My first ever international hike happened in Hong Kong as we hike its second highest peak, the Lantau Peak towering at around 934+ MASL, residing in the Lantau Island. It is one of the most famous hiking spots in Hong Kong not only because of the challenge it gives to the hikers, but also because of its accessibility via public transportation.
The mountains in the Lantau Island also serves as training ground for those trail runners, preparing for their upcoming races. Lantau Peak is one of the perfect training spots for them because it offers a tough elevation training, assault hikes and some technical terrains.
How to get to Lantau Peak
PRO TIP: Familiarize yourself with the MTR system map, then plan your route going to any destination in Hong Kong.
ATTENTION: I’ll be setting the start point of the route from the Central Station a.k.a. the Hong Kong Station. Just create a route depending on where you are staying in Hong Kong.
- So from Hong Kong Station, we took the train route going to Tung Chung. Train lines in Hong Kong are color coded, so there’s less chance for you to get lost. For the Tung Chung Line, just follow the Orange signs.
- Then, from Tung Chung Station, you may have your breakfast or any meals at the area. There are a lot of restaurants with reasonable prices and generous servings that you can choose from. You can also buy your final supplies here, i.e. trail foods, water, etc.
- Look for the bus number “23”, going to the Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha). Fare is at HK$17.20 on weekdays and HK$27.00 on weekends, so plan you hike accordingly.
- Tell the driver to drop you off to Pak Kung Au, this is where the trail starts going to Lantau Peak.
- Once you’ve alighted the bus, cross the street, and look for the trail head of Lantau Peak. The trailhead going to the summit is near the stairs. There are trail signs at the area, so you will find it in no time.
We arrived at Pak Kung Au by 9:00 AM. Once we’ve all made our final preparation, we commenced our hike immediately. The first parts of the trail are covered with trees, and are consists of boulder steps going up.
We took a rest on the first stop where we found a resting area with a nice view of the Sky Scrapers. That resting area is about 30 minute assault trek from the trail head. Most parts of the trail going to the summit are assaults and will require a lot of strength for you to be able to reach the top.
The mid part of the trail up to the summit is an open trail with less trees providing shades for the hikers. Luckily, it was foggy midway so we did not feel so much heat the rest of the hike.
We reached the summit in less than 3 hours. We have no clearing that time, so we just took a quick rest, solo and group photos, and then we descended down after a few minutes. We traversed our way going to Ngong Ping, where the Tian Tan Buddha or the Bug Buddha is located.
The trail going to Ngong Ping is a little bit technical, and may cause chronic knee injuries if someone will not trek with cautions. The steps going down is over 1ft high, so be cautious so there will be less impact to your knees.
After less than an hour, we reached the end of the Lantau Trail from the summit, it is marked by an arc with Chinese characters on it. You will also know that it is the end of the trail when you reached the Wisdom Path, where you will see 38 timber columns that are about 8 to 10 meters high. Each of them have 260+ word prayers from the Heart of Sutra, all in Chinese characters. It also forms an infinity symbol when viewed on top.
When you walk just a few steps further of the entrance of the Wisdom Path you will get to a small viewing platform where you admire the complete arrangement of the thirty-eight timber columns. It is also the entrance or end of the one of the Lantau Hiking Trails.
Then few meters from the Wisdom Path, we reached one of Hong Kong’s famous tourist destinations, the Ngong Ping 360, where the Tian Tan Buddha is located. The Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a large bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong.
Since we have some spare time, we explored the place and the nearby village at the area. Then went back to Tung Chung via the 25 minute cable car ride.
Strava Activity Record
- MTR opens as early as 6AM, so have your travel time arranged and be at Tung Chung Station as early as possible so you can start you hike early too.
- Reload you Airport Express cards with minimum amount of HK$100.00. You will be using this to pay for the bus going to Pak Kung Au. This will lessen the hassle on your part because you will just tap your card like beep cards instead of paying in cash. You can also use the reloaded amount in purchasing in most establishments in HK, so not bad, plus you can refund the excess amount at the airport too!
- Bring your own water bottles with at least 750ML capacity. Water sold at convenience stores are kinda expensive. For example, a 1L water cost HK$ 10 to HK$ 15. So bring water bottles and fill them up at your hotel or hostel, surely they will provide you complimentary drinking water.
- Do not buy drinks near the stairs going up to the Buddha, it’s expensive by +30%. Buy at the eating area nearby. I bought a 500ML coke near the stairs for HK$15 which only costs HK$10 at the restaurants.
- Best way to go back to Tung Chung is via Cable Car. We pre-booked our tickets via Klook app to save time and money. Click here to get your Cable Car tickets for the Ngong Ping 360.