Lantau Island (大嶼山) is the largest of all of the islands that make up Hong Kong. Visiting Lantau was one of my favorite parts of my trip to Hong Kong and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to see a ‘less busy’ side of the huge city-region.
Getting to Lantau Island
There are several ways to get onto the island including by bus, by ferry, and by train. My favorite however was by cable car via the Ngong Ping 360. The 25-minute cable car ride takes you from Tung Chung (MTR Tung Chung Line Station – Exit B) to Lantau Island.
There are two options for the Ngong Ping 360: the Cable Car or the Crystal Cabin, from which you can view the scenery below you through the glass floor as you pass over the blue sea and the green mountainside. Personally, my best pictures were shot from the side windows, so spending the extra money for the cable car with the glass floor was not necessary.
Tip: Buy tickets for the Ngong Ping in advance online! This will save you a MINIMUM of 30 minutes wait time on line.
See: Tian Tan Buddha (天壇大佛)
After arriving to Lantau Island, you can walk through the Ngong Ping Piazza and up the 268 steps leading to the giant Tian Tan Buddha (it sounds like a lot of steps but it can be completed fairly quickly). The Tian Tan Buddha is an amazing statue to behold, and is the largest sitting outdoor bronze Buddha in the world.
See: Tai-O Fishing Village (大澳)
If you want to escape the crowds and enjoy a more quaint and serene environment, hop on a bus from the Ngong Ping Piazza heading towards Tai-O. After a walk through the food stalls and back alleys, you will come upon houses on stilts, which are home to the Tanka people. According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board the Tanka people are “… a community of fisherfolk who have built their homes on stilts above the tidal flats for generations because they do not feel safe on land. ” The serene village also provides excellent photographic opportunities.
There are a number of other things to do on Lantau Island that I did not get to, including Discovery Bay, Po Lin Monastery, and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Further reading on these places and more can be found using the following resources:
- Hong Kong/Lantau (WikiTravel)
- Lantau Island: A Green Escape from Hong Kong (A Dangerous Business, February 2014)
- Visiting Lantau Island, Hong Kong (eTramping, June 2012)
- Visit to Big Buddha Statue at Lantau Island (Solo Backpacker, December 2012)
I would so love to climb up to the top of the Buddha which looks awesome!!! I can only imagine the view.
It is quite lovely! You should definitely do it 😀
Nice post! Looks like we both have some places to visit when we make it back one day. I hear the hiking is great 🙂
Definitely! I feel that way in so many places that I travel to: never enough time to see all that I want to see 😀