Lantau Island Journals

Before the Mouse

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A May 2005 trip to Lantau Island by Re Carroll

Peaceful Lantau Photo, Lantau Island, China More Photos
Quote: Just an hour away by ferry, Lantau is a lush, green, and peaceful sanctuary from the crowds and noise of Hong Kong. Home to the world’s largest outdoor bronze Buddha, traditional fishing villages, and sandy beaches, it will also soon be home to Asia Disney.

Before the Mouse

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Overview

Peaceful Lantau Photo, Lantau Island, China
Quote:
Rural Lantau is the largest outlying island and almost twice the size of Hong Kong itself. More than half of Lantau has been set aside as parkland, and there are numerous hiking trails throughout the island. Disney will open in September, and much of the island’s tranquility will disappear, but until then, the main attraction is the Big Buddha at Po Lin Monastery. Although the monastery is heavily visited by tourists, the rest of the island is quite undeveloped and quiet. It is hard to believe that bustling, noisy, and crowded Hong Kong is only an hour away.We chose not to take an organized tour, but traveled by metro from Kowloon to the island’s main town of Tung Chung and used Lantau’s local ...Read More

The Kimberley Hotel

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Hotel

The Kimberley Hotel Photo, Lantau Island, China
Quote:
We booked the Kimberley through the airport tourist bureau at a price of HK$700, plus 13% taxes, per night. From the airport we took the metro and then shuttle bus (HK$90 per person, or HK$140 for two), which dropped us off across the street from the hotel.The Kimberley is a huge complex with a two-storey marble lobby complete with pool and waterfall, tour desk, and numerous upscale shops. The bell captain is located on the main floor, with registration one escalator or elevator flight up. The staff was very professional and pleasant, and we were impressed with the hotel’s outward trappings. The wide corridors had a Japanese "feel" to them, with lattice work and mirror details along the walls...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2005

The Kimberley Hotel
28, Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Lantau, China
(852) 2723 3888

Poinsetta Room

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Restaurant

Poinsetta Room Photo, Lantau Island, China
Quote:
Hong Kong is a city for foodies, and one of the best deals around is the Park’s international dinner buffet regularly priced at HK$218 per person but discounted by 40% for those staying at the hotel (HK$130). This price includes a glass of wine, beer, or juice, as well as unlimited coffee and tea. Normally we like to explore local restaurants instead of hotel fare, but Jim wanted to check out this restaurant. Very good decision!The buffet was huge: rows of hot dishes, cold salads, appetizers, and desserts to die for: steamed prawns, oysters on the half shell, roast beef with a crispy exterior and rare center, tempura prawns and vegetables, samosas, baked fish, steamed pumpkin with corn, a coup...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 6, 2005

Poinsetta Room
Park Hotel
Lantau, China
+86 2366 1371

Tai O

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Attraction

Tai O Photo, Lantau Island, China
Quote:
A small fishing village, Tai O is starting to become more commercialized as a tourist destination, and most tour buses include the village on their daily Lantau itinerary. Near the bus stop, a sign welcomes visitors to Tai O, and other signs point the way to the market or one of several temples. It seems that traditional fishing life is being slowly converted to a tourism-based economy. Visitors can pay to take a guided walking tour of the fishing huts elevated on stilts above the water.We wanted to get a sense of daily life in the village, so we bypassed the main street and spent a couple of hours navigating back lanes and almost-hidden alleyways. The market was an interesting place to brows...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 6, 2005

Tai O
Tai O
Lantau, China

Tian Tan Buddha

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Story/Tip

Shrouded in fog Photo, Lantau Island, China
Quote:
Also known as the Big Buddha or Giant Buddha, this huge statue is located across from the Po Lin Monastery. It is the largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha in the world and was built in 1989 through fundraising efforts by the monastery. Standing 26m high and weighing 202 tons, it sits on a pedestal in the shape of a sacred lotus flower. There is no charge to climb the 268 stairs to see the statue, but a visit to the three-story museum underneath the pedestal will cost HK$23, including tea. Museum admission is also included in the price of a vegetarian lunch at the monastery (HK$60 or HK$100 per person).The Buddha is seated in a Lotus meditation pose and has shoulder-length ear lobes meant to rep...Read More

Po Lin Monastery

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Story/Tip

Gate to Po Lin Photo, Lantau Island, China
Quote:
Most people come to the area to visit the Tian Tan Buddha, but the monastery is also worth a visit. Po Lin was built in 1906 during the Qing Dynasty, and the current Abbot, Chor Wai, is only the fifth abbot in the monastery’s history. Originally known as The Big Hut, the original construction was bamboo and wood. In 1924 the name was changed to Po Lin – or Precious Lotus. In 1928, the Hall of Perfect Enlightenment, the Abbot’s room, and the guests’ room were completed. Since then, the monastery has expanded to include the Welto Temple and Hall of Great Hero, as well as a pagoda at the front and back of the mountain. In 1937, a large bronze bell was brought to the monastery, and in 1938 a white j...Read More

About the Writer

Re Carroll

Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia

Lantau Island Tips & Stories

Po Lin Monastery
Tian Tan Buddha