Hiking Lantau Trail – Stage 3

Stage 3

We finally got through stage 3. It took us weeks to motivate ourselves to get up early and travel for over an hour to get to the beginning of the trail (that’s why we have been putting it off). We did make a few attempts but ended up hiking on HK island instead or (like two weeks ago) staying out around Wan Chai until 4am and not being in any state to go hiking the next day. Last Saturday we finally made firm arrangements with Ruth so there was no turning back. We left our apartment at 7am in the morning to travel to Tung Chung and from there bus no.23 got us to the beginning of stage 3 by around 8:30.

A short 4.5km trail, but very tough! It is the most difficult and apparently the toughest section of the entire Lantau trail. Very steep in places and lots and lots of stairs – all of which have irregular steps. Some would be 20cm high and the next one 50cm. Very difficult to keep any kind of steady pace.

Husband taking the lead.

So many beautiful butterflies. All the colors of the rainbows and ranging in size from small to really big ones. One looked as big as my hand! This is one of only a few photos I managed to take. They’re fast and barely stay still. Pity I didn’t manage to take a photo of them with open wings as it was such a beautiful blue colour.

Climbing up the stairs.

Smiley and very energetic Ruth. She was leading most of the hike.

Husband and me at the top of Lantau Peak (934meters). This is the second highest peak in Hong Kong (Tai Mo Shan at 957meters is the highest). It was a hard climb up. We were pleased that, at the start, the peak was obscured and assumed at least 3 times on the way up that we were about to reach the top only to be proven wrong and having to continue on.

Beautiful trail, but it looks like we will have to head back when the visibility will be better. We should have done this hike on almost any other day for the past several weeks. The views are apparently spectacular but could barely see anything below us.

Heading down from Lantau Peak. Some of the parts were very steep. Husband did not enjoy that part.

Tian Tan Buddha and Wisdom Path in the distance.

I’ve heard that on a very clear day you can see Tian Tan Buddha from Macau. We could barely see it from most of the trail. Hot, humid and hazy. The big thunderstorm which arrived in the afternoon did not come as a surprise.

Exploring Wisdom Path. 38 timber columns each 8-10 meters tall with chinese characters written on them. You can see Lantau Peak in the background.

Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha). Tourists climb 268 steps to reach the statue.

34 meters tall and weighing in at 250 tonnes.

We originally planned to complete both stage 3 and 4, but at the end of stage 3 and being so close to bus terminal we headed home leaving stage 4 for next time. Hopefully we’ll have clearer views and cooler weather.
Stage 3 Pak Kung Au –> Ngong Ping 4.5km

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