Header image courtesy of Sugarman Joe (via Unsplash)
Tung Chung is so much more than “the place next to the airport.” As the home of Ngong Ping 360 and the Big Buddha, Tung Chung is also a hiker’s playground, a shopper’s paradise, and utterly perfect for a family day out. Highly accessible by both train and bus, there really is no reason not to pay a visit. Read on to find out why and how you can spend days exploring this cosy Lantau Island neighbourhood.
As the first outlet mall in Hong Kong, Citygate Outlets remains wildly popular twenty years later today. It’s not hard to see why: With over 150 international brands ranging from Adidas to Versace, as well as year-round discounts, the retail extravaganza is bound to satisfy shoppers of all kinds.
After spending the whole day here (which is more likely than you’d think!), take your pick of riding the bus or the MTR, both of which are right next to the mall. If you’re bringing the kids with you, make sure they don’t get too soaked dashing through the open-air fountain in the plaza outside!
Citygate Outlets, 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung | (+852) 2109 1332
Let’s face it—Ngong Ping 360 and the Big Buddha were probably the first things that popped into your mind when you thought of Tung Chung. The tourist attraction is so famous it needs no introduction, but if you’re a repeat visitor, conquer your vertigo and try the glass-bottom crystal cabin cable car for a unique Hong Kong experience.
Once you’ve alighted the cable car and arrived at the foot of the Big Buddha, take a 10-minute detour and check out the Wisdom Path. There, marvel at the snaking rows of wooden columns with verses from the ancient Heart Sutra carved upon them. Whatever you do, just be sure to avoid going on the weekends and public holidays so you don’t get crushed by the crowds!
Ngong Ping 360, Ngong Ping Cable Car Tung Chung Station, Tung Chung | (+852) 3666 0606
If you’re looking for something more off the beaten track, check out this 1960s Hong Kong-themed wet market in the Yat Tung neighbourhood. Located in Yat Tung Estate, the Hong Kong Market (Yat Tung) is adorned with vintage decors of old Hong Kong, including overhead signs, British post box, and even a good ol’ rickshaw cart. Other than fresh produce, the market also features a neat corridor just for street food stalls. Snack on freshly-wrapped wontons, Hainanese chicken and more—it’ll be worth the 20-minute walk from the MTR station.
Hong Kong Market (Yat Tung), G/F, Yat Tung Shopping Centre, 8 Yat Tung Street, Tung Chung
Of course, who can write an article about Lantau without mentioning hiking somewhere? There are already plenty of hikes that begin at Tung Chung station with a bit of something for everyone. First of all, there’s the steep but rewarding hike to the Big Buddha for cable car-rejecting masochists. From the Big Buddha, hike to Lantau Peak for magnificent 360-degree views of Lantau Island and even the airport. If you’re keen on visiting two places on the same day, hike from Tung Chung to Tai O, Discovery Bay, Mui Wo—the list just doesn’t stop. Check out another hiking trail to the Big Buddha here.
If hiking sounds too strenuous, how about a relaxing seaside cycle with a picnic to boot? After renting a bike at the Sunny Bike Shop twenty minute’s walk from the train station, do a few warm-up loops around the rustic neighbourhood. When you’re ready, set out for Sunny Bay by following the train tracks—that way, you’ll never have to worry about getting lost. Take in the waterfront vista on the other side as you’re biking, before stopping at Sunny Bay for an idle picnic. Find out more in our full guide here.
Sunny Bike Shop, No 110, G/F, Ma Wan Chung Village, Tung Chung | (+852) 2988 8511
These military forts are true relics of the past, built in 1817 before the British even set foot in Hong Kong. The forts have seen their fair share of battles back in the day and even served as a police station and a college after the Japanese occupied it during the Second World War. Walk 15 minutes from the MTR station to visit the battery, then continue on for 20 more minutes to check out the well-preserved traditional Chinese architecture of both.
Anyone with a sweet tooth must try the glorious cinnamon rolls at Cinnabon. The irresistible treat comes in a variety of sizes (starting from $30), and are freshly baked in-house using Makara cinnamon from West Sumatra and topped with a guiltily good frosting. Grab a hot cuppa joe (starting from $31; roll and coffee combos available) to balance the sweetness, or go all out and order their signature cold-brew cinnamon roll ($46).
Feeling something savoury instead? Don’t leave just yet; sample a piece of their piping hot cheese panini rolls ($40)—made with their special dough, we guarantee it will be unlike any other paninis you’ve ever had before.
Cinnabon, Unit 298, Citygate Outlets, 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung
Remember all those exploding omurice videos you saw on Insta? The good news is you don’t have to wait for your next trip to Japan! Slice the immaculate omelette and watch it burst with oozy goodness yourself at Banchan & Cook. The Korean restaurant is one of the few in Hong Kong that serves an exploding omurice instead of a regular one, and they sure do not disappoint. Whether you go for the classic original omurice with house beef sauce ($88) or the fancier omurice with eel ($112), you’re sure to be in for a delightful (and highly Instagrammable!) meal.
Banchan & Cook, Shop 334, 3/F, Citygate Outlets, 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung | (+852) 2668 1802
Tung Chung locals’ favourite cuisine one-stop-shop would have to be Kimos. The small restaurant’s menu spans a dizzying array of dishes including Turkish, Indian, Western, and even Mexican. Our favourite is the roast lamb quesadilla ($98), narrowly beating the simple but nutty Kashmiri naan ($30). For a fusion pick, try the chicken tikka pizza ($125) and feel free to hang around their bar while you’re at it.
Kimos, Shop L, G/F, Retail Seaview Crescent, 8 Tung Chung Waterfront Road, Tung Chung | (+852) 2886 3646
Tung Chung may not have standalone bars, but don't underestimate restaurant bars either. Amante Bar & Restaurant is one of the best in the district, featuring a sizeable selection of wines, beers, spirits, and cocktails. The drinks will come nicely as you relax in their cosy ambience after your meal; for mains, you can’t go wrong with their linguini with tiger prawn and scallop in tomato sauce ($198). If you’re lucky, you may even catch a deal on their quality raw oyster platters.
Amante Bar & Restaurant, Shop 1, G/F, Fu Tung Plaza, Tung Chung | (+852) 2907 6808
It’s time to restore all those calories you burnt after that hike with a hearty bowl of deep-fried tempura. Just kidding, but seriously, if you like tempura in the least bit you’d have to try Tung Chung’s tendon (天丼; tempura rice bowl) hotspot. We recommend the Edomae premium tempura rice bowl ($138) for the ultimate experience, an all-in-one bowl with tempura conger eel, shrimp, mixed seafood fritters, snow pea and more.
Kaneko Hannosuke, Shop 101A, 1/F, Citygate Outlets, 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung | (+852) 2215 3921