The Lantau Trail is a superb long-distance footpath in the southern half of the island of Lantau, Hong Kong. It opened in 1984, and is one of four long trails in Hong Kong.
Although there are many modern attractions right on its doorstep, including Hong Kong’s Disneyland, Lantau is a quiet island with a small population and a haven for hikers coming from the busier areas.
Located in Lantau Country Park, this hike is a treat for those who love wildlife and space away from the modern infrastructure and skyscrapers.
This hike runs for 70 kilometres across some of the highest peaks in Hong Kong, and through some beautiful jungle, woodland and grassland environments.
- Monastery and coastal villages
- Beautiful scenery
- Sandy beaches, woodland, grassland
- A mix of old and modern cultures
- Wildlife such as deer and porpoise
- A wide choice of facilities, accommodation and food options
The Lantau Trail is a circular route divided into 12 stages.
The trailhead is at the village of Mui Wo, and the trail can be walked in either direction.
This trail is very well-marked, with signs every 500 metres.
Along the route, there are places where you can get a bite to eat and replenish supplies, such as Ngong Ping. Other parts of the trail are more remote, such as stages 5 and 6, you are never too far from visitor facilities.
There are places where you can refill your water supplies, however water must be purified before drinking. Also, make sure you carry enough with you for the stage of trail you are on. There may be long stretches between water sources.
The trail is dotted with benches, camping grounds, maps, toilets and barbeque areas, so is ideal for those who want to hike the whole circuit or for those who prefer day treks.
Hong Kong international airport is approximately 30 minutes away from the trail.
The island of Lantau is connected to the mainland by bridge and public transport is widely available. You can take also the ferry to Mui Wo from Central Ferry Pier Six.
To skip stages along the trail, there are buses that go From Mui Wo to Ngong Ping and Tung Chung.
The Lantau Trail is 70 kilometre hike, separated into 12 sections. It takes around 4-5 days to complete.
Grade and difficulty of the walk
This hike is graded 2-3.
Each section of the Lantau Trail varies in difficulty, yet most of it is easy to moderate. There are easy areas for those not accustomed to hiking as well as more challenging paths for those who like more strenuous terrain.
Climbing the peaks presents the most strenuous parts of the hike, with rock steps along the steep sides for many metres. The first is Lantau Peak at 934 metres elevation, followed by Sunset Peak at 869 metres.
Stages 2 and 3 of the trail are the most strenuous, as each brings a climb to a mountain peak. However, each of these stages usually takes less than 3 hours to hike, so if you find yourself struggling with the terrain there is plenty of time and places to have a rest.
The path throughout is mostly paved, rocks, or well-trodden dirt. There is little in the way of shade, so sun protection and plenty of water is essential for each stage.
Most hikers will be able to complete the circuit in 4-5 days, however it is worth extending you trip to see other places of interest in the area.
Any reasonably fit hiker will be able to walk the Lantau Trail. Some sections are steep with steps.
If you do have concerns over your fitness levels, pick the shorter and flatter parts of the trail.
If you are camping along the Lantau Trail, you will need to be fit enough to hike and carry your camping equipment with you.
This is a well-organised route, and there is no chance of becoming lost. No navigational skills are needed.
No permit is required to hike the Lantau Trail.
Guided or Self-Guided
This route is easy to follow, so most hikers opt for self-guided walks.
There are guided hikes available if you prefer walking with a group, or you could choose to have a guided walk for some parts of the trail and try self-guided for others.
The best time to walk the Lantau Trail is in the autumn, from September to December. The weather is generally dry and sunny, with acceptable temperatures for camping, however the route is open all year round.
In summer, temperatures can be hot and the atmosphere is humid, making hiking more strenuous. There is more chance of rain.
A typical itinerary would be:
Here are the 12 sections of the Lantau Trail. You can choose to complete them how you wish. Hikers who want to complete the circuit within 5 days should aim to average approximately 15 kilometres per day.
Mui Wo to Nam Shan – 2.5 kilometres
Nam Shan to Pak Kung Au – 6.5 kilometres
Pak Kung Au to Ngong Ping – 6 kilometres
Ngong Ping to Sham Wat Road – 2.5 kilometres
Sham Wat Road to Man Cheung Po – 7.5 kilometres
Man Cheung Po to Tai O – 2.5 kilometres
Tai O to Kau Ling Chung – 10.5 kilometres
Kau Ling Chung to Shek Pik – 5.5 kilometres
Shek Pik to Shui Hau – 6.5 kilometres
Shui Hau to Tung Chung Road – 6.5 kilometres
Tung Chung Road to Pui O – 4.5 kilometres
Pui O to Mui Wo – 9 kilometres
There are official campsites along the route, but it is also possible to wild camp in some places.
There are lots of places to stay just off the trail, including hotels and lodges.
Rise early for a two hour summit Lantau Peak, just in time for photo-worthy sunrise. Lantau Peak is the second highest mountain in Hong Kong, at 934 meters elevation.
Enjoy the sandy beaches at Pui O and Changsha.
Stop for some seafood at the old fishing town of Tai O.
Visit the Po Lin monastery, founded in 1906. It features a bronze Buddha that reaches 34 metres in height.
Watch out for grazing buffalo on the path.
|Skills Required||Hiking, Walking|
|Starts at||Mui Wo, Hong Kong|
|Finishes at||Mui Wo, Hong Kong|
|Length of route||70 Km|
|Average time to complete||4 - 5 Days|
|Possible to complete sub-sections||Yes|
|Highest point||934 metres|
|Equipment needed||Camping equipment, Poles if preferred, walking boots|
|Countries visited||Hong Kong|