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Despite their close proximity to the metropolis that is Hong Kong, the nearby islands of the South China Sea have a relaxed, almost tropical feel far-removed from the fast-paced lifestyle of Hong Kong. Indeed, the waters of the South China Sea are filled with islands large and small, some with fishing villages, while others are home only to isolated beaches and coves where one can swim, wake-board, and sunbathe for hours with not a soul in sight.
Particularly noteworthy sights include Lantau Island's Giant Buddha, among the largest of its kind in the world; windsurfing at Big Wind Bay; and exploring the outlying islands of Hong Kong aboard your own Chinese junk.
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Spend the day exploring Hong Kong's outlying islands aboard your own luxurious, motorized Chinese junk — a type of boat traditional to the region. Dating back millennia and still in use today, the junk is a type of traditional wooden fishing boat whose innovative sail and hull designs would later influence Western shipbuilding.
Tung Lung Island
Stop on Tung Lung Island, which is largely uninhabited and protected as a special park region for its lovely landscape and great hiking and rock-climbing opportunities.
Spend the afternoon on Lamma Island, a traditional fishing island which doubles as an outpost for Hong Kong's creative, bohemian community. Explore the island's small communities which are linked only by a series of footpaths that cross lovely open hills with views over Hong Kong and the surrounding waters. End up in Yeung Shue Wan, where small boutiques, cafés and Western-style bars mix with traditional seafood and produce vendors.
From Tung Lung, sail up to Sai Kung peninsula and go windsurfing at the spectacular Big Wave Bay with its wide strand of beach and dramatic mountainous backdrop. Windsurfing is the only sport for which Hong Kong (independent of China) ever won an Olympic Medal, when Lee Lai-Shan took home gold from the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Spend time outdoors on Lantau Island, Hong Kong’s largest island, more than half of which is National Park land with popular hiking trails. A marine park off the north coast of the island was established to protect the water’s Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphins, which are more commonly known as Lantau’s “pink dolphins.”
Po Lin Monastery & Giant Buddha
While it was once but a small monastery tucked in the wilds of Lantau Island, Po Lin Monastery shot to prominence in 1993 after the construction of a giant Buddha statue, which measured 111 feet (34 meters). From the base of the statue, visitors can enjoy soaring views of the island and the surrounding seas; within the walls of Po Lin itself are a pleasant garden, as well as ornate Buddhist iconography.
Spend 4 days exploring the hidden corners of Hong Kong. You’ll stay at luxury hotels like the Ritz Carlton on Hong Kong Island and Upper House in Kowloon, while taking day trips to Lantau peak and Tai O fishing village, exploring Hong Kong’s Wetland Park, and strolling along Tsim Sha Tsui’s Avenue of the Stars.
Remote Lands clients usually visit the Outlying Islands as part of a day excursion and stay in one of the luxury hotels on Hong Kong Island, such as Landmark Mandarin Oriental or Four Seasons Hong Kong. With Remote Lands you can discover the unique islands that surround Hong Kong from the comfort and privacy of your own Chinese junk, fitted with a private bathroom and comfortable seating areas. Taking your own private boat is recommend if you wish to have a tailor-made trip and experience the islands off-the-beaten-track. Alternatively, you can travel by the public ferries that depart from the Central Ferry Piers or the Star Ferry Pier. Getting around on the islands is typically done on foot, by renting a bike or by catching a kaido (a small ferry), which travel between the islands.