Hong Kong is so amazing with so many great sites to see! If your looking for my full 4 Day itinerary you can find it HERE. Today I’m breaking down our Hong Kong Itinerary Day 2 – Lantau area. There are tons of great things to see and do in this area! This is also the area where the airport is located as well. While it’s best known for Big Budda you can’t miss visiting the stilted fishing village of Tai O! You can find my Day 1 itinerary of the Kowloon area HERE as well.
I’m a big researcher and planner when it comes to our trips, my family always kids me about it but it always ends up paying off! In this post you’ll find some great ways to have a TON of time and avoid the crowds!
There are several ways to get out to Lantau and to the Big Buddha area, many people take the MTR then take the bus route. I did some research and found that by taking the ferry to Min Wo from Pier No 6 at Central Pier we could save time and stay away from the crowds! So of course that is the route we took!
The ferry from Pier No 6 to Min Wo is $3.85 usd per person for the fast ferry. You can use your Octopus card to pay. You may want to bring your jackets for the ride as it does get a bit windy which can make it a bit chilly. We were there in April and the weather was perfect but the ferry ride was a bit breezy.
Then we took the bus (New Lantau 2 to Ngong Ping Village) it’s a 40 mins scenic ride. It is 27 hkd/$3.48 per person. You can use your Octopus card. Make sure your cards have enough on them for a trip back as well. You can pay cash BUT you need the exact amount as the driver will not get change and we watched many tourists get ripped off. There is a sign posted that they can’t give change as well.
There is a McDonald’s outside this pier too, we had 30 mins to kill before the bus came so we grabbed a snack. The McD’s here stays pretty busy and seating can be limited.
The bus queue will start 20-25 mins before the bus come. We were there about 20 mins before and were 2nd in line. While the bus was full no one was left behind waiting and there were some extra seats open. Seating was comfy and the windows were nice and large for watching the scenery. One of the best things to watch for is all the cows roaming the island, you’ll often see them in or crossing the roads as well! That was neat to see.
The bus drops you off at Ngong Ping Village and then it’s about a 5 min walk to the monastery area. There are some vendors set up selling food, and restrooms located just past the entrance to the left.
Again you’ll see the cows roaming all over the monastery as well! When we went the cable cars up to the area were not running so that was not an option but I also know there are long queues for those. (a friend went and shared her experience to NOT take it up to the Big Buddha area but to instead take it down if you want to ride. They had an hour wait just to get on the cable car to go up.) So that wasn’t really on my radar for using anyways. We did get to experience some fantastic cable cars on Day 3 which I’ll share in that post.
We walked up the long flight of stairs to the Big Buddha and were rewarded with some amazing views of the area. It’s a good walk and will get your heart pumping. Going down was much easier. You can walk around the Big Buddha and inside it as well. Remember to be respectful as it is a place of worship for many.
The views are amazing from the top as well!
After walking back down all the stairs we headed over to the Monastery area. Here you can check out some of the shrines and eat at the cafe.
We grabbed some snacks for $6 usd. There are also a few gift shops and they sell some snacks and drinks as well.
The vendors back by the entrance sell some steamed corn on the cob, it was around $5 usd but Mr. B said it was amazing and worth the $5. I don’t eat corn on the cob so I’ll take his word for it.
We did attempt to walk down the Wisdom path but we found it to be long and boring, and we were thirsty so we ended up not finishing it. From what I seen if you don’t make it down the path your not missing much.
At the Ngong Ping Piazza area there are lots of neat shops to check out. There is a nice restroom area here as well. We of course had to try the ice cream. Sadly it wasn’t as amazing as we had hoped it would be. There are some benches in the area where you can sit and people watch as well.
Back at the bus area we then took Bus 21 to the Tai O terminus. It’s about a 20 min bus ride. The bus was not overly crowded although there was a queue for the bus. Again everyone got on. This bus ride was 5 hkd per person so $2.56 for our family of 4.
The Tai O fishing village is NOT to be missed! It was one of our favorite village of our Hong Kong trip! It’s a fishing villages so all of the houses and business are on stilts, it’s an amazing sight!
As you walk into the village you’ll pass tons of vendors and walk through the markets.
The grilled pineapple on a stick was delicious!
You can also take a boat ride out in hopes of seeing the pink dolphins. Even if you don’t end up seeing the dolphins (as it’s much harder to see them now that they are doing construction on the large bridge in the area) it’s worth it to just motor along between the stilt houses! The boat ride for our family of 4 was $13, so it’s really not expensive at all.
After the boat ride we wandered the village to find a little ‘hole in the wall restaurant’ and boy did we luck out! We found a family run authentic Chinese restaurant, Crossing Boat. I still dream about the Chicken Pineapple fried rice to this day! The owners were SO friendly and welcoming and really made it an fantastic experience! Dinner for our family of 4 was around $64 and that included a bottle of wine.
Here is where the research of transportation really paid off! Almost everyone at Tai O was trying to get on the bus back to Tung Chung where you can take the MRT back to Central, Kowloon, etc. This line was so long it wrapped around all kinds of buildings, it was at least an hour wait if not longer! However the line for our bus to go back to Min Wo pier had a whole 5 people in it! We got on the bus as soon as it arrived! The bus ride was 7.90 hkd per person, so a whole $4 for our family of 4. Again we used our Octopus cards.
Look at this crazy line to get back on the bus, thankfully we were taking the other bus! There are some public restrooms located just at the beginning of the village near the bus stops.
Back at the Min Wo pier there were some people but it wasn’t overly crowded. Everyone was able to get on the ferry back to Central Pier and we all got seats without issue. The ferry back was 180 hkd/$23 for our family of 4, as it was the fast ferry back. We also reloaded our Octopus cards here while waiting on the ferry. We spent the most on transportation today but Lantau is pretty far and really it still wasn’t horrible since the public transport is so cheap in Hong Kong!
Back at Central we hopped on the MTR to our hotel area, which was a 5 min ride away. This was a whole $0.58 for the ride for all 4, crazy huh?!
We stopped at the gourmet donut store next door. The donuts were fascinating flavors and looked amazing, while they were good we were a bit disappointed as they were more like puffed dough and it was like eating air. Not like the American donuts we’re used to. Its as around $6 for 4 fancy donuts.
I also want to point out that both days we arrived back to the hotel fairly late in the evening and it was dark out. We never felt unsafe during our time in Hong Kong. We found the city to be very clean and everyone to be very friendly.
I hope this info helps you to plan an amazing day in the Lantau area!