I have a soft spot for Lantau Island. Every time I visit Hong Kong it's practically a requisite that I go there. I'm not the only one. Plenty of folk come for the chance to swim and sunbathe only 30 minutes from Asia's financial centre. For me though it's more about the enduring sense of reticence and simplicity.
White sand beaches are in abundance for any kids, body beautiful's or practising lifeguards wanting to utilise them, yet Lantau's more meaningful quality must be that of its reluctance to accompany Kowloon and Hong Kong Island into the 21st century. It is Hong Kong, just not as many people know it.
Reaching it is rarely a problem. Ferries sail from Central to Mui Wo, while buses and the MTR service Tung Chung. For those coming from Tuen Mun, it used to be a bit more inconvenient. That was, until, the relatively recent introduction of a direct ferry service. The craft may be tiny, the crossing occasionally wild, and the schedule infrequent, yet this route offers something others simply can't - a unique, close up vantage point of aircraft on their final approach into Chek Lep Kok. Being an airplane geek, that's more than enough reason to get excited.
To get anywhere on Lantau inevitably means a sickening topsy-turvy bus ride through sloping mountain roads. It's not so bad, but i'm always thankful to get off.
Each tiny seaside village is made up of two to three story holiday flats ascending up into the hillside. Running between them is a network of bedraggled stone paths with occasional grass patches and old unfinished building work left to rot anywhere there's room. It's not a dirty kind of dishevelment - there's no litter or degradation. Rather it's quite rustic - further evidence if any were needed that we're somewhere that time forgot. The place will be tidied up and finished someday - just probably not today.
Of course, there's also the Giant Buddha and the Ngong Ping 360, each offering excellent views. But if you do have some time in Hong Kong, be sure to check out it's more laid back side.
Taken from my travel blog: http://ThereIsAnotherWorld.wordpress.com
Lantau is an island of Hong Kong and famous for it's giant bronze Buddha and also for having disneyland.
Reaching Lantua is simple with the Tung Chung metro connecting it to the centre and takes around 25 minutes. The alternative is to take one of the slow or fast ferries departing regularly from the outlying islands pier in central HK. I would recommend the ferry as the scenery of the islands that look like they have been dropped into the ocean from the sky is beautiful and the local fisher boats are an alternative to the glitz and size of Hong Kong city.
Once on the island take bus 2 from the ferry pier or 23 from the metro and wind up through the mountains to the Tian Tan Buddha. Entrance is technically free but visiters are required to buy a ticket for the vegetarian restaurant (cheap snacks are around HK$25). After this ascend the steep steps leading up through swirling clouds to the imposing Buddha towering above you. It is a spectacular sight to have a 34 metre high bronze rather placid Buddha gazing upon you. The top is often cloudy but it constantly changes and most people who hang around at the top for a while will be rewarded with at least a brief view across the lush mountains down to the sea.
Tai O is also a good place to visit on the island and is a traditional fishing village built on stilts over the water. There is also a white sand beach. Great place to relax with the mountains above you and sparkling water in front. Buses reach here from the metro stop and ferry pier.
I visited Lantau while staying in Hong Kong. I got on the metro line at Nathan street and got a direct metro train straight to Lantau. The public transport is excellant. Lantau is located a fair distance away so it took roughly 30 minutes.
There was only one reason i ventured to Lantau, and that was the Po-lin monastary and the Bronze Buddha. I saw nothing of the town except for getting off the train and onto a bus to the monastary high in the mountains. I'm not sure what else is in Lantau so i wouldnt know to recommend to stay there, but from what i saw i would definatley recommend a visit.
I arrived at the monastary high in the clouds and could barely see 10ft in front of me. We were that high in the clouds. I began to climb the several hundered steps up to the largest outdoor bronze buddha in the world and i couldnt even see it. However when i reached the top, the clouds cleared for about 30 seconds to reveal this massive wonderful monument and a fantastic view off the mountain. The trip was worth it just for this alone. I would strongly advise a short day visit to Lantau however im not sure what else there is to do in Lantau, i would advise it as a day trip from Hong Kong
Lantau Island, a resort place in Hong Kong. It is half way between Macau and Hong Kong. It is the largest island with 300,000 inhabitants and it is twice the size of Hong Kong island. The Disneyland is going to open next year on this island. It used to be a quiet and relax place for locals to visit during the holidays. However, during the recent development of the island, there are many pollutions. Po Lin monastry is located here. The big Buddha is sitting on top of the mountain, it has a spectacular sea view. It is around 24 metres high. It is the world largest outdoor bronze Buddha. Visitor can take the ferry from the Central Harbour to get to this island.
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