Up Sunset Peak

The year’s first hike is one I’ve wanted to do for a long time but for various reasons never got around to. At 869m Sunset Peak (大東山) is Lantau Island’s second highest mountain, and the third tallest in Hong Kong.

The famous sunset view would unfortunately have to wait for another time, as the overcast skies and heavy mist threatened rain at a moment’s notice. Being the first weekend of the new year, the trails were busier than usual, despite the less than ideal weather.

Our route mostly follows Section 2 of the Lantau Trail, starting at Nam Shan picnic area near Mui Wo town. The first few kilometres are a non-stop ascent up the trail, eventually reaching the base of Yi Tung Shan (二東山) mountain. Here we took a detour through the grass to the top, before heading further west to adjacent Sunset Peak.

Sunset Peak

At the trailhead, which is also the start of Lantau Trail Section 2.

Sunset Peak

Seemingly endless steps for the first 2 km.

Sunset Peak

Eventually the trees clear as we climb above 300m.

Sunset Peak

Though the view is not great. You can just make out Mui Wo town in the back.

Sunset Peak

Leaving the Lantau Trail to head up Yi Tung Shan mountain.

Sunset Peak

Even here, political graffiti.

In the valley between the two mountains is a curious cluster of old cement block bungalows, some 20 buildings spread across the trail. These cabins, with no electricity or running water, were built by the British in the 1930s as holiday homes and missionary retreats. Now largely abandoned (though some can still be rented), they are popular spots for unofficial campsites.

Sunset Peak

Reaching Yi Tung Shan peak and the first of the former “holiday homes” built there. It is inadvisable to stand on the roofs, by the way…

Sunset Peak

One of the more remote cabins unoccupied by campers.

Sunset Peak

Sunset Peak mountain and some the 30-odd buildings in the valley. Here we rejoin the Lantau Trail.

Sunset Peak

Looking back at Yi Tung Shan mountain.

Sunset Peak

Very busy day on the main trail.

Sunset Peak

Heading to Sunset Peak, we take a less-defined trail through some tall grass.

Sunset Peak

Yi Tung Shan and the Lantau Trail.

As we reach the top Sunset Peak, there was no sunset to speak of, but we were treated to a great view of Lantau Peak surrounded by low clouds. After a well-deserved snack and cup of tea (I brought my camp stove) we rejoined the main trail for the long hike down. By the time we reached our destination at Pak Kung Au it was pitch black and raining.

Sunset Peak

The unmistakable double-hump of Lantau Peak visible above the mist.

Sunset Peak

At the top of Sunset Peak, the third tallest mountain in Hong Kong.

Sunset Peak

Lantau Peak looms impressively over an adjacent hill.

Sunset Peak

All downhill from this point, and getting dark very fast. No sunset to speak of, but still a good hike.

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Route and Location Map

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