The 70 kilometer Lantau Trail has always been a bit intimidating to me. Maybe it's because I can see the peaks and ridges looming over life on Lantau Island. Or maybe it's because I remember hiking stages 1 and 2 back in January.
I'm glad that I didn't pass on the invitation to hike stages 9 & 10 with the AWA hiking group because it was a fabulous coastal walk. These stages of the trail done together make a longish hike, but it's an easy one with only a few climbs of less than 100m.
Stage 9 began at Shek Pik Reservoir. To get here we took Bus 11 from Tung Chung. We crossed the road to take in the views across the reservoir. The blue sky made a spectacular backdrop for the Big Buddha sitting up between the two lower peaks.
As we walked down toward the coastline, it didn't take long for us to get some amazing views of the sea and the Soko Islands on the horizon.
We passed two notable campsites along the trail: Shek Lam Chau and Lo Kai Wan. Shek Lam Chau was basically just a sign along the trail. I think there was a path that led down to a camping area on a beach. At Lo Kei Wan campsite there was a toilet so it was a good place to take a break. It was right off the trail and on the beach, but sadly the beach was not clean at all.
Most of stage 9 was easy walking along a dirt path or large stones. There were some small climbs and descents, but it was mostly flat and hugged the coastline. It was also fairly shaded, so this would be a good hike to do in the summer.
Just before reaching the village of Shui Hau, the trail turned more concrete and we came upon our first group of local buffalo having a bit of a siesta.
After transitioning to stage 10 via the small village, we walked for most of the 6.5km along the water catchment. It's mostly all flat with not much to see, but it's quick and a good section for chatting.
We did pass through a village cemetery section on our way up to the water catchment. We saw these stone urns lined up in bunches in a few places.
At Lantau Trail marker 113, the end of stage 10, we crossed the road and headed down to walk the last bit of our hike along Cheung Sha beach.
Another interesting sight on stage 10 was our second buffalo sighting on the beach. These three appeared to be people watching and probably taking in the beautiful views just like we were ;)
At the end of Cheung Sha beach there is a choice to walk around on a path or do a bit of bouldering to get to Lower Cheung Sha beach. Our group is the adventurous type, so we climbed.
The climbing is fairly simple to start, but eventually requires some scooting under ledges and climbing down through holes. Teamwork got us all out on the other side.
The last bit of walking along Lower Cheung Sha beach took us up to a cluster of restaurants where we filled ourselves on some good Italian food at Lantana. We took bus 11 to get back to Tung Chung.
What do you do when you are not running?
What kind of hike do you prefer - easy or difficult?
Other hiking posts: