Update (August 2018): As I was looking to bring some visitors on this track last week, I found out that the beachside restaurant/bar, Mavericks, is now sadly permanently closed…
For those of us who aren’t serious trail runners, but are fit and nature-loving, a comfortably challenging hike which ends at a beachside restaurant could not be a more perfect way to spend a Saturday morning/afternoon.
It’s always nice to have a rewarding end point to a hike, which is also the reason I highly recommend part of the MacLehose Trail Section 2 in Sai Kung which leads to Ham Tin Wan. That walk is still the best value-for-effort walk I’ve done to date. It’s easy (I can even bring my toy poodle along), the views are amazing and you end up at a beach restaurant.
Section 12 of Lantau Trail is similar, except the beach restaurant – Mavericks – is even better.
Lantau Trail Section 12: Mui Wo to Pui O (we went backwards)
What I loved about this hike is that it’s more challenging (than the walk to Ham Tin I mentioned earlier). There are steeper climbs and descents, but it’s still just challenging in the right doses. There are some beautiful views on the way, but most importantly, the end point is so rewarding.
Pui O beach was pretty quiet for a Saturday afternoon, granted it was starting to get breezy (mid-November). The beach was big, spacious and the sand was powdery. Walk toward the centre of the beach and spend your afternoon at Mavericks with good food and drinks, before heading back to the city.
Directions: Getting started
To get to the trail, we first took the ferry from Central Pier No.6 to Mui Wo – check the ferry times in advance and do take the fast ferry. Once you get to Mui Wo, go left-wards towards and past the McDonalds. continue left roughly alongside the sea for about 5 minutes and the start of your trail will be on your right hand side.
How long did it take?
Section 12 is the last section of the Lantau Trail and I suppose many people would go from the start (Pui O – a beach) to end of the entire Lantau trail (Mui Wo Ferry Pier). But going backwards means you can spend hours at Mavericks – a Western beachside restaurant/cafe/bar – at the end of the hike.
The trail is 9km in length and took us under 2.5 hours. I know, these timings are so subjective. So to give you a background, us three girls all exercise regularly, but leisurely. The climbs felt tiring at times but not too strenuous. It was very satisfying to finish!
Mavericks on Pui O Beach
The laidback, sunny beachside vibes at Mavericks was the main reason I was attracted to trying out this trail to begin with.
The restaurant was quite full when we arrived on a Saturday afternoon at 12:30pm – but they also had a corporate event that day. So I reckon you can comfortably just turn up on other days (they’re only opened on weekends though!).
Practically every table had ordered the double decker beef burger. The smells were so strong they were floating around the restaurant and onto the beach (for the vegetarians: ok, not really). So being a beef lover myself, no health conscious mindset garnered from the hike was able to stop me having this myself. The patties were super flavourful. It was also super juicy. The fries were fresh and crispy and addictive too. It was definitely a huge surprise.
My relatively more health conscious hiking buddies ordered the tuna tartare and pesto pasta. They were both delicious and confirmed that despite its rather random location, the food quality was definitely up to HK standards, in fact well above average too.
If you’re not hiking…
The good news is it was pretty easy to get out once we had finished our hike and meal. You can either take a taxi or bus to Mui Wo Pier for the ferry back to Central. The taxi ride was only HK$40 anyway.
This means that if you’re looking for a remote beachside getaway without the hike, the transportation to get straight to Mavericks is pretty convenient and do-able for a Saturday afternoon too.
Mavericks (only open on weekends plus Friday night)
Pui O Beach
Spend per person: HK$150-200