Explore Lantau Island’s rural charm on this private car tour. Please note that all food and drink are at the visitors’ own expense.
We arrive at Ngong Ping Village either by an awe-inspiring 24-minute cable car ride (including priority access) or chauffeured in private vehicle (if your preference), that perfectly showcases the contrasts of Lantau – from its jagged peaks and riot of tropical greenery, to the gleaming contemporary architecture of Hong Kong International Airport just beyond.
We continue with private car access to the Big Buddha (avoiding 268 steps) to explore this captivating and unique hub for Hong Kong’s Buddhist community. As you follow your guide, you will hear fascinating stories explaining this grand deity’s background story, the relevance of sacred locations such as the Memory Palace, and the significance of specific words when related to the Buddhist faith. You’ll even uncover a hidden spot where you can “speak” directly to Buddha himself – a spiritual and memorable experience that you won’t learn from any typical guidebook.
Heading on to the charming fisherman’s village of Tai O, you’ll gain a fascinating insight into the real Hong Kong, away from the glittering skyscrapers and hectic streets. One of Lantau’s best-preserved locations, predominantly due to the efforts of its proud local population, this enchanting community perches atop wooden stilts where the Pearl River Delta meets the South China Sea; its strong seafaring culture intrinsically linked to its geography.
From Tai O village, we’ll board a small boat for a close-up look at life in this forgotten corner of Hong Kong. The boat trip offers great views of the 55-kilometre Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge, and you may even spot another friendly local – Hong Kong’s native Chinese White Dolphin. Now critically endangered, this unique species actually appears pink in colour, and to spot them in the wild is a truly magical experience.
Leaving our boat, we will head to the imposing Tai O Heritage Hotel. Formerly the local police station during Hong Kong’s time under British colonial rule, the building was converted to a hotel in 2013, and has many a fascinating tale to tell.
After all that exploration, we will have worked up an appetite, which means that it is time to hit the narrow lanes and sample some of Tai O’s famous street food! Although famed for its handmade preserved fish products, you’ll find a wealth of tasty snacks to suit all palates – from giant fish balls, to delicious charcoal-cooked Gai Daan Jai, or Cantonese egg waffles. Stop for a chat with the friendly stallholders who will gladly tell you all about their produce (and the best way to eat it!).