Weekend Hiking Around Lantau
If you plan to visit Lantau Island any time soon, you should definitely use this opportunity to take a weekend hiking tour of the region and savor its natural riches to the full. Lantau is well-known among avid hikers for its jaw-dropping scenery and numerous trails suited to all fitness levels, so it shouldn’t be a problem to find a track that fits your bill. Not sure how to get the Lantau weekend hike plan in place? Fret not: here are five trail suggestions to help you start off your hiking tour on the right foot.
Uphill Thrill on the Way to Lantau Peak
Hong Kong’s second highest peak, Lantau Peak (934 meters) is a perfect spot to watch the sunrise and take cool selfies overlooking the awe-inspiring scenery underfoot. The ascent starts at the Victoria Peak Garden above the Peak Tram station and continues along the Governor’s Walk and Lungard and Harlech roads, all the way to the summit, allowing hikers to soak in stunning views of the city and harbor. Albeit a relatively easy climb, the hike takes about two hours, which is why it would be smart to spend the night in one of the Ngong Ping hostels at the foot of the trail. The best time of year to hike up to Lantau Peak is December to February, during the region’s brief winter characterized by temperatures ranging from 15-20°C, few clouds, light haze, and drizzle overlapping with sunny spells.
Catch Your Breath on the Lantau Trail
One of most popular routes among Hong Kong hikers, the Lantau Trail is a well-set path from Mui Wo to Tai O which comprises twelve sections. The circuit trail is made of a dirt track and carved rock steps, stretching to a total of 70 kilometers. The hike through the Lantau South Country Park promises fascinating views of the coastline, jungle, woods, and grasslands, and it also features camping spots with fire pits, picnic tables, and park benches for hikers who want to spend more than a few hours in the lap of Lantau beauty. If you’re looking for more in your Hong Kong hike, you can also use the chance to take a dip at Pui O and Changsha beaches and round off the tour with a sunbathing session.
A Leisurely Stroll along Dragon’s Back
If you’re looking for a brief heads-up hike, check out the amazing stretch along Dragon’s Back. A relatively short trail to help clear your mind and recharge, Dragon’s Back is one of the most popular family trails in the area as it’s covered by low vegetation and features a few small streams to keep the little ones entertained while their parents enjoy the scenic views of Shek O, Tai Tam, and Big Wave Bay. At light to moderate pace, the hike takes approximately 2.5 hours, ending in Big Wave Bay where you can take a break and fully top up your batteries before returning to the city. If you decide to spend a few more hours in the area, you can take a stroll along the Shek O beach or go surfing in the Big Wave Bay granted warm weather and strong wind.
A Scenic Hike up to Sunset Peak
Hong Kong’s third highest peak, Sunset Peak (869 meters) is a must-see for keen hikers looking to get the most out of their Lantau weekend. With amazing views of the woods, sea, grasslands, and jungle, the climb to Sunset Peak is more picturesque than the Lantau Peak hike, and it offers more room for exploration and a greater number of photography spots to round off your climb with a series of captivating sunset pics. Be warned, though: the Sunset Peak trail is more demanding than its Lantau Peak counterpart and can take up to 5 hours if you’re not in perfect shape, so you’d better brace yourself for some sweat and heavy breathing if you decide to weigh your forces against it.
Conquer the South Country Park
If you prefer light hikes and inspiring coastline views to uphill struggles, you should give the Lantau South Country Park a go. Stretching across 56.4 square kilometers, the South Country Park is the largest country park in Hong Kong which dates back to 1978. Sitting amidst the slopes of Lantau Peak and Sunset Peak, the South Country Park features many tourist attractions and vistas, natural waterways, and village paths snaking from the rural town of Mui Wo across the uplands and back. Some of the parts of the complex circuitry of village paths date back several hundred years in history and if you fall in love with the area, you can extend your stay by perching a tent at Nam Shan Campsite. After exploring the park, you can treat yourself to a healthy meal at the Bathers restaurant and replenish your stamina with mouth-watering salads, seafood, or red meat.
There’s more to Hong Kong than shopping, sightseeing, and all that urban glitz, so if you find yourself in the lap of Lantau, try and set aside a bit of your time to explore the area’s natural beauty. Soothing, invigorating, and available to tourists regardless of their travel budget, Lantau hike trails will make sure you fall in love with Hong Kong’s nature before long, so don’t be surprised if you catch yourself coming back to this amazing region time and time again for more of its inimitable natural grace.