On a clear day, Hong Kong’s second-highest summit offers gorgeous 360-degree views of Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong. We made the journey on somewhat foggy day in spring, but the journey to the top still offered a great workout.
We started our ascent at the trailhead in Nnong Ping Village, home to Tian Tan Budda (“The Big Buddha”), Po Lin Monastery and the Wisdom Path. For the next couple of hours, we climbed stair after stair, stopping to catch our breath and photograph the sweeping vistas around each bend. Lantau Peak is known to be one of the hardest hikes Hong Kong has to offer, so we were glad we were in good trekking shape.
There are several ways to conquer the peak, each with varying levels of difficulty:
- Starting at Pak Kung Au, a mountain pass along Tung Chung Road that is easily accessible from the Tung Chung MRT station. Then, hiking back down. The distance to the peak is about 2 miles (3 kilometers) and the ascent takes about two hours.
- Starting at Pak Kung Au, continuing past the peak and ending at Nnong Ping Village. The distance is about 3 miles (5 kilometers) and the journey takes about three hours.
- Starting at Pak King Au, continuing past the peak and through Nnong Ping Village, and ending at the YMCA Christian College on Tung Chung Road. The distance is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) and the journey takes about five hours.
- Starting at Nnong Ping Village and returning to Nnong Ping Village, which is what we did. However, we learned that this is one of the more difficult routes, as it requires climbing up hundreds stone steps, some of which are knee-high, with little-to-no flat stretches where you can catch your breath. The steep ascent takes about 75 minutes. (For detailed instructions on how to get to Nnong Ping, see the end of this blog post.)
If you do choose to start the climb at Nnong Ping Village, signage makes it easy to find your way, and the path is paved until you reach the trailhead.
The trail starts near the Wisdom Path, a meditative space that consists of 38 timber columns representing infinity and forming a 260-word Buddhist prayer.
Then, it’s time to climb.
But the view is beautiful from up high.
What to know before you go:
- Check the weather report, as the views are best on a clear day. It became too foggy for us to photograph the peak.
- Avoid the rainy season, as parts of the trail – especially the stone staircases – can become slippery. October to December tends to offer the best weather, but we did the hike on a dry spring day.
- Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and wear protecting clothing. Much of the trail is unshaded.
- Wear sturdy hiking shoes. The stone steps require a good sole with a good grip.
- Bring snacks. Not only are you likely to work up an appetite during the ascent, the peak makes for a great picnic spot.