Lantau Trail stages 1 and 2

It was a nice day on Saturday, and starting to cool down slightly from the summer highs, so Rita and I headed over to Mui Wo at around midday to hike stages 1 and 2 of the Lantau Trail. Stage 1 starts pretty much from the ferry terminal at Mui Wo but we didn’t spot the actual starting point or the first 500 metre marker post, probably because we had to go to the cashpoint. We ended up picking up the 2nd 500 metre marker post on the South Lantau Road.

Stage 1 goes along the South Lantau Road from Mui Wo to the big campsite and barbecue area at Nam Shan. It’s up a mild slope and is only 2.5km long. Since it was a Public Holiday on Saturday for Mid-Autumn festival there were quite a lot of buses and taxis travelling along the road, but even so it was a pleasant walk with some good views over Mui Wo between the trees.

Stage 2 starts at Nam Shan, and heads relentlessly up Sunset Peak (Tai Tung Shan). Quite a lot of the climb is through woodland and it is not as steep on this side as it is coming the other way from Pak Kung Au. There were quite a few other people on the trail, more than I was expecting since it was still quite warm.

Eventually we broke out of the woodland and, despite the haze, we were treated to some great views of Pui O on one side and Mui Wo on the other. We carried on and between Yi Tung Shan and Sunset Peak there are a number of huts scattered on the grassy slopes. I believe these are owned by Christian groups, presumably ones with fairly fit members as they are nearly 800 metres above sea level.

Sunset Peak itself is 869 metres high, but the path skirts the summit, at around 800 metres before dropping sharply down to Pak Kung Au which is at around 340 metres. Despite the fact that the climb from Mui Wo is almost twice as high, it is certainly a lot more gentle and I was glad we’d done it this way round.

I’ve seen Pak Kung Au variously translated as Great Uncle Valley and Nosy Old Man Valley. It is where the Tung Chung road crosses the line of hills that form the spine of Lantau, on its way to Cheung Sha beach. We followed the old road, which is now disused, down to the beach, then along to the Stoep for a recuperative beverage and an excellent steak.

Stage Between Distance Markers Time
1 Mui Wo – Nam Shan 2.5km 1 – 5 30 mins
2 Nam Shan – Pak Kung Au 6.5km 6 – 18 2 hrs 30 mins
Pak Kung Au – Cheung Sha 3km n/a 45 mins

Time: 12:00 – 16:00
Temperature: 28-30C.
Relative Humidity: 80%

About Neil Hambleton

I am a British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) Advanced Diver and an Open Water Instructor. I have been diving since 1992, after joining South China Diving Club (SCDC), which is a Hong Kong-based branch of the BSAC. Having moved to New Zealand, I am now a member of BSAC New Zealand.
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