Beaches, Hikes, Water Sports, Fun for Kids and More
We are so lucky here in Hong Kong that we can just hop on a flight and nip off for a long weekend in Bali, Thailand or the Philippines, but sometimes we forget that we have beautiful, unspoilt beaches right on our doorstep.
Lantau Island, which is almost twice the size of Hong Kong Island, is a wonderful place to escape for the day or even the weekend, and there is so much to do that you will want to go back again and again.
In less than an hour, you can leave the skyscrapers and hectic traffic far behind and find yourself relaxing on the beaches with the resident wild water buffalo, fine white sand and breathtaking views.
To help you make the most of your summer visits to Lantau, here’s our guide to how to get there, the best beaches, water sports and more.
Driving is only permitted on Lantau with a permit, so for non-residents, public transport is the only way. There are around 50 blue taxis but they can be hard to come by on a busy day so to book one in advance call 29841328. Buses are plentiful and regular. Timetable guide.
To get to Mui Wo from Hong Kong Island, head to ferry pier 6. The fast ferry will have you in Mui Wo in 40 minutes, and the slow ferry in 60 minutes.
Step off the ferry and straight into the laid back town of Mui Wo. It’s a popular starting point to explore the rest of Lantau with a bus terminus with routes to Tung Chung and Tai O, plus there is Silvermine Bay Beach, which is clean, has toilets and showers, as well as a wide selection of nearby restaurants.
You can hire bikes and trikes to head out and explore the surrounding area including the Silvermine waterfall, which is to the northwest – paths are well signed. If you walk up the hill past the waterfall, then you will reach Silvermine Cave which is a remnant of the former Silver Mine that gives the area its name. It’s about 3km gentle walk from Mui Wo (well signed) or better still, hire a bike/trike – fun for the whole family! Trikes/bikes are available for hire from Friendly Bicycle Shop, Shop B, G/F, 13 Mui Wo Ferry Pier Road, Mui Wo, 2984 2278.
If it’s culture that you are after, a day in Tai O will not disappoint. A traditional fishing village with several hundred homes built on stilts over the water, Tai O is well famous for dried seafood including salted fish and shrimp paste. The locals sell their produce on the narrow little streets in the heart of the village and the market area is bustling especially on weekends when it’s a popular place to take a boat trip out explore the narrow waterways and to try and spot the pink dolphins that are native to the waters just off Lantau. (These tours cost around $20 per person).
The pink dolphins are a rare sight with less than 100 still in existence. To be in with a good chance of seeing them, we recommend taking a tour with Hong Kong Dolphin Watch. For more information on the tours, contact them here.
Other highlights also in Tai O include a walk down past the village houses to the Tai O Heritage Hotel, which is a restored 19th Century Police Station overlooking the sea. The building is beautiful, and there is a roof top restaurant, Heritage Lookout which serves Cantonese and Western food.