Throughout Lantau Island, the beautiful scenery and famous historical sites are truly fascinating. There is a chain of mountains that stretches from the higher elevations in the west to the lower ridges in the east. The highest peak in the mountain range is Phoenix Mountain, standing 935 meters (102,2 yards) high. It is the second highest peak in all of Hong Kong. The most popular attraction for tourists visiting Lantau Island is climbing Phoenix Mountain to view and admire the sunrise. Tourists often climb up at night, and reach the top before the daybreak. It's steep in places so tourists should be well prepared before setting out. Bring a flashlight.
There are 47 villages on the island. Three of them, Mui Wo, Tai O, and Tung Chung are being developed as new towns. In addition, more than 78.4 square kilometers (30.3 square miles) of its territory has been designated as Wild Countryside Park. Tai O, also known as "The Venice of the Orient", is the largest settlement on Lantau Island. Crisscrossing canals run the length and breadth of the small fishing harbor. In addition, homes built on stilts over the water are a common sight here. Tai O was once a garrison town but has now become a peaceful fishing harbor. Salted fish is a local specialty. Tai O was once the largest city on the island. In the 1970s, Tai O started to attract holiday visitors, and today the town is prosperous and busy.
You can participate in many outdoor activities in the Wild Countryside Park such as hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing. Or you can have a barbecue in the mountains far from the hustle and bustle of the towns.
The most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong are scattered along the southern coast, the area around Cheung Chau Island , and the vicinity of Tai O, which is about 3.2 kilometers (2 miles), --20 minutes by bus--from Mui Wo.
After one of the most advanced new airports in the world, Hong Kong International Airport, was opened on a man-made island in northern part of Lantau Island in 1998, your coming here becomes more convenient. On Sep 12th, 2005 Hong Kong Disneyland will open to public, after your eyes being delighted in the natural beauty of Lantau Island, you may pay a visit there.
The tranquil, natural environment and Hong Kong Disneyland will make the island a popular spot for not only nature lovers and hikers but who like large entertainment parks as well.
The Ngong Ping Plateau features the Po Lin Monastery and its vegetarian restaurant, as well as the 85-foot (26 m)-high bronze Tian Tan Buddha (or "Giant Buddha") statue, once the world's largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha statue. Walkers can ascend from Tung Chung to the monastery in two hours. Visitors can also take a 25-minute ride on a Ngong Ping 360 from Tung Chung to the Ngong Ping Plateau. Ngong Ping 360 is a tourism experience which combines a 5.7 km cable car journey with a cultural themed village and easy access to the Tian Tan Buddha Statue.
Tai O is a fishing town located in the northwest of Lantau Island which is more than three centuries old.
Tourists visit Tai O for its several hundred stilt houses (pang uk), though many of those houses were damaged in a fire in July 2000. Tai O retains most of its historical setting such as waterways, stilt houses and fishing boats and it is famous for its fishing village scenery.
Traditional Chinese food like salted fish and locally produced shrimp paste can be found there.
Tung Chung Fort was built in 1817 to thwart the opium trade and defend the coast from pirates. There are 6 old cannons and the enclosures are made of granite. During World War II, the Japanese army occupied the fort. In 1979, it was listed as one of the historical monuments of Hong Kong and was refurbished in 1988. The ruins of the Tung Chung Battery, also a historical monument, are located nearby.
Trappist Haven Monastery
The Trappist Haven Monastery at Tai Shui Hang, home to a number of Roman Catholic monks, sits on the east coast of Lantau Island, approximately halfway between the towns of Mui Wo and Discovery Bay. The Lantau Trappist congregation was established in Beijing in the 19th century.