Lantau Peak and I

14 Oct

As part of my training for the MoonTrekker event, I have been spending a lot of time on Lantau Peak lately. This race involves a lot of uphill training. Being 934 meters above sea level, the mountain serves as a great training ground. I have been going up and down Lantau Peak as much as my busy schedule would allow me. During my frequent hikes up there (which always occur either very early in the morning or fairly late in the evening), I am bombarded with mixed emotions about it.

With the night race happening in less than a week, (the countdown has begun), I have decided to take a few minutes to regroup and analyze my thoughts.

Lantau Peak: I seem to have a hate-love relationship with you as you make my life so difficult at times by pushing me on the verge of exhaustion, while still constantly bringing the best out of me.

1-

You make me get up way too early when we have our Saturday morning encounters. It is even worst when sleepy Chinese boyfriend looks so comfortable underneath the blankets.

On the other hand, I get to witness this colorful sky shooting through the morning mist, while sitting on the Star ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central Pier 6.

And I get to enjoy the calmness and serenity of the night when hitting the trails after dark.

2-

You make my legs hurt. Really hurt. For a few days…

On the bright side, I am getting great muscular legs that are definitely making the boyfriend happy. A good little ego booster I might add! You are also a great excuse for a foot massage afterwards. Hello Chiba House!

3-

You are steep and challenging. You sometimes scare me when I look at you from afar especially after already having quite a few kilometers of hiking under my belt. I now know what to expect and I am fully aware that reaching the top is not going to be a brisk walk.

On the other hand, I am lucky enough to enjoy such breathtaking sceneries throughout the entire journey. Amazing panoramas I had no idea existed in a crowded and congested city like Hong Kong.

4-

Even though the more I hike, the easier it gets, you sometimes get so intense that I just want to give up and head back down. On certain occasions, you even make me doubt about my decision of enrolling in this 40km night race…

But in the end…

I get to enjoy all of this with three other great girls: the fried chicken dreamer/mantra repeater, the fit mother of one/insatiable skittles eater, and the proud wearer of the famous white visor/spider hater.

Most of all, I forget about my stress and my unhappy moments every time I hike up your steep rocky path. I am often left with this feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment as I head back home afterwards.

These last months of training have sometimes been quite intense. I had to make some sacrifices here and there to fit in the training sessions into my busy schedule. But in the end, let’s face it. My regular hikes up Lantau Peak have made me want to push myself a little bit further and definitely encouraged me to get involved in similar adventure events, which occur regularly throughout the year in Hong Kong. I secretly hope Team Moonshine will join me in my new aspirations!

This is my humble take on Lantau Peak. Is the hike up the peak worth a try? Definitely! Whether it is as a training session or as a weekend excursion, the journey offers incredible sceneries and needless to say that you will get a great workout out of it. It might be difficult to get a view from the top of Lantau Peak, as it often gets cloudy and hazy, but the way up and the stroll down will still be rewarding. Just be aware that this is not a walk in the park. Be prepared.

Where is it?

There are two ways to reach Lantau Peak. I have tried both hikes and each way has its ups and downs (no pun intended)!

Option 1: This path, also known as Stage 3 of the Lantau trail, will take you from Pak Kung Au to Ngong Ping via Lantau Peak. From Pak Kung Au, head straight up. Once you reach the peak, you go down the stone steps that will take you all the way to Ngong Ping and the Big Buddha, where there is food and places to rest. From there, you can catch a bus back to the Tung Chung MTR station. Or you can splurge and treat yourself to a one-way ticket, going down in the cable car. After such a hike, it is well deserved I reckon.

Option 2: This section goes from Pak Kung Au to Ngong Ping via Tei Tong Tsai (CP3 to CP4 as seen on the map of the MoonTrekker race course). This section (partly in the woods, partly on a concrete path) passes by the Po Lam Zen Monastery. Once you reach the Wisdom path in Ngong Ping (Ngong Ping campsite), keep going until you reach the base of Lantau Peak. From the base, it’s straight up.

Reaching Lantau Peak from there is shorter (a final push of 500m), but also much steeper. Once you reach the top, head back down in the direction of Pak Kung Au.

Anything else?

The actual race will be in a few days. Our objective is to make it to the top of Lantau Peak before sunrise. This means reaching the summit before 6:20am. Will we beat the sun? I really hope so. Hopefully all this training up Lantau Peak has paid off. Will keep you guys posted.

 

 

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9 Responses to “Lantau Peak and I”

  1. bluebalu October 15, 2012 at 4:41 PM #

    Good luck with the race – I will be supporting it. I did do the test hikes twice and that was enough for me, I rather stay up the night and cheer for you and the other hikers! See you at Checkpoint 3 on Friday. Hope all goes well! Ruth

    • Kina October 15, 2012 at 9:52 PM #

      Thank you!!! See you there!

  2. Mind Margins/Run Nature October 15, 2012 at 10:37 PM #

    A trail run at night, in the mountains above Hong Kong = Wow! Sounds wonderfully different. Have a fantastic race and I look forward to reading all about it.

    • Kina October 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM #

      Thank you!
      Yes, it is kind of a different race. I have been intrigued by it since I moved to Hong Kong. So very excited to be part of it this year!

  3. Patricia A Bowmer December 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM #

    Hi, thanks for visiting me at Patricia A Bowmer. Your tale of Lantau Peak brings back such memories – I hiked there during my time in Hong Kong, and will never forget it. Hope the 40km race went well – I am signed up for my first 43km race in Australia in March, and I know the training is hard!

    • Kina December 24, 2012 at 2:31 AM #

      Hi Patricia! I didn’t know you had spent some time in Hong Kong! Great place for hiking right?
      Good luck with the 43km race in March! I am also trying to figure out which events I will be signing up for in 2013.

      • Patricia A Bowmer January 14, 2013 at 6:16 PM #

        Thanks Kina – check out my latest blog on the 28km race I did on the weekend. Pretty cool spot to run too! Hope your plans for 2013 are coming together!

  4. Jacq January 2, 2014 at 10:58 PM #

    H, I know this post is really long ago. I’m visiting HK and will love to see the sunrise on Lantau peak but i’m having trouble researching on how I can get there late at night. I understand that the last MTR from central to Tung Cheng departs at 0050, I’m just wondering if there are any transportation from there to the start of lantau trail. Will be very appreciative if you could advice.

    • Kina January 6, 2014 at 9:13 PM #

      Hi Jacq! I apologize for the delay in responding but I was travelling over the holidays, with limited access to the Internet. So only today did I see your comment on my blog.

      I really hope you got the chance to enjoy the sunrise from up there! Beautiful right? My suggestion would have been to take a cab from Tung Chung anyway. In the middle of the night, not sure if they have buses running…

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