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The BEST Lantau Island Itinerary (Things To Do & Complete Guide)

The BEST Lantau Island Itinerary (Things To Do & Complete Guide)

A trip to Hong Kong is not complete without a visit to the one and only Lantau Island.

This one day Lantau Island itinerary will bring you to the famous 100+ foot Big Buddha (Tian Tan), the Po Lin Monastery, some hiking opportunities, the Tai O fishing village, and plenty more.

These top things to do on Lantau Island will give you a sense of what area is all about and help you get going in the right direction. So if you are heading to Hong Kong and want to set aside a half or full day at Lantau, read on!

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1) A Lantau Island Overview

A Lantau Island day trip is a must do for anyone who visits Hong Kong.

It is a great way to spend some time outside the city itself and get to experience some amazing things that Hong Kong has to offer.

Depending on how long you want to spend there and what types of activities you want to do, there is plenty to choose from.

After an easy train ride from downtown Hong Kong, you will be way outside the city center and surrounded by the mountains, nature, and culture that HK has to offer.

This Lantau Island itinerary will start you off with the one of a kind glass bottomed cable car to get up to Ngong Ping village.

You will then be able to explore the Tian Tan Big Buddha itself along with other sites around the area such as the Po Lin Monastery and Wisdom Path.

Options to hike around the island and visit the Tai O fishing village can also be added to the agenda.

The rest of the guide will go over all that and plenty more things to do in Lantau Island during a day trip!

Lantau Island Things To Do

2) Lantau Island Attractions & Map

Below is a list of the Lantau Island attractions alongside a map that shows you the attractions, points of interest, and transportation stops.

As you read along you can reference back to this map to give you an idea of where everything is located as you make your way around the area.

  1. Ngong Ping Cable Car
  2. Ngong Ping Village
  3. Tian Tan Buddha
  4. Po Lin Monastery
  5. Wisdom Path
  6. Lantau Peak Hiking Option
  7. Tai O Fishing Village
  8. Tung Chung Fort
  9. Cheung Sha / Pui O Beach
  10. Discovery Bay
  11. Hong Kong Disneyland

3) How to Get to Lantau Island

While Lantau Island is a large area, most people who visit take the Ngong Ping cable car up to see the Big Buddha and surrounding attractions. Getting to the Ngong Ping cable car will start nearby the main Tung Chung Station (which the below logistics will cover).

However, there are also many other things to do on Lantau Island that are further away from that main area. I will mention those attractions later on in this overview, and talk through how to get to them from the Tung Chung area.

There are a few main ways to get to Lantau Island depending on your preference – MTR, bus, or taxi.

MTR to Lantau Island

Due to Hong Kong’s easy to use MTR system, you will be able to take the train directly to Lantau Island from downtown Hong Kong.

In order to do so you just have to get onto the Tung Chung (orange) line and take it all the way to the Tung Chung stop.

The orange line starts at Central Station on Hong Kong Island, and from there it passes through Kowloon Station on the Kowloon side.

Just hop on at whatever station works best for you, and take the journey out to Lantau.

From Central Station it will take about 40 minutes to get there, with a slightly shorter time from Kowloon.

Bus to Lantau Island

A second public transportation option is to take the bus from Central Station out to Lantau Island.

This can be done by hopping on the E11/E11A/E11B bus line. These routes will take between 45-60 minutes depending on time of day and route.

In my opinion, since the MTR is such an efficient mode of transport, I would recommend simply going with that.

Taxi to Lantau Island

The last main option to consider is taking a taxi from Hong Kong to Lantau Island. For those that want to avoid public transport and be driven from point A to point B, this will be for you.

A taxi will be much more expensive than the MTR/bus, but it will be quicker and more efficient given there are not any issues with traffic.

Expect a taxi to cost around $30 USD from the Central Station area to the Tung Chung Station on Lantau.

4) Ngong Ping Cable Car

After arriving at the Tung Chung Station you will then need to get to Ngong Ping, which is where the Big Buddha is located. Well, thankfully there is a beautiful 25 minute cable car that will take you this route.

This cable car ride is an attraction on its own and one of the best things to do on Lantau Island.

Throughout the journey you will be able to take in some beautiful views of the lush natural setting and the surrounding sea.

Now, there are actually a few different selections to choose from when purchasing tickets for the cable car ride – Standard, Crystal, and Crystal+ (note that private cabins are also available for an extra cost).

  • Standard: this is a basic cable car cabin, with glass windows on all sides
  • Crystal: these cabins include glass bottomed floors to enjoy
  • Crystal+: the more high end cabins include floor to ceiling tempered glass with enhanced visibility

Below are the hours that the cable car runs as well as the prices for the different cabin options:

Ngong Ping Cable Car Hours

  • 10:00AM – 6:00PM (Monday – Friday)
  • 9:00AM – 6:30PM (Saturday & Sunday)
  • Schedule may change based on time of year

Ngong Ping Cable Car Cost

Round Trip Cost

  • Standard: 235HKD ($30 USD)
  • Crystal: 315HKD ($40 USD)
  • Crystal+: 360HKD ($45 USD)

One Way Cost

  • Standard: 160HKD ($20 USD)
  • Crystal: 200HKD ($26 USD)

Crystal+ Note: these can only be bought as round trip tickets with one way on Crystal+ and the return on a Standard cabin

Purchase Your Tickets Today! Skip the line and save some time by reserving your tickets beforehand. Don’t be surprised if you come across some discounts too by booking through this official reseller.

Bus Note: there is also a bus you can take up/down the winding road – bus #23 from Tung Chung (45 minutes / 17HKD / $2 one way)

Once you have arrived up top of the cable car in Ngong Ping, it is time to do some exploring around.

Ngong Ping Cable Car

Hong Kong Itinerary: Visiti Lantau Island as part of a 3 Day Hong Kong Itinerary or 5 Day Hong Kong Itinerary

5) Lantau Island Things To Do

Now that you have a better idea about the logistics of getting to Lantau Island, let’s get a bit more into detail about what you can actually do once you arrive there.

We will start off with Ngong Ping Village, which will be just outside of the top cable car station.

A) Ngong Ping Village

When you arrive up top you will first walk through the Ngong Ping Village which is mostly filled up with small restaurants and a bunch of souvenir shops.

It is a great spot to grab some food at some point of the day and to do some shopping. As you make your way through the village you will eventually get to Ngong Ping Piazza – the base of your trek up to the Big Buddha itself.

B) Tian Tan Big Buddha

The main highlight the Lantau Island itinerary will be the Tian Tan Buddha. Standing at over 100 feet tall, this bronze Buddha is one of the largest in the world.

In order to get up close to it though you will have to climb the 268 steps up to the top.

Once you reach the top you can take it all in and enjoy the view. There is also the opportunity to go inside a small museum underneath the Buddha for an extra fee that includes a meal at the Po Lin monastery.

Big Buddha Lantau
Big Buddha Lantau Island

C) Po Lin Monastery

Once you have completed the climb up and down to the Buddha you can make your way nearby the Ngong Ping Piazza to the Po Lin Monastery.

Here you can wander the grounds of the beautiful Buddhist temple and can also take the time to light some incense outside.

Po Lin Monastery Lantau

D) Wisdom Path

A quick 20 minute walk from the Ngong Ping Piazza area is the Wisdom Path. A picturesque path lined with 38 wooden monument columns.

It is a great attraction to see as it is not as touristy as the other areas around Ngong Ping. After enjoying your time around the path, you can make your way back down to the village.

Wisdom Path Lantau
Mk2010 / Wikimedia Commons

Lantau Tour Option

If you are looking to visit Lantau Island with a helpful tour guide, then consider this Guided Walk with Skip-the-Line Tickets.

The private tour option includes round trip cable car tickets in addition to a 2.5 guided tour of the Big Biddha and the Ngong Ping area.

It is the perfect choice for those that want to enjoy all that Lantau Island has to offer with some guided insight along the way.

Check Lantau Island Tour Availability

6) Hiking Lantau Peak

All of the Lantau Island things to do mentioned above make for a great fun filled trip to the Ngong Ping area of the island.

However if you get an earlier start/have some more time to spare, you can easily add on some more adventure to your day trip.

As one of Hong Kong’s highest points, Lantau Peak makes for a great view and a great hike.

If you opt for one of the options below it can take approximately 3 hours to complete depending on fitness level.

You should also be wary of the weather – if it is low cloud coverage or foggy, not only will it make for a more difficult hike but will also ruin any views along the way.

​A) Option 1: Pak Kung Au – Lantau Peak – Ngong Ping

The first option here, which is also the more interesting of the two will start at Pak Kung Au, then continue westward to Lantau Peak, and finally ending in Ngong Ping village.

In order to get to Pak Kung Au you will have to take a bus or taxi from the Tung Chung station to the start of the hike (therefore you will not be taking the cable car up – but you can take it down at the end of the day).

To do so you can hop on bus 3M, N35, or A35 and make sure to let the driver you know will want to get off at Pak Kung Au.

After the 20 minute bus ride you will arrive at the Pak Kung Au stop, where you should see the start of the Section 3 Lantau Trail path across the road.

Continue on this path following the signs for Lantau Peak and then onwards to Ngong Ping (where you will meet up with the Wisdom Path mentioned above).

Once you arrive in Ngong Ping you can grab some food and explore all the attractions around the area.

B) Option 2: Ngong Ping – Lantau Peak – Ngong Ping

Instead of starting in Pak Kung Au, you could also start the trek right in Ngong Ping as you make your way to the Wisdom Path and along to Lantau Peak and back.

The downside of this option though is it is a more technical climb up from the Wisdom Path to Lantau Peak and you will also be doing the same trail back and forth.

So while the first option is a point to point hike (Pak Kung Au to Ngong Ping), the second option to a back and forth route (start and end in Ngong Ping). If you opt for this option you can see all of the Ngong Ping attractions before or after your hike.

Both options are shown on the map above with the yellow icons the start of each route. Whichever option you choose you, once you end your day you can head back down cable car from Ngong Ping and back to the MTR station.

Lantau Trail

The hike up Lantau Peak is part of the 70 km / 42 mile Lantau Trail that loops around most of the southern portion of Lantau Island.

You will find 12 sections of the Lantau Trail, with many of them being hiking trails on their own (such as just the hike up to Lantau Peak).

So, if you are someone who is more geared towards the hiking & adventure, you can think about extending your hike to include more of the trail.

Lantau Peak Hiking
Lantau Peak HK

7) Tai O Fishing Village

If you decided a hike is not for you or you still have some time to explore, you can finish up this Lantau Island itinerary at the Tai O Fishing Village, only about 15 minutes away from the Ngong Ping area.

To get there you can either take bus #21 from Ngong Ping to Tai O, or taxi over.

Here you will find a village full of tilt houses along the river as well as some great markets to walk through. You can also opt for a quick boat trip around the area, where you might see some pink dolphins.

Once you have had enough time in Tai O you can take the 45 minute #11 bus ride from Tai O to Tung Chung and back on the MTR.

Lantau & Tai O Day Pass: If visiting Tai O, consider purchasing the Cable Car + Tai O Day Pass, which includes transport & a Tai O boat excursion

Tai O Fishing Village Lantau

8) More Things to Do on Lantau Island

While all of the above is sure to be a fun filled day on Lantau Island, there are even more fun things to do around the island. Here are some additional options to consider during a day out on Lantau.

Tung Chung Fort

A quick 10 minute bus from the Tung Chung MTR station is the Tung Chung Fort. The fort dates back to the 12th century during the Southern Song dynasty.

While it changed hands through the years across various dynasties, the current fort that is seen today was rebuilt in 1832.

It was even used in WWII by the Japanese army before eventually being declared a national monument.

Cheung Sha & Pui O Beach

On the southern end of Lantau Island are two of the best beach areas – Cheung Sha and Pui O.

These two beaches are right nearby one another, and can be visited after checking out some of the other highlights of Lantau.

It is a perfect way to spend the second half of the day as you get to relax in the sand and enjoy some time in the water.

You can either take a taxi from Tung Chung or hop on a 30-40 minute bus ride on the 3M or N35 lines.

Discovery Bay

Just a 20 minute bus ride from Tung Chung is the relaxing resort side of Lantau Island at Discovery Bay.

The Tai Pak Beach is the perfect place to find a spot in the sand and relax for the afternoon, while the town is great for exploring.

There are parks, walking trails, viewpoints, pavilions, and waterfront walkways to visit during your time in the area.

Hong Kong Disneyland

For those that want to spend some time at an amusement park, Hong Kong Disneyland is one of the top options to consider for a visit.

Disneyland is located on the northeast corner of the island and can easily be reached by MTR. From the Tung Chung Station, make your way one stop to Sunny Bay and then switch onto the Disneyland Resort Line.

This may be more so a full day activity for people, so you can consider doing this on a separate day than the Ngong Ping area.

Hong Kong Disneyland Front

9) Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is made up of two main parts – Kowloon on the northern side of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island in the south.

Staying relatively close by the waterfront in either area should work out well.

Also take into account the distance to MTR stations as I am sure you will be taking some metros during your time in Hong Kong.

Here are some of the best valued hotels when choosing where to stay in Hong Kong:

That about wraps up a one day Lantau Island itinerary. Take a look at our other Hong Kong itineraries and guides to help out with any other trip planning (like a trip up Victoria Peak!).

Hope you enjoy your time in Hong Kong. If you have any questions about the trip please feel free to comment below!

Lantau Island Itinerary

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