During our week in December in Hong Kong we spent a relaxing day on Lantau Island. Lantau is the largest of Hong Kong’s islands, it has a mountainous interior which includes 934m-high Lantau Peak. It’s also home to Po Lin Monastery where you can find the bronze Tian Tan Buddha, a 34m-tall statue on a hilltop reached by a long stairway. There are also some beautiful beaches here.
We took the ferry from Hong Kong Island to Silvermine Bay, Mui Wo using our Octopus Cards, it’s amazingly cheap to travel on ferries to the outlying islands. The journey takes around one hour. There is a small shopping centre here and also some restaurants and bars, a hotel and a swimming beach. We had decided to go further afield though and caught a bus to Cheung Sha Beach. From where the bus stops you have to walk a bit down a small road and then right there before you know it is the beach.
In the evening before sunset wild cows that are now protected in Hong Kong roam the shoreline. You will see many cows on your way around Lantau.
After a relaxing lunch by the beach we walked back up the road to catch a bus to the Tian Tan Buddha. The bus ride takes around 20 minutes and they are pretty frequent.
The Buddha sits 26.4 metres on top of a lotus throne and is 34 metres high, including the base. The statue cost HK$60 million. It was erected in 1993. Source: HK Tourist Board.
Before you get to the buddha there is a lovely promenade (Ngong Ping walk) surrounded by huge green mountains. Here cows roam freely and and do not seem to object to being petted and stroked!
Lining the promenade are statues depicting the Chinese Zodiac. Po Lin Monastery is also located here. We spent around an hour walking around and taking in the sights, although it’s easy to spend an afternoon here. There are a few restaurants, shops and little walks around the edge of the village.
It was actually quite busy up here for a week day but Anthony managed to find a peaceful spot for some reflection and relaxation outside the Po Lin Monastery.
I would definitely recommend coming in the week as the weekend would be heaving with people.
There are 268 steps up to the Buddha which we declined to take, but our friends went up to enjoy the view. Even though it was a sunny day with blue skies, it was still a bit hazy to take a great photo.
We were taking the cable car back to Tung Chung and for me this was the best bit! Travelling so high above the mountains there are fantastic views all around.
A stroll through the tourist village takes you to the cable car entry.
Photos from the cable car
Lantau Island is also the home of Sunset Peak, measuring 869m and the third largest mountain in Hong Kong. It’s a favourite with hillwalkers and hikers and is best walked in the Autumn and Winter months of Hong Kong.
If you do ever have a spare day when in Hong Kong then Lantau is a great way to spend that time. Even in the summer when it’s hot and humid you can just go to the beach. There are umbrellas and deckchairs for hire for you to while away a hot afternoon.