Last updated on December 7th, 2020 at 10:12 am
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Lo Fu Tau is the mountain that lies behind Discovery Bay on Lantau Island, so named for its similarity to the head of a tiger. The Lo Fu Tau Country Trail boosts the amazing view of Lantau Island, seas of silver grass, and unique rock formation, but it’s not for those without proper footwear!
Although the trail itself only takes 3 hours or so to complete, one should budget this as a day trip as getting in and out of Discovery Bay and Mui Wo is a time consuming task.
Summary Lo Fu Tau Country Trail
Time take: 3-4 hours but since the hike is on Lantau Island, think of this as a day trip
Difficulty: 3.5/5 due to the slippery and steep trails
Pros: a beautiful trail on Lantau Island with ferry access in and out
Cons: a long walk to the start and very slippery trail, getting in and out takes a long time
Getting to Lo Fu Tau trail start
While most hikes in Lantau are on the eastern side like Lantau Peak, Pak Lung Stream, and cover places that are not on my Lantau day trip post. The best direction to do the trail is from Discovery Bay to Mui Wo, with a steep ascent but a gentle descent. It is always easier to go up a slippery trail than it is to go down!
Make your way to the Discovery Bay main square, either by ferry or the bus from Sunny Bay MTR station, which is right outside exit A.
This is the last refreshment and bathroom break!
From the square, make your way to the fire station across this bridge, but don’t go left towards it but right once you cross the road.
Follow the pavement until you see a flight of stairs to the right, it’s kind of a short cut.
From there, keep going up stairs to the right of the road you reach and it’ll take you to a dirt trail to the left. It has a sign that says be careful of the uneven path.
Follow the trail which becomes a combination of stairs and dirt trail.
It’s much longer than I expected – but once you see a stream and waterfall across the valley to the left, you’re nearly to the proper trail start.
Once you emerge to the tarmac road, go right but keep an eye out for the obscure trail start to the left.
The opening isn’t really marked, but the vegetation kind of funnelled towards it. This is the official start of the Lo Fu Tau Country Trail!
Lo Fu Tau Country Trail
The trail first takes you through dense vegetation, then it quickly leads you to a steep trail up.
The path is mostly mud and loose sand and gravel, so not ideal after rain. I would suggest sticking to the left since we got stuck once on the right and had to almost crawl our way back over.
The last steep stretch is right under the shadow of the Lau Fo Tau, and although steep, has a series of weirdly steepy parts that aid your ascent.
Once you got to the top of that part, you will be under the shade partially and the trail becomes more rocky and surrounded by vegetation, some of which are silver grass!
Lo Fu Tau (414 m)
Follow the trail until you emerge to the top, and if you go to the left it’ll bring you to the top of Lo Fu Tau! Although to see the shape of the Lau Fu Tau, you’d need to walk higher up or fly a drone!
Once you got enough photos, carry on up as the head of the Lo Fu Tau isn’t the top of the mountain (ironically).
The trail on this part is easier to go up than the initial barren stretches, and at the top you get a great panoramic point.
The view to the one side shows Hong Kong Island, Cheung Chau, and Kowloon, and on the other side is the airport.
Lo Fu Tau to Pun To Shek
The trail then goes down gently and this stretch is nice to walk on but relatively long.
First, we pass through a flattish trail surrounded by silver grass, and the trail meanders down the hill slowly and gently. Most of the time, we were walking on the trail but there are some stairs thrown into the mix.
Towards the end of this stretch are a cluster of rocks known as Pun To Shek.
These refer to the peaches on the platter of Jade Emperor’s wife in the Taoist religion, since the rocks have a wide base and a pointy top. The particularly big cluster has several rocks that you can climb on, though you’d have to be careful.
Once you get past the rocks, the trail continues down and dips in and out of the forest and the evening light is particularly beautiful from the leaves.
It’s a long walk, so don’t be alarmed if it feels like you’ve been walking for a while! Once you past the golf course, you’re nearly at the end of this part.
Once you’ve reached a junction, follow the sign to Mui Wo and turn left.
The trail transitioned into a concrete trail that is called the Olympics Trail with green fences. There are still quite a few flights of stairs to battle down and you can see Mui Wo clearly from above.
Once you get to the village, just follow the main path and don’t deviate.
The Silvermine is easy to miss if you don’t pay attention. It’s by the side of a slope marked by a green pavilion, next to which is a small cave.
The cave was built in the early 20th century to mine silver, but the concentration is so low that it was pretty much aborted immediately. All that’s left is the shallow cave where you can see to the end from the entrance.
While it’s not that interesting, it’s right on the trail and its historical significance is worth a read.
A little further down to the left is the Silvermine Waterfalls, a lovely little scattered, wide fall that’s lovely to see (but generally quite crowded). More importantly, there’s a public bathroom next to it!
Once you’ve visited the mine and the waterfall, carry on the path and you’ll reach the outskirts of Mui Wo village. However, it’s still a bit of a walk to town.
Simply follow the main street until you reach the beach, near the Silvermine Hotel, and turn right along the coast, and you’ll be at the pier.
I was really hungry so I decided to eat at the Turkish Place there – which was really good!
Getting out from Mui Wo
Ferry to Central
You can search for the ferry schedule here.
Bus to Tung Chung
The bus stop is also directly in front of the pier, where you can catch a bus to Tung Chung.