A Hike Near Hong Kong Airport
Although many imagine Hong Kong is a high rise concrete jungle, most of the territory is countryside and offers excellent hiking with beautiful views.
There are even some hikes which are close to the airport, so if you have enough time between flights, you could get out, stretch your legs, enjoy some fresh air and appreciate some of what Hong Kong has to offer.
One such hike is called the Olympic Trail. It runs from near Tung Chung to Mui Wo and takes about two and a half to three hours to complete at an average pace. So, if you had a five hour layover or greater, you could enjoy the hike and get back to the airport. If you had more time, you could also enjoy some local seafood at the end, at Mui Wo cooked food market near the ferry pier, or one of the other eateries nearby or en route.
Alternatively, you could travel to Mui Wo and do the hike in reverse.
Finding the Trail
The easiest way to get to the trailhead is from Tung Chung. From the airport, you can take a bus (S1 or S56) to Tung Chung, which is nearby. Inside the MTR station, leave by exit D, then cross the road and over on the right you’ll see a sign which shows how to reach the trailhead.
The trail is poorly marked. Basically follow the road until just next to the underpass, where there are steps to your right. Take the first set of steps, then bear left. Keep on the path and as long as you roughly have the road to your left in parallel, you should end up in the right place. There are some steps up, and later some steps down which bring you back to ground level at the entrance to Pak Mong village. Walk into the village, following the path, and you’ll start to see some trail signs, and also signs to Mui Wo.
The trail is a combination of earthen trails, concrete paths and steps. There is some (passable) treefall on the access path, but the trail proper is in good condition. You’re essentially going over a hill, so the first part takes you up and then it’s downhill.
There are some lovely views out over Lantau Island on both sides, and if you are a plane spotter then you’ll also have an excellent line of sight to planes taking off and landing at the airport.
You’ll also be able to see a number of interesting sights directly on the route, including:
- Traditional style villages, and local agriculture
- Traditional and modern hillside tombs
- The cave entrance to a traditional silver mine
- The Silver Mine waterfall
- Man Ho temple, in the village of Pak Ngan Heung
There are public toilets at Ngau Kwu Long as well as the start and end towns. There aren’t shops on the way so be sure to bring water and anything else you need for the hike from Tung Chung.
The poor signposting means you need to pay attention to where you are, but it’s not that hard. There’s a pagoda visible on the hill once you get going, if you aim for that you can’t go far wrong.
There is some elevation gain, which is the toughest part of the route, but in general for most people of ordinary fitness level this hike is an enjoyable hike rather than a strenuous activity.