The Hong Kong Tung Chung to Tai O Walking Trail
In Hong Kong guidebooks the 16-kilometer (10-mile), 6-hour stroll between Tai O and Tung Chung along the north coast of Lantau Island is listed as one of Hong Kong's premier hiking paths. However, this isn't a hike through pristine nature. We suggest that whether you'd like this hike depends on your personality.
- Bikers like the long distance and the stair and rock challenges.
- Long distance runners run along the secluded cement sidewalk.
- Tourists new to Hong Kong may enjoy seeing what Chinese housing developments and poor villages look like.
- Some ocean views
- Mostly concrete sidewalk through woods with good signage
- Well furnished public toilets every 3 kilometers
- About 9 Chinese villages or shanty towns, useful for snacks and drinks.
- There is constant jet noise for more than half the route. (Some may enjoy the sight and noise of one of the world’s busiest airports.)
- Trash is strewn about and the beaches are dirty.
- About 4 kilometers (2 miles) of the walk is through urban area.
The trail follows the coast of Hong Kong through parkland, with Hong Kong International Airport just a few hundred meters away across the water during about half the walk.
This trail is one of contrasts: Chinese super high-rise apartments and poor shanty towns; and the huge airport contrasting with the empty countryside and coastline.
There is little road access except at Tai O and Tung Chung. Ferries from Sha Lo Wan Ferry Pier, at the halfway point, leave about every hour or two.
Transport: Take the MTR to Tung Chung MTR Exit A. (Bus 11 runs between Tung Chung and Tai O.)
Start at Tung Chung: Walk about 100 meters SE on Hing Tung Street, then 200 meters SW on Tat Tung Road to Shun Tung Road, and follow it SE almost to the end past the massive Yat Tung Estate buildings. Take the stairs going downhill signed Hau Wong Temple, and take a left at the public bathroom.
End at Tai O: When you get to Tai O, you'll come to a shanty town on stilts. There are various narrow walkways, and no observable English signs, so it is easy to get lost. The bus station is near the boat pier.
Weather: Be aware of weather conditions and whether you’ll be able to finish the route by nightfall. The last mile or two of the hike is over dirt path and rocks, without lights, so is difficult to walk at night and especially if it rains.
Bikers: There are some sections with stairs at about the halfway point, an overhanging rock, maybe some branches, and no guard rails on steep edges.
Near Tung Chung, the trail gives access to the well-made and popular Ngong Ping 360 Trail. Before the village of San Tou, where you see the cable cars overhead, there is a sign for Ngong Ping Rescue Trail (5.6 kilometers, stair climbing). The scenery on it is good. From Ngong Ping, you can get on the Lantau Trail system that goes to Tai O.
In Tai O, you might see the pink dolphins on a boat ride. You can enjoy the seafood restaurants or international cuisine at City Gate Outlets.