Along Sesame Bay

The Chi Ma Wan (芝麻灣, literally “Sesame Bay”) Country Trail is a circular route on the southeast end of Lantau, and at some 18 kilometers, it is also the longest of the country trails on the island. On a warm spring afternoon back in April I had the chance to hike a good portion of this trail, which also happens to be an officially sanctioned mountain bike path. There are some excellent views of the surrounding areas, and there were hardly any hikers or riders on the trail. As it is a fairly isolated trail, there are no refreshment stands along the way, so you need to be sure to bring enough water along especially on a hot day.

The route tracked by MapMyHike.

The route tracked by MapMyHike.

Although the official country trail starts and ends close to the small village of Pui O, our hike starts at Mui Wo village and follows the coastline along Chi Ma Wan bay for about 5km before reaching the trailhead. On the way there we pass through Shap Long San Tsuen, a small village on the bay. The start of the country trail is an immediate ascent to the first of two peaks on the peninsula, first up Miu Tsai Tun mountain to reach the peak at 302m. The climb up is mostly unshaded, but you are rewarded with a great view of Chi Ma Wan Bay to the north and east, and Pui O Bay and beach to the west.

The trail then descends into a small, densely forested valley before climbing again to the highest point on the peninsula, Lo Yan Shan (“Old Man Mountain”) at 303m. From that point onwards, the trail is relatively easy and shaded as you join the mountain bike path. I followed the path towards the southern part of the peninsula, covering roughly half of the official country trail, before tracing the coastline back north towards Pui O beach and enjoying a beautiful sunset there.

From Pui O village, simply hop on a bus back to Mui Wo (or go the opposite direction to Tung Chung, if you prefer) for a well-deserved rest and a good dinner. This is a long hike – some 17km over 8 hours!

Click on the photos for a larger view.

Isolated beach along the shores of Chi Ma Wan bay.

Isolated beach along the shores of Chi Ma Wan bay.

Another beach on the way.

Another beach on the way.

Locals at Shap Long San Tsuen village.

Locals at Shap Long San Tsuen village.

Feral cattle grazing at the village.

Feral cattle grazing at the village.

The official start and end of the Chi Man Wan country trail loop.

The official start and end of the Chi Ma Wan country trail loop.

And so begins the climb.

And so begins the climb to the first peak.

Half way up the first mountain, looking back at Chi Ma Wan bay.

Half way up the first mountain, looking back at Chi Ma Wan bay.

Low clouds and a view of Tai Tung Shan and Yi Tung Shan peaks in the distance.

Low clouds and Tai Tung Shan and Yi Tung Shan peaks in the distance.

At  Miu Tsai Tun peak. Very sunny and hot.

At Miu Tsai Tun peak. Very sunny and hot.

Looking down at a nice view of Pui O village and beach.

Looking down at a nice view of Pui O village and beach.

Down the valley and up to the second peak.

Down the valley and up to the second peak.

Lo Yan Shan, the highest point on Chi Ma Wan peninsula.

Lo Yan Shan, the highest point on Chi Ma Wan peninsula.

Maintenance and fire outlook building at the peak.

Maintenance and fire outlook building at the peak.

A giant split boulder along the mountain bike trail.

A giant split boulder along the mountain bike trail.

Looking south you can see Shek Kau Chau island and the Macau ferry traffic.

Looking south you can see Shek Kau Chau island and the Macau ferry traffic.

Following the Pui O Wan shoreline.

Following the Pui O Wan shoreline.

Finally reaching Pui O beach.

Finally reaching Pui O beach…

... Just in time for the sunset.

… Just in time for the sunset.

A beautiful end to the day.

A beautiful end to the day.

Low tide near Pui O village.

Low tide near Pui O village.

Along the waterway towards Pui O.

Along the waterway towards Pui O.

Finally reaching Pui O as it gets dark.

Finally reaching Pui O village as it gets dark.

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