Hong Kong is made up of several different islands. More than just being the bustling city, this country also offers a number of places to connect with nature. One of these is Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong that is easily accessible by public transportation, via bus or cable car.
How To Go
Tung Chung is the nearest MTR (Mass Transit Railway) station to Lantau Island.
- By Bus – Outside Tung Chung MTR station, take Lantau Bus #23. The journey takes about 45 mins to 1 hr at only HK$17.20 one-way.
- By Cable Car – The cable car terminal is outside Tung Chung MTR station as well. This will only take 25 minutes to get to the island but is the more expensive option at HK$130 one-way for a standard cabin.
It is best to head out early, like what we did, to avoid the crowd and enjoy the serene and natural surround that Lantau Island is known for. The place can really get crowded by noon.
Things To Do
The Tian Tan Buddha is one of the world’s largest Buddha (112 ft) made of hundreds of bronze pieces. It is seated high atop a mountain and is one of Hong Kong’s popular tourist attractions. Meeting the Tian Tan Buddha up close means climbing the 268 steps (yes, I counted them on my way up to entertain myself) to reach the top. It may seem intimidating at first, but once you get there you will be rewarded with glorious views of the mountains and seas.
I suggest doing this as soon as you get to the island, while you’re still not tired from all the walking and while the sun is not yet that high.
Opposite the bronze statue is the beautifully constructed Po Lin Monastery, dubbed as the ‘Buddhist World in the South’. It is a known religious foundation where both Buddhists and travellers visit to pay their respects. There’s also a well-liked restaurant inside to have a taste of Buddhist vegetarian food. You can have an early lunch here, rest and recover in preparation for the next round of walking.
Ngong Ping Village is a small area designed to reflect the culture of the Ngong Ping area. The structures are made of traditional Chinese architecture that houses a lot of restaurants, convenience stores and souvenir shops. It is way too commercialized I think but there’s no harm walking and looking around. If you’re boarding the cable car, this is where the terminal is.
This is also the area where you can grab some food and drinks if you’re not into vegetarian food.
Grab some souvenirs to take home. The shops in the village are selling almost all kinds of mementos. There are shirts, fans, chopsticks, trinkets, jewelleries, and handmade wooden bracelets that were made by the monks themselves.
Take the cable car on the way back to the city to enjoy an amazing view of Lantau Island, the seascape and the mountains. This ride is the longest dual cable car ride in Asia. Do note that lines to the cable car can sometimes take very long (depending on the day you come here). Plan to queue early and you might have the chance to board just in time for the sunset.
It was a beautiful day spent in Lantau Island. We were done exploring in just 6 or 7 hours and then headed back early to the city to avoid the rush hour traffic.
Have you been to Lantau Island? If so, how was your visit?