REPORTING & PHOTOS BY Martin Lerigo
Any hike into the Chi Ma Wan Peninsula takes you on trails that are known to only the more adventurous of Lantau’s hikers. This one will be challenging thanks to some seriously steep ascents; you’ll get some amazing views of the South Lantau coastline and you’ll be deep in the ‘jungle’ for much of the time. Far-flung Chi Ma Wan Reservoir (also known as Shap Long Reservoir) is a highlight, and it’s interesting to see the two prisons on its shores, both now defunct.
The first stretch of the hike from Pui O to Mong Tung Wan takes you through a couple of villages to the tiny hamlet of Ham Tin. Soon enough, the road bends sharply to the left, followed 100 metres later by a sharp right, before emerging to an amazing reveal of the estuary and beach.
Take the coastline path marked for Mong Tung Wan, and enjoy the wonderful views afforded from its vantage point 100 metres above the sea. You can see both Lantau and Sunset peaks; the Soko Islands in the foreground give way to Wei Ling Ding Island in the mists beyond.
Continuing on, the path hugs the coast for around 1 kilometre and is an accessway for several gravesites and small columbaria, where many ornamental trees have been planted. Finding yourself in Mong Tung Wan, the small stretch of beach fronts three large apartment blocks, now lying empty. Continue along the path as it ascends steeply up 100 metres of hillside. Once at the top, take a right and continue along the coast. As the path turns west, there is an option to descend to the right to Tai Long Wan and the near-deserted Sea Ranch development at Yi Long Wan. But keep straight on, enjoying views across the sea to Cheung Chau, with its pretty harbour, teaming with fishing boats. In the distance, you glimpse Lamma Island and Central.
Here, the thick jungle foliage is interspersed with outcrops of natural bamboo and the occasional grove of planted pine. Continue for another 3 kilometres or so, before arriving at a four-way junction marked with a yellow concrete lotus leaf. Follow the path leading to Chi Ma Wan Country Park Management Centre.