Going to Mui Wo from the airport involved taking the S1 bus from the airport to Tung Chung (15-20 minutes) and taking the 3M bus from thereon (30-40 minutes). The bus ride was nice – it made me think of bus rides to Baguio in the old days, except that we were on the “wrong” side of the road.
Seeing the little village for the first time from the bus, right before the road descended on the hill, gave a feeling of warmth and a bit of “homecoming”. We were tired after all, and the little village by the beach looked no less than inviting. Sadly, I missed that photo op.
The first thing we saw when we got off the bus stop are the bikes, lots and lots and lots of it. I’ve never seen that many bikes before in my entire life. Neither had Lia. It was all fascinating. The bus stops right by the ferry terminal and this is where the locals leave their bikes before they board the ferry and go off to work.
My cousin came around in a bike, of course, and together we hauled our stuff to her house in Wang Tong Village. We got a little bit of help here and there from her neighbors. We stopped by a Filipino store so we can have access to the internet because H’s roaming was not working and we needed to tell him we were in Hong Kong.
Some time in the afternoon, right before sunset, we got our things ready and prepared to spend the night in Wan Chai.
We were back on the ferry early the next morning to leave our stuff at my cousin’s house, where we would spend our last night.
Wang Tong Village is a nice little place. It is very quiet, with most of the flats empty, except for summer I suppose. A lot of them had “this family’s Summer Flat” sign on it.
Most of the neighbors I saw were expats. If the expats are not in Discovery Bay, they are here. At least the ones who want to live in a quiet place.
My cousin had experienced living in different environments. When we went to visit her back in 2003, they were living in a 5th floor flat right in the heart of Central. It was tiny, but it was in the middle of Central! With Starbucks and Nike shops on the building’s ground level. Sometime after leaving Central, she lived in the mid-levels, before finally coming to this village in Lantau. I liked this place. I would even wanna live here.
Mui Wo is the gateway to Lantau for visitors arriving by ferry, and is well worth exploring before heading off to other parts of the island. The Mui Wo Valley was first settled by farmers around the middle of the Ming dynasty (16th century).
By the 19th century, there were six villages in the valley, many of whose inhabitants worked in a silver mine that operated for several decades. Remnants of the mine can still be seen and it provided the area with the alternative name of Silver Mine Bay. Also surviving to this day are several watchtowers built by the villagers to protect themselves from pirate attacks.
Since the 1930s, the bay has become a popular swimming beach served by a hotel, used mostly by weekend visitors.
More recently, the villages have become popular with urbanites looking for a quieter life.
Close to the pier and bus terminus you can check out the market and find a good selection of Chinese and international restaurants, a no-frills seaside dining arcade, and sea-gazing terraced eating places where noodle, seafood and duck specialities delight local holidaymakers.
Mui Wo is an ideal launching pad to explore other parts of Lantau Island, including the famous Po Lin Monastery, Giant Buddha and nearby Ngong Ping Village, the stilt houses of Tai O Village, and the magic of Hong Kong Disneyland. You can take a bus directly to all these locations except Disneyland, which can be reached via Tung Chung.
I would really have to say that Mui Wo is an ideal place for a family to live in – it’s close enough to Central, via a 40-minute slow ferry at $13 or a 20-min fast ferry at $26, it’s very quiet, it has a lot of space for kids to run around and there is a beach! It was really nice to see toddlers playing by the swings at the park in the mornings and afternoons and teenagers in their school uniforms biking on their way home from school. Yeah, I could live here. 🙂