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Lantau Life: A nature-lover’s guide to the island

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Written in diary form over the course of a year, Lantau Life: A Year on Lantau Island by Charmian Woodhouse is set to become a nature lovers’ bible. Packed with gorgeous photographs, it documents the island’s incredible bio-diversity through the author’s daily encounters with a myriad animals and plants.

A typical entry delicately combines personal anecdote with scientific research. What comes across is the author’s passionate enthusiasm for the discoveries she makes, whether it’s a Blue-banded Bee, a colourful Lantern Bug, a Chinese Cobra or a Bamboo Orchid. She details where each sighting took place and how she took the photo (butterflies and bees are drawn to her; snakes tend not to hang around) before sharing a detailed description.

“I want people to know more about the plants and animals on Lantau, it’s such a beautiful island,” Charmian says. “I’m continually surprised by the species you can see, and once you know about [a particular animal or plant], you start to see them more. For instance, I was researching the Hummingbird Hawkmoth for my book and one suddenly turned up in my garden in Mui Wo! Such a discovery, it was like a gift!”

In researching Lantau Life, Charmian says she was inspired by all the like-minded people she came across locally. She recommends anyone looking to identify and learn more about a particular species, starts by contacting Hong Kong Snake Facebook page, Bug City HK 2 Facebook page or the Hong Kong Herbarium.

Charmian wrote Lantau Life for her mother, who lives in Cape Town, and it’s an ideal way to introduce friends and family to the island. You can grab your copies at Vibe Book & Music Store and Lantau Base Camp in Mui Wo, and at Bookazine in Discovery Bay and Prince’s Building, Central.

To connect with Charmian, head to Instagram Lantau Life or call 9339 8972.

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