Lantau Trail (Section 3) Pak Kung Au to Ngong Ping
Before Hong Kong became a city and port, Lantau Peak had always been referred to as ‘Lan Tau’, which is the romanisation of the words ‘broken head’ in Chinese, by local villagers because the outline of its summit looks broken apart. In the 19th century when British people came to Hong Kong, the whole island was called the same name; this is how Lantau Island got its name. The third section of the Lantau Trail, which was also named after Lantau Peak, begins uphill from Pak Kung Au to Lantau Peak. ‘Pak Kung’, which is also known as God of the Soil and the Ground, is a tutelary deity worshiped by Chinese communities for protection. From an altitude of some three hundred metres to 934 metres, the path is mostly paved with stone steps. Like the previous section, this section is not as strenuous a climb as one would imagine, as long as hikers pace themselves and settle into their own rhythm. Towering into the sky, Lantau Peak is often cloaked in a shroud of mist – you would think you were stepping into a fairyland. The footpath is also embellished with the pink-petalled Westland’s Rhododendron that are exceptionally easy on the eye. On any sunny day in early summer, you will be afforded views of the azure sky and verdant woodlands in high resolution. At the top of Lantau Island, there is a steep rock staircase dubbed ‘Staircase to the Sky’ leading you down to Ngong Ping Village, a good place to explore and have a break. For each step you take on the staircase, you can feel the arduous work involved in building the rock steps.