If escaping the non-stop escapades of the city is what you need while in Hong Kong, there’s a perfect way to go about it.
Lantau Island is the largest in Hong Kong and lures visitors to it’s major attractions such as Disneyland and the Tian Tan Big Buddha. But to avoid the crowds and the hordes of selfies, there’s another place to visit: Sunset Peak.
The third largest peak in the land is often the least documented of peaks and you could say, still goes under the radar.
How to get to Sunset Peak
1. For beachside beginnings, head to Mui Wo. You can take a ferry from Central Pier No.6. This will take around 30 minutes for the fast ferry and 1 hour for the slow ferry. Mui Wo is a small coastal town with a beach, restaurants, water buffalos and the odd few bars. Whether you want to spend some time here before or after is your choice. From here and back, the trail should take no more than four hours.
2. Either take a taxi or walk 20 minutes or so to Nam Shan Campsite and follow the signs for the Section1 and Section 2 of the Lantau trail.
3. As you merge into the bush you’ll know you’re on the right track when you (randomly) pass a Helicopter pad. Keep hiking up as for the next 1-hour it’ll be a steady ascend on stone steps. Take in the views of the distance Pui O as you ascend. This is probably one of the most tiring parts of the hike, so take in some shade at the first quarter when you can, as the trail is about to open up.
4. The path will level out and become an open plain of terrain similar to landscapes in Scotland or New Zealand! Continue ascending over slopes until you’ll see Hong Kong International Airport striking in the distance northwest of your view. Fascinatingly, as you make your way to Yi Tung Shan you’ll pass by stone-clad holiday houses — now derelict — that were once used during the World Wars. It’s worth taking a photo, just for the historical factor it brings to the trail.
5. With cliff-hanging boulders starting to appear to your left, don’t be fooled that you’ve got to Sunset Peak yet. Continue on the trails until you’re at the highest point and that’s where you’ll see the sign labelled Sunset Peak, 869m high. With excellent panoramic views, you’re now at the third highest point in Hong Kong! (Yes we know, selfies and photos of you gazing out into the distance are now mandatory.)
Continue the trail left of Sunset Peak once you’ve taken in the spectacular views and you’ll find yourself on a descending path. This takes about 30 minutes where you’ll find yourself at Pak Kung Au. Take the 3M buses back to Mui Wo for some beach vibes. Once in Mui Wo, it’s time to relax by Silvermine Bay Beach. If you want to hang with the locals by the BBQ stands, make sure you take your own food from the local convenient stores. If you fancy food with a view, head to China Beach Club.
Where to next?
Sunset Peak is an exciting day trip, coupled with the coastal town of Mui Wo. However as you descend to Pak Kung Au you’ll notice Lantau Peak, the big brother, luring you in. That’s where you should venture next.
Cebu Pacific flies daily to Hong Kong via Manila and Cebu. cebupacificair.com