LANTAU ISLAND, HONGKONG
Lantau Island: “The Lungs of Hong Kong”
As a region considered to be the fourth most dense in population, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China or simply Hong Kong, is packed full of people as much as the mainland country to which it belongs.
But there is a part of Hong Kong that is so massive yet so relatively less populated and is a home to a lush environment, it literally was regarded as the region’s “lungs”—the Lantau Island. Literally, it is in this place where people breathe in fresh air which is not too common in a densely-populated setting.
Lantau Island is, for the most part, an extension of the special region of Hong Kong although almost twice as big.
The discovery of Lantau Island dates back hundreds of years, at a time when this massive landmass was once roamed by primitive people speculated to be from the bronze and Neolithic age based on the vestiges of their tools. Furthermore, the island also has a history about pirates and smugglers which makes the history of this giant landmass more interesting. But there is not anything about this island that has not reached the history books.
Nowadays, however, the island of Lantau remains a peaceful solid ground. But is not devoid of the economic progress that can be seen from its neighboring regions of Kowloon and Hong Kong from the mainland. From being a home to plenty of fishing villages, Lantau has seen rapid development which combines the best of both nature and modern-day conveniences.
In fact, recent developments in the island had paved way for the close connection between the island and Kowloon via a long-stretching road which was completed in 1997, the Lantau Link. This was soon followed by the establishment of the Hong Kong International Airport a year after.
But do not forget about one of the island’s tourist attraction, the Hong Kong Disneyland, which had been entertaining locals and tourists since 2005. A year later, a gondola lift was soon built in the island which is meant to provide an alternative for entertainment to amusement-hungry visitors—the Ngong Ping 360.
Although these options are themselves amazing, the very island itself makes for a geography worthy of a visit, whether you look at it at the sea or at the land.
Built as a mountainous terrain, the island is still sparsely inhabited at the present where various villages and towns dot the island by wide spaces from one another. But this kind of setting has its own advantages, too: it makes for an ideal location for expatriates who wanted a life of tranquility and free from the bustle and hustle of the city.
While you can choose from one of the local villages and towns in the island to live in as a foreigner, most expatriates actually flocked to the residential area called Discovery Bay. It is this area which holds 15,000 of the overall population in Lantau, including a heavy concentration of expats.