Lantau Island is Hong Kong’s largest island and one of the city-state’s top sightseeing destinations. Located to the west of Hong Kong Island, Lantau is home to everything from Mickey Mouse to Big Buddha. And, as well as welcoming visitors in and out of its Hong Kong International Airport, the island is a place called home for many expats.
More than half of Lantau is covered in some stunning national parks, which can be explored along various well-marked trails such as The Wisdom Path. There has been plenty of development on the island in recent years, which has seen the arrival of Disneyland. Other attractions include the Ngong Ping cable car, golf courses and outlet shopping malls. Cultural sites include the charming Tai O Fishing Village, one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world, and the Po Lin monastery.
Rollercoasters aside, life in Lantau is generally very laidback. There’s little in the way of high-rise developments here, and instead a wealth of waterfalls, beaches, mountains and quaint villages. Most people tend to live in Discovery Bay (also known as Disco Bay) on the north-eastern coast of Lantau. This expat enclave is home to more than 14,000 residents from over 30 different countries, and caters to every need with its international schools, a private beach, golf club, park and a choice of houses and high-rise apartments to rent. There’s a distinctly American feel to this community, and its car free zone makes it both unique and appealing to families who have no other option but to walk or cycle within the area.
There are two other main neighbourhoods on the island, Tung Chan and South Lantau, which also have international schooling options, private residential estates, and leisure facilities. While South Lantau is a close-knit community on the coast, Tung Chan is a fast-developing new town that gives residents direct access to Route 6 and the airport.
Lantau is connected to the mainland by the Disneyland Resort and Sunny Bay MTR stations (Disneyland Resort line), and Sunny Bay and Tung Chang MTR stations (Tung Chang line). The island is linked to Hong Kong Island by Route 8, which runs up to Sha Tin.
Discovery Bay International School, Discovery College, Lantau International School and YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College.
As well as the Discovery Bay Medical Centre and Quality Health Care Medical Centre, there is the public North Lantau Hospital; the nearest private hospital is on the mainland.
Highlights range from the man-made marvels of Hong Kong Disneyland to the cultural wonders of Ngong Ping and the natural beauty of the Lantau Trail. There are also leisure facilities including a golf course in Discovery Bay.
You’ll find high street stores at Discovery Plaza and DB North Plaza malls; alternatively, shop for bargains at the Citygate Outlets Mall in Tung Chung, or some fresh fish at the Tai O market.
Bars and restaurants
There’s a decent choice of fine dining and casual restaurants, as well as a scattering of cafes in Discovery Bay, Tung Chan and South Lantau. Head to the fishing villages for some cheap and cheerful seafood diners.