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Outlying Islands

The Outlying Islands District, also known simply as the Islands District, consists of around 20 large and small islands of the 236 that make up Hong Kong as a whole. This district takes up 16 percent of Hong Kong’s land mass but is only home to 2 percent of the population, making it the least densely populated area of the territory. The Outlying Islands are known for having a relatively young population and a very relaxed pace of life that is far removed from Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Notable areas within the district include the reclaimed island of Check Lap Kok, where the new Hong Kong International Airport is found; Discovery Bay, a large residential island known as DB, which locals joke stands for “Dogs & Babies” due to its highly suburban nature; and Tung Chung on northern Lantau, home to the Po Lin Monastery as well as tourist favourites the Big Buddha and the Ngong Ping 360 cable car. Also of note on Lantau are Mui Wo, which hosts a great hiking trail over the hill to Discovery Bay and is famous for its free-roaming cows, and Tai O, which is known for its stilted houses, fish market and pink dolphin tours. And heaven forbid we neglect to mention Disneyland! Among the other islands in the district offering a very un-Hong Kong way of life are Cheung Chau, a tiny windswept island with great street food and plenty of bicycles for hire, and Lamma, known for its hippies and the rather dystopic view of a power station from its main beach. Both islands are car free.

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