7 April, 2023
Lantau Island Guide, South Lantau: Tai O Fishing Village
Lantau Island Guide, South Lantau: Tai O Fishing Village
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Lantau Island Guide: A Local’s Guide To South Lantau

7 April, 2023
Lantau Island Guide, South Lantau: Tai O Fishing Village

Explore South Lantau Island, from the Big Buddha on Ngong Ping to Pui O Beach for seaside eats and sunset hikes ending in Mui Wo.

It’s always fun to visit the Big Buddha on Ngong Ping, chill out on Pui O Beach, or hike up to Mui Wo, but what keeps us coming back to South Lantau is the laid-back atmosphere and community spirit of the Island. Whether you fancy a weekend day trip or staycation, or simply want to explore a different side of Hong Kong, we’re sharing all our favourite things to do and places to eat on South Lantau.

Read More: Lamma Island Guide – Beaches, Hikes, Restaurants, Staycations & More

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What To Do On South Lantau
Where To Eat On South Lantau
Driving On South Lantau

What To Do On South Lantau

South Lantau Island Guide: Ngong Ping, Big Buddha, Tian Tan Buddha

Go See The Big Buddha (aka Tian Tan Buddha)

From Tung Chung, you can easily enjoy a fun jaunt on the cable car to Ngong Ping – we suggest arriving at the ticket office early in the morning to avoid the crowds and queues. The journey up offers sweeping views of the mountains and coastline and if you’re good with heights, you can try the Crystal Cabin – which has a see-through bottom – for an even more immersive experience.

At the foothills of the Big Buddha or Tian Tan Buddha is Ngong Ping Village, with tea houses and food outlets providing choices of Western and Asian cuisine. It’s worth walking a few minutes to Po Lin Monastery, the biggest Buddhist monastery in Hong Kong, where the vibe is more tranquil and the food at the vegetarian restaurant is hearty and wholesome. Fill up on a plate of noodles or dumplings before making your way up the steps to the Big Buddha. From there, you can have a breather and admire expansive views of Lantau Island and get some solid shots for the ‘Gram!

The Big Buddha, Ngong Ping Road, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 2985 5248, www.np360.com.hk

Read More: Your Neighbourhood Guide To Tung Chung: Where To Eat, Shop & Stay

Hike The Lantau Trail

Good news hiking fans! There are lots of ways to get your steps in and work up a sweat on South Lantau. Hiking to Lantau Peak, the highest peak on Lantau Island, and the second highest in Hong Kong is certainly challenging but really rewarding.

There are several options to choose from, but we like to start on Section 3 of the Lantau Trail which takes you from Ngong Ping to Pak Kung and although this way involves a steep uphill climb, it’s a shorter route to the top.

From there, experienced hikers who aren’t afraid of heights can tackle even more adventurous routes on the Dog Teeth Range. These hikes are not for the faint hearted but with such spectacular views awaiting you at the summit, it’s worth every effort.

Lantau Trail, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Read More: The Hardest Hong Kong Hikes To Tackle This Year

Day Trip To Tai O Fishing Village

One of the most picturesque places in Hong Kong, it’s easy to see why Tai O is popular with both locals and tourists. The rustic village is well known for its colourful stilt houses and local delicacies, making it a truly unique spot to spend time in. Visitors can jump on a boat to hopefully get a glimpse of a pink or white dolphin but if you’re not lucky enough to spot one, you can still kick back and venture through the “Venice of Hong Kong”.

Read More: Hong Kong Day Trips To Fill Your Weekends With

South Lantau Island Guide: Tai O Heritage Hotel

Stay At Tai O Heritage Hotel

If one day in Tai O isn’t enough, you can book into the Tai O Heritage Hotel for a boutique, romantic staycation. A heritage site reformed from the 1902 Tai O Police Station, this coastal meets colonial venue is perfect for couples wanting a private cultural experience.

Tai O Heritage Hotel, 14 Shek Tsai Po Street, Tai O, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 2985 8383, www.taioheritagehotel.com

Read More: 8 Historic Revitalised Buildings In Hong Kong

Walk From Tai O To Shek Pik Reservoir

Anyone looking for a gentler hike can consider walking from Tai O Village to Shek Pik Reservoir which – depending on your ability – is a moderately challenging, mostly flat route that is usually peaceful and quiet. Taking you through the Fan Lau Peninsula, there are beaches along the way where you can refuel with a picnic or cool off with a dip in the sea. As with all outdoor activities in Lantau, come prepared with plenty of food, water, mosquito spray and sunscreen and be ready to bump into water buffalo on your journey!

Read More: 6 Short Hiking Trails In Hong Kong: Easy Hikes Under Two Hours

Kitesurf In Shui Hua Wan

The beach at Shui Hua Wan is compact but one of the best for kitesurfing when winds allow, particularly in the autumn and winter season. Hong Kong Kiteboarding School is located close by – it doubles up as a learning centre and a store for renting equipment – and caters for all levels, starting with beginners. Whether you prefer private lessons, or to participate in group activities, you can choose from a selection of packages to suit your style and skills.

Hong Kong Kiteboarding School, Shui Hau Wan, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 9288 4571, www.facebook.com/HongkongKiteboardingSchool

Read More: Hong Kong Water Sports – SUP, Surfing, Scuba Diving, Kayaking And More

South Lantau Island Guide: Camp Lo Kei Wan Beach

Camp At Lo Kei Wan

About a 25-minute walk south of Shui Hua Wan Village is Lo Kei Wan, a small but superb beach for spending a night out under the stars. This campsite hits the sweet spot between being easily accessible but feeling secluded and hidden. Finding it is like discovering a hidden gem, with a long, winding path down to the beach adding to the sense of exclusivity. We love it though because it’s still fairly close to the main road, making it handy to get in and out.

Lo Kei Wan Campsite, Lo Kei Wan, Lantau South Country Park, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Read More: Where To Go Camping In Hong Kong

Chill At Cheung Sha Beach

From Tong Fuk Village, a walk along the catchwater path is a lovely way to reach Lower Cheung Sha Beach. After a short incline to get out of the village, the walk is then flat and easy to manage before a convenient descent down to Cheung Sha. One of the most popular beaches in South Lantau, Cheung Sha has a cluster of seaside bars and restaurants which all give major holiday feels, as well as coffee shops, convenience stores and water sports facilities. On weekends, you’ll find the beach full of surfers and groups chatting with sundowners in hand.

Read More: The Best Beaches In Hong Kong – HK Island, New Territories, Lantau & More

South Lantau Island Guide: Sunset Peak Hike

End Your Day At Sunset Peak

If we haven’t made it clear that South Lantau is brimming with the hiking routes just yet, allow us a moment to mention Sunset Peak. This one is aptly named and we suggest you time this to watch the sunset from the top so long as you have torches to return safely in the dark.

Read More: Your Ultimate Hong Kong Hiking Trail Bucket List

Where To Eat On South Lantau

Frankie’s Barbecue On Lower Cheung Sha

You can’t go wrong with any of the eateries on Lower Cheung Sha but if you have a group event coming up, we really like Frankie’s Barbecue, where you can gather on the beach to relax with drinks, while your food is cooked right in front of you, to a soundtrack of great music.

Frankie’s Barbeque, 38 Lower Cheung Sha Village, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, Whatsapp: 9369 6227, www.facebook.com/LantauGrocer

Tai O Bakery In Tai O

Famous for its delicious baked goods, Tai O Bakery sells signature sugar donuts which can be savoured while strolling down the stalls and stores along the market streets. You could also grab a coffee to pair with your sugary treat from the nearby CAFÉ Solo which overlooks the water.

Tai O Bakery, 66 Kat Hing Street, Tai O, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 2985 8621, www.facebook.com/taiobakery

CAFÉ Solo, 86 Kat Hing St, Tai O, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 9153 7453, www.facebook.com/people/CAFE-Solo

Read More: The Best Bakeries In Hong Kong: Where To Buy Bread, Pastries & More

The Gallery In Tong Fuk Village

The Gallery is a dining hub in Tong Fuk Village and hugely popular with residents and visitors, many of whom come especially to sample meats from the barbecue for which the restaurant is famous for. The menu is varied, with a few vegetarian options but the restaurant itself is small and usually packed at weekends and public holidays; we strongly advise booking ahead! The quality of the food is exceptional, and the warm, welcoming staff create a homely atmosphere which is why we keep going back.

The Gallery, 26 Tong Fuk Village, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 2980 2582, www.facebook.com/thegallerytongfuk

South Lantau Island Guide: Pui O Beach

Treasure Island Beach Club On Pui O Beach

We couldn’t end our guide to South Lantau without a well-deserved shoutout to an oldie but a goodie: Treasure Island Beach Club. Set on the soft sands of Pui O Beach, we hang out at this dog-friendly venue for the tasty food, delicious drinks and epic views. Keep an eye out for their schedule of live music and save the dates for this year’s Sunday Markets which are fun days out, promoting local bands and showcasing independent artisans. Cabanas and camping equipment are also available to rent for a longer beachside stay.

Sassy Tip: If you’re more in the mood for Italian fare, the newly opened Bella Ciao is nearby which also has a small grocery section for takeaways.

Treasure Island Beach Club, Pui O Beach, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 5236 7013, www.treasureislandhk.com

Bella Ciao, G/F 15 Lo Wai Village, Pui O, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 9321 0487, www.bellaciao-lantau.com

Read More: The Best Dog-Friendly Restaurants, Beaches, Hikes & Parks In Hong Kong

Lantau Driving Permit: Driving On South Lantau

Roads on South Lantau are designated as closed roads and all motorists are required to hold a valid Lantau Closed Road Permit (LCRP). Under the “Driving on Lantau Island” Scheme, non-residents may apply to drive a private car on the closed roads from Monday to Friday (except public holidays) from 8am to 7pm. The daily quota is 50 private cars and passes are allocated by ballot system. Apply for your permit here. Residents of Lantau can apply for an LCRP with a valid and current proof of address.

And don’t forget, only blue taxis drive on Lantau Island!

Main image courtesy of Camille Bismonte via Unsplash, image 1 courtesy of Buster Ferraz via Unsplash, image 2 courtesy of Tai O Heritage Hotel, image 3 courtesy of Big Dodzy via Unsplash, image 4 and 5 courtesy of Aoife Mackenzie.

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