Lantau Island Hiking Tour
Lantau South Country Park, New Territories, Hong Kong
Lantau Island is the largest of the 236 Islands within the Hong Kong Territory and was a sleepy getaway till the airport and the adjunct town of Tung Chung were built here in the 90’s. The southern side of the Island however is still a hiker’s paradise and restricted to private cars. Our hike takes us from sea level, behind the high-rise residential blocks of Tung Chung into a lush valley dotted with small Buddhist communities, so called hermitages.
Buddhist monks and nuns have been retreating into these hills and valleys for more than 130 years. The path leads up to the Ngong Ping plateau at 360 meters above sea level where the Po Lin monastery has evolved into a tourist attraction.
Hiking up, approaching the Po Lin monastery from behind, our gaze is suddenly caught by the magical image of the seated Buddha Statue emerging out of trees atop a hill. There is time to visit the monastery and the Tian Tan Buddha, admiring the Bodhisattva statues and the view over the island.
This may be a good time for lunch too, after which there are several options to continue our hike. Your guide will discuss the most suitable hike with you – all of them offer splendid, uninterrupted views over wild South Lantau to the distant Soko Islands:
For most, the two-hour moderate hike down towards the Shek Pik Reservoir in the shade of foliage will be just the perfect afternoon walk. After which it is a short bus ride to Tai O village.
For those preferring long walks over grass-covered hills, the three-hour hike stretching over Kwun Yam Shan and Keung Shan (459 meters), before heading down the final steep slope into the plains of Tai O, will be a delight. The path entering the village of Tai O is lined with mangroves and old salt pans.
For the summit-lovers with strong legs and lungs, there is the two-and-half-hour steep climb up and down the slopes of Lantau Peak (934 meters). This hike maybe a good choice on a clear and cool winter day.
At Tai O Village, there is time to stroll along the main street, lined with traditional shops full of local specialties and dried seafood. The village boasts vibrant temples and interesting stilt houses built over the creek.
Highlights: Combines hiking with major tourist sites (Buddha, Wisdom Path, Tai O village) without the queues; views over the island and the South China Sea surrounding it.