This week I’m labeling ‘Over Active’ week.
I smashed out my usual gym routine, went to dragon boat training (more on that in the coming weeks) and completed one epic hike to Sunset Peak.
Earlier in the week my gorgeous American friend Camie asked if I wanted to go for a hike on the weekend.
Of course I said yes, thinking we would just do a short hike somewhere on Hong Kong island and then go for a coffee…..or skip the hike all together and just have coffee!
But Camie’s lovely friend Stef joined the party and generously offered to take us on a more adventurous hike over on Lantau Island.
I had been to Lantau Island the week before with my parents, visiting the Big Buddha.
We had made note of the super steep gradient and I rather emphatically said I wouldn’t be hiking Lantau any time soon.
This wasn’t the case!
The Only Way is Up
We arrived at Mui Wo by ferry, walked through the little coastal village (kicking myself I didn’t take photos!) and then headed straight up the hill to get started. This rather steep hill wasn’t even a part of the track!
Stef guided us to the start of the Sunset Peak trail and the three of us were already sweating profusely due to the humidity.
The hike in total was a little over 3 hours and boy was it hard.
But it was so worth it.
Sunset Peak is the third highest peak in Hong Kong and stands at 869 metres above sea level.
During the arduous climb there wasn’t too much to see due to the tree lined track. But thankfully the shade of the trees kept us cool as we all literally puffed our way to the top! (I may have complained once or twice!).
Once the track cleared we were greeted with sweeping views of both sides of the island. Overlooking Pui O we could make out the coastline, little pockets of sandy white beaches and see the fast ferries making their way to Macau (I think?).
Continuing on to the illusive Sunset Peak we passed a number of concrete bungalows.
The fog and misty weather is still present in Hong Kong and looking at the rolling green hills, jagged protruding boulders and eerily placed bungalows, it felt like we were somewhere in Scotland or Ireland rather than Hong Kong!
A quick Google search has told me that the bungalows were built in the early 1920’s by British Missionaries, who used them for their summer retreats.
Again, I wished I had taken more photos of the bungalows. But I was literally that exhausted I couldn’t get my camera out of my backpack, plus I didn’t want to be responsible for stopping our momentum. We were afraid that once we stopped, we wouldn’t start again!
Thankfully the path plateaued and to our right and we could see the international airport in the distance and hear the rumbling sounds of jets high in the clouds above us.
We eventually made it to Sunset Peak…..the sun was still relatively high at 5pm and still covered by cloud. So I didn’t get any spectacular photos.
BUT I did pull out my selfie-stick much to the girls’ amusement.
My selfie-stick was not performing which resulted in a multitude of hilarious photos.
Some of which I have shared in the outtakes below!
We agreed that black and white photos were more flattering seeing as though we had sweated profusely for three hours straight and weren’t looking our best!
After our awkward photo-shoot we quickly made our way down the super steep path, which was quite hard on our knees. But our spirits were high because we knew we were literally on the downhill slope to home!
We rather abruptly came to the road where a bus appeared, that would take us to Tung Chung MTR.
Not knowing how frequently the busses came and night was falling, we made the decision to jump the fence to run for the bus. This all sounded great until I literally got my foot stuck in the fence and could not for the life of me get it out.
I was perched on top of the fence with nowhere to go whilst the girls were jumping on the bus.
I can imagine it being a hilarious sight, particularly for all the locals who watched on from the bus! Not wanting to be left behind I yanked my foot out, whacked my shin on top of the steel fence and ran for the bus.
I made it!
The three of us giggled the whole way to Tung Chung. We laughed at my fence debacle; how sweaty we were and that all the locals were probably hating us right now and how I legs were shaking uncontrollably because we were that exhausted.
We ventured onto the packed MTR and took our position on the floor of the carriage.
That’s right – we sat on the floor of the MTR. (See Camie positioned below!).
It was a new life experience for us!
But like I said, we were that tired we couldn’t bear to stand up for half an hour back to Central.
Even though the hike was a challenge and I’ve made it sound quite painful, it really was awesome.
It was so great to be away from the chaos of the city, in wide open (steep) spaces and hanging out with two great girls and hearing about their shared hometown in Ohio.
I just have to recover now!
What: Sunset Peak Hike
Location: Sunset Peak, Lantau Island
How to get there: We caught the ferry from Central Pier to Mui Wo and then walked up to the start of the trail (I don’t recommend it…as it’s so exhausting!). Take the 3M Bus from Mui Wo bus terminus to Pak Kung Au. Alternatively you can take the MTR to Tung Chun Station, Exit B. Then from the bus terminus catch the 3M Bus to Pak Kung Au. Turn left to The Pavilion, then left turn onto the Lantau Trail which leads to Sunset Peak.
To return – at the end of the trail take the 3M bus back to Tung Chung MTR station or Mui Wo ferry pier.
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