Lantau Trail covers 12 stages with a total length of 70km. It offers some superb views of Lantau Island and other Outlying Islands. Wildlife is abundant with common sightings of spiders, snakes, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, buffalo, etc. Lantau Trail can be completed in one day if you are extremely fit and accustomed to the high temperatures and humidity of Hong Kong, but expect to be very sore in the days following. Distance posts are located every 500 metres on Lantau Trail starting with L000 and ending with L140. Both start and finish points are located in Mui Wo. Sign posts are marked with a logo of a man and woman hiking together on bright yellow signs.
Lantau Trail Stage 5 and 6 must be completed together as there is no transport option between the two. Total distance is 10km between distance posts L035 and L055 offering some of the best views that this hiking trail has to offer. Stage 5 starts at distance post L035 and can be reached on the number 11 bus from Tung Chung to Tai O or the number 23 bus from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping. Be sure to get off at the bus stop at the top of the hill after passing the Shek Pik Reservoir (you can’t miss it), or if unsure let the bus driver know where you need to get off. You may need to ask another passenger to translate your destination to the driver. You may also catch a taxi from Tung Chung or get the Ngong Ping 360 cable car from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping (location of the Big Buddha), and proceed along Lantau Trail Stage 4 until you reach Stage 5 (a distance of about 2.5km).
Lantau Trail Stage 5 offers fantastic views of Lantau Peak, Tai O, Shek Pik Reservoir and the Soko Islands on a clear day. As you make your way across many mountain ridges you will get to Keung Shan at a height of 459 metres and then Ling Wui Shan at a height of 490 metres. Stage 6 brings you to your destination at Tai O, offering great views on your descent into this large fishing village.
Trail composition on Stage 5 is predominantly dirt trails and rocky trails with only a small amount (about 10%) of paved paths. Stage 6 however is predominantly concrete paths as you make your approach into Tai O. The final approach into Tai O is very steep and often very slippery during the wet and humid months of the year, so do take care.
Wildlife on Stage 5 consists mainly of insects such as grasshoppers, wasps, dragon flies, butterflies, moths and cicadas. Occasionally you will come across some domestic buffalo or ox. Most snakes will flee before you get a chance to see them. During the hot and humid months Stage 6 is filled with Ginat Golden Orb Weaver (Large Woodland Spider or Nephila Pilipes) spiders which hang over the trail, mainly at head height, and especially first thing in the morning before any hikers have cleared them out of the way. These spiders can really slow you down through Stage 6 as you duck and weave around their very thick and sticky webs. When fully grown they are about the span of a male hand – not something that you want in your face while out on a pleasant hike. They are non-venomous, however if provoked they can inflict a nasty bite with their (up to 2cm long) front fangs, equivalent in pain to that of a wasp sting.
Lantau Trail Stage 5 starts at the corner of Keung Shan Road and Sham Wat Road which can be reached by bus or taxi. The number 11 bus from Tung Chung to Taio O and the number 23 bus from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping will stop here. You may also catch the Ngong Ping 360 cable car from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping and follow Lantau Trail Stage 4 for about 2.5km until you reach the start of Stage 5.
Lantau Trail Stage 6 continues directly on from the end of Stage 5, with no other transportation options between the two.
Lantau Trail Stage 6 ends in Tai O where you can catch a taxi or the number 11 bus from Tai O to Tung Chung. It is also possible to catch a ferry from Tai O to Tung Chung, however ferries don’t run very often.
Ngong Ping, Tai O
Start at the corner of Keung Shan Road and Sham Wat Road on Lantau Island.
Follow Lantau Trail from distance post L035 up and around Kwun Yam Shan (434 metres).
After the following peak, Keung Shan (459 metres), continue straight ahead and then left up the hill toward Ling Wui Shan.
Just after reaching the peak of Ling Wui Shan (490 metres), turn right and head toward Man Cheung Po.
Just past distance post L046, continue straight ahead at the intersection toward Man Cheung Po via Tze Hing Monastery.
As you get to the bottom of the hill (past L048), continue across a small bridge and then to the left towards Tai O.
A little further on you will pass a campsite. Just past the campsite keep right at the fork in the path.
After a set of stairs you will approach another junction. Continue straight ahead and then down to the right, following the yellow Lantau Trail sign posts towards Tai O.
At distance post L050 Stage 5 ends and Stage 6 begins.
Keep to the right as the dirt trail leads onto a concrete path ahead.
At distance post L051, take the dirt trail once again to your left.
Just prior to L052, keep right as the dirt trail leads onto a concrete path once again.
Continue down the slope until you get to a T intersection at the bottom. Turn left at the T intersection.
Just up this path you will come to L055, however the distance post is missing. A map shows you the continuing Lantau Trail Stage 7, or you may turn right and head towards Tai O where you will find the bus terminus on the left.
Michael Pieper at Hiking Hong Kong
Website: Detailed photo tour of Lantau Trail Stage 5 and Stage 6 (Link to http://www.hiking-hong-kong.com/outlying-islands/lantau-island/lantau-trail/stage-05.php and http://www.hiking-hong-kong.com/outlying-islands/lantau-island/lantau-trail/stage-06.php ).
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