hong kong outlying islands- questions

May 20th, 2004, 01:32 PM
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hong kong outlying islands- questions

are lamma, lantau, and macau, day trips ( or are any worth an overnight)? are any or all recommended? ( we are interested in scenery and immersion in another culture.)
bodhijack is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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They are all interesting places to see and will give you a different angle on Hong Kong. You might also think about Cheung Chau which I think is the closest island.They are all able to be seen in a day (seperate days that is)but you could benefit by staying overnight in Macau.It will be particularly interesting for you because it has a real Portuguese feeling mixed with the Asian.
Peteralan is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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Here's my take:

- Macau is a seperate territory from Hong Kong. You'll need to bring your passport, and ferry fares are much higher (about HK$120 each way). However, ferries (55 minutes on a jetfoil or jet-propelled catamaran; you don't get to choose) are extremely frequent - every 15 minutes. Macau has a very different feel than Hong Kong, with lots of Portugese influence and great Portguese food. Like Peter, I suggest staying there overnight - restaurants tend to open late and close late there. Hotels are very cheap - around US$50 for a 3* or 4* - and you can book at one of the agents at the ferry terminal in Hong Kong.

- If you want to stay within Hong Kong territories, here are the three main islands you can visit:

-- Lantau. It's larger than Hong Kong Island, and the Hong Kong airport is built on reclaimed land right next to it. However, the rest of the island is mostly undeveloped. The most important attraction is Po Lin Monastery and the largest outdoor sitting buddha in the world. Get a combination buddha/lunch ticket, and have vegetarian meal inside the monastery. Second attraction is the fishing village of Tai O at the far western end of the island. To get to Lantau, you can take the MTR to Tung Chung (next to the airport), or take the ferry from Central to Mui Wo. Two types of ferries. The slower one (about an hour) is larger, more comfortable and cheaper - which is recommended unless you're in a hurry. There are single-decker bus service between Mui Wo, Po Lin Monastery and Tai O.

-- Cheung Chau is a dumbbell shaped island, with the main village in the isthmus. There are several temples worth visiting, a semi-decent beach on the non-ferry side of the isthmus, some hiking trails, plus seafood restaurants that are mainly catered to local people. Nothing too fancy there. I don't think it's worth a whole day there, unless you're going to a lot hiking. No cars on Cheung Chau. Same deal with the ferries as Mui Wo on Lantau.

-- Lamma have two main areas, Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan. Many expats live on Lamma, and there are lots of seafood restaurants in Sok Kwu Wan - catered mostly to tourists, expats, and the rich who may come on private yatches. There's also a hiking trail between the two areas, and the hike may take about 90 minutes. There aren't really that many attractions on Lamma, as people usually just go there for food. There are ferries to both areas from Central, and there's also smaller "kai do" ferries between Sok Kwu Wan and Aberdeen on Hong Kong island.

You don't need to overnight at any of the islands in Hong Kong, unlike Macau. In fact, there are few "real" hotels" - there are mainly vacation villas. I think you'll find a day trip to Lantau the most interesting. A simple itinerary will be:

Take MTR to Tung Chung. Switch to New Lantao Bus #23 to Po Lin Monastery. Visit the Big Buddha, tour the monastery proper, and then have vegetarian lunch there. [There's also a hiking path that goes behind the monastery.]

After lunch, take bus #21 (infrequent, ask the station attendant) to Tai O. [Or take any bus out of Po Lin Monastery and switch to another bus at the main "Y" - again ask.] Tour the fishing village. Then take bus #1 across the island to Mui Wo and ferry back to Central.

And if you still want more "island fun" when you get to Mui Wo, you can take ferries from Mui Wo to Cheung Chau, Peng Chau (another small island that's quite "off the beaten track"), or to Discovery Bay (a residential developement on Lantau with a decent beach for strolling and with modern facilities). Ferry service from Mui Wo to any of these places are infrequent, but once you get there, there are ferries back to Central till past 11pm (Cheung Chau, Mui Wo or Peng Chau) and 24-hr service from Discovery Bay.
rkkwan is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 06:37 PM
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We enjoyed a day trip to Macao with a wonderful meal at Fernando's.
Kathie is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 08:07 PM
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I've been to Macau dozens of times, and love it. I just think there are too many sites to see that a daytrip is pretty hurried. There's the St. Paul ruins and the Fortress (and Macau Museum), there's the Ghia lighthouse, the Ma Kok Temple and maritime museum, afternoon tea at the Pousada de Sao Tiago hotel, the Lo Lim Yuek garden (a well-kept Suzhou-style garden, rare in Southern China), the Portugese style homes and all the restaurants on Rue de Cunha on the Taipa Island, the "black-sand" beach and Fernando restaurant on Coloane Island.

Then there are the new attractions like the observation tower; plus the casino in Hotel Lisboa - which is a site you cannot miss, even if you don't gamble at all.

See why I don't think a day-trip will do justice to Macau?
rkkwan is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 03:23 PM
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Lots of good suggestions from rkkwan..I would add to that the Camoes Gardens.Very peaceful and relaxing.The locals go there to rest,talk with friends,exercise and show off their birds.I've been to Macau on a day trip and also to stay over and , for me, the latter is preferable as the pace there should be leisurely. Have fun!
Peteralan is offline  
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