When hiking from Discovery Bay to Mui Wo, there are two trails to choose between – the more difficult but scenic trail via Lo Fu Tau (Tiger Head), or the easier and relaxed one via the Trappist Haven Monastery.
In this post we’ll focus on the Discovery Bay to Mui Wo hike via the Trappist Haven Monastery, now known as the Our Lady of Joy Abbey. And given that the hike is shaded and not too difficult, it can easily be attempted during the hot and humid summer months in Hong Kong.
About the Discovery Bay to Mui Wo hike
The hike between Discovery Bay and Mui Wo, via the Trappist Haven Monastery, can be undertaken in either direction depending on your preference. We hiked from the Discovery Bay Ferry Pier to Mui Wo Ferry Pier. The trail is paved all the way and although there is decent amount of uphill incline, thankfully it’s not too steep.
Note: The elevation profile from my fitness tracker is inaccurate. The highest point along this hike is about 220 metres.
The beginning and end are the most scenic parts of the hike. But for me the highlight was the Trappist Haven Monastery. In fact, here’s a quick walkthrough video of the hike, with all the main highlights.
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So, let’s start this hike from DB to Mui Wo!
To start the hike, make your way to the Discovery Bay ferry pier. To get here you can catch the ferry from Central Ferry Pier 3. The ferry time table and frequency can be found on the Transport Department’s website.
Once you exit the ferry pier, turn left towards the bus terminal. Continue straight along Plaza Lane till you reach Discovery Bay Road, the one with the bus stop. Cross the street and turn left. Walk down till you reach the sign for the Lantau Yatch Club.
Turn right and walk through the fence gate till you’re on the path that runs along the sea. This is the start of the hike to Mui Wo.
Beautiful coastal walk
I’m not sure if it was the cool sea breeze on a warm sunny day, but we found the initial part of this hike absolutely delightful!
The flat trail runs along the coast and passes through two small villages by the sea – Nim Shue Wan Tsuen and Cheung Sha Lan. The village houses with their garden patches make you forget that moments ago you were in Discovery Bay.
The flat trail runs along the coast for approximately 1.5 kms till it finally ends next to the Trappist Monastery Pier. From here, turn right and take the steps uphill.
Short climb to the Monastery
Although the uphill incline starts from this point, it’s not too steep fortunately. Simply go up the steps and then follow the signs.
It’s a short 10 minute walk to the Monastery. Along the way, look out for the Stations of the Cross.
Our Lady of Joy Abbey
The Trappist Haven Monastery, known as Our Lady of Joy Abbey since 15 January 2000, is home to a number of Roman Catholic monks of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, or Trappists.
The first building along the way is the residential building of the abbey (I assume that’s what it is). You can walk around the building, but do it in a quiet and respectful manner.
A short walk from the residential building is the another building (I think it’s part of the monastery) and the last structure is the chapel. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we were unable to enter the chapel.
The whole area is extremely beautiful and peaceful, especially with the sound of the stream next to the chapel. Honestly, take your time exploring this gem on Lantau Island.
Trappist Dairy Limited
Fun fact, the Trappist Haven Monastery is well known for its dairy operation under the company, Trappist Dairy Limited. It was founded 1956 by Father Jen Stanislus of the Trappist Haven Monastery and was initially operated out of the monastery. Since the 1980’s, the dairy operations have been managed by Lark International Dairy Holdings Limited out of Yuen Long.
Today, you can still buy Trappist Dairy milk in most supermarkets in Hong Kong.
And now, back to the hike.
The long slope uphill
The next kilometre or so is the toughest section of the hike. Of course, it’s relatively speaking.
Take the trail from next to the monastery towards Mui Wo. The signs are quite visible. Walk around the bend as you cross the stream. And just ahead of the stream is the start of the incline.
Although the incline is less than a kilometre, it feel relentless. There are plenty of spots for hikers to sit and cool off along the trail. So, take your time and complete this section at a comfortable pace. Fortunately, the entire incline is more or less shaded!
At the end of the incline, you’ll arrive at a fork in the trail. Do you take the flight of steps going up, or the dirt trail?
The answer is, you can take either. The steps go up the side of the hill to a viewing point, and then back down on the other side. Whereas the dirt trail goes around the back and involves no climbing.
I would recommend the dirt trail. It’s shorter and involves no climbing.
The final descent to Mui Wo
From here on out, it’s an easy and scenic downhill walk. You can catch glimpses of Silvermine Bay from the steps, but the views become far more beautiful from ahead.
As the trail emerges from the trees, the views too open up. The narrow trail runs alongside the hill with views of Mui Wo and Silvermine Bay to the right. And just before the final steps, there is a picture perfect viewing point. Stand on the rock as you admire the views below!
At the end of the next flight of steps, turn right and you’ll soon arrive at one end of Silvermine Bay Beach.
Finish the hike in Mui Wo
Silvermine Bay Beach is a great spot to end this hike. End to end, the beach is about 1 km, and takes 10-15 minutes to cross. And then it’s another 500 metres to the Mui Wo Ferry Pier.
But you don’t have to head to the ferry pier immediately. There are a few cafes, restaurants and bars along the beach where you can grab a drink or a meal, depending on how you plan to finish your hike. Our recommendation is China Beach Club.
You can learn more about our top things to do in Mui Wo and Silvermine Bay in this dedicated post.
Discovery Bay to Mui Wo
We hope you found this guide to the Discovery Bay to Mui Wo hike via the Trappist Haven Monastery useful. Like I mentioned, this is the fun, easy hike between the two neighbourhoods on Lantau Island. And if this was your first time in Mui Wo, you can always come back to enjoy its attractions.
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