Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia - - / GUTHıEDE / -

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: As the largest island in Hong Kong, Lantau isn't exactly its best-kept secret, but a few hidden corners remain. Tai O, to the west, is a centuries-old fishing community that has built their houses on stilts above the tidal flats.

GETTING THERE: Ferries from Central pier to Mui Wo on the east of Lantau run every half hour (; tickets $2–$4). Hong Kong's MTR stops on Lantau in Tung Chung. From both termini, buses and taxis service the rest of the island.

WHEN TO GO: Autumn is the best time to visit Lantau— November and December are the coolest months, and ideal for hiking. Typhoons can occur from May to September.

WHAT TO DO: Lantau's best known attraction is the big seated image of Buddha at Po Lin Monastery ( Kwun Yam Temple, stilt houses. There are more than 70 kilometers of hiking trails on Lantau, often with a beach at the end. A popular trek starts in Mui Wo, hiking over both Sunset and Lantau peaks before winding down to the western side of the island—the end of Hong Kong.

WHERE TO STAY: Dating back to 1902, Tai O Heritage Hotel (; doubles from $170), was originally a police station built to combat piracy. Restored in 2009 to a nine-room boutique hotel, it's now a colonial gem.


en route to Tai O, is noted for its series of Buddha images. Wander through Tai O's alleyways, 15th-century buildings and local market, and don't leave without a photo of the iconic Lantau is a picturesque place to hike.

Tai O's pungent aroma comes from its famed shrimp paste and dried fish. Try them in the chicken and shrimp fried rice at the Tai O Heritage Hotel's restaurant. — A restored room at Tai O Heritage Hotel.

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