Escape the urban jungle of Hong Kong and embark on a tour of Lantau Island where lush greenery, soaring mountains, untouched beaches, and traditional fishing villages await you! With the current closure of the Ngong Ping cable car service (suspended for approx. 5 months from 9th January 2017 for rope replacement), this guided tour is an ideal alternative, comfortably transporting you to the highlights of the island with the added insight of an expert guide.
Despite the fact that you can travel from Hong Kong to Tung Chung (the tour’s meet up point) via MTR, why not try something more special and board the newly vamped ‘World Star‘ ferry. Leaving from TST twice a day, this boat complete with glass widows and a glass roof will give you gorgeous uninterrupted views of the harbour and surrounding landscape as it ferries you to Disneyland– also on Lantau island. Furnished with luxurious sofas throughout the indoor and outdoor decks, plus an on board cafe, you’re guaranteed to have a relaxing and comfy journey in any kind of weather.
After a 45-50 minute scenic journey, you’ll arrive at Disneyland where you can hop onto the MTR and travel the 2 stops to Tung Chung via Sunny Bay.
Take Exit B at Tung Chung station and head to the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Ticketing Booth, adjacent to the station and next to the taxi rank. At Tung Chung there are various restaurants and cafes for you to enjoy a snack and a coffee before the tour as no refreshment is provided. At the booth, your voucher will be redeemed for your physical ticket and staff will kindly direct you to the coach where your guide will be waiting.
Once on board the coach, enjoy a 50-60 minute drive through the lush, unspoilt landscape of Lantau, passing the pristine beach of Cheung Sha, Hong Kong’s longest beach whilst your highly enthusiastic guide introduces the history of the island and shares some interesting titbits of information. Your first stop is the tranquil fishing village of Tai O, whose traditional stilt houses built above the sea and dark green winding waterways provide a striking contrast to the modern high rises of Hong Kong.
Often nicknamed ‘The Venice of Hong Kong’, Tai O is the historical home of the Tanka boat people and as life here revolves around the sea, you’ll first board a boat and enjoy a fun ride through the waterways and further out to sea. If you’re lucky you may even spot one of the famed pink dolphins!
Afterwards, you’ll have about 45 mins of free time to explore the village at your own pace. Spend the time strolling through the narrow alleyways, photographing the fascinating and traditional way of life, and browsing the dried seafood on display at the street markets. If you’re feeling peckish, we recommend trying the village’s celebrated shrimp paste and sweet bean curd!
Next, set off for a winding mountain ride to the Ngong Ping Plateau where the magnificent Tian Tan Buddha sits nestled amidst the lush hilltops. Also known as the ‘Big Buddha’, this gigantic statue is more than 111 feet high, making it the largest seated, outdoor bronze Buddha in the world. Before embarking the 268-step climb to the Buddha, follow your guide to the vibrant Po Lin Monastery, the most popular Buddhist temple in Hong Kong visited by Buddhists all over the world.
Wander peacefully through the different buildings, halls and temples, as your guide explains the spiritual significance of this atmospheric spot. A particular highlight is the impressive, newly designed ‘Hall of A Thousand Buddhas’ and if you’re fortunate, you may even catch sight of the monks partaking in their ceremonies.
You’ll then have your own time to make the ascent towards the Buddha itself, marvelling at it’s sheer size and majesty as you gradually get closer. Once at the top, you can walk around the entire statue and savour fantastic 360 degree panoramic views of the mist-covered mountain scenery. To commemorate your trip or if you’re in need of some light refreshment, save some time to explore the many shops and cafes of Ngong Ping Village before hopping back on board your comfy coach for a timely arrival in Tung Chung.