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Outlying Islands
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Outlying Islands - Lantau

Of all the outlying islands, the greatest in size, and perhaps in atmosphere, is Lantau, which has a land area twice that of Hong Kong Island . On Lantau, it is still not too late to experience rural village lifestyles that have endured almost unchanged over 100 hundred years.

Opened in 1998, the new international airport that cost Hong Kong government US$20 billion to build has given Lantau a greater importance. Moreover, the Hong Kong Disneyland to be opened in 2005 will make Lantau well known all over the world.

The relative quiet and sheltering serenity of the island not only provide a peaceful gateway for harried urbanites, but also an appropriate setting for the many Christian and Buddhist monasteries here. Because Lantau is twice the size of Hong Kong Island but supports a population of only about 25,000, there is space and peace here that is sorely lacking on the more populated island. Ironically, this tranquillity can sometimes be disrupted on busy weekends and holidays by the many urban residents who flock here seeking respite from their workday pressures.

Up on the mountainous central spine is Lantau's best-known attraction, its largest temple and monastery ¡V the brightly painted, red-orange-and-gold Po Lin Monastery. The world's largest outdoor bronze statue of a seated Buddha, at 24 metres (79ft) high, was completed here in 1990. After a stroll through the temple grounds, visitors can treat themselves to a hearty vegetarian meal served by Po Lin's resident monks in a large dining hall.

The Giant Buddha at Lantau
Po Lin Monastery at Lantau
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