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Hiking in Hong Kong How difficult is Lantau Peak

Hiking in Hong Kong: How difficult is Lantau Peak? 

Funny story – my friend dared me to join her for a hike up Lantau Peak, and in my typical daredevil fashion, I leapt at the chance despite my absolute lack of hiking experience. 

I’m proud to say I made it. That said, I also have to admit that I only did so with a side of tears and a lot of prayers along the way. 

Needless to say, that hike was the ultimate reality check for my extraordinaire alter ego. Hiking Lantau Peak may have been a great achievement, but it was also a wake-up call of epic proportions. So, today, I’ll give you the lowdown on all you need to know if you’re taking it on too!

How difficult is Lantau Peak? 

Lantau Peak can be quite a challenge. The beginning hits you with a steep incline over a short distance. But once you conquer that and head down towards Ngong Ping, it’s mostly a downhill trek with a few flat sections.

Want a taste of what it’s like to conquer Lantau Peak? Let me take you for a hike guided by my own sweat and tears (but really mostly tears) for a glimpse. 

Hiking the Lantau Peak

Distance: 6.68 km

Elevation: 586m

Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes

Difficulty: Moderately difficult

Path: The trail is well-defined throughout. Most of the path consists of well-maintained stairs, ensuring minimal concerns about slipping or scrambling over rocks.

Exploring the Lantau Peak Trail

The trail starts near a Tung Chung Road bus stop (please don’t confuse it with the South Lantau Country trail).

Stairs take you up the first ridge, and for the next 4km, it’s all uphill without much of a breather. At the start, there’s shade, but it doesn’t last long – you’ll soon be on an open ridge.

You may want to look back and notice the road seems far below, which is a good feeling! But watch out, there are more hills and tricky false summits ahead. 

During our trek, we kept thinking we’d reached Lantau Peak, only to find an even higher peak! Plus, the humidity and heat made the hike fairly difficult. 

Fortunately, as you keep climbing, you can catch a breather at small flat sections. There are even seats for a front-row view! You’ll also need them for rest as at this point, your legs are probably begging for mercy (especially if you’re a non-seasoned hiker like yours truly). 

We were practically on a stop-start routine – every 5 minutes, catching our breath and rallying the motivation to keep pushing. By kilometer 4, we were cruising at a sluggish 2 kilometers per hour!

Reaching the Summit of Lantau Peak

Congratulations, after a 4km uphill trek ascending 586m, you’ll reach the peak! Sitting at an impressive 934m above sea level, it gifts you breathtaking 360-degree views of Lantau Island and the South China Sea.

At the top, capture some Instagram-worthy shots with cool cliff edges. There’s also a covered hut, perfect if the weather turns sour (although hiking in the rain isn’t advisable). Those steep ridges can become treacherously slippery.

While up there, get your first glimpse of the Tian Tan Buddha and the finish line in the distance. As the afternoon sets in, the area gets bathed in a glorious golden light, making it a picture-perfect sight.

Hiking Hacks for Conquering Lantau Peak

  • For an easier hike, early mornings are your best bet before the sun turns up the heat.
  • Start your journey either at Tian Tan Buddha in Ngong Ping or opt for Pak Kung Au, which is our pick for a slightly less steep route (600m over 4 km beats 2km). 
  • There are refreshment stands at the end, and getting back to Tung Chung is a breeze with cable car or local bus options.
  • Thinking of sparing your knees? Walking poles might be your saving grace on the way down, but hey, they’re not mandatory.
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