Updated: May 2
Reaching the top of Lin Fa Shan is my preferred version of Hong Kong's popular Sunset Peak Hike. Not only do you get to watch the sun go down over Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak, but you can enjoy the spectacle completely on your own. We've done this hike multiple times and have always had the peak to ourselves. This is one of the less well known hikes in Hong Kong but is unquestionably one of the most stunning. Put it on the list.
Hike Location: Lantau Island, Tung Chung
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Hike Length: 4 hours
High Distance: 8km
Hike Incline: 766m
TIP: Bring a torch for the dark descent.
To reach the start of the trail, first make your way to Tung Chung MTR station on Lantau Island. From here, get in a blue taxi and ask the driver to take you to Pak Kung Au bus stop, along Tung Chung Road. All drivers will know where this is. At Pak Kung Au you have trailheads either side of the road. If facing South-East with Tung Chung MTR behind you, the trail to Lin Fa Shan will be just over the hill and on your left, marked by the "Sunset Peak" sign (photo 3).
To reach Lin Fa Shan you need to follow the Sunset Peak trail, right up until it turns off for the final ascent. At this point, you need to carry on straight, pass the old missionary houses and head towards the next obvious large peak, which is Lin Fa Shan (more details below).
The Sunset Peak trail takes you up the mountain that is directly opposite Lantau Peak and is equally as steep and exposed, if not more. The first hour is the toughest as the trail winds up the mountain for a good few hundred meters.
Stick to the marked trail until you notice the multiple paths to your left heading up towards some large rocks. At this point you would normally follow one of these paths for a short scramble to reach Sunset Peak. By all means do this if you have the time! Photos 8,9 and 10 are from Sunset Peak on another occasion.
HOWEVER, to reach Lin Fa Shan you need to continue along the main trail until you reach the old missionary houses.
Following the main trail past the houses, you'll eventually reach a map and sign post (photo 15). Continue straight and Lin Fa Shan will draw closer. You really can't get lost here.
Take note of the next intersection before heading to the top of Lin Fa Shan (photo 17). This is where you'll turn off (towards Nam Shan) once the sun has set and you begin the dark descent.
These are the views you can expect to see from Lin Fa Shan if the sky is clear.
Once ready to descend, head back down to the intersection you previously passed and take the trail towards Nam Shan, which is a neighbourhood on route to Mui Wo. This is where your torch will come in handy. The trail is straight forward, even in the dark. Just follow the never-ending steps down until you get to the next intersection (should take roughly 1 hour).
It usually smells like wild boar at this intersection (photos 27+28) so I tend to move quickly through here. Continue straight. Follow the steps up and you'll come out onto a moonlit Helipad! The trail resumes for another 5-10 minutes on the opposite side of the helipad until you finally reach a road.
The small side road leads to South Lantau Road, from which you can try and flag down a taxi or wait for a double decker bus at one of the bus stops. If you've got the energy, Mui Wo is just over a mile away along South Lantau Road and makes for an easy walk.
From Mui Wo Ferry Pier you can then catch a ferry back to Central. Enjoy and try not to get lost.
See the route I took on the MAP below and download the KML file to see the route in Google Earth 3D. The KML file is compatible with both desktop and mobile but will only run if you have the Google Earth app downloaded on your device.
Below is a screenshot from the Google Earth KML file.