Lantau Island, Hong Kong
This newly developed area is located near the airport, & serves a starting place to visit Lantau Island. From here, buses could take you to almost any part of Lantau Island. The biggest attraction in this neighbourhood is its shopping centre, one of the biggest in Hong Kong & also has one of the most powerful air conditioners! The mall overall is more quiet than the usual, but it is a nice place to shop & avoid the crowds.
My favourite is the dancing fountains, for it is a lot of fun!
Since Lantau Island is still relatively undeveloped, buses in other areas do take longer to arrive. Please be more flexible, for the wait could eat up all your time.
Take a ferry from Central's Outlying Ferry Terminal during weekdays and bus no. 2 to hit the station just below the Buddha statue.
Transporation cost around 35-40 HKD from Central (One -Way)
The steps up to the Buddha are made in segments of 16 steps per segment.
Try to get the ticket to the Buddha with a vegeterian meal for anytime before 5pm at around 50 HKD. The meal is sumptous, but make sure you try out the other store for dessert after your meal.
I had taken a walk from the Hill to the MTR station located at Tung Chung. It's a long 3 hour walk which is concrete paved with few pple on the route. You will be able to see the Airport, an ancient Lo Han Temple and a Canon Fort along the way together with the remote serenity of the Lantau nature. It could be missed if quality time if required for a short trip around Hong Kong.
Tung Chung central is well developed and maintained as a Town and the trip from the MTR station to Kowloon/Central takes around 20 mins.
Lantau Island. There's an incredible Buddhist monastery here called Po Lin and of course, there's the famous Bronze Buddha, one of Hong Kong's most distinctive monuments.
Catch a ferry to Lantau island and take a bus to the Po Lin Monastry to see the giant bhudda. Throw money into the palm of one of the female statues nearby for good luck. Go at dusk and watch the sunset over the nearby islands.
If you've more than a week in HK, after getting used to the bustling city life, you might want to take a more relaxing path by taking a cruise from HK Island to the outlying island of Lantau. This is also where the new airport is located.
LANTAU ISLAND is the largest island with 300,000 inhabitants & it's twice the size of HK Island! The attraction here (at least for me as a tourist) is the PO LIN MONASTERY which has a massive (height=35 m, diameter=52 m) Buddha figure. At 800 m, this monastery of the precious lotus (Po Lin in Chinese) offers great sea view of the outlying islands. A very interesting sight indeed! What a pleasant surprise! In addition, the monastery also offers tasty vegetarian food! (For more photos, please go to Lantau Travelogue.)
Incidentally, this is also the world's largest, seated, outdoor, bronze Buddha.
To reach this amazing sight, take a ferry from the Outlying Islands Ferry Pier No. 7 in Central to Mui Wo, Lantau Island. Then the No. 2 bus. Alternatively, take MTR to Tung Chung & No. 23 bus from Tung Chung Town Centre.
Twice the size of Hong Kong Island, Lantau is the largest of all the outlying islands, yet has a population of less than 20,000. On the Ngong Ping Plateau (520 metres), at the Po Lin Monastery, is the world's largest, seated, outdoor bronze statue of Buddha (standing 24 metres high).
Big Buddha and Lan Tao Island. The Big Buddha is not really an unknown, as it is on a lot of brochures. It is the world's largest outdoor bronze Buddha or something like that. Regardless, it is quite big. Not jaw-dropping, but worth the trip. It is definitely the most out-of-the-way of the major attractions in HK. Even if you're not very interested in Buddism or seeing the statue, the scenary there and on the way there is just amazing.
The Big Buddha is located at Po Lin Monastery, in the heart of Lan Tao Island (the biggest island in HK, where the Airport is located). For the most the island is still quite pristine. This is a very good place for camping and hiking, because for the most part the island is undeveloped.
Discovery Bay is on the east side of the island. This is a residential area for the rich. In the north of course is the airport, and the nearby New Town of Tung Chong, fast gaining a large residential base. The other two developed spots are definitely worth visiting. Mui Wo, on the east, has a nice beach, but I like it because it is a very relaxing little town. My favourite though is Tai O, on the soutwest of the island. This is a fishing village, with many vestiges of an era gone by. There are lots to see already at ferry pier/bus station, but if you venture further in, you will get the real taste of how fisher-people live - narrow paths, houses on stilts, fish drying in the sun... In between Mui Wo and Tai O, along the southern shore, are two of the best beaches in HK, and not at all crowded.
Getting to and around Lan Tao Island is somewhat of a challenge, though it has been helped tremendously with the new MTR line. Discovery Bay is essentially cut off from the rest of the island, and is accessible by speed ferry from Central. The best way to Tung Chong is by MTR. Mui Wo has regular ferry service to and from Central and Cheung Chau. Tai O used to have ferry service, but I don't believe it does anymore. Tai O-Mui Wo and Tai O-Tung Chong buses are about the only way (beside taxis). The Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery is in an area called Ngong Ping, on top of a mounntain in the heart of the island. To get there you can take a bus from Tong Chung, Mui Wo, or Tai O. The trip there from Tong Chung is incredible. You first traverse the island on the only road that goes north-south. That entails going up and down a mountain, on a one-lane two-direction road! Though it's paved, you would hardly believe that you are in HK!! Lush vegetation all around you as you ascend, you are greeted with a gorgeous view of the shoreline and the ocean at the top. After the bus reaches the south, it goes west on the main road and then turn north again to ascend toward Ngong Ping. Along the way you will have seen a reservoir, a prison, beaches, sea-side communities, temples, and more lush vegetation.
Buses on Lan Tao Island are more expensive on Sundays, so avoid that day if possible. They are definitely not the same type of bus as you see elsewhere in HK. They resemble more the mini-buses, but bigger.
Visit the outer-laying islands. My favorite was Lantau. Most of the island is protected parkland. There's a 70K hiking trail around island that passes campsites and 2 youth hostels. Almost all villages on island can be reached by the small bus network. I caught the bus (#1 from Mui Wo) to this fishing village, Tai-O.
TAI O - The Venice of Hong Kong, an outlying island. A fishing village located in Lantau Island, still not yet polluted by the city life.
Wooden houses built on water, boats, hills, friendly people, peaceful, dried seafood, narrow streets, old ages... these are all my memories of this place. I love Tai O!!!
I know I've already written a tip on Tai O under things to do, but I found some more photos of this beautiful fishing village with its waterside houses on stilts.
Pui O has a lovely beach and a restaurant on the beach. It is quite common to see Lantau's famous water buffalo wandering around here.
Home of a Monk Monastery. There is a Big Buddha monument and a temple. There are so many Buddhist sculptures all over the island.
Fishing junks, wooden stilt houses along the waterfront, tiny shops, shrines and ancient temples form an interesting mosaic of a traditional fishing village. (Visit my travelogue for more photos!!!)
Get a ferry to Lantau Island and get the bus to the Giant Buddha on the mountain . He's fairly new,big and is located in a spectacular spot.
Take a ferry to visit Po Lin monastery. It has the biggest buddha in the world. Make sure you take lunch with the locals.