The spectacular ending views along our Ngai Tau route feature the southern coast of Hong Kong Island.

Nagi Tai Hike On Lamma Island – Challenging Route Rewarding Views

Introduction

Embark on an adventure to one of the least explored parts of Lamma Island, Ngai Tau. This gem hidden in plain sight, located on the farthest eastern side of Lamma Island, offers a unique blend of serene landscapes, lush greenery, and breathtaking views that promise an unforgettable hiking experience. However, you’ll have to put in quite a bit of labor to enjoy the fruits of this route as the terrain is challenging and the trail is difficult to follow.

Whether you’re an avid hiker seeking new adventures or a nature lover looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, a hike to Ngai Tau presents an exquisite opportunity to connect with nature and view Lamma Island from a perspective few can enjoy.

If you care to engage in a bit of food tourism once you’ve worked up an appetite from the spectacular hike to Ngai Tau, below we’ve got a hole-in-the-wall restaurant suggestion for you that has stood the test of time. It will satisfy just about anyone’s tastebuds, and we know it’ll leave your wallet feeling quite happy too!

Join us as we explore the untouched beauty of Lamma Island, uncovering the secrets and wonders of the Ngai Tau trail. As always, if you have comments or questions, feel free to leave them below!

Trail Information – Fast Facts

Before committing to the challenging route that will take you to and from Ngai Tau, here are some of the basic details you should consider:

  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult
  • Distance: 6.45 km (4 mi)
  • Elevation Gain: 560 m (1,838 ft)
  • Duration: 3 to 4 hours, depending on pace and breaks

Trail Description and Points of Interest

This trail is moderate-difficult. And, while we’ve hiked on more challenging routes, such as the Ng Tung Chai waterfall hike, hiking to Ngai Tau is unsuitable for beginner hikers. We give it the moderate-difficult rating because the later part of the trail takes you through some dense, overgrown jungle, and in parts is quite steep both up and down. The trail also becomes quite hard to follow. To this end, we highly recommend you download our route map and follow our route in the GuruMaps app (more about downloading our route and GuruMaps below). We do not recommend this for beginner hikers.

Some notable spots along our Ngai Tau route are:

  • Mount Stenhouse Views: You’ll get these later on in the route, just before you exit the dense jungle.
  • Shek Pai Wan Beach Views: You’ll also get these just as you’re about to get out of the dense jungle part.
  • East Lamma Channel Views: These happen almost right from the start, and then they come back once you pop out of the jungle.
  • Ling Kok Shan Views: While you’re in the jungle, if you look back occasionally, you’ll see Ling Kok Shan. You’ll also see this when you return back home.

The trail starts easy to follow, as you’ll be on a paved sidewalk.

Terrain doesn’t get easier than this.

There are also some pretty good views right from the get-go.

You’ll see this view about 10 minutes into this Ngai Tau hike.

After a while, you’ll arrive at the upper part of Mo Tat village. Bear to the left and up the hill.

This is the upper part of Mo Tat Village. Bear up and to the left.

You’ll continue on the paved path for a while until you see a right-hand turn-up and into the jungle. Head into the jungle!

Once you turn off into the jungle and you’re on the dirt trail, you’ll need to pay close attention and follow a series of ribbons, which were blue and white at the time of writing. (In Hong Kong, the ribbons that mark these informal hiking trails wear down over time and are sometimes replaced by different color ribbons.) If you download our route map below, you’ll know which way to go ribbons or not!

The blue and white ribbons mark the trail to Ngai Tau.

Once you’re on the dirt trail, it’ll be pretty mellow at first. You’ll walk behind a fence line for a while. This parallels someone’s home, so don’t let their dogs startle you.

If you look back every once in a while, you’ll get a view of Ling Kok Shan.

Ling Kok Shan looks pretty mighty from this vantage point.

You’ll soon reach this survey marker, though there isn’t any view at this point.

A non-scenic survey marker.

After the survey marker, the trail gets quite overgrown. Again, it’ll help if you’re wearing hiking pants for hiking to Ngai Tau.

Quite quickly, the trail gets very overgrown.

We couldn’t resist taking a selfie, despite the very overgrown trail conditions. Since there was so much underbrush, we decided to put the kids into their hiking carriers.

Even neck deep in underbrush, we’re happy when we’re hiking!

At this point, you’ll start getting views of the East Lamma Channel.

View of the East Lamma Channel

But the terrain will also get markedly more challenging. Take your time, go slowly, and carry your kids if there are parts you think are beyond their ability level.

And since nothing worth having comes easily, after you get through this tougher section, you’ll be rewarded with the best view in the route yet – both Ling Kok Shan and Mount Stenhouse – a rare perspective on Lamma Island. But don’t stop here. There are also incredible views farther down our route.

The nearest peak is Ling Kok Shan and the farthest is Mount Stenhouse.

While you’re in the dense jungle, there aren’t any ideal resting places, but the boys were able to eke out a few places to sit down for a minute or two.

After a while, the trail will turn sharply to the right and downhill, and then you’ll reach this section with several handwritten signs. At this point, continue to the left. Again, we highly recommend you download our route map and GuruMaps to reduce the chance you’ll get lost on this difficult-to-follow trail.

Head down and to the left. Also, download and follow our route map.

Once you make it out of the dense jungle, the views burst wide open, and you’ll yet again be rewarded for your efforts.

The views here are incredible! Especially if you like Ocean Park.

At this point, the terrain also gets quite easy.

Both boys were happy to come out of their carriers.

And everywhere you look, there will be beautiful views!

Check out the view of Ap Lei Chau
You’ll get to see the Southern side of Hong Kong Island in a very unique way.

Suffice it to say, we were very happy to have reached this point.

A happy mama!

The perspective you get from Ngai Tau in that it’s on the easternmost part of Lamma Island is like no other.

Everything seems very wide open.

We goofed around a bit, took a nice long break, and then started to retrace our steps back through the dense jungle. We weren’t thrilled about having to pick our way through the jungle again, but we were also very grateful to have experienced the amazing views of Ngai Tau.

Happy hikers!

Once we finally made our way back to the paved trail, we headed down to Mo Tat (as we wanted to hop on the ferry to Aberdeen) and not back to Sok Kwa Wan.

At this point, you can choose to head to either spot. However, if you do choose Mo Tat and then Aberdeen, there will be a tasty treat in store for you.

Bear right here to get to the Mo Tat Beach and Ferry Pier.

Mo Tat Beach is by no means pristine.

The first glimpse of Mo Tat Beach.

But it’s scenic in its own right.

You can take off your shoes and dip your tired toes in the water.
Our two boys love Mo Tat Beach.

Eventually, we walked over to the Mo Tat to Aberdeen Ferry.

Follow this sidewalk to the Mo Tat Wan Ferry Pier

And after a short ferry ride, we feasted on some classic Hong Kong soups at Chiu Yuen Chiu Chow Noodles (G/F, 12 Wu Pak Street, Aberdeen) (Address in Cantonese: 香港仔湖北街12號地舖).

At the time of writing, it had been serving classic Hong Kong soul foods for 23 years, so you know they’re doing something right! And in our humble opinion, all the food was delicious and VERY affordable!

We’re happy to be enjoying food at Chiu Yuen Chiu Chow Noodles after our Ngai Tau hike!

We tried the beef brisket noodle soup, the fish ball noodle soup, and some fried fish skins, and across the board, they were all excellent!

Recommended Gear

You won’t need any specialized gear to hike Ngai Tau on Lamma Island. If you follow our day hike packing list you’ll have more or less everything you need. In addition to those, the following items will be particularly useful for Ngai Tau.

Hiking Pants

You’ll be thankful for these on the overgrown sections.

Insect Repellant

The dense jungle parts, particularly in the warmer months, will be swarming with bugs. Make sure to bring some bug repellant.

Child Carrier

If you plan to hike Ngai Tau with kids who won’t be able to complete the entire route, make sure to bring a child carrier. We love our Kinderpacks, and we think you will too.

Sturdy Footwear

Make sure you choose your kids’ hiking shoes wisely, and make sure you have some sturdy ones for yourself too. You’ll want something sturdy on your feet when you tackle Ngai Tau.

Wool Socks

As crazy as it sounds, even when hiking in Hong Kong, we wear wool socks. They are quick drying and wicking, and they naturally prevent blisters.

Camera

While a camera is not essential gear for hiking Ngai Tau, it sure doesn’t hurt to have one to capture the many scenic places you’ll experience.

Family Hiking Safety Tips

Embarking on a family hiking adventure can be incredibly rewarding, yet prioritizing safety is essential. Should you choose to explore the trails with your young ones, consider the following advice to maintain safety and enjoyment for all:

  • Stick Together: Always keep kids visible and stick to well-defined trails to prevent any accidents.
  • Stay Hydrated: Make sure the entire family stays well-hydrated, particularly during warmer weather.
  • Acknowledge Everyone’s Physical Capacity: Pay attention to the fitness levels of all family members and schedule rests as needed.

Trailhead and Route

Ngai Tau Route Map

Our route starts at the Sok Kwu Wan Ferry Pier on Lamma Island (GPS coordinates: +22.206303, +114.131192) and ends at the Mo Tat Ferry Pier on Lamma Island (GPS coordinate: +22.209291, +114.145510).

To get to Sok Kwu Wan, we recommend taking the ferry from Central Ferry Pier #4. Check the Central to Sok Kwu Wan ferry schedule for the most up-to-date information. At the end of our route, we recommend you take the ferry from Mo Tat to Aberdeen. Check the Mo Tat to Aberdeen ferry schedule for the most up-to-date information.

A note about our Ngai Tau route: If you prefer, you could start and end from Sok Kwu Wan ferry pier, or you could start and end from Mo Tat ferry pier. We liked the variety of taking two different ferries and starting in Central and ending in Aberdeen, but the choice is yours.

Also, as we’ve mentioned above a few times, the latter part of our route is quite difficult to follow so we suggest you download our Ngai Tau route map. And, if you’ve been reading our guides for some time, you will know we can’t speak highly enough about GuruMaps for offline navigation. Since the service along Ngai Tau was spotty, you’ll want an app that works offline.

To this end, if you care to follow our Ngai Tau route map when you’re out exploring Lamma Island on your own, you can do so in three easy steps:
1. Download GuruMaps
2. Download our Ngai Tau route. You can do that by clicking one of the three file format options in the top right-hand corner of the map below – GPX, KML, or GeoJSON
3. Once downloaded, open the route map file using the GuruMaps app.

There you go! Easy as 1-2-3! And now, you won’t get lost on this worthwhile route.

If you are more familiar with Google Maps, we’ve got you covered, but don’t rely on this given the spotty service on Ngai Tau.

Ngai Tau Elevation Profile

Ngai Tau Elevation Profile

Nearby Hikes

If you still have some energy after Ngai Tau, or if you’re looking for your next Lamma Island adventure, consider some of these.

  • Mount Stenhouse: Challenging but scenic, Mount Stenhouse will give you arguably some of the best views on Lamma Island.
  • Ling Kok Shan: In close second to Mount Stenhouse, and quite a bit easier, Ling Kok Shan is a great choice if you’re looking for stunning Lamma Island scenery and not a massive workout.

Conclusion

Embarking on the Ngai Tau hike on Lamma Island offers an adventure through untouched landscapes, rewarding those willing to navigate its challenges with unparalleled views and a serene escape from city life. This journey, while demanding, is a testament to the beauty that lies off the beaten path, inviting both the seasoned hiker and the nature enthusiast to explore its wonders.

With the promise of scenic vistas, hidden gems, and a taste of local cuisine awaiting at the trail’s end, the Ngai Tau route stands as a memorable expedition for all who undertake it.

FAQs

  1. Is Pineapple Mountain suitable for beginner hikers?
    No. The route we share above is quite challenging and hard to follow. Consider Ling Kok Shan for an intermediate option or some pram friendly hikes in Hong Kong for some very manageable routes.
  2. Can I bring my dog to Ngai Tau?
    Pets are allowed on the trail. However, make sure they are on a leash, bring water and snacks for them, and make sure to clean up any “messes” they may make.
  3. What is the best time to hike Ngai Tau?
    Is there a bad time to go hiking? But seriously, cooler weather is always nice for hiking in Hong Kong. Although even if you attempt this in the summer since there is a lot of shade cover, you’ll likely be fine.

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