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Carol | 18th Apr 2008 | 到處遊樂 | (565 Reads)

The countryside is a place to relax our mind and body. There are 236 outlying islands in Hong Kong. They are with sparse human habitats and remained largely rural. In the past, majority of population are in towns of Lantau Island, and Peng Chau, Lamma Island etc. They have different character, will bring you a whole new experiences. Ferry services to outlying island are provided in piers of Central. Lantau Island now can be reached by combinations of rail and road transport too.

Lantau Island(大嶼山)

Lantau is the largest of the islands – twice the size of Hong Kong Island. More than 70% of its area is virgin countryside that has been designated country parks. Sandy beaches with holiday resorts and campsites dot the southern coast, while to the north is Chek Lap Kok – the home of Hong Kong’s International Airport; and Ngong Ping(昂坪)is home to Po Lin Monasty & the Tian Tan Buddha Statue(天壇大佛).

You can visit Ngong Ping by Ngong Ping Cable Car from Tung Chung. During the 25-minute ride, you will enjoy some of the best views like the rolling grassland slopes of North Lantau Country Park, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue and the 360-degree view of the Ngong Ping Plateau.

Go to the Tian Tan Buddha Statue only takes a five-minute stroll from the Ngong Ping Village. In neighbor, Wisdom Path(心經簡林)features an arrangement of 38 giant wood columns to showcase calligraphy of Heart Sutra, a famous Buddhist classic, by master of Chinese studies Professor Jao Tsung-I.

About half way down the path that leads from Wisdom Path, you find the Tea Garden & Ngong Ping Fun Walk(昂坪奇趣徑). Although merely 1.5 km in length, it offers six attractions: Misty Lantau, Ancient Gateway, Tree Walk Exploration, Sunrise on Lantau, Scenery of Lakes and Tea Walk.

Lamma Island(南丫島)

Lamma is an island to the South of Hong Kong.It's main attractions are the seafood restaurants in Sok Kwu Wan and the hippie lifestyle of Yung Shue Wan. You may spend half-day to start the journey from either side and have a gentle walk around 1.5 to 3 hours across the island and arrive another side.

Starting from pier of Yung Shue Wan, heading by road sign to the direction of Sok Kwu Wan, about 30 minutes, you will see a sign pointed to Lamma Winds(南丫風采發電站), the first wind power station in Hong Kong launched in February 2006. Continue the walk, you will see the popular beach Hung Shing Yeh(洪聖爺)laid beside the power station.

Just past Hung Shing Yeh is Herboland Organic Garden. it offers over 30 different types of herbs that can be bought fresh, dried or as a cup of tea. If you book ahead (Gary: 90946206) you can also participate in a Herbo Workshop to learn organic farming techniques and herbal tea brewing .South of Hung Shing Yeh, the trail runs up and over low hills. You can get good views over the sea, especially the magic hour. After you drop from the hills, Sok Kwu Wan is not far.

Peng Chau(坪洲)

Peng Chau is a small island compared to Lantau and Lamma island. You can cover it around 2 hours, walking leisurely. However, it has its own history and worth the stopover. Its quiet village life, is really tranquility away from tranquility. It also has its temple – a 200-year-old Tin Hau Temple(天后廟)and Kum Fa Temple(金花廟).

Though Peng Chau was once a small island, it has preserved 70% of its greenery and 60% of its natural coastline. There is a Peng Chau Family Trail(坪洲家樂徑)to let you discover the island.From the village market to the top of Finger Hill(手指山), just a 30 to 40 minutes' walk. Reaching the top, all the tiredness is cleared and the green hills and clear waters from all directions make everyone so immersed as to forget about leaving.

The 360-degree undisrupted seaview is a unique panorama of Hong Kong: in the east Hong Kong Island and part of Kowloon Peninsula; in the south Lamma Island, Hei Ling Chau and Sunshine Island; in the west Lantau Island with many villages dotting its eastern coastal areas like which Discovery Bay; in the north Disneyland and Tsing Ma Bridge.

(This is part of a project for a digitization and interactive multimedia course)