Rainy Day Hike: Tung O Ancient Trail from Tung Chung (MTR) to Tai O Fishing Village

“But what will we do if it rains?”

“Exactly the same thing we would do if it weren’t raining…”

That’s what Moritz’s uncle told his dad in Alaska and that’s exactly what we did last Saturday. Rain or shine, there was no way we were staying indoors being couch potatoes. (I mean, we could’ve gone to a museum, which was on my list, but I really wanted to get some fresh air and a bit of exercise).

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Yup, we really did it. Complete with umbrellas

 

There’s something about being in the office day in day out on the weekday that drives me outdoors on the weekends, and I didn’t give a flying f*ck that the weather was sh*t that day…

Plus, the night before we gorged ourselves on cakes and cookies and other goodies in Carbone, HK’s latest it-restaurant (New York-Italian cuisine) in Hotel LKF.

Hike brief

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 14km (LONG)

Duration: We did this in 3 hours but Discover Hong Kong says “Approx. 6 hours”. If you were a snail (and there were many on the path), then that would be about right…

Get there

Start at Tung Chung MTR. We used this map from the HK Tourism Board but relied on Google Maps to get to Hau Wong Temple.

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This might be more useful

From MTR Tung Chung Exit A, take a left on Shun Tung Rd, then a right at Yu Tung Rd. 

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Map: Tung O Ancient Trail from Tung Chung to Tai O (Lantau Island)

We took the overpass / ramp walkway following signs to Hau Wong Temple / Tung O Ancient Trail until we hit a left turn which didn’t feel right so we backtracked and found the correct turn leading out of the main roads and into the walking path.

Packing List:

  • Umbrella, if it’s raining
  • Waterproof hiking boots if possible (none of us had these on so we just got our feet wet and dried them later on by stuffing crumpled newspapers into them. IT WORKS. Make sure to change the newspapers after a few hours for a quicker drying process. On a rainy and humid weekend this is the only recourse I can think of unless you want to get stuck with damp stinky shoes. OR manually dry them with a hairdryer…)
  • Food – Although there are actually places along the way where you can grab a local bite, or even better wait until Tai O (more on this later)
  • Water
  • Raincoat – We saw some people on the trail waearing these
  • Rain cover for your backpack. Didn’t have this either, everything got soaked…
  • Ziplocs Plastic bags for your valuables
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Cable cars to Ngong Ping

For almost the entire first half of your hike, you will be looking at the airport across the water. And then for the second half, almost sadly, will be the bridge from HK to Zhuhai / Macau.

Unfinished bridge to Macau / Mainland China; they’re also building from the other side and it looks like it won’t be long until they meet halfway. A bit interesting to see it before completion

The path was criscrossed by health waterfalls almost all the way through because it had been raining for days / weeks beforehand

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The ancient trail is paved almost the whole way from the beginning passing through small villages, rocky beaches, piers, and temples

There are several clean public toilets on the path. Never had to pee in the bushes once. It’s because it’s a well-used path by the inhabitants of the many villages along the trail.

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One of the many healthy, bursting waterfalls we passed

 

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The best part of the hike begins close to the end: the concrete path disappears and gives way to a rocky trail

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Flooded crossings

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The stilted houses at Tai O Fishing Village

Where to eat

  • There are a few local eateries along the way, notably around Sham Wat Wan halfway through

 

  • Street Food: Seriously good gai daan tsai or egg waffle, the best I ever tasted, in Tai O’s Shek Tsai Po Street. The “Egg Puff Uncle” – a legend in the area – uses charcoal to fire his tiny stone oven for an egg waffle with a subtle smoky aroma and a crisp but chewy texture
  • Tai O Heritage Hotel: Their restaurant, Tai O Lookout, would be the luxury alternative, but I haven’t tried it to date.
  • Fresh Seafood grilling on the street, like king prawns and oysters with melted cheese on top
  • Quaint Cafes along Shek Tsai Po Street, Tai O, some overlooking the water. Personally the view would ruin my appetite tho…

 

Would love to hear about your hike if you did it. Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook or leave a comment here!

Until the next hike,

julienne

 

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