The Sok Kwu Wan Hiking Trail on Lamma Island is a circular route that starts from Sok Kwu Wan, passes through Mo Tat Wan, Yung Shue Ha, Tung O, and back to Sok Kwu Wan. Inside the circular route is a diagonal path that cuts through it. This diagonal path is the Ling Kok Shan Hiking Trail, and it offers spectacular views of Lamma, Lantau, and the south side of Hong Kong Island from the top.
There is also another hiking trail on Lamma Island that connects Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan. Essentially, the hike cuts across Lamma Island and connects one pier to the other. If you’re interesting in learning about the hike between Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan, I have a separate post on it. This focus of this post is the Sok Kwu Wan Circular Route with the Ling Kok Shan Hiking Trail.
So, let’s get started.
Ferry to Sok Kwu Wan
For starters, make your way over Sok Kwu Wan on Lamma Island. You can either take the ferry from Central or from Aberdeen.
The timetable for the Central to Sok Kwu Wan ferry can be found on the HKKF website. And the timetable for the kai-to (small ferry) from Aberdeen to Sok Kwu Wan can be found on this website. The kai-to from Aberdeen stops first at Mo Tat Wan, a small village north of Sok Kwu Wan. So, you can choose to get off here and start your hike from Mo Tat Wan.
The Sok Kwu Wan Circular Hike
As this hike is in the shape of a circle, you can hike either clockwise or counter-clockwise. And you can keep it easy or include the Ling Kok Shan Hiking Trail to make it more challenging.
However, if you follow my guide, the route that I prescribe is much longer (almost 10 kms), and practically covers 80% of the route, including the Ling Kok Shan Trail. But of course, you’re free to make your own route for this hike. And if you read on, you’ll see the points of interest that you may want to cover.
Here is the official map of the circular hike. As you can see, it’s really quite simple.
Map & elevation profile from Sok Kwu Wan to Shek Pai Wan
To read the elevation profile, left starts at Sok Kwu Wan, and right ends at Shek Pai Wan.
Map & elevation profile from Shek Pai Wan to Sok Kwu Wan via Ling Kok Shan
To read the elevation profile, left starts at Shek Pai Wan, and right ends at Sok Kwu Wan. Notice the difference in the slope of Ling Kok Shan from the left, and then from the right.
Start at Sok Kwu Wan
For most people, Sok Kwu Wan is the starting point. As you exit the pier, walk left, away from the seafood restaurants to start the hike. However, if you’ve arrived in time for lunch, grab a table at any restaurant of your choice. We personally prefer Wai Kee Seafood to the over-popular Rainbow.
Continue walking along this undulating path that runs parallel to the sea for 2 kms. It’s a fairly relaxing walk with beautiful views of Hong Kong south island, and fishing farms just off the coast of Lamma Island.
After 2 kms, you’ll approach Mo Tat Wan, a small village in the southern part of Lamma Island. If you arrive by the kai-to from Aberdeen, this is where you can get off and start your hike too. And if you want to grab a bite at Mo Tat Wan, The Bay is a great option.
Continue hiking through the village till you arrive at the flight of stairs next to a public toilet. Now most people would turn right here to hike up to Ling Kok Shan. But personally I prefer to scale it from the other side. So, this point will be where we will finally exit from after climbing to the top.
Mo Tat Wan to Yung Shue Ha
From the public toilet, keep hiking for another 2 kms. Once again, the hiking trial is easy and very peaceful. As you begin approaching Yung Shue Ha, the next village, lookout for beautiful views of the rocks in the sea to your left.
Just before you arrive at Yung Shue Ha, you’ll also come across another interesting landmark. A row of early 19th century houses that belonged to the “Chow” clan that moved from China to Hong Kong Island, and then to Lamma Island. Back then, they were the only inhabitants of this village. The village later moved near the sea side.
Cross the abandoned houses and you’ll stumble upon one of the most secluded, and longest beaches in Lamma Island – Shek Pai Wan. This beach stretches from Yung Shue Ha village at one end, to Tung O village at the other end. The beach has some of the softest sand we’ve ever stepped on in Hong Kong! Just look at the photos below.
FYI, there is only one refreshment stall at Yung Shue Ha village that serves drinks, and has a limited food menu. So, take a break and enjoy the beach before you start the climb up to Ling Kok Shan.
Tung O to Ling Kok Shan
Walk across Shek Pai Wan beach to the pier. Next to the pier is a path that takes you through Tung O Village. Follow this path as it twists behind the village, and up on to the hill.
As you climb, you’ll be able to see the beach below you. The slope is relatively gradual and not too steep. Continue hiking for another 15 minutes till you reach a four-point intersection, with a rest-stop.
Turn left for a quick diversion, and walk up 70 metres for a beautiful viewing point. From here you get gorgeous views of Lamma Island.
Once you’re done admiring the views, walk back down, and up the other way.
Ling Kok Shan Hiking Trail
From this point, till you return to Mo Tat Wan, on the other side of the hill, is the Ling Kok Shan Hiking Trail. The best part about this hiking trail are the gorgeous views from the top, and the display of precariously balancing rocks.
It really looks like that these rocks are about to fall down any moment. But they won’t. These rocks were formed by volcanic activities that took place 164-140 million years ago in the area. Lava from the underground solidified into granite. Years of erosion have left them exposed in these forms. They really are quite fascinating to look at!
The reason I recommend climbing up from this side is because the slope is far less steep and much easier than if you were to hike up from Mo Tat Wan. The top of the hill is a plateau and with scenic views of Hong Kong’s south side, and the rest of Lamma Island. The views from on top of Ling Kok Shan make the hike worth it!
Once you’re done admiring the views, continue to hike down the same path till you return Mo Tat Wan. From here, navigate your way back to the ferry pier at Mo Tat Wan or Sok Kwu Wan.
The best part about this hike on Lamma Island is that you can make your own route. If you want to keep things relatively simple, just complete the circular route. But want to make things more challenging and scenic? Then add the Ling Kok Shan Hiking Trail to the mix. Whichever route you take, the hike passes through the some of the most secluded beaches on Lamma Island, which we absolutely loved!
Although I prefer this hike on Lamma Island, some might find the one between Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan more interesting. Why not do both?