2018 LANTAU ISLAND, HONGKONG TRAVEL GUIDE | TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
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.
Things to do in Lantau Island | Points of Interests
Lantau Island hailed as the Hongkong’s largest island (in terms of land area, approximately 147 square kilometers) is one of the “must visit” place for every tourist who visits the country. With its 60,000 population which happens to be considered as “less populated”, the area was able to retain its majestic beauty and unexploited resources. This happens to be one of the travel destination of most for the past and recent years because it has a variety of activities to offer starting from a nirvana place for those who would like to uplift their spiritual mood, a place of serenity for those who are wander-mermaids, and a place of heaven for those who are shopaholic! Ready to indulge in all the activities? Get to know more of the things to do in Lantau Island in the list below!
Ngong Ping 360
Well, a travel will not be complete without a little scary feeling of being on a cable car! But more than the scary feeling, riding this crystal cabin cable car starting from Tung Chung going around the entire Ngong Ping village for 25 minutes, the panoramic view of the will really start or even end (if in case you would like to witness the amazing sunset and ride the cable car at afternoon) your tour with a bang!
Ngong Ping Piazza
After watching from above the 1.5 hectares of the Ngong Ping village, why not spend some time hovering around the piazza and see what things that place has to offer. As you enter, you will be welcomed with the actual Pai Lu which of course truly deserves a selfie or a groufie! This ornamental archway was built following the ancient architecture of the Qing dynasty. As you continue your journey, walk through the Bodhi Path consisting of 12 divine generals, represented by the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, who are also regarded as the protectors of Buddhism. This path will lead you to Di Tan which is a temple where most of the religious activities are being done. Lastly, indulge in the beauty of nature as you go to the peaceful Chinese Landscaped Garden.
On the hilly side of Ngong Ping lies the 38 wooden steles that contains the verses of the old prayer. These were arranged in an infinity pattern to further emphasize the belief of the religion.
Dolphin Watching Tour
A tour would not be complete without visiting our adorable friends: the Hongkong’s pink dolphins! Considered as one of the endangered species, it brings delight to witness how these dolphins dance with the waves of the sea as you pass by riding any boat tour that you would like to avail.
Tai O: Local Market
Are you ready to do a “seafood hunting” experience? Well, this is the best place for you! Starting from shrimp-paste outlets to salted-fish plants, all sort of seafood to eat is available for purchase in this place!
Tai O: Dragon Boat Parade
The teaming culture of Hongkong can be felt through this religious ritual that happens yearly every 5th day of the 5th lunar month whenever they celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. The idea here is that they parade their deity statues to repel and even “ghosts” of the water or of the river.
Tai O: Heritage Hotel
A building that is century old that served as a police station was converted to as a heritage hotel at the year 2012. This more than a century hotel deserves a visit to see a glimpse of the past and indulge in the historical and artful piece of Lantau.
Tai: O Rural Committee and Cultural Showroom
Digging the cultural and historical side of you after visiting the heritage hotel, you can now further discover the rich and glorious past of the local community of Tai O through a journey of this collection of relics, photos, and artifacts.
Tai O: Stilt Houses
Unleash the photographer in you as you view and capture the homes of the Tanka people whose main way of living is through fishing. They chose to live in an unconventional way and that is to build their houses in the water.
Yim Tin Mangrove Forest
The hidden ecological treasure of this mangrove was then considered as an unfortunate vent since it slowed down their production of salt. But as years passed by, the beauty of the mangrove eventually grew making it as a place for tourists to visit.
Beaches: Cheung Sha and Pui O
This is a heavenly place for the mermaid wanderer tourists! Enjoy the cool breeze of air as you walk on the shore and see the wonders of nature. Not only the beaches are scenic but they are also located nearby food shops and restaurants making it as a combo trip, a day of food and beach!
D’ Deck Discovery Bay
An oceanfront dining place which offers international cuisine is a place that you must not forego to visit. The culinary and chef side of you will surely enjoy the place as you go from one restaurant to another until such time that you finish all the 20 food hubs! Witness the amazing fireworks from Disneyland as you sit on the oceanfront and savor the sumptuous dinner.
The child in you would surely celebrate in joy as you encounter and interact with different Disney characters and ride different rides and attractions. Indeed, this place will not be hailed as the happiest place on earth if it was not as worth visiting as it is.
The sunrise is what makes this place a tourist destination. Considered as the 2nd highest peak of the country, tourists flock this area to watch the sunrise and witness how the colors of the sun spread throughout the sky. The best time to visit the place is during the winter which I approximately from December to February.
Mui Wo and Silver Mine Bay Beach
In this old yet peaceful village lies the remnants of the old civilization of the Ming dynasty. This is a destination for those who would like to visit a much quiet place on the Lantau Island. You could just east quietly on the nearby pier and enjoy their specialty food: noodles, duck, and of course, seafood.
The heaven of Lantau Island will not be complete without having a visit to this scenic place that is always flocked by a lot of tourists, hikers, and professional photographers alike. The usual or average hiking time in order for you to get to the peak is approximately 4 hours. Ready your gear and experience this activity.
The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery
The once secluded area became a hub for tourists as well as pilgrims after the built of the huge Buddha statue at the year 1993. The 34 meters high statues face the north so as to face the Chinese people took a total of 12 years for completion. The 268 steps leading closer to the statue is a journey of peace and of an amazing view of the place. The monastery, on the other hand, is famous for its amazing garden and restaurants.
How to get to Lantau Island
You can take the train bound for Tung Chung. At the MTR Tung Chung Station, exit to gate B,Take a walk to the Ngong Ping Cable Car station.The scenic Cable Car ride would take around 25 minutes.
From the MTR Tung Chung Station, exit to gate B, you can then take the New Lantao Bus 23 from Tung Chung Town Centre, travel time is approximately 45 minutes.
You can also board a ferry from the Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo, from there, take the New Lantao Bus 2 to Ngong Ping Village, travel time is approximately 40 minutes.
What are you waiting for? Book a flight, prepare your things, and get ready to be with the thousands of travelers who visit this amazing Lantau Island of Hongkong!