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Why Lantau Island is special ?
Lantau Island is the largest island in Hong Kong, located at the mouth of the Pearl River. Administratively, most of Lantau Island is part of the Islands District of Hong Kong. A small northeastern portion of the island is located in the Tsuen Wan District.
Originally the site of fishing villages, the island has been developed in recent years with the construction of Tung Chung New Town on its north-western coast and the completion of several major infrastructure projects, including Lantau Link (1997), Hong Kong International Airport (1998), Hong Kong Disneyland (2005) and Ngong Ping 360 (2006) which are the famous attractions of all tourists to Hongkong.
What to explore at Lantau Island?
Throughout Lantau Island, the beautiful scenery and famous historical sites are truly fascinating. There is a chain of mountains that stretches from the higher elevations in the west to the lower ridges in the east. The highest peak in the mountain range is Phoenix Mountain, standing 935 meters (102,2 yards) high. It is the second highest peak in all of Hong Kong. The most popular attraction for tourists visiting Lantau Island is climbing Phoenix Mountain to view and admire the sunrise. Tourists often climb up at night, and reach the top before the daybreak.
There are 47 villages on Lantau Island. Three of them, Mui Wo, Tai O, and Tung Chung are being developed as new towns. In addition, more than 78.4 square kilometers (30.3 square miles) of its territory has been designated as Wild Countryside Park. Tai O, also known as "The Venice of the Orient", is the largest settlement on Lantau Island. Criss Crossing canals run the length and breadth of the small fishing harbor. In addition, homes built on stilts over the water are a common sight here. Tai O was once a garrison town but has now become a peaceful fishing harbor. Salted fish is a local specialty. Tai O was once the largest city on the island. In the 1970s, Tai O started to attract holiday visitors, and today the town is prosperous and busy.
You can participate in many outdoor activities in the Wild Countryside Park such as hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing. Or you can have a barbecue in the mountains far from the hustle and bustle of the towns.
How to get to Lantau Island?
From the airport
Lantau Island is adjacent to Hong Kong International Airport, the airport island is linked by two short bridges. The best way to Lantau from the airport is either by taxi, by bus, or by foot. There is no train service from the airport to Lantau, although there is an indirect service with the Airport Express train and the MTR via Tsing Yi. The premium charged by the Airport Express train for this trip will likely make it more expensive than a taxi if there are two or more people travelling.
- Taxis from the airport to anywhere in Lantau are relatively fast and pleasant, but only light-blue taxis are allowed on the island. Ask at the reception desk at the airport taxi stand to call for a light-blue car for you. The more common red and green ones are prohibited to go to Lantau.
- Alternatively, there are frequent buses that travel towards Tung Chung MTR station, including S1 and S64 from the airport terminal. Although you can use the A35/N35 for travelling to Mui Wo directly from the airport, the frequency of this particular route is sparse. It's usually better to change on to local buses at Tung Chung MTR interchange, where you can find buses to most destinations across Lantau Island.
It's a about a 5km walk from the airport to Tung Chung. The main (northern) bridge is a highway that doesn't allow pedestrians, but there is a nice walkway over the southern bridge from the airport to Lantau.
- By train
The Tung Chung MTR line is the fastest way to get to Lantau if you are going to the north of the island. The Tung Chung line also connects with special rail services at Sunny Bay that take visitors directly to Disneyland. The trip to Tung Chung takes around 25 minutes all the way from Hong Kong station and costs $18-20.50. Children 11 years and under enjoy a 50% discount.
If you are staying in the built up areas of Hong Kong, such as Kowloon or Central, taking the train to Tung Chung station is both some time to sit down and take in some scenery. You are able to see fishing villages, open spaces and the very large ports from the train window, which are a change from the high rise and person-clutter of downtown.
- By boat
The obvious way of getting to the island is to take a ferry. Ferries depart from the Outlying Islands pier in Central, to the west of the Star Ferry terminal. The largest operator is the New World First Ferry.
Discovery Bay: Pier 3, $40 (fast only), every 15-30 minutes.
Mui Wo: Pier 6, $14.50 (slow) / $28.40 (fast), every 30-50 minutes.
Ferries to the island, as well as buses, impose a 50% surcharge for travel on Sundays and public holidays (with the exception of services to/from/within Discovery Bay, Disneyland and the airport). It's cheaper (and less crowded) to visit during the week or on Saturdays.
- By bus
Since the opening of the Lantau Link, a number of buses also cross over to Lantau, although they are considerably slower than the MTR and less scenic than the ferries. The local bus timetable in Lantau Island is available online. http://www.newlantaobus.com/nlb.html
There is an extensive bus service from the rest of Hong Kong to the airport and Disneyland.
- By car
Whilst you can drive your car onto Lantau, the road system is limited and much of the island is zoned as a country park and is off limits to normal vehicles. If you really want to see Lantau you should get out of your car. The Disneyland is however still accessible by car and connected by the Lantau Link expressway
- Amazing views and breathtaking scenery
- Serene, quiet part of Hong Kong
- Spectacular sunrise at Lantau Peak
- More than just Disney
- A good adventure
Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China
Tips for you
It was a day of tiring yet very fun! First we went to disney land. We roam just a part of disney and then went straight to the big buddha using cable cart. All the stress and negatives vibes were gone we you see the peaceful view above the mountains.. It was our family's first trip abroad it was all fun and we enjoyed our stay in HK.
Nice place, but just another "Americanised" touristy attraction, nothing ancient or historical - just aimed at tourists spending money on souvenirs and restaurants. Overall still a fun day out in HK!
We took the ferry to Lantau Island, arrived there after nearly an hour ride. The pier area is where the small town square is, and where the businesses are, a few buildings, around 30 stores altogether. I noticed a lot of foreigners, mostly white people who are actually residents there. There are a lot of bikes for rent in the town square. Walk a bit off, and you will find you're in a different world, so quiet, so serene. We took the bus to the Tian Tan Big Buddha in Ngong Ping, Lantau Island. Entering the grounds, you will find a small stall selling some memorabilia, some hotdogs, drinks, and the most delicious steamed corn in the world! The corn was so sweet and the kernel actually crispy...I salivate every time I think of those corn. Took the steps up to the Big Buddha, the world's tallest bronze Buddha. Inside the Buddha, there are so many religious things to see.