Hong Kong Hiking: Lantau Peak
Hong Kong has been amazing so far! This city was crazy overwhelming at first, think New York on steroids, but I am slowly getting used to it.
So far my favorite day was spent hiking Lantau Peak and visiting the Big Buddha statue on Lantau Island. I know you might not associate hiking with a mega city like Hong Kong, but it's actually extremely easy to get to the trails with the abundance of public transportation! If you ever visit I 100% recommend doing this trail and combining it with sight seeing at the Big Buddha.
We have been staying on the Kowloon side so we started with a MTR ride to Central where we caught a ferry to Lantau Island. From there we took the 3M bus to the Pak Kung Au stop and started the hike! There is a brief forested section to begin, but once you are out of that it is nonstop views!
When I was reading the sign indicating the length and the elevation gain of the hike I thought it would be easy and similar to Rattlesnake Ledge here in Seattle. I was very wrong. First, it's extremely humid in Hong Kong even in November. Second, this hike is more like a never ending stair climb with brief flat bits between. It's not extremely long, but it's definitely challenging, especially if you are used to hiking in Washington temperatures like me :D
After you reach the peak you can hike down to the Big Buddha and Po Ling Monastery. There is also the option of hiking to Lantau peak from the Buddha, but I don't know if I would recommend that direction...it's a much steeper climb, and it's already pretty steep from the Pak Kung Au side. A lot of the people Brian and I passed on our way down looked EXTREMELY unhappy. One older Chinese man was trying to encourage his wife by offering to sing to her. I am glad Brian was able to translate that cute moment for me! The descent was rough on my knees, but that may be my own fault since I tend to go to quickly on the way down.
Once we made it down we explored on the Wisdom Path and then the Big Buddha. It's obviously a touristy area, but worth it to see. Also if you stop here you can take the Ngong Ping cable car down to the closest MTR station! If you don't have a fear of heights I say spring for the crystal cabin. The floor is glass and it's a rush to ride down in!
We took the MTR back and finished the day with some clay pot rice, which Brian informs me is a classic Hong Kong comfort food. I had mine with beef and an egg and it was super yummy.
This day was perfect. I kept turning to Brian and telling him how amazing it all was and how I didn't want it to end. Brian has seen a lot of these places before so he just smiled and laughed at me, but it truly was a perfect day. Even if you only have a couple of days in Hong Kong you have to do it! Public transportation here makes it so easy. We caught a ferry in Central at 10am and got back to Kowloon around 6pm, and we took our sweet time the whole way.