Best 15 Things to Do in Lantau Island

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Jonathan

Discover what the island has to offer besides Ngong Ping and Big Buddha: From a fishing village, hiking trails, laid-back beaches, and theme parks.

Things to Do Lantau Island Hong Kong
Riding Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car and visiting the Big Buddha are a must do activity when visiting Lantau Island. Photo credit © Busakorn Pongparnit

Lantau Island, being the largest island in Hong Kong, offers a myriad of activities and sights that you can enjoy. The island is home to beautiful hiking trails, small villages, peaceful beaches, and some of the most popular tourist attractions in Hong Kong. Here are 15 of the best things to do in Lantau Island:

Ride Cable Car to See Big Buddha

1. Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Lantau Island Hong Kong
Photo credit © Sparktour (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Ngong Ping 360 is one of Hong Kong’s most popular attractions and the most recommended way to see the Big Buddha. The 25-minute journey offers a beautiful aerial view of Lantau Island. There are two cabins available: standard or crystal cabin. The crystal cabin’s floor is made of glass, allowing you to see what’s below along your journey.

2. Discover Ngong Ping Village

Ngong Ping Village Lantau Island Hong Kong
Photo credit © Dinkun Chen (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Once you ride the cable car, you’ll arrive at Ngong Ping Village, where you can shop for souvenirs or rest at the restaurants to escape the heat. There are also family-friendly activities like a discovery center about the cable car system and a chocolate museum.

3. Climb 268 Stairs to The Big Buddha

Big Buddha Lantau Island Hong Kong
Photo credit © Vincentstthomas

The highlight of Ngong Ping Village is Tian Tan or Big Buddha. To see it up close, however, you will need to climb the 268 steps to reach the base of the statue. Once you reach the base, you can visit the exhibition hall, where you can discover relics and artifacts related to Gautama Buddha.

4. Po Lin Monastery

Po Lin Monastery Lantau Island Hong Kong
Photo credit © Muduchaorj HARIMO (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Another place that you should visit while in Ngong Ping is the Po Lin Monastery. Founded over a century ago, this revered Buddhist site boasts stunning traditional Chinese architecture and peaceful gardens. There’s also a restaurant and cafe that sells vegetarian food, dessert, and snacks.

5. Citygate Outlets

Citygate Outlets is a big shopping mall home to over 150 mid to high-end brands, where you may score discounted end-of-line branded items. Located just next to Tung Chung MTR Station, Citygate Outlets is an ideal place to relax and grab a cup of coffee before you ride the Ngong Ping Cable Car.

Explore Tai O Village

If you’re not in a hurry, you can extend your Ngong Ping Village trip by taking a 25-minute bus to Tai O. It is a small fishing village that offers a glimpse of Hong Kong’s old fishing life and culture. Tai O is also known for its stilt houses, pink dolphins, and seafood.

6. Watch Pink Dolphins

Pink Dolphin Lantau Island Hong Kong
The rare Chinese White Dolphin (Pink Dolphin). Photo credit © Anirootboom1326

When you’re in Tai O you can try to catch a glimpse of the rare Chinese white dolphins, or simply pink dolphins, by taking a boat tour. The boat tours typically last around 20 minutes allowing you to see the village’s stilt houses while keeping an eye out for the dolphins. Keep in mind that it depends on luck to see the dolphins.

7. Tai O Market

Don’t miss the opportunity to try Tai O’s specialty items such as shrimp paste, salty fish, and dried seafood by going to the market. You can also shop for some souvenirs there.

8. Stay at Tai O Heritage Hotel

Consider booking a room at the Tai O Heritage Hotel. This beautifully restored colonial-era building was originally a police station built in 1902 and now serves as a charming boutique hotel. With only nine rooms, the hotel offers an intimate and exclusive experience. Enjoy the perfect blend of historic charm and modern amenities as you relax in the comfort of your room.

Hike Lantau Trail

Lantau Island is not only home to popular tourist attractions, but also to beautiful hiking trails that will get outdoor lovers excited. You’ll get to see Hong Kong’s mountainous landscapes, sunrise, and sunset. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to explore the natural wonders of this island. Here are some of the most popular spots.

9. Walk the Wisdom Path

Wisdom Path Lantau Island Hong Kong
The pillars in Wisdom Path are carved with verses from the Heart Sutra. Photo credit © Aleksei Gavrikov

Just a short 10-minute walk from the foot of the Big Buddha, you’ll discover the Wisdom Path. This site features 38 towering timber columns arranged in the shape of an infinity symbol (∞). Each column is adorned with calligraphy inscriptions of the Heart Sutra verses, a revered text cherished by Confucians, Buddhists, and Taoists.

10. Conquer Lantau Peak

Lantau Peak Hong Kong
Photo credit © leo.wan (CC BY 2.0) modified

Standing tall as the highest point on Lantau Island, Lantau Peak offers a challenging yet rewarding hike for adventure seekers. Rising 934 meters (3,064 feet) above sea level, it is the ideal spot to see the sunrise and get a panoramic view of the island. To catch the sunrise, set off at around 4 a.m. as Hong Kong’s sunrise typically occurs around 6 a.m.

11. Experience the Beauty of Sunset Peak

Sunset Peak Lantau Island Hong Kong
View of sundown and silvergrass field from Sunset Peak. Photo credit © james jiao

Sunset Peak is Hong Kong’s third-highest mountain and is known for its beautiful silvergrass fields and sunset views. You can embark on the hike to Sunset Peak from either Mui Wo or Pak Kung Au. The journey from Mui Wo takes approximately 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can start from Pak Kung Au for a shorter and easier hike in about 1 hour.

Have Fun at Lantau’s Theme Parks

12. Experience Magic at Hong Kong Disneyland

This beloved theme park is perfect for families and those who are looking for fun and good memories. Hong Kong Disneyland offers an array of attractions across seven themed zones, including Toy Story Land, Tomorrow Land, and more. Fans of Frozen and Marvel can also look forward to the upcoming World of Frozen and Stark Expo, set to open in late 2023 and 2024 respectively.

13. Discover Adventure at Noah’s Ark

Noahs Ark Ma Wan Hong Kong
Photo credit © tlreed (CC BY 3.0) modified

If you bring your family to have a fun and educational experience, Noah’s Ark is a great place to go. The main highlight of the park is a full-scale ark replica. Inside, you’ll find a garden, adventure land, a multi-sensory exhibition, and more. Tickets are quite affordable as well.

Serene Resort Town and Scenic Villages

After a day filled with adventure, take some time to relax and unwind in the peaceful resort town and charming villages of Lantau Island. These tranquil places offer a respite from the bustling city life, allowing you to connect with nature and enjoy the island’s local culture.

14. Discovery Bay

North Plaza Discovery Bay Hong Kong
Photo credit © Exploringlife (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Located on the northeastern coast of Lantau Island, Discovery Bay is a residential area that doubles as a resort town. You can take a stroll along the peaceful Tai Pak Beach or dine at D’Deck, the largest al-fresco dining space in Hong Kong.

15. Mui Wo and Silvermine Bay Beach

Mui Wo Promenade Hong Kong
Photo credit © Exploringlife (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Mui Wo is a small and quiet village that offers a glimpse into the local life of Lantau Island. To get there, take a 60-minute ferry ride from Central Pier No. 6 in Central. Once you arrive, you can rent bicycles or walk for 10-15 minutes to explore the nearby village. You can eat local delicacies at Mui Wo Cooked Food Market or have a barbeque at the nearby Silvermine Bay. It is a peaceful beach with relatively clean sand and water, making it great to visit with kids and families.