Hong Kong is a fantastic place for hiking.
The territory is mountainous with some spectacular scenery and there are many hiking trails on Hong Kong Island, the New Territories and the Outlying Islands.
If you’re really in to hiking there are also numerous hash and hiking clubs that organise events and races.
These can vary from the famous MacLehose Trail, a 100 KM trail that attracts the Oxfam Trailwalker challenge each year, to leisurely walks with great views.
The Oxfam Trailwalker challenge raises funds for Oxfam and involves teams of four organising themselves to complete the trail (all 100 KM) in less than 48 hours.
Most teams take between 24 and 30 hours, with the fitter ones coming in under 20 hours.
I’ve done several sections of the MacLehose. They are all spectacular but some are not for the faint hearted (or the unfit!).
On Lantau Island, where I live, there are several different trails: I’ve done some sections of the Lantau Trail (total length of 75KM) and separate trails to Tung Chung (Olympic Trail), Discovery Bay and Pui O.
I’m very much a social hiker but, if you’re in to it in seriously or competitively, there’s a new shop in Mui Wo that caters specifically to the hiking community and sells the latest hiking gear: Lantau Basecamp (between Lantau Taste and the Estate Agent):
Mui Wo to Pui O
The pictures I’ve set out below are from the trail to Pui O, and the picture at the top is looking at Hong Kong from Mui Wo – the starting point.
Depending on your level of fitness, and how many times you stop to take pictures, the walk will take you between 1 hour 45 minutes and 2 hours 30 minutes. Longer if you stop for rests along the way.
From the Mui Wo ferry pier head south past McDonald’s and the China Bear.
Join the road that passes the buildings (you’ll see The Kitchen and Isara, two restaurants, on your right) and then follows the coast line round a small bay until you see the sign for Pui O.
It’s positioned low down on the right, just past a construction storage site, so keep your eyes open – if you leave the construction storage area behind you, you’ve gone too far!
You will turn to the right, off the road and up some steps. This picture of the ferry pier is after having climbed the steps and joined the trail which, again, follows the coast line:
This picture is taken after about 10 minutes walking. The ferry pier is behind the hill on the left:
Along the way you will be able to look across to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon:
After 20 – 25 minutes walking you will climb up a small rise and have a choice of routes: you can turn to the right (the route I took when taking these pictures) or continue straight on down the hill towards the coastline.
The second option is an easier walk and takes you around the Chi Ma Wan bay before you hit Pui O.
The first route is definitely tougher, but delivers some spectacular views:
Along the way I passed these chaps having a good old wallow:
We have lots of feral water buffalo and cattle on Lantau and they frequently make their way into the villages, wandering around the bars and restaurants.
One managed to get itself into the ferry pier on one occasion and needed to be encouraged out.
They are completely harmless, so don’t be concerned when you come across them on your walks!
That village down there is Pui O – and this is the highest point on this particular walk:
From here you drop quickly back down towards the coastline. You will need to take a bit of care going down: the path takes you down some steep steps with big drops in places, so if your knees are a bit suspect you will need to be careful!
Once you reach the road at the bottom of the steps you need to turn right to get to Pui O, and shortly you will come across this beach:
You need to follow the road round past the beach and just after you go past some houses (the village of Ham Tin) you will see a path to your right and a small pedestrian bridge.
Cross the bridge and follow the path. It will take you across some flat lands and bring you out in Pui O, almost opposite Tap Tap. This is the view to your right from about half way along the path:
Once you hit Pui O there are two or three pubs where you can restore your fluid levels and get a bite to eat.
The Water Buffalo is a good one. They have a range of real ales and just recently took on a new Indian chef – the Indian dishes are wonderful!
Tap Tap is another, offering Tapas (but not particularly authentic!), the usual pub food, and draught beers and lagers.
Getting there and back
If you’re coming from Hong Kong Island, getting to Mui Wo is a ferry ride from Pier 6 in Central.
To get going once you reach Mui Wo, turn left out of the ferry pier, past McDonald’s and the China Bear, and then follow the route I described at the top.
Once you reach Pui O, you can either catch a bus back to Mui Wo (any bus will do – they all go to Mui Wo) and take the ferry back to Hong Kong, or you can go to Tung Chung and catch the train.
If you decide to take the bus to Tung Chung you need to grab the 3M.
The bus to Tung Chung is about a 30 minute ride, to Mui Wo it’s about 10 minutes.
Have you hiked in Hong Kong? Tell us where and how you liked it!
The Expat Traveller