Lantau Peak (aka Fun Wong Shan - Phoenix Mountain), located in western Lautan Island in the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region), is Hong Kong SAR's second highest peak, almost twice as high as Victoria Peak (552m) the highest peak on Hong Kong Island and much more scenic. Although many people think of skyscrapers and shopping when they think of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong SAR (comprised of Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, and the New Territories peninsula) has many hiking trails and parks. Lantau Peak is the highest peak on Lantau Island (aka Tai Yue Shan - Big Island Mountain), an island almost twice the size of Hong Kong Island but only with about 1/50th the population (30,000) and with most of those people concentrated along the coast. The peak lies along the 70 km Lantau Trail just east of Ngong Ping and the Po Lin Monastery, home of the Tiantau Buddha statue, the largest outdoor bronze statue in the world.
You can hike to the summit from any point on the Lantau Trail, however, the most convenient trailhead is at the Po Lin Monestary
at Ngong Ping. Simply take a bus or other transportation to the Po Lin Monestary (Bus No 2 from Mui Wo). Once you get there, pass the Tiantau Budda statue and head east past the monestary where you will find trailhead signs to Lantau Peak
eventually coming to a large Country Parks wooden gate.
From here, the short class 1 trail (1-2 km) heads up to the summit
where there is a sun dial showing the direction of sunrise relative to the season. There's also some ugly concrete foundations as well as a small rain shelter on the summit.
While many people hike up this peak to watch the sunrise or sunset from the summit, this is also a very nice day hike and a great way to get away from the hectic urban sprawl of Hong Kong for a few hours. The views of mountains and small villages along the coast are quite a change from the city life, however, Hong Kong's new Chek Lap Kok Airport has now changed the view north for the worse.
NGONG PING VIA MUI O AND HONG KONG: From the city of Hong Kong's Outlying Ferries Pier 7, Central ferry station, take a ferry to Mui O in Lantau Island's Silvermind Bay. The ferry takes about 40-60 minutes and runs about KH$10.50 - 16.80 during the weekdays. Once you arrive you can hike south along the coast to before heading west on the Lantau Trail to Sunset Peak (869 m) and Lantau Peak. Or you can take Bus No. 2 to the Ngong Ping (Po Lin Monestary) which travels along the souther coast of Lantau Island and start your hike from there. The bus fare is KH$9.50 from Monday to Saturday and HK$16 on Sundays. Air conditioned buses are HK$14.50 and HK$23 respectively.
There is no red tape on this peak.
When To Climb
Year round, though be prepared for occasional foggy conditions. November - March are the most ideal conditions with the spring and summer bringing very humid conditions.
Generally there's no reason to camp on this peak unless you are traversing the island via the Lantau Trail, however, there are a number of camping locations on Lantau Island, most of which are free. Some of the campsites on the island include:
- Pak Fu Tin (south of Mui O)
- near Pui O and Man Shan
- Man Cheung Po (near Tsu Hsing Monastery in the southwest)
- Kau Ling Chung and Tai Long Wan (just east of Fan Lau)
- Shek Lan Chau
- Sap Long (near Ham Tin on the Chi Ma Wan Peninsula)
- Tsin Yue Wan (along coast between Fan Lau and Tai O)
For additional information see the Lonely Planet Guide to Hong Kong, Macau & Guangzhou or the KHTA's Hostels, Campsites and other Accomocation in Hong Kong