Nestled in the Pearl river, Lantau is the largest island of Hong Kong. For first time visitors, there are plenty of fun things to do on Lantau island to keep you fully occupied for a day. Hence, its a popular day tour destination and flocked by many for its amazing attractions.
Your typical Lantau island itinerary will surely include a visit to Tian Tian Buddha, a ride on the Ngong Ping 360 cable way and a visit to Tai O village, among others. If you have more time, I would recommend spending an entire day to cover Hong Kong Disneyland, which is also on this lovely island.
So if you are wondering what to do in Lantau island, there is no dearth of options. Based on your schedule, you can try adding few or all of these to your Lantau island tour.
Table of Content
- Best Things to do on Lantau Island Hong Kong
- Walk around Ngong Ping Village
- Taste Artistic Flower Tea
- Enjoy Surreal views from Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car
- Gawk at the Mighty Tian Tian Buddha
- Pay Homage at Po Lin Monastery 寶蓮禪寺
- Walk around the Lovely Tai O Village 大澳
- Hike the Lantau Trail
- Enjoy a Fun-Filled Day at Hong Kong Disneyland
- Embark on a Boat Tour to Sight Pink Dolphins
- Buy Cute Souvenirs at the Fishing Village
- Try “Husband” and other Unique Local Delicacies
- Visit a Cat Cafe at Tai O
- Lantau Island Map
- Where to Book your Lantau Island Tour?
Best Things to do on Lantau Island Hong Kong
A visit to Lantau island is on every Hong Kong itinerary. By default, it has popped up as one of the top attractions in the city. Once you visit, there is tons to do and you can see why it witnesses hoards of tourists every single day.
Walk around Ngong Ping Village
A visit to the lovely Ngong Ping village tops my Lantau island things to do list. You cannot go to Lantau and not visit Ngong ping – it’s that simple. This cultural entertainment hub can be found as soon as you step out of the cable way. Hard to miss, right?
Ngong Ping village has several attractions and dining options spread across 1.5 hectares. Some top things to do at Ngong Ping village include trying out the new innovative VR 360, Walking with the Buddha, Stage 360 and Motion 360.
The village also has plenty of photo opportunities around Chinese good luck charms and authentic wishing trees.
Did I mention the village is also very cute and artsy? I even saw a caricature artist drawing freehand styles and some cute wall murals.
Taste Artistic Flower Tea
At the popular Linong tea house, you can try their brand new product – Artistic flower tea. There is a free tea demonstration 3 times a day where they explain health benefits as they demonstrate the right way to enjoy a cup of this amazing flower tea.
Linong also has the cutest tea sets for sale. I spent 15 mins just staring at these carefully curated pieces.
Enjoy Surreal views from Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car
Ngong Ping 360 have branded themselves as the top tourist attraction in Hong Kong and rightly so. Where else can you enjoy surreal views of city, ocean, mountains and jungles in a long 25 min cable ride? This 5.7 km ropeway also gives you the first look at Tian Tian Buddha and I must admit, this is one of the best view points to the urban jungle of Hong Kong.
Tip – Choose the glass bottom “Crystal cabin” to really enjoy the birds eye view.
Gawk at the Mighty Tian Tian Buddha
Undoubtedly this hilltop big Buddha statue of Tian Tian is one of the most sought after attractions on Lantau island. This 112 ft bronze statue is one of the top 5 largest Buddha statues in China.
Symbolizing harmony and peace, the statue was completed in 1993 and has been a tourist attraction and mecca for Buddhism in Hong Kong, ever since.
Pay Homage at Po Lin Monastery 寶蓮禪寺
Located in the Ngong ping plateau of Lantau island, this monastery is surely a must visit while there. Po lin monastery is an architectural delight and several tourists and locals flock to pay homage by praying and burning incense sticks.
You can even see several cows in the monastery grounds. Yes, that’s right – cows! Lovely, beautiful holy cows loiter around and are often part of tourist selfies. Though there are several signs advising tourists not to go near, touch or feed the cows, it seems the signage is usually ignored.
Walk around the Lovely Tai O Village 大澳
Tai O village is totally different from the more urban and upscale Ngong ping village. Tai O is a local fishing village and gives you a peek into the traditional culture and lifestyle.
Since it is now a tourist attraction, several locals have started selling food, souvenirs and other items, to bank in on the influx. It is surely a commercialized little town but a lot of fun to walk around.
You can easily spend a day taking pictures here and enjoying a sneak peek into local life.
For example, I have never seen a toilet that just has a hole – everything goes straight in the sea. I am not sure if it’s considered good for the environment (or the marine life) but that’s how the locals live!
Hike the Lantau Trail
If you are a big fan of adventure and want to try hiking in Hong Kong, Lantau trail is a good option to challenge your skills. If you are on a budget, you save up on the cable car tickets as well.
However, hiking the 70 km Lantau trail is NOT a breeze. Most sections are arduous climbs and can take upto 3 hours to complete (one section).
Another popular mini trail (2 hours) is from Ngong ping village to Lantau peak. Those who wish to catch the sunrise, can stay overnight at Ngong Ping and start at around 4 am for the peak.
Click here for detailed routes and time taken vs distance covered for each section.
Enjoy a Fun-Filled Day at Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland is also part of Lantau island. You can, however, reach Disneyland by MTR and then changing to Disney train. You don’t have to take the cable way or hike up.
Disneyland offers fun filled big thrill as well as kiddie rides, along with the spectacular live Lion King theater, Disney parade and several photo opps with your favorite Disney characters. Click here to skip the queue and pre-book your Disneyland tickets.
Embark on a Boat Tour to Sight Pink Dolphins
At Tai O village, you can hop on a boat tour for a chance to encounter the rare, endemic pink dolphins of Hong Kong. We did a short 15 min ride, which was included in our Lantau island tour. Sadly, we didn’t spot any of those endangered beauties. However, I have heard from other travelers who embarked on the same tour and were lucky to see them few times in one trip. So, apparently they are pretty common in these waters.
Buy Cute Souvenirs at the Fishing Village
I found the cutest souvenirs ever in the Tai O fishing village. Starting at just HKD 10, my favorites were the adorable sea shell turtles with spectacles. However, there were plenty of other options too.
Try “Husband” and other Unique Local Delicacies
There is so much to taste at the Tai O village. One local delicacy was called “Husband” which I have only ever found here. I simply HAD to find out what this delightful sounding cuisine entailed.
Basically, these are pork and shrimp pancakes. I also loved their logo which shows a pork chef and a shrimp dancing closely. It was hilarious to find this signage saying “Husband – Only HKD 28”. This cracked me up and called for a picture –
Apart from “husband”, fish balls and doughnuts are other popular local items but there are several more street food and dining options at Tai O and even in Ngong Ping village.
Visit a Cat Cafe at Tai O
Tai O village has cat cafes with real cats. Can you believe finding a cat cafe in a local fishing village? I have never seen one before.. in a village! So, I would say add it to your list of awesome, fun, cool things to do on Lantau Island because hey – cats are amazing.
Lantau Island Map
How to reach Lantau island
Tung chung cable car terminal is the starting point of the ropeway. To reach there, simply take MTR to Tung Chung station, then walk for 3 mins from Exit B. There are clear maps for direction and little scope of getting lost.
Once at the station, if you have pre-booked your cable car tickets, you can skip the hour long queues and go straight to your standard/ crystal cabin.
You can also opt for to hike up via the Lantau trail which starts from Mui wo.
Where to Book your Lantau Island Tour?
If you are visiting for the first time and looking for a discounted guided tour, I would highly recommend taking this tour via KKday.
I enjoyed the tour (though usually I am a DIY person), as it had a lot of free time. So it is not really a hand-held type of tour and you still need to reach Ngong ping village on your own – which entails taking a MTR and cable car on your own.
Once there, you meet your guide and learn more about the island as well as get transported to Tai O village. Tour also includes bus tickets and snack passes.
You get time to explore on your own for an hour at Tai 0 and later you can spend as much time walking around Ngong ping village and Po Lin monastery at your own pace.
So basically the tour offers a discounted combined deal on all attractions whilst giving you ample time and space.
So have your been to Lantau? Which are your favorite things to do on Lantau island Hong Kong? Tell me in comments below.