Hello guys, Happy 2016! It has been a while since I updated. As you can see, this post will be about my hike to Lantau Peak (934m) - second highest peak in Hong Kong. We didn't attempt the highest peak -Tai Mo Shan because the peak is simply not accessible. It has been used as a weather radar station.
I would rate the difficulty of the hike 4.5/10 as compared to the hike at Mount Kinabalu (10/10). I guess the rating differs from person to person according to fitness because apparently my sister and Bii felt that it was a fairly easy hike. I have read reviews of Lantau Peak and many said it would be wonderful if hikers could catch the sunrise there. Considering that three of us were not familiar with the landscape and route to the peak and the hike should start as early as 2am, we unanimously agreed that safety comes first. So we abandoned the idea of catching the sunrise. Instead, we decided to start hiking at 9.30am.
How to get there
You have to take the MTR to Tung Chung station. After that you follow the signs and walk about 5-7 minutes to the bus terminal. Note that there are two bus terminals near Tung Chung station. The one that brings you to the starting point of the hike is the one further from the station. Once you reach the bus terminal, look for bus number 23. I heard there are more than one bus that will bring you there but we took bus 23. Tell the driver you will be alighting at Pak Kong Au and try to sit near the driver so that he can notify you when you should alight. Alternatively, you can refer to the bus route at the bus terminal and manually count the number of stops to Pak Kong Au. Once you alight, you will see a signboard on the right side of the road in front of you that says 伯公坳 (Pak Kong Au). Yes, you can start the hike now!
Note: there are two routes to Lantau Peak. The one from Pak Kong Au will take you around 2.5 hours or less to reach the peak. This route is slightly easier (more flat grounds). Another one will be from Ngong Ping (the starting point is near Wisdom Path). It will take you around 1 hour to reach the peak but it is slightly harder (more inclined steps). I personally prefer going up from Pak Kong Au and then going down using the Ngong Ping route.
Do not worry about getting lost. The trail is quite developed and obvious. Just remember do not deviate from the trail and you will be safe.
Cheapo tip: Prior to the hike we actually visited Ngong Ping (The Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping Piazza etc) by the cable car with my mum. If you hike to Lantau Peak and then descend through the Ngong Ping route you can actually visit Ngong Ping without having to pay for the cable car/bus ride. So you save quite a bit from there.
The weather was sunny but with occasional cold wind. The temperature was great for hiking (18-20 degrees Celcius) and there was 0% precipitation...which means NO FOG! Hikers, please check the weather forecast before going for the hike, the lower the precipitation the better! There were no shelters available so if it rains...I have no idea what you can do.
What to bring
1. LOTS OF WATER! (We ended up rationing our water consumption near the peak because we didn't bring enough.)
2. Rain coat/umbrella (We did not bring any of these because we trusted the weather forecast but it would be a good idea to bring...just in case.)
3. Camera (The scenery during the hike was amazing. Be sure to bring your camera with fully charged battery so that you can snap some pictures.)
4. Wind breaker (A thin one will do if you are hiking at the same time as us - first week of January.)
5. Sun block (Not necessary unless your skin is vulnerable. Bii suffered from sunburn on his face after the hike but my sister and I were totally fine)
6. Light food and hot tea (Light bites like chocolate bar, banana and bread will help the hike. Bring hot tea to enjoy at the peak if you like - some of the hikers did that)
Let me share some pictures so that you have an idea of how the hike went!
That's all for the hike! My travel post on Hong Kong will be up soon after this post!