Lantau Trail

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The Lantau Trail (Chinese: 鳳凰徑), opened on 4 December 1984, is a long-distance footpath on Lantau Island in the New Territories of Hong Kong. The 70 kilometres (43 mi) trail is a loop starting and finishing in Mui Wo. The Lantau Trail has good visitor facilities along the way, and the route is well marked. There are information boards and maps at junctions between each stage. Distance Posts 500 metres apart help hikers know exactly where they are. At each turning, route signs give clear instructions about directions, place names, and the distances and times for hiking between various places.[1]

Approach to Sunset Peak.
View of Buddha from near the Ngong Ping 360 station.

Stages[edit]

The Lantau Trail has 12 stages. [1] There are distance posts, numbered 000 through 140, every 500m:

Stage Route Length (km) Time (hr) Difficulty Starting Post Ending Post
1 Mui WoNam Shan 2.5 0.75 1/3 stars 000 005
2 Nam ShanPak Kung Au 6.5 2.75 3/3 stars 005 018
3 Pak Kung AuNgong Ping 360 6.0 2.75 3/3 stars 018 030
4 Ngong Ping 360Sham Wat Road1 2.5 1.25 2/3 stars 030/031 034/035
5 Sham Wat RoadMan Cheung Po 7.5 2.75 2/3 stars 034/035 050
6 Man Cheung PoTai O 2.5 1.0 2/3 stars 050 055
7 Tai OKau Ling Chung 10.5 3.0 3/3 stars 055 076
8 Kau Ling ChungShek Pik 5.5 1.5 2/3 stars 076 087
9 Shek PikShui Hau 6.5 2.0 1/3 stars 087 100
10 Shui HauTung Chung Road 6.5 2.0 1/3 stars 100 112/113
11 Tung Chung RoadPui O 4.5 1.25 1/3 stars 112/113 122
12 Pui OMui Wo 9.0 3.0 2/3 stars 122 140

1/3 stars Easy Walk
2/3 stars Fairly Difficult
3/3 stars Very Difficult

1 Path is rerouted. The Section 4/5 changeover appears now to occur very close to the Ngong Ping 360 cable lift. Section 5 for the most part follows Ngong Ping Road from Ngong Ping 360 to the start of Section 6. As of December 2013, Google Maps does not have the correct route in its database.

2 Path is partially closed. An alternative route has been suggested.

Trail rerouting at Ngong Ping (Sections 4 and 5)[edit]

The current routing leaves it unclear if the Section 4/5 changeover is near distance post 027 or distance post 030. The previous changeover was at 027. For easiest access to/from Ngong Ping and Ngong Ping 360, follow the trail to distance post 030. Once at the cable car station, follow the pedestrian shopping mall in the direction of the Tian Tan Buddha for around 200m, watching on the right for a poorly displayed Lantau Trail sign pointing hikers downhill along Ngong Ping Road. The new Section 5 follows the road all the way to Section 6.

Trail closing at Yi O (Section 7) and related controversy[edit]

The trail crosses private land at Yi O Village[2] and access is officially closed (as verified in December 2013).

Along the trail is posted the following message:

Farmland rehabilitation within private lots in Yi O Kau Tsuen and Yi O San Tsuen is in progress. The land owners do not allow unauthorised access to those villages. The affected sections of Lantau Trail Section 7 passing through those villages will be diverted. Visitors who wish to go to Fan Lau or Kau Liu Chung are advised to choose alternative route as shown on the map below.[3]

The closing applies approximately to the part of Section 7 between distance posts 062 and 065 only, but the alternate route skips a length of trail starting from around distance post 059 and ending around distance post 073. Portions of the alternate route are not available on Google maps as of December 2013. The intermediate distance posts in the closed section appear to have been removed. There is currently no sign indicating when (or if) the original part of Section 7 will be restored.

One can find the approximate original route by turning left at the end of the paved path, following the trail/dirt road, and then staying to the left of the organic produce farm. However use of this route, as a separate sign indicates, will be considered trespassing—those who choose to find the original route should be mindful about causing disruptions. The suggested alternate route leaves the Lantau Trail right after distance post 059 (and immediately before Na Ying Kok campsite) and rejoins the trail near distance post 073. Substantial clearing work for an organic farm has occurred since 2010, so finding the trail may be difficult.,[4]

The trail closing has, as of December 2013, generated considerable political controversy. The developer of the 9-hectare organic farm, Andrew Lam Siu-lo, is being investigated for having cleared ecologically sensitive land by burning and for having brought heavy construction machinery into a protected Hong Kong country park. The Yi O village area has protected wetland area and is one of the few habitats of Hong Kong's endemic and rare Romer's tree frog.[5] Lam was a top advisor to Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung's 2012 campaign.[5] Rerouting of the trail appears to have been unnecessary and one might reasonably point to Mr. Lam's motivation in attempting to keep the public away from Yi O. Other than some recent development, Yi O appears to be an all but abandoned village,[5] having lost its population long ago, and therefore restrictions against "trespassing" on village property might only make sense in the context of Mr. Lam's development project.

Phoenix Walkathon[edit]

The Phoenix Walkathon was previously held by the Hong Kong Ecotoursism Society along the 70-km Lantau Trail every year, although it was cancelled in the early 2000s.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department – Lantau Trail Country and Marine Parks Authority Agriculture
  2. ^ "Minutes of 1033rd Meeting of the Town Planning Board held on 10.5.2013". 10 May 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  3. ^ (See photo on right)
  4. ^ A private video and slideshow record of Section 7 (as posted [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-MCtATkQ1Y here]) from 2010 includes a hike along the closed section of the trail, "Lantau Trail 7 (Tai O – Kau Ling Chung/Fan Lau) 6 February 2010". Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c South China Morning Post "Work on West Lantau farm project hits legal snag". 9 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Lantau Trail Race/Phoenix Walkathon". 4 January 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°14′58″N 113°55′41″E / 22.2495°N 113.9280°E / 22.2495; 113.9280