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near Tai Long Wan Cun, Islands (Hong Kong)
This was a late travel decision to hit some Asia high points so I planned it as a ten day whirlwind tour of Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. The aim being to have a bit of fun, see sites and drink beer but also to hike the high points of Singapore (Bukit Timah Hill 172m) Hong Kong (Tai Mo Shan 957m) and Macau (Alto Coloane 176m). Not the highest peaks but Hong Kong looked promising with some good potential hikes. I also intended to get in other additional peaks including Victoria Peak (HP of Hong Kong Island 554m), Lantau Peak (HP OF Lantau Island 934m) and to hike the Dragon's Back, apparently Hong Kong’s best 10km walk.
Lantau Peak, Lantau Island 934m, 16.2.2019.
Lantau Peak is simply stunning and it helped that I did it on a glorious day. I also did it with some hikers from the Hong Kong MeetMe site and this made it more interesting as they were a lovely lovely bunch of people. The peak is on Lantau Island so you obviously have to catch a ferry from Hong Kong Island and catch the coastal bus round to Shek Pik Reservoir.
The route is on a well defined path and is a UK grade one scramble for at least half of the route where hands are required. It heads north and apart from a few turn off points it is easy to follow but in poor weather you will need map and compass skills in places. It is an excellent ridge scramble but nowhere really difficult for a competent UK hill walker. The views along the entire route is simply stunning.
Around the 6km mark the main path from the Tian Tan Buddha complex (more later) joins you on the left (very visible and signposted) and from here the path to the summit gets more substantial with steps, some guide rails and is steep for the last km. From the summit there are more glorious all round views of the surrounding hills, islands and even of HK airport.
Coming back down we took the path off to ‘The Big Buddha’ and after about an hour you come to Po Lin Monastery and nearby are the steps going up to the Buddha. This is a really commercial popular area with a big square and eating places. The steps going up to Buddha and the statute itself is impressive being the second largest Buddha in the world apparently. The bus stop is also nearby and the buses can drop you off virtually anywhere on the island.
The hike was only 9km long but it took us as a group 4 hours. However it did have 932m of ascent and this was mainly scrambling. I must say too that we did savour the views as much as possible on this superlative hike and it was a ridiculous 32C. On the enjoyment scale it rated 10/10 simply brilliant!