The largest of Hong Kong’s outlying islands, Lantau is twice the size of Hong Kong Island, yet it has only a fraction of the population. Where Hong Kong is an urban jungle of sorts, Lantau is a mostly quiet escape famous for its long beaches, traditional fishing villages, Buddhist monuments, outlet shopping, and mountainous interior popular with hikers. The northern tip of the island is home to both Hong Kong International Airport and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Whether arriving in Hong Kong by air or spending a day with Mickey Mouse, many travelers find themselves on Lantau Island at some point during their Hong Kong trip. But the rest of the island is worthy of exploration as well, especially for those looking for a break from the urban buzz of central Hong Kong. Ride the Ngong Ping cable car to the Po Lin Monastery with its bronze Big Buddha statue (also called the Tian Tan Buddha), search for dolphins from stilt houses in the Tai O fishing village, hike to the top of Lantau Peak, bask in the sun along Cheung Sha Beach or Pui O Beach, or dine on freshly caught seafood at Discovery Bay.
Things to Know Before You Go
- You can choose between adventure and culture tours on Lantau Island.
- Many Lantau tours include round-trip transportation to and from your hotel in Hong Kong.
- The northern part of the island is the busiest; head south to see a more rural Lantau.
- Remember to bring sunscreen and water, as the area can get hot and humid.
- Wear suitable shoes comfortable for walking over uneven ground.
How to Get to Lantau Island
The fastest way to get to Lantau Island from Hong Kong is by taking the MTR to Tung Chung station. The ride takes about 25 minutes and connects with the special rail service shuttling guests to Disneyland. More scenic is the ferry ride departing from Central Hong Kong to either Discovery Bay or Mui Wo.
When to Get There
The weather tends to be cool and dry between October and February, making it a pleasant time to visit. Expect temperatures in the upper 80s with high humidity during the summer months. Budget-minded travelers should plan to visit on a weekday or Saturday, as ferries and buses impose a surcharge on Sundays and public holidays.
Where to Find the Best Views on Lantau Island
Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak gets all the attention for its panoramic views, but Lantau has some gems of its own. For a stellar sunrise view of the island and the South China Sea, give Lantau Peak a try (you can hike to the top or take a cable car ride), or for a romantic spot to bid farewell to the day, climb up to the aptly named Sunset Peak.