Dec 11, 2018

6 things to do in the incredible Lantau Islands

 

Lantau Island is a geographical marvel in every sense of the word. Located on the western side of the Hong Kong peninsula, the island is a place full of possibilities. Whether it’s a trek, a visit to rural villages, gorgeous ocean views, historical and religious places, Lantau Islands hosts a variety of attractions and activities. Here are the best things to do in Lantau that are not Disneyland!

 

 

i) Take the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car

The third cable car system in HK, it originates at Tung Chong and goes to Ngong Ping, just beside Po Lin Monastery & the Giant Buddha. It's a thrilling 25-minute journey in the air with magnificent views. All you need to do to get there is make your way to the Tong Chung MTR station and walk to the lower cable car terminus.

 

Timings: 10am to 6pm on weekdays and 9am to 6.30pm on weekends

 

 

ii) Po Lin Monastery & the Tian Tian Buddha

Po Lin opened new monastery buildings in 1970 and has been a special attraction ever since. It’s a beautiful and colourful temple with subtle and fantastic architecture. Experience the surreal as you walk past rows of Buddha statues.

 

Speaking of Buddha statues, just 550 meters across the monastery is the giant Tian Tian Buddha. At 112 feet (34 metres), it takes 268 steps to reach, but it’s worth every step as you witness the marvellous bronze sculpture up close and personal.

 

 

iii) Lantau Trail

The stunning and picturesque Lantau Trail spans 70 kilometres and covers rural villages, waterfalls and even beaches along the way. If you are fit to climb the many, many stairs up the mountain, don’t miss Sunset Peak, which offers what are inarguably the best views on the entire island. 

 

The trail has been organised and divided into 12 sub-trails, each categorised with a different level of difficulty.

 

iv) Silvermine Bay Beach

Beaches in Hong Kong may suffer from overcrowding and even pollution. In the sleepy town of Mui Wo, located on the east Lantau coast, is untouched and unspoilt Silvermine Bay Beach. It’s the perfect wind-down spot. Sit and relax on the beachside as you enjoy the breeze.

 

Mui Wo also offers some pretty hip and lively British pubs and seafood restaurants to enjoy!

 

 

v) Tai O Fishing Village

 

 

Although it’s a short journey, make sure not to miss Tai O fishing village. It’s a top attraction as people come to Tai O to see traditional fishing practices, soak in the essence of rural life, view historical buildings and - last but not least - try out local delicacies. 

 

Try local dishes like dried shrimps, salted fish, oysters and octopus, among other seafood. Tai O’s shrimp sauce and paste are famous too, but be warned, if you have a sensitive nose, the shrimp paste is not for you!

 

 

vi) Pink Dolphin Watching

Though its official name as the Chinese White Dolphin, it’s locally referred to as the Pink Dolphin due to its pink shade. (Logical indeed!) These rare and endangered species are found in the waters in the north and south-east regions of Lantau Island.

 

Book a tour with Hong Kong Dolphinwatch, who help provide a magical experience. They’ve been operating ecological tours since 1995 and promote environmental protection and the conservation of the wild dolphins.

 

 

Lantau Islands ticks a lot of boxes on a bucket list and is a geographical and cultural marvel. It’s staggering to think that the island is so close to the city of Hong Kong, but for residents, it’s certainly a blessing to have so many beautiful places to visit, so close at hand. Travel down and explore Lantau Islands - you won't regret it!

 

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