Since 1997, Lantau has been linked to the rest of the HKSAR by 3 impressive bridges. Previously, you had to catch a ferry, typically to Mui Wo on the south coast. Lantau is the biggest island in the SAR, surprisingly, bigger than Hong Kong island. But it development was restricted by the steep mountainous interior and the lack of almost any coastal plain – the mountainsides disappear into the sea at a very sharp rate of decline in all but a few places. The central plateau has the Ngong Ping monastery, which drew in some curious tourists who were brave enough to take a whole day for two ferry crossings, two tortuous bus rides just to see the monks hide-out and eat vegetarian food. It used to be an exhausting day. Here are some photos of just such a day from the 1980s – before the Big Buddha and cable ride added to the ‘charm’ of the place.
The photo below shows the construction of the base of the Big Buddha.
…about 10 years later!
Another 6 years passed…