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What to do on Lantau Island, Hong Kong

What to do on Lantau Island, Hong Kong


Written From… A sweltering hot common room in a hostel in Airlie Beach, Australia


Home to the famous Tian Tan Buddha and the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, Lantau Island is located just west of Hong Kong Island at the mouth of the Pearl River. Boasting mountainous landscapes perfect for hiking, with the summit home to Ngong Ping village and views of spectacular sunrises, taking some time out to head to this small island is a must do when visiting Hong Kong. There are plenty of things to see and do on Lantau Island, so make sure you have the whole day free.

On my recent trip to Hong Kong I was fortunate enough to go over to the Island and experience both the stunning scenery, and man-made temples.

How to get to the island and the summit

To get to Lantau Island you have to get on the MTR’s Tung Chung line to Tung Chung station. From the station, there are two ways to get to the summit You can either hike using one of the two trails, or you can get Hong Kong’s famous cable car, Ngong Ping 360, for the 30 minute scenic ride over the ocean and up the mountain.. With the cable car you can choose to get a basic ticket – single or return which cost me around $210 for a standard cabin – or opt for a package deal where you will be part of a tour taking you around the island so you don’t miss a thing.

Ngong Ping Village

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Traditional Chinese Architecture in Ngong Ping Village – Photo by Megan Jessica, taken with Panasonic Lumix G7

Once you get to the summit you will find yourself in a small village surrounded by traditional chinese architecture – Ngong Ping Village. The village boasts small shops, including a tea garden that holds regular demonstrations, a store dedicated to chopsticks, and many places to buy souvenirs and get a bite to eat. Take a casual stroll through the village before heading off up to Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery.

Tian Tan Buddha – The Big Buddha

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Taken From the Base of Tian Tan Buddha – Photo by Megan Jessica, taken with Panasonic Lumix G7

One of the main attractions on Lantau Island is the 34 meter tall bronze Tian Tan Buddha. The Tian Tan Buddha, also known as The Big Buddha, was completed in 1993 and sits atop a lotus flower, facing North, looking out over China and its people. To get close to this magnificent statue you will need to climb 268 stairs, where not only will you be able to get a closer look at the Buddha and its interior, but you’ll also get a panoramic view of the island and the ocean below.

Po Lin Monastery

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Megan Outside Po Lin Monastery – Photo by Luis Carrillo, taken with Canon EOS 550D Digital SLR Camera

The Po Lin Monastery is located just a bit further back from the Tian Tan Buddha and is a popular tourist attraction and a popular place of worship. You will see many people coming to worship and place incense offerings – please respect those worshipping. Inside the Po Lin Monastery you will find the shrine hall, the Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas, a meditation hall and a scripture library. This monastery was originally founded by 3 monks and was a small place of worship, it has since then grown after the building of The Great Hall and is now seen as a place of pilgrimage for those wishing to worship.


Boasting mountainous landscapes perfect for hiking, with the summit home to Ngong Ping village and views of spectacular sunrises, taking some time out to head to this small island is a must do when visiting Hong Kong.


Abandoned Tea Garden

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Inside the Workers House – Photo by Megan Jessica, taken with Panasonic Lumix G7

On the way to the Wisdom Path you will pass through a derelict tea garden. Without looking properly you may miss the abandoned tea shop and houses located at either side of the path. This tea garden was apparently opened around 1947 by a British man named Brook Antony Bernacchi after he bought 200 acres of land from a former nunnery. He then built a tea farm and opened a tea garden to give released prisoners a way to earn their own living. This garden was a place where locals would come and enjoy the locally grown tea. Today the area remains eerily derelict – looking into the workers house on the right hand side you can see where beds have been left abandoned. We still don’t know why this tea garden was abandoned, so if you know please drop a comment below.

Wisdom Path

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The Wisdom Path – Photo by Megan Jessica, taken with Panasonic Lumix G7

After walking through the abandoned tea garden you will reach a small wooded area which opens out to the Wisdom Path on the right. The Wisdom path is a small circular route completed in 2005 which encompass 38 wooden beams. These beams, inscribed with the Heart Sutra, were placed into a figure-of-eight to represent infinity. The calligraphic work of the Heart Sutra was given to Hong Kong and its people by Professor Jao Tsung-I in 2002 and was then constructed into the outdoor monument you can walk around today.

Tai O Fishing Village

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Tai O Fishing Village – Photo by Aapo Haapanen

This village is home to a fishing community who have built their homes on stilts, above the tidal flats of Lantau Island. This is one of the few places you can still see the traditional stilt houses in Hong Kong. Here you will find a market to walk around and many boats that will take you around the harbour to get a closer look the houses above the water.

I had a fantastic time in Lantau Island and would highly recommend it. Make sure you get there early so you have the whole day to explore as you can easily lose track of time when taking in the beauty of the Monastery or walking around the villages.

Megan is the Co-founder of Written From. Her love of travel stems from a childhood dream to experience life abroad, of discovering something new outside of her well known territory, London. Not only a traveler but also a web junky, Megan enjoys snapping pictures, designing and making websites, drinking copious amounts of tea and having a good weekend Netflix binge.

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. I am in China at the moment so I may visit Hong Kong too! Thanks for the informative post, I will definitely go to the abandoned tea garden, such a weird place! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Megan Jessica

      I 100% recommend visiting Hong Kong. I completely fell in love with the city when I was there. Yes, the abandoned tea garden was an interesting find, we completely lost track of time there, making up stories of what could have happened.

  2. All tips are worthy to explore Lantau Island. I wish to visit home to the famous Tian Tan Buddha. But I’ll love to take cable car tour. It sounds interesting!

    1. Megan Jessica

      The cable car tour was great! You’ll have an amazing time on the island!

  3. This just brought back great memories for me. I Lived in Shenzhen for a while and used to take the ferry to Hong Kong regularly. Ngong Ping was always one of my stops when people came to visit us.

    1. Megan Jessica

      That sounds amazing. I’m not surprised, I feel like you could view everything on the island in a slightly different way each time you visit.

  4. Wow your photos are stunning.
    It must have been tiring climbing up those (almost) 300 stairs. As spooky as that tea house looks the history is very interesting.

    Nice blog post.

    1. Megan Jessica

      Thank you so much! It definetly was tiring when we’d been exploring non-stop for the past few days!

  5. I really enjoyed visiting Lantau island when I was in Hong Kong, but never saw enough. The photo of the Wisdom Path is wonderful, and I’m sad I missed seeing the fishing village too. I need to return!

    1. Megan Jessica

      I know! I feel like you could easily go back time and time again!

  6. This is the first time am reading about this island of HongKong. Ngong Ping Village seems quite and calm and the tea gardens you have mentioned made me to visit this place soon 🙂

    1. Megan Jessica

      Ngong Ping Village was super relaxing. We took our time walking around and taking everything.

  7. Hi. Love this info. We will be in Hong Kong in 2019 so I pinned this for future reference. I’ve been trying to get to Hong Long forever! Looks amazing. Thanks.

  8. Wow, there is so much hear i love the architecture and the wisdom path, i could do with one of those! I especially love the abounded tea house

    1. Megan Jessica

      Yeah – there is so much to see. You really do need a full day to explore this island properly.

  9. I’ve not heard much about Lantau and I’m sold based on your article. I love to trek so it would be a fab place for me to explore. Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery look like fabulous highlights!

    1. Megan Jessica

      Oh you should go if you’re ever in Hong Kong! We also hiked up to Victoria Peak which was so worth it!!

  10. Beautiful houses of the village and Tian Tan Budha. I would definitely opt for hiking to the summit. Sounds amazing!

    1. Megan Jessica

      If you enjoy hiking there are a number of places you can do that in Hong Kong. We hiked up to Victoria Peak which was breath taking! I recommend Hong Kong!

  11. Oh, I have only seen urban Hong Kong, this island is something new. Nice post!

    1. Megan Jessica

      Yeah, I’m so glad we got out of the main city and explored some of the surrounding islands too. We also went to Lamma Island, a small finish island, which was incredible. I’m going to do a post on that soon as well.

  12. Another place I need to add to my bucket list…the abandoned tea garden looks absolutely magical!

    1. Megan Jessica

      We completely lost track of time here making up stories about what may have happened! It was an interesting find!

  13. The Wisdom Path looks so interesting! Would definitely love to know what each beam says. I’ve never heard of Lantau Island so will for sure have to add it to my list. Thanks for a comprehensive guide and some awesome suggestions!

    1. Megan Jessica

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article and hope you get to tick the island off your bucket soon!

  14. Should add this destination to my bucket list, abandoned tea garden is stunning, Great post!

  15. I’m saving your post as we are moving to Thailand in autumn and we have a one week break in October when we want to visit Hong Kong – it will be nice change of scenery after the hustle and bustle of a big city. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Megan Jessica

      That sounds amazing! You’ll have to keep me updated on the move. I couldn’t recommend visiting Hong Kong enough, you’ll have a fantastic time.

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