When you find yourself stuck in the hustle-and-bustle of Central, it can be easy to forget that Hong Kong is actually a sub-tropical paradise complete with lush jungles and beach island getaways. One such getaway is South Lantau, a cornucopia of sandy beaches, roaming water buffaloes exotic hiking trails and charming village houses. Those in the know have been calling it home for years. But can you live a Green Queen friendly lifestyle there? Turns out the answer is a resounding YES! South Lantau is packed with options…From organic veggies to vegan retreats to composting restaurants, our guide showcases the best of the best!
Best For Healthy Vegetarian Fare – Garden Cafe
Garden Cafe offers a full menu of Asian and Western vegetarian choices and are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are well known for their “pay what you will” vegetarian buffets on Monday. Everything is homemade on site, from baked goods to their own chocolate. Garden Cafe‘s produce comes from their own HKORC certified organic farm- the excess harvest of which they sell to their customers.
11a Lo Wai Village, Pui O, Lantau Island, +852 2980 2233. Monday to Friday 7:00 – 15:00, Saturday and Sunday 7:00 – 19:00.
Best For A Sustainably Prepared Burger – Mavericks
Surf shack-cum-restaurant Mavericks is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed family meal without worrying about how your food was made. The restaurant takes its sourcing very seriously and dishes are made with local, organic veggies from neighboring farms, meats are grass-fed, seafood is environmentally friendly plus they stock locally made craft beers. The food is delicious with a menu of burgers, sandwiches, tacos and salads and you get to enjoy the food whilst staring out over Pui O bay, especially stunning at sunset.Mavericks is also possibly one of the most green-minded restaurants in Hong Kong: they compost their food waste, recycle all containers and packaging, grow their own herbs and greens and use nothing but reclaimed wood in their decor. For more details, read our full review here.
Pui O Beach, +852 5662 8552. Fridays 17:00 – 23:30 and Saturday & Sunday 11:00 – 23:30.
Best For Sustainable Meat & Seafood – Loi Chan Frozen Meat Co.
Loi Chan Frozen Meat Co. boasts an amazing selection of sustainable meat and seafood including many hard to find cuts and specialty items. Grass-fed beef, organic chicken, hormone free pork, halal meats, as well as wild caught seafood such as Canadian sushi grade salmon, Japanese oysters, New Zealand lamb, French wild quails, haggis, nitrate-free sausages…they have it all. They also carry a range of spices, condiments, and wine. If you are unable to make it to their shop in Mui Wo, delivery is also available to Tung Chung and Discovery Bay. Non Lantau residents are out of luck sadly!
23 Chung Hau St, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, +852 9095 4543. Open daily except Thursdays 8:00 – 17:30.
Best For Organic Produce – Dragontail Farm
Dragontail Farm offers a range of organic vegetables, fruits and herbs. Their offerings change with the seasons- the ordering menu is available on their website and updated frequently. Customers can place their orders via email, Facebook or phone. Deliveries within Mui Wo are free. The rest of South Lantau, as well as other parts of Lantau island, will incur a HKD 10 fee. Dragontail Farm also has a range of eco-tourism and educational activities including daily tours of the farm, one/three hour organic farming programs and children’s activities, such as how to make your own scarecrow. They can even accommodate school groups. They are in conversion to becoming certified organic.
145 Luk Tei Tong, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, +852 5167 2174. Monday to Saturday 7:00 – 18:00.
Best For Stocking Your Pantry – Natural Plus
Jan 2017 Update: Natural Plus has closed down.
Natural Plus has two floors: downstairs is a vegetarian take-away food shop and juice bar, upstairs is a health and wellness shop that stocks organic dry goods and pantry items. They carry a large range of natural and organic beauty products and can also place order for specialty equipment like dehydrators and juicers. While their web shop is available to all of Hong Kong, Lantau residents have the benefit of free shipping.
Shop A, Sea View Bldg., Mui Wo, Lantau Island, +852 2984 2233. Thursday to Monday 8:30 – 20:00, Tuesday & Wednesday 8:30 – 16:30.
Best For Artisanal Bread – Village Bakery
The Village Bakery, Lantau’s only artisanal bakery has amassed quite a following for their sourdough in particular though they cover the full boulangerie of freshly baked breads, mooncakes, macaroons, croissants, cupcakes, and pastries. The Village Bakery also has a free-from selection such as gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free items. We especially love their flax and almond load and their vegan sourdough! Did we mention they provide the burger and sandwich buns to Mavericks?
Shop 2, G/F, Lucky Court 16 Mui Wo Ferry Pier Road, Lantau Island, +852 2980 3344. Monday to Saturday 7:00 – 19:00.
Best For Getting Your Hands Dirty – Ark Eden
Having been fortunate enough to spend a day planting trees with the wonderful Ark Eden founder Jenny Quinton, Green Queen can safely say it is a day you will never forget. Ark Eden is an NGO promoting and focusing on a variety of Lantau conservation efforts including education programs, tree planting volunteer days, and permaculture training. Did we mention that she lives in an enchanting tree house and has Hong Kong’s only pump free swimming pool, floating in the middle of the Lantau jungle? Experiencing an Ark Eden day is nothing short of magical and we guarantee, you will completely forget you are in Hong Kong- get your company to book a bonding day there ASAP! The reward (besides planting trees of course to rejuvenate the forest fire ravaged mountainside) is a delicious home cooked organic vegan meal with produce from the Ark Eden garden.
Mui Wo, Lantau Island, +852 9277 4025, firstname.lastname@example.org
Best For Escaping It All – Sommer’s Life Beach Retreat
Looking to get away from it all but don’t want the hassle of air travel? Sommer’s Life Beach Retreat is the answer. This healthy retreat/B&B serves vegan food prepared lovingly just for you by the proprietress Natalie Sommer. Located off the beaten path (as in a 20-30 minute stroll from Mui Wo ferry pier), you will leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Get our full review here!
34 Tung Wan Tau Road, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, +852 5501 8633.
Best For Everything Else – iHerb
Lantau is well known for being kind of a nightmare when it comes to online shopping as most courriers won’t deliver there (yup, Parknshop & Wellcome are duds in this department)…except the one and only iHerb (they use DHL, who do make it out to this part of the island – as does HK Post). If you don’t already know about it, iHerb has literally thousands of products from supplements to organic skincare to gluten free, raw and paleo pantry items so you can sort yourself out from your couch!
Best For Physical Health – Jill Marshall
One of Hong Kong’s best known pilates and yoga instructors, Jill Marshall offers both one-on-one and group classes on Lantau. Her morning B.Y.O.M. (Bring Your Own Mat) classes on Pui O beach are sure to get any day off to a good start. She also teaches a Core Conditioning class at Pause studio in Mui Wo. Find the class schedule here.
Pause: G/F, Block 1, Silverview Centre, 8 Ngan Kwong Wan Road, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, +852 9427 8647.
Bonus- LantauMama Health & Wellness Blog
LantauMama is an blog written by mum of two Jacqueline Renee Cohen packed with information on how to feed your family the healthy way. Many of the recipes she shares involve fermented foods and drinks of some kind- kefir and kombucha especially play a large role in her diet. Jacqueline also teaches cooking classes on Lantau: learn how to make your own kefir, kombucha, fermented vegetables, dehydrated foods and more- you can get home Kefir and Kombucha Kits from her too.
Photo credits: Mavericks, Sommer Life Beach Retreat, Villiage Bakery, Dragontail Farm and Jill Marshall.