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The perfect loop

Chi Ma Wan offers all kinds of technical MTB single track excitement without too much hill climbing, something rare to Hong Kong. This trail contours the southern coast of Lantau and if you can peel your eyes from the trail you will have a chance to also see some spectacular ocean views. And don't forget to watch out for marauding water buffalo!


 

Getting there

The easiest way to get to Lantau Island is by ferry. Make your way to the outlying ferry piers in Central and look for pier number six. Check the ferry timetable before hand as bikes are only aloud on the slow (cargo ferries), which take about 50 minutes to complete the journey.

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Alternative ways to reach lantau is via the ching ma bridge, which will take you to Tung Chung. Here you have the option of riding over the island by the narrow North/south lantau road, which is usually heavily congested with buses, or throw your bike into a cab and for about HK$80 it will take you to Mui Wo.

Another way to get to Tung Chung is to take your bike on the Tung Chung MTR line. Please consult the Transportation Guide (under the section "MTB in HK") for more details.

If you live in Discovery Bay, a ferry service links DB to Mui Wo. Outside regular ferry schedules local sampans run the same route but at a hefty price. Alternatively there is a trail that runs behind the golf course can be taken.

In Mui Wo

Once in Miu Wo the usual place that bikers gather is outside the Friendly Bike Shop. Here you will be able to stock up on spares, make any last minute adjustments and get fuel and water from one of the many supermarkets or convenience stores in the village. Jacky the owner of Friendly Bike shop is very amenable and will answer any questions. He also rents basic good quality bikes out for the day.

 

Getting started

There are two ways to get to the Chi Ma Wan trail; you can either take the South lantau road over to Pui O, a long steep road climb. Or as most riders do take the coastal path, this offers a greater amount of off-road riding.

To get to the beginning of the coastal route make your way back to the waterfront, look out for a McDonald’s and the China Bear (an English-style pub) to make sure you are on the right tracks. You will then come to a road. Follow the road as it makes a U shape turn around a small beach. Once around the beach start looking on the right hand side of the road for a signpost indicating the trailhead. This is located just opposite a concrete factory.

Mui Wo to the Chi Ma Wan Trailhead

A short carry up about 40 steps will get you onto the coastal path, From here simply follow the trail for about 1.5km until you get to a steep rutted climb and a junction in the path at the top. Proceed straight on and down a steep hill section. Be warned at the bottom is a very precarious set of natural steps that are almost unridable. Dismount and hike-a-bike down. Cross a small stream and make your way across the beach, at the far end you will find a concrete path. Follow the path for about 1km, passing on your way Shan Long Wan (village), continue on until the path crosses a bridge and you come to a road.

At the road turn left and cycle towards the prison. Watch out for taxis and cars on this section, especially on the blind corners. Once above the prison you will see a round water tank and the main prison gates on the right. There you will see a set of steps leading up and around the gate – this is the shortcut. After negotiating the gate continue along the road until you get to a country park map and a jeep track to your right going up. Turn right onto the track and continue up for a short while until you come to a dam. After crossing the dam and climbing the short set of steps you come to a wide dirt trail. This gentle slope finally terminates at a crossroads. At this point you have two options. You can go straight and ride the CHI MA WAN EXTENSION or turn right to get onto the regular trail.

After a few minutes you will come across a brightly coloured concrete statue “Lung Mei” or more loving known to bikers as the concrete "pineapple". Here the Chi Ma Wan trail is clearly signposted.

Chi Ma Wan peninsula

Turn right as indicated and enjoy about 11km of the best contour trail Hong Kong has to offer.

altFrom here on in the trail has no turn offs, it's one undulating trail that can throw up some nasty technical challenges such as the fridge- a large rock drop off with an off camber landing, the steps from hell, and a final fast downhill descent back to the road and to the trails natural conclusion.

Chi Ma Wan extension

The 5km extension starts at the large trail after crossing the dam, The trail head is clearly marked and sign-posted and ends at a statue that looks like a "pineapple", but is really a Dragon Tail (Lung Mei) and the name of this spot. There are no turn off along this section of the trail so follow it to its natural end. You can ride it both ways but counter clockwise (from the pineapple) is probably the most natural direction since most of the big steps you'll encounter are easier to ride down than up. It is extremely difficult to ride about one third of the trail with some obstacles being impassable. But some very skilled and powerful riders manage to ride 95 % of it in both ways!

Returning to Mui Wo

From the end of the trail you have two options, you can turn right on the road which will take you back towards the prison and the concrete path you rode in on. You can then retrace your steps back to the coastal route and to Mui Wo.

Alternatively you can take the quicker but equally as strenuous road rise out. To take the road, turn left and ride towards Pui O village, one of the first things you see is a small store, an ideal place to replenish and re-hydrate. Continue on the road through the village until you come to the junction with the South Lantau Road. Turn right, and expect a brutal climb to the top of the hill that separates the two villages. You are then rewarded with a very fast descent into Mui Wo village.

Download our Trail Finder here: icon Trail Finder - Chi Ma Wan (1.67 MB) or the handy Route Finder: icon Route Finder - Chi ma wan (909.17 kB)

There is no better way to finish this ride than a post ride cider and some pub grub at the China Bear.