There’s no question when everyone has an idea of what Hong Kong is about, they first and foremost thing of a chaotic and crowded super-city. With a pulsating corporate centre, towering skyscrapers and a population of 7 million, Hong Kong is the London and New York of Northeast Asia.
But around two-thirds of Hong Kong is rural land and home to many islands and peaks. One of them, the third highest in the country is Sunset Peak on Lantau Island.
First arriving into Hong Kong you’ll hear people recommend you to climb ‘The Peak’ and ‘Dragons Back’ but if you really want to start your hiking adventures off in Hong Kong with an adventure, Sunset Peak is the perfect trail to take on.
Getting Started with your hike to Sunset Peak on Lantau Island
The Sunset Peak is apart of the 70km Lantau Trail. Now, we know most of you haven’t got all the time in the world to hike 70km, because that would require some serious dedication.
Take the MTR to Tung Chung and then the 3M bus into Mui Wo on Lantau near Hong Kong International Airport or take a ferry to Mui Wo from Central Pier.
What To Take
Wear good footwear. Hiking shoes or trainers with grip will suffice in dry weather. If it’s wet, always wear appropriate hiking shoes. Take a couple bottles of water, a hat and anything else attire wise you may feel appropriate.
From Mui Wo to Pak Kung Au
From the central point of Mui Wo, you can walk or take a quick 5-minute taxi up to Pak Kun Au. Look out for the lush picnic site where you’ll find signposts for Lantau Trail Stage 2 and Sunset Peak. This is the beginning of your journey!
Lantau Trail Part 2
This part of the hike is relentlessly uphill once you get going. There’s a clear path of stones and rocks that will take you up. You’ll pass a random in-the-bush helipad and that’s when you know you’ll be on the right track. Ascending constantly will no doubt have you fatigued but be rest assured this is arguably the most difficult part of the hike. Best to get it out of the way!
If the sun is shining try keep within the shady parts of the trail. This will keep you cool. Also, there are mini-waterfalls you can cool down on if the sweat is relentless. Get past the lush trees and shrubs and feel the inevitable humid heat.
As you keep plodding along, more openings will appear for backdrops Lantau Island including Cheng Chau in the distance. This should take no more than an hour maximum.
Yi Tung Shan
As the trail opens out, you’ll have Scottish-like terrain in front of you. This is where the you’ll walk on open plains with Mui Wo & co. behind you and in your Northwest midst, Hong Kong International Airport. As you continue to walk you’ll come across Lantau Mountain camp, a series of derelict WWI & WW2 stone cut holiday houses. These were used for missionaries and add a bit of historical value to your trail.
Yi Tun Shan is impressively one of the highest hills in Hong Kong with rustling grass and rocky paths. It uniquely has a bunch of large boulders perched on its edge to your left. You might see fellow trailers hanging here and getting death-defying photos, but don’t be fooled, this isn’t Sunset Peak. However, it is a pretty beautiful but sketchy place to dangle your legs.
Finally: Sunset Peak on Lantau Island
Continue on your trail because you’re nearly there. Follow the narrow paths up to Sunset Peak that will be in front of you. You’ll know when you arrive because there will be a sign saying ‘Sunset Peak’. You’ll be higher than planes as the main runway for Hong Kong International Airport is right in front (and below) of you. Take it all in because it’s quite a feat with epic chances of panoramic views, selfies and the chance to increase your Insta likes!
Exiting Sunset Peak
From here you can continue down the hordes of stone steps that are almost a direct descent down. This takes around an hour. As you walk down though, right in your midst will be the Lantau Peak, staring at you luring you in. Lantau Peak is the second highest in Hong Kong and the inferior to Sunset Peak. That one will be for another time.
Once you reach the bottom you can again wait for the 3M bus back into Mui Wo or the opposite direction into Tung Chung.