is a bus stop for buses 11 and 3M. Take any of them. Get off at Pak Kung Au.
Bus ticket costs 11.8 HKD. You can pay in cash. But no change is given.
OPTION 2: Take a metro to Tung Chung. Then a cable car to Tian Tan Buddha. And walk the hike the opposite way. Be prepared for a very steep hike. Finish at Pak Kung Au bus stop.
OPTION 3: Take a ferry going from Hong Kong Central to Mui Wo. Then take the bus 3M to Pak Kung Au bus stop.
2. The Lantau Peak Hike & Visiting Lantau Island Big Buddha
Thanks to its many hiking trails Lantau Island is the perfect place for nature lovers like you and us. Here I’m gonna talk about the most popular one of the Lantau hikes – the Lantau Peak Hike.
It’s a scenic hike. And it takes you all the way to the second highest peak in Hong Kong.
The hike starts at Pak Kung Au. There is only a bus stop there. Nothing else.
Get off the bus. Cross the road. Walk for a minute, until you see a trail on your right. Take that trail.
5-10 minutes in the forest. Walking up the stairs.
From now on you’ll be fully exposed to the sun for the entire hike. Until you either make it back or to the other side of the mountain.
See the trail on that green mountain in the photo above?
That’s where you just came from.
And if you turn around, this is what you see.
I bet on a sunny day it looks even better.
You walk up a little. Then down a little. Then up again.
There are stairs or rocks in some places.
There is just a trail in other places.
If you are used to walking long distances in flip flops (flip flop hiker, here) you can also do this hike in flip flops.
Though, I would recommend you to get proper hiking or better trail running shoes.
Yes, there are a lot of stairs.
In some sections they are very steep.
But, all in all, it’s a very easy trail to follow. There aren’t any intersections, no side trails. You just follow the one trail and that’s it.
That’s me in the photo above. Getting closer to the Lantau Peak.
And a little bit closer.
Done. The view from the top?
Eghh, no view today.
2.1 Where to Next? Where to Finish the Hike
You can turn around and go back or you can continue the hike further.
Here are 3 of the best options:
- Turn around and go back to Pak Kung Au bus stop. And then take a bus either to Tung Chung or Mui Wo. It’s the easiest option.
- Continue further and finish the hike at Tian Tan Buddha. Then take a bus or cable car to Tung Chung. It’s probably the fastest option. If you are good at walking down the stairs, you can get down in 30 minutes or less.
- Continue further. Visit Tian Tan Buddha (or not). And take a trail going back into Tung Chung, giving yourself some 2 extra hours of hiking.
To make the most of my Lantau Island day trip I chose the third option.
Went all the way down the mountain on the other side, visited Tian Tan Buddha and walked back into Tung Chung.
Again, it’s super easy in a way.
Because there is only one trail going down the mountain – to Ngong Ping.
The sign says it’s 1.5 kilometers / 45 minutes of walking.
This is where you just came down from.
Once you are down the mountain, there are 3 options.
To walk the Wisdom Path. Do it. It’s right there and takes only 5 minutes.
Afterwards you can go ahead and visit Lantau Island’s Big Buddha statue, one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world. Next to it is Po Lin Monastery, which you may want to visit as well. If you do so and will want to hike back into town, you will need to return to this place (in the photo above). Alternatively – take a bus or cable car to Tung Chung.
You can also just turn to the right and take the path going back into the Tung Chung town.
It will take you around 2 hours.
It’s not a very interesting hike, or a popular one.
But it’s your chance to find some solitude and spend more time in nature.
At one point you will have to choose – either to walk across the mountain or proceed around it. The latter is going to take you longer, but it’s also less demanding. I chose the latter.
On the trail you are passing by some lonely monasteries.
Until you end up on a big road.
And soon afterwards in the town.
3. How to Get to Lantau Island
The island is easily reachable by public transportation.
Just hop on the metro and in 40 minutes it will take you all the way from Hong Kong to Lantau Island. The ride costs less than 20 HKD. Last stop – Tung Chung Station, around 3 miles / 5 kilometers away from the airport.
Or take a ferry going from Hong Kong Central to Mui Wo.
3.1 How to Get to the Lantau Peak Hike Starting Point
If you came by metro, leave the station via exit B. Right in front of you you’ll see a bus station. Walk across it. On the other side of the station there is a bus stop for buses 11 and 3M. Take any of them. Get off at Pak Kung Au.
Bus ticket costs 11.8 HKD. You can pay in cash. But no change is given.
Or take a cable car to Tian Tan Buddha. And walk the hike the opposite way. Finish at Pak Kung Au bus stop.
If you came by ferry, take the bus 3M to Pak Kung Au.
Take the bus 23 going to the Ngong Ping town. That’s the town where the Big Buddha is located.
3.2 How to Get to Lantau Island Big Buddha
It’s very easy.
- Take a metro to Tung Chung Station;
- Leave the station via exit B and you’ll end up in a bus station;
- Take the bus 23 going to the Ngong Ping town. That’s the town where the Big Buddha is located.
More interesting option – instead of a bus take a cable car to Ngong Ping.
4. The Sunset Peak Hike
Did you know that Hong Kong’s third tallest peak is “just across the road”?
It’s called the Sunset Peak. As its name suggests, it’s a very popular sunset spot in Hong Kong.
How to do the Sunset Peak Hike? Getting to the trail is going to be identical. Take an MRT or ferry to Lantau, then take a bus to Pak Kung Au bus stop. The only difference is that the Sunset Peak trail is on the opposite side of the road than the Lantau Peak trail. It’s a very steep trail.
That’s why mostly people hike to the Sunset Peak from Mui Wo.
5. Where to Stay in Hong Kong
VALUE FOR MONEY / CHEAP – Yesinn @YMT
A very nice and stylish hostel in Kowloon. Only a short walking distance away from 2 metro stations and a busy night market. There are a lot of restaurants and shops in the area.
They offer both cheap bunk beds (rooms are with en-suite bathrooms) and private rooms.
Have you done the Lantau Peak Hike in Hong Kong? Or maybe the Sunset Peak Hike? What was your experience?
Book Your Trip Like a PRO
1. Book Your Flight
2. Book Your Accommodation
Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!
3. Buy Your Travel Insurance
World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.