Guide to Lantau Peak and Pui O Beach
Cover image from here
Lantau Peak is the second highest peak in Hong Kong, standing at a height of 934 metres (3,064 ft) above sea level. It forms part of the Lantau Trail and has become increasingly popular among hikers for its stunning sunrise views. Lantau Peak (or Phoenix Mountain as it is also known) is made up of the male and female peaks: Fung Shan and Wong Shan – two feng-shui abiding mountains that make for the perfect trek. After the walk, which should take around 2.5 to 3 hours to complete, make your way to Pui O beach. This surfer’s paradise hosts a laid-back beach bar, BBQ points and a camping site, where you can set up tent and spend the night.
Begin your day at the Tung Chung bus depot, where you can take the number 23 bus to the start of the Lantau Trail. Stay on the bus for about 10 minutes, until you come to a dip in the road and a small wooden sign marking the Lantau Trail. Walk along the Lantau Trail for about 25 minutes, through the trees before reaching a sign marking Lantau Peak. Here is where you will embark on the most challenging point of the walk – an uphill climb for approximately an hour and a half. As one of the highest peaks in Hong Kong, the ascent to the mountain’s peak is quite challenging so make sure you have lots of water and a good pair of shoes. The views at the summit are well worth the pain, however, as you look over the Fung Wong Shan Peaks, The Big Buddha, the Po Lin Monastery and Sunset Peak. The sun-dipped grass and rolling mountainous terrain makes this a beautiful early morning spot, before the sun becomes too hot. Although this walk isn’t only for the early risers and the thrill seeking exercise-enthusiasts – any time of the day, this mountain boasts spectacular scenery.
The route down the mountain takes you to Mui Wo village, where you can either head straight to Bahce – a tiny independent Turkish restaurant serving up delicious Middle Eastern fare in a no-fuss, white tiled building off the bus depot. Or (if your stomach/muscles can take it) hop on a bus to Pui O beach for lunch. Here you can have your surfer-chic moment at Mavericks beach bar – a laid-back board shack on Pui O beach serving up delicious carb-heavy fare. From spicy nachos to Angus beef burgers, salmon and quinoa to thick-cut chips – there’s something filling for everyone. Playing chilled tunes and offering up a surfboard infused layout – this spot is hard to beat after an intense morning of hiking. Whatever you decide to do – make sure to pick up some food at Wellcome for a BBQ dinner on Pui O beach.
Next, head on down to the beach – bagging a camping spot at the Pui O campsite before jumping in the sea for a dip. Make sure to pitch your tent when you first get to the beach or you’ll struggle to find a spot after your afternoon at the beach. With it’s delightfully warm water and often windy bay – you might even be able to try out a bit of surfing on your own. (Children can book onto surf programs here: http://www.treasureislandhk.com)
Head for a stroll along the beach at about 6pm making a beeline for Mavericks’ outside seating area. At about 7pm when the sun will start to set, seat yourself on a reused skateboard or wooden table looking out to the open sea. Sipping a cocktail as Hong Kong’s burning sun slips behind the sea.
After relaxing and drinking at the beach bar, make your way back to the campsite where you can cook up a BBQ feast at one of the numerous concrete spots along the beach. Grilling meats, cheese and veg on an open fire is a truly Hong Kong experience and one you can’t miss when camping at Pui O beach.
Emma Russell | Editor