Outlying Islands'

LANTAU ISLAND

 

Description :  The biggest Island of the Territory (twice the size of HK Island !) with the biggest seated bronze statue of Buddha in the world !

Comments : Beside its superb Buddha and adjacent Po Lin Monastery, Lantau also offers 100km of superb trekking trails, beaches, an expatriates community and an old fishing village (not in the same place)

What to do : Take a boat during week day and relax ! / Once in Mui Wo, rush for a bus /Let the driver scares you on the small twining roads /  Climb 268 stairs to reach the 26 meter high Buddha / Burn incense at Po Lin Monastery / Have a vegetarian lunch / Jump back in time while visiting the charming Tai O Fishing Village / If you are fit, well equipped and well prepared, trek one of the 10 Trails / If all the previous plus very courageous, watch the sunrise from Lantau Peak / Relax at one of a beach / Camp out / Bring oranges to the prison's inmates / Experience the expatriate way of life at  Discovery Bay and forget you are in HK ! / Watch plane land (and if lucky crash) at the new airport /  

What you may not like : Visiting during WE / Fighting for a seat on a bus / Having to bring a pull over for the air conditioned buses / Not being able to afford living in Discovery Bay / Trekking in foggy conditions / Not bringing enough water / The bridges in Tai O that now remplace the traditional bark pulled by old ladies from one side of the village to the other / The destruction of the most beautiful waterfall in HK, near Tai O Village, thanks to superb canalization pipes and the progress ! /  The eyesore of the new airport when trekking / The prospect of losing the natural charm of the place to modernism and the Disney Park / The rubbish in the countryside and on some beaches 


Trekking Lantau ?

The 70 km of trails divided in 12 sections of different lengths and levels should keep you busy for a while. It starts and end in Mui Wo. You can get information about the sections at the HKTA. 

The most rewarding and challenging sections are probably Section 2 "Sunset Peak" (6.5km, difficult, 3 hrs, walk half an hour from Mui Wo to reach the beginning of the trail) and section 3 "Lantau Peak" (4.5km, difficult, 2.5 hrs, Bus No3). The later is interesting by clear day (Lantau is unfortunately called the "foggy island" so be prepared for sudden change of weather) as  it let you enjoy a bird view of the Big Buddha and finishes next to it. If you started early, you may even have time to take another bus to Tai O, such combining a great walk with some tourism... 

A nice and easy walk is the trail from Mui Wo to the expatriate paradise of Discovery Bay which should take you less than 2 hours at a relaxed pace. 


Backpacker's Tips :  Paul Taylor (Janv 08)

Cheung Sha Wan beach (Cheung Sha Bay) and Tong Fuk Beach (next one along) on Lantau Island, You can get a ferry to Lantau Island from Central pier. You arrive at Mui Wo and get the bus no 2 to Ngong Ping. Get of the bus about ten to fifteen minutes after leaving for these two excellent beaches, you will need to ask the driver when to get off. There is an excellent restaurant on Cheung Sha Wan beach that does some catering for vegetarians.

Backpacker's Tips :  Walter, Australia / New Zealand (March 02)
The 'entrance ticket' mentioned below is not required! The Buddha is free! If you buy a ticket, you do get to walk inside the Buddha (some Buddhist scriptures and artifacts are in there) and eat lunch. But it's damn expensive!

You can check out Po-lin straight after getting off the plane! Get a bus from the airport to Tung Chung, then change for Po-lin! After this, you can go down to Mui-wo and get a boat into town. 

Backpacker's Tips :  Roshani Kothari (June 01)
Po Lin Monastery : The Buddha sculpture is quite stunning. Also the bus ride through the beautiful, green landscape on Lantau Island is such a nice relief. They also give a nice vegetarian snack or lunch with the entrance ticket.  


How to come here ?

BOAT :

To Mui Wo "Silvermine Bay" (ordinary Ferry) 

From When Dep. Nb Dur. Price
TST Star Ferry  Sat. 13,14,15,17,19 5 1 17
TST Star Ferry Sund & PH 9,11,13,14,15,16,17,18 8 1 17
Central Pier 7 Mond-Sat 7,8:30,9:30,10:30, 11:30,12:30,... 21 1 9.70
Central Pier 7 Sund & PH 7,8:30,9:30,10:30, 11:30,12:30,... 21 1 17

From Central on Sund. & PH, also optional sailings at 8,9,10 & 11am / From Central via Peng Chau at 7am / Dur. = duration

To Mui Wo via Peng Chau (hoverferry) 

From Dep. Nb Dur. Price
Central Pier 6 9:35,11:20,14:25,16:25 4 35mn 24 or 32 (WE)

To Discovery Bay  (hoverferry)

From When Dep. Nb Dur. Price
Central  Star Ferry daily 24 hrs service a lot 25-30mn $25

Notes : Call 2542 3081 or 2525 1108  for enquiries / WE prices apply from Saturday noon

Backpacker's Tips : Wai-Wan, HK (April 04)
 the ferry schedule: http://www.nwff.com.hk  for Cheung Chau island and Lantau island


MTR :

It is now possible to go to Lantau without seeing water ! If you do not mind this lack of romanticism and can stand the cold, take the MTR to Tung Chung. From there, air conditioned buses connect regularly to Mui Wo (No13, $10.5 or 17 WE, 42mn), Tai O Fishing Village (No11, $11.8 or 19 WE, 50mn)  or Po Lin Monastery (No23, $16 or 25 WE, 48mn).


Transportations' options once there ?

Once arrived at Mui Wo, go straight to the bus station opposite the Pier.  The place is busy during WE and most of the people in the boat will also compete to take a bus as soon as possible... A few useful routes :

From Mui Wo :

To Route Dur. When

Time

Nb Freq. Price Back
Tai O  No1 40mn Mond-Sat 6 to 1:30am 34 30mn 8 or 11.8 22:15 (1)
Tai O No1 40mn Sund & PH 6 to 1:30am 31 30mn 13 or 19 22:15  (2)
Po Lin  No2 45mn Mond-Sat 8:20,9:35,10:35, 11:35,... 11 hour 10.5 or 16 19:30
Po Lin No2 45mn Sund & PH 8:20 to 18:30 19 30mn 17.5 or 25 19:30
Lantau Peak No3 30mn Mond-Sat 6:15 to 22:35 21 hour 7.2 or 10.5 na (3)
Lantau Peak No3 30mn Sund & PH 6:15 to 22:35 19 hour 11.5 or 17 na (3)

(1) infrequent after 18:30 / (2) infrequent after 19 / (3) Bus from Tung Chung Pier (Fort)

From Po Lin (Ngong Ping) :

To Route Dur. When

Time

Nb Price
Tai O  No21 18mn Mond-Sat ...,12:15,13:15,14:15,15:15,17 8 4.4 or 6.3
Tai O No21 18mn Sund & PH

...,idem plus 16:15

9 9 or 13

From Tai O :

To Route Dur. When

Time

Nb Price
Po Lin No21 18mn Mond-Sat ...,12,13,14,15 7 4.4 or 6.3
Po Lin No21 18mn Sund & PH

...,idem

7 9 or 13

Note : the most expensive price is for freezing Air-conditioned Bus and unfortunately, there is no way to know the type of bus that will come...