The Ling Kok Shan loop hike from Sok Kwu Wan is a perfect afternoon hike on Lamma Island. With beautiful views and interesting rock formations along the way, it's a lovely way to work off that big seafood lunch! Or, just to work up a sweat before relaxing on a secluded beach. Come with me and I'll show you how to get to Ling Kok Shan and what to expect on this gorgeous hike!
Preparing for the Ling Kok Shan Hike
The Ling Kok Shan hike is an easy-to-moderate loop hike from Sok Kwu Wan which is ~5.3 km (3.3 mi) long and takes ~1.5-2 hours to complete.
The trail is paved, but has a steep uphill climb towards the middle (~230 m/ 750 ft) with lots of stairs. The views at the top are incredible though!
Who Should Hike It?
Since the trail is paved and not too difficult, I think any level of hiker should be able to complete the Ling Kok Shan trail.
Although the climb up to the top is steep with over 1,000 steps, there are several beautiful vistas along the way. Take the time to stop and admire them while allowing yourself to catch your breath!
If you'd rather not climb quite so many stairs, you can take the outer loop on the Lamma Island Family Walk instead. Read more about that trail in my Day Trip to Lamma Island post.
When to Hike It?
Hiking this loop trail from Sok Kwu Wan would be wonderful during any time of the year. But since it involves a steep uphill climb with very little shade, you may want to avoid it in peak summer heat.
However, if you choose to hike Ling Kok Shan in summer, you could easily visit one of Lamma Island's many beaches afterwards to cool off!
We hiked Ling Kok Shan during an unseasonably warm day in February. Although I overdressed, luckily, a nice cool breeze was coming off the water and saved me from overheating too much!
Items for Your Hike
Just a couple things I'd like to highlight for this particular hike:
Getting to the Ling Kok Shan Trail
To get to the Ling Kok Shan hike, first you'll need to take the ferry to Sok Kwu Wan on Lamma Island.
To catch the ferry, head to Central Ferry Pier 4 on Hong Kong Island and go to the left side when entering the pier.
Ferries to Sok Kwu Wan run less frequently than to Yung Shue Wan - the village on the northern side of Lamma Island. Be sure to check the ferry schedule on the HKKF website to plan your trip.
New to Hong Kong? Check out this Guide to Using Public Transportation!
Overview of the Ling Kok Shan Hike
The Ling Kok Shan hike is one of the Sok Kwu Wan loop trails. In this post, I'll show you how to hike the Ling Kok Shan route specifically. Click on the map below to open the route in Google Maps.
If you're interested in the outer loop or the hike between Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan, check out my post - How to Take a Day Trip to Lamma Island.
Once you arrive in Sok Kwu Wan, you can begin the hike immediately or stop for a seafood lunch to fuel up for the hike!
Tip: Be sure to use the toilet in Sok Kwu Wan before heading out on the trail. The last time we visited Lamma Island (February 2020), the Mo Tat Wan public toilets were not usable!
Part 1 - Sok Kwu Wan to Mo Tat Wan
The first part of the Ling Kok Shan hike is an easy coastline walk on the Lamma Island Family Walk from Sok Kwu Wan to Mo Tat Wan. The path is paved with gentle ups and downs along the way.
Along this walk, you'll be able to see across the sea to Ap Lei Chau and the roller coasters at Ocean Park on Hong Kong Island.
Mo Tat Wan
Once you arrive at Mo Tat Wan, you can turn left to walk down the steps to the new village. There you'll find a small beach and a Mediterranean restaurant, as well as the Mo Tat Pier.
Or, keep right to continue hiking on the Family Walk to reach the trail to Ling Kok Shan. Along the way, you'll pass the old Mo Tat Village and school.
Walking through these small villages on Lamma Island, it always amazes me that I'm still in Hong Kong.
Part 2 - Climbing to Ling Kok Shan
Roughly 2 km (~1.2 mi) after beginning your hike, you'll see a set of stairs on your right leading up the hill. This is the Ling Kok Shan trail.
If you reach the Mo Tat Wan Public Toilets - a small run-down building - you'll know you've gone too far!
As you climb, you'll begin to see incredible views on all sides. If you need to stop and rest, you'll have beautiful views to admire as you catch your breath!
Although there's very little shade at this point, if there's a breeze, that will make a huge difference!
Since this trail is a loop, you could hike it in either direction. But going this way, you'll be able to see how many stairs you've hiked because about every 10th step has the step number spray-painted on it.
After reaching 1,000 steps, I began to wonder if seeing how many stairs I was climbing was a good thing or not.
Once you reach the top of Ling Kok Shan, you'll begin seeing some interesting rock formations - such as Poodle Rock.
But they also provide wonderful vantage points to see the views. I can't help myself and am always climbing out on the ledge.
If you have a fear of heights, I'd recommend sticking to the path.
Like interesting rock formations? Consider hiking Jaunbong Peak in Seoul, Korea!
Part 3 - Ridge Walk on Ling Kok Shan
At the top, you'll hike along a ridge past a radio and television transmission tower which has an old helipad next to it.
The trail along the ridge undulates along providing 360 degree views of Lamma Island.
For another ridge hike, you may also like the Dragon's Back to Big Wave Bay Hike!
Part 4 - Downhill Return to Sok Kwu Wan
After walking for a few hundred meters at the top, the trail turns back into stairs as you begin to descend.
About halfway through your return to Sok Kwu Wan, you'll meet back up with the Lamma Island Family Walk trail which continued around the coast of the island.
To return to Sok Kwu Wan, turn right on the Family Walk trail. You'll have ~1 km (0.8 mi) until you reach Sok Kwu Wan - all downhill!
Not Ready to End the Hike?
If you'd like to extend your hike and visit some of the secluded beaches on the south side of Lamma Island, you could turn left on the Family Walk instead. This will take you towards Tung O Village and Yung Shue Ha Beach.
But beware - you'll have to hike back up ~100 m to get back over the hill to Sok Kwu Wan after visiting Yung Shue Ha beach.
Looking for a beach hike with stunning views? Check out the Ham Tin Beach Hike!
Waiting for the Ferry in Sok Kwu Wan
Once you're back in Sok Kwu Wan, you'll most likely have to wait for the ferry. Since they only come roughly every hour or so, check the return schedule on the HKKF website. Then you'll know how much time you have before the next one comes.
Grab a Craft Beer at LoSo Kitchen
If you have time, stop by LoSo Kitchen for their wide variety of craft beer. Depending on the hour, grab a table by the water to watch the sunset. If you're hungry, I recommend the sausage platter - it's pretty tasty!
If you're looking for an easy-to-moderate hike on Lamma Island to fill a couple hours, the Ling Kok Shan loop trail from Sok Kwu Wan is a great choice! Beautiful views and a nice workout, with plenty of beaches nearby to cool off. Just don't forget that sunscreen!
Have you done this hike? Tell me what you thought of it in the comments below!
Love to hike as much as me? Check out some of my other Hiking posts!