The difference between the Booth and Spurrier versions is that Booth started his walk from Tung Chung via Ma Wan Chung. Spurrier starts his walk by catching the bus from Tung Chung. Mind you, in 1953 Tung Chung was but a small peaceful fishing village surrounded by green mountains and blue sea, these days its a new town monstrosity with about as much appeal as carbuncle so you can understand why the Spurrier version is in such a rush to leave it behind. I concur, so when we did the walk we also hopped on the #34 minibus and rode it all the way up to Shek Mun Kap. It's not a hard stop to miss because it also happens to be the route terminus.
Shek Mun Kap is a small village about a third of the way up the slopes of what becomes Lantau Peak, so the bus journey means that this walk can easily be done in just a couple of hours. One word of warning for arachnophobes though - you see some pretty large orb spiders on this trail and they often hang around at face level. You have been warned!
Ngong Ping 360 just visible at the back
Spurrier recommends popping into the village shop for drink supplies and mentions the old fellow inside trying to sell you beer depending on your age. Sure enough, as soon as I show an interest in the bottled water in the drinks fridge, the old fellow is over asking me if I want beer as well! It was tempting, but probably better for after a walk rather than right at the beginning. So anyway, we set off up the hill and it wasn’t long before you come across the first point of interest is the Lo Hon Monastery. The Hiker's guide says take the path marked by a blue character ‘faat’ (佛)which means 'Buddha'. Unfortunately it must be a while since the book was written because the character has faded and is hard to see. Thankfully the path is fairly obvious and it follows a wall around to the right hand side.
Chek Lap Kok and the airport in the distance
From here on it is just wilderness interspersed with some impressive views over Tung Chung bay to the airport. The trail leads uphill all the way so don’t think that it is easy. Along the way it comes close to a stream which has various collection points where you can cool down your feet, but it is hot and sweaty work.
Tung Chung - these days best seen from a distance...
The next grouping of buildings is around Tei Tong Tsai which has several old monasteries and private buildings around which the jungle has provided some natural camouflage. One of the best places to stop is in front of a Buddhist compound with a nice tree in front of the pai-lau. The place is called “Sup Fong Do Yik” which roughly translates as “Ten Square Ways”. I am not a Buddhist so have no idea of the significance of the name but it is an active temple and whilst we were there we could hear the afternoon prayers going on in the main temple building. Unfortunately there is a no photo sign up, so I had to settle for just a picture of the gate and the view. When you start off on the walk again you walk through the well-tended gardens of the compound and get a feel for how big the place is. Strange to think it is hidden away half way up Lantau Peak. Very peaceful.
Various monastery entrances a scattered along the trail
For the purposes of getting back down and away home you have the usual choices available to you including retracing your steps. But if you are feeling a bit lazy after all that uphill walking (I should let you know that when I did this walk back in 2008 my two children were 3 and 6 and had no problems with it) then you can either catch the bus back down to Mui Wo or Tung Chung, or you can hop on the cable car.