One of the things I like about Hong Kong is its easy access to nature with an abundance of hiking trails amid varied landscapes. Believe me, there’s more to Hong Kong than just skyscrapers and shopping malls.

The last time I was in Hong Kong, I spent a few days on Tai O, a small fishing town on the western coast of Lantau Island, with my family. The oldest existing fishing village in Hong Kong, Tai O is a slow-paced and picturesque town.

As it was our first time visiting Tai O, I thought it would be fun to explore the village and some parts of Lantau Island on foot. So we embarked on the ‘Tung O ancient trail‘, which used to be the main route for villagers to travel between Tai O and Tung Chung.

Tung O ancient trail map
Map of the Tung O ancient trail from the Hong Kong Tourism Board website

As we were staying in Tai O, we started at point 7 in the map above and walked around 16 kilometres from point 5 to point 1 in Tung Chung. The trail is mostly paved and makes for an enjoyable walk. We took around six hours to complete it.

We followed the main creek in the village, passing various stilted houses over water in Tai O village.

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Soon we arrived at the coast of Lantau, near Yeung Hau Temple in Po Chue Tam. Built in 1699, this is the biggest temple in Tai O and is surrounded by various hills named after creatures such as the lion, elephant, tiger and phoenix.

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Leaving behind the little concrete blocks and stilt houses, we continued up a hilly coastal path lined with shrubs. This is probably the most physically demanding part of the entire trail and my mother had to take a little breather in between.

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This is a lovely walk with expansive panoramic water views. We passed various coastal habitats such as mudflats, mangrove forests and rocky shores.

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Along the way, we passed small farms and little villages, stopping at one of the villages for some refreshments. There were a few lonely-looking abandoned buildings – I presume that their previous occupants had left for the city.

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Towards the end of our walk, we could see aeroplanes landing at and taking off from the Hong Kong International Airport. In the foreground were small fishing boats slowly crossing the bay.

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As we approached the end of our walk, tall residential buildings in Tung Chung new town could be spotted in the distance, creating a striking juxtaposition against the small village houses in their rural settings. I hope that the concrete towers will keep their distance and not encroach upon the rustic areas that cover the rest of Lantau island.

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Getting to Tung Chung is easy as there is the Tung Chung MTR station. There are various ways to get to Tai O by public transport:

The Tung O Ancient Trail is suitable for most people and is a great way to discover a different side of Hong Kong. Bring plenty of drinking water and apply some sunblock as the path is mostly unshaded. 

12 replies on “Coastal walk on Lantau island: Tai O to Tung Chung

  1. I’ll get to that trail soon. My recent hikes were far beyond inspirational and makes me learn to re-appreciate my home. Now I only worry about in the hot summers if i’d be able to do some.

    1. I went hiking in Cheung Chau in summer once. The heat and humidity made the walk seem tougher than it should be. For this walk in Tai O, I think that as long as you have plenty of water, wear a hat and start early in the day (so that you finish the walk at lunch time), it should be OK 🙂

      1. It can be disastrous to get up in early morning. But I think the weather will force me with no other way. Ive also hiked in Cheung Chau during the hot summer twice. Insanely hot!

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