It’s a land of extremes on Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong. With bustling destinations and quiet, idyllic villages, Lantau is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway.
Travellers have an abundance of activities to choose from. Whether it’s culture and history or Disneyland and beaches that float your boat, Lantau provides experiences for young and old.
Up until about 20 years ago, ferries were the main form of transportation for people going back and forth from the island. Today, the Lantau Link connects the island to both the airport and urban parts of Hong Kong.
You can easily get around by car in the developed northern areas and around much of the perimeter, but the less-populated rural areas in the central country park (which covers most of the island) are much more attractive on foot.
Lantau Island is home to one major draw in particular: Disneyland, which is connected to the rest of Hong Kong via the Sunny Bay rail station. Visitors to other Disney parks will find the familiar here with an additional Chinese flair, including the expertise of a feng shui master in its early stages of design.
Look for the lucky number eight at many of the exhibits and enjoy snacks of dim sum. If you’d prefer a more cultural experience, consider a stop at Big Buddha. It’s the largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha statue in the world towering at 34 metres and weighing 250 tons.
You can either walk up to Tian Tan Buddha or see it from the air in the Ngong Ping cable car, a 5.7-kilometre ropeway extending from Tung Chung all the way up to the top over a 25-minute ride.
You can also get off the beaten track and see more of Lantau's natural beauty. With footpaths crisscrossing the island, there’s much to see hiking around Lantau. Fishing villages on the coast, like Tai O, still contain traditional houses perched on stilts, and you might spot a buffalo or two meandering the streets.
If you're at the beach, keep your eyes peeled for the endangered Chinese white dolphins frolicking in the waters; they’re unmistakable with their unique pink colouring and are a treat to watch.