Lantau Island Hong Kong – Last stop on my trip to Hong Kong: Lantau Island! I went to the village of Ngong Ping first to visit one of the most famous attractions of Hong Kong, the Tian Tan Buddha also called Big Buddha. Then I went to a fishing village called Tai O, located west of the island, for a more relaxing walk.
Lantau Island – Tian Tan Buddha: How To Go To Ngong Ping Village ?
There are 3 transportation options to go to Ngong Ping Village where the Tian Tan Buddha is located:
1. MTR + Bus
From Hong Kong Island or from Kowloon, take the MTR Tung Chung Line to Tung Chung and get off the train at the last stop.
Price: 25 HKD (~ $3.20)
Duration: 35 minutes from Hong Kong Island
Then, walk to the Tung Chung bus station which is 5 minutes away from the MTR station. Follow the signs, it shouldn’t be very difficult to find the bus station. Take bus #23 towards Ngong Ping and get off at the last stop.
Price: about 20 HKD (~ $2.50)
Duration : 50 minutes
Let’s recap for option #1:
Price: 45 HKD (~ $6)
Duration: about 90 minutes from Hong Kong Island
2. Ferry + Bus
Boat lovers can also go to Lantau Island by ferry from Central Ferry Pier in Hong Kong Island. Head to pier #6 and take the ferry to Mui Wo.
Price: between 30 and 43 HKD on the Fast Ferry (~ $4 to $5.50) or between 15 and 22 HKD (~ $2 to $3)
Time: 35 minutes (Fast Ferry) or 55 minutes
More information on ferries here.
From Mui Wo, take bus #2 towards Ngong Ping and get off at the last stop.
Price: about 20 HKD (~ $2.55)
Duration: 40 minutes
Let’s recap for option #2:
Price: about 60 HKD (~ $7.65)
Duration: 75 minutes (Fast Ferry) or 95 minutes
3. MTR + Cable Car
This is the option I went with because the cable car trip to go to Ngong Ping is an attraction all by itself. If you’re going to choose this option, be ready to wait in line for hours to buy tickets, especially during the weekend. So I recommend you buy your tickets online, hassle-free. You can choose the standard cable car cabin or the crystal one which is all glass and not for the faint-hearted!
Like in option #1, take the MTR to Tung Chung Station. It takes 35 minutes to get there from Hong Kong Island and costs 35 HKD (~$ 4.50).
Head to the cable car terminal which is 5 minute-walk from the Tung Chung MTR station, near the bus station. The cable car trip lasts about 30 minutes during which you will have the most magnificent view of the whole bay.
Let’s recap for option #3:
Price: the cable car round trip is 195 HKD (~ $25)
Duration: 65 minutes (waiting time to buy tickets or board the cable car are not included)
Ngong Ping Village And The Tian Tan Buddha
The village of Ngong Ping is not so big actually but there’s so much to do and see! Once at the village, you’ll see lots of nice restaurants that aren’t very expensive. There’s also some sort of a tea show or demonstration if you’re into that, and a screening of a short called Walking with Buddha, which tells the story of Siddhartha Gautama, the first Buddha.
A little further away, there’s an alley lined with 12 statues. They represent the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac and each sign carries a different weapon. Throughout the day, each of the 12 statues protects the village for two hours and that covers its 24 hours of much needed protection. For example, the statue shown above represents the sign of the dragon; it is armed with a sledgehammer and is supposed to protect the village from 7 to 9 AM. No sleeping in for our dragon friend, I guess! 🙂
To your left is the Buddhist monastery of Po Lin, where the presence of dragons showcases the strong Chinese influence.
No photos or videos are allowed inside the building so I guess you can only take outside shots of the monastery, although if you really want to take pictures inside the temples, apparently it’s possible as long as you’re standing outside. 😉
Last but not least is the Tian Tan Buddha (also called Big Buddha) that can be seen from almost everywhere in the village. There is a good 268 step-climb to get there by the way. At the top of the stairs, the size of the Tian Tan Buddha statue and the intensity of the whole place is impressive and even intimidating.
If you go around the statue, you’ll have a terrific view of all Lantau Island.
You will also come across the 6 devas (divinities), each offering a present to the Buddha. The deva below is offering a lotus flower, symbol of prosperity and longevity.
If you still have time, check out the Wisdom Path on the hills of Ngong Ping. I didn’t have enough time so I couldn’t go and instead went directly to Tai O. If you’re planning to visit Tai O, I recommend you head there early (preferably before 4PM) to have enough time to enjoy the village.
Lantau Island – Tai O Village: A Charming Fishing Village
To get there, take bus #21 from Ngong Ping to Tai O. The Ngong Ping bus station is not far from the cable car terminal. As you walk into the village, you should see it on your right, at some point. The trip costs around 15 HKD (~ $2).
Tai O is a small fishing village on the western side of Lantau Island. Its inhabitants are very welcoming and friendly. There are small markets all over the village.
You can also take a quick boat ride to visit the village by boat. I didn’t have time to try it out but I think it wasn’t very expensive, maybe around 20 HKD (~ $2.55).
Tai O’s fish is great. They usually sell the day’s catch but I was curious to try their dried squid and it was really good. The local products are really worth it. I also had some sort of a ball of mango-stuffed rice that was delicious!
If you need more to ease your hunger, I’m sure you’ll find something to satisfy your appetite! 😉
By sunset, I left Tai O to head back to Tung Chung.
It was already late, so we took the bus #11 directly to the Tung Chung MTR station (about 20 HKD, $2.55). If you want to get back to Ngong Ping by cable car, it is also possible if you take bus #21.
This blog post marks the end of the Hong Kong chapter of my tour around Asia. I think I visited the most important attractions of the island and tried to share as much as I could of my experience there. If I missed something, please let me know in the comments! It’ll be a good excuse to travel to Hong Kong again. 🙂
If you liked Lantau Island, I’m sure you will enjoy Lamma Island which is also near Hong Kong.
For more activities to do in HK, feel free to also read this blog post: Best things to do in Hong Kong.
One more thing before I let you go! Here’s a little video of the best moments I had in Hong Kong:
See you around,
PS: More info about HK here: Hong Kong Travel Blog.