Last Updated on 12 November, 2020
I’ve always felt that Hong Kong was way too busy for my liking – some people like the buzz, but it’s not really my thing. So on this particular trip to Hong Kong, I took the time to venture to Hong Kong’s outlying islands beyond the central area, venturing to Cheung Chau and Lamma Island. My verdict? They really aren’t difficult to get to and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I never thought of Hong Kong as a place with much nature before this, but it definitely has some beautiful natural sights to offer beyond the typical food and shopping. Here’s what my day trip to Lamma Island was like and what you can expect to see.
As always, a handy map to show you my route on Lamma Island. I didn’t cover all of Lamma Island, just the Family Trail from one ferry terminal to the other. I’ll share a bit about what you can see along the way.
How to get to Lamma Island
Head to Central Ferry Pier #4 to catch the ferry to Lamma Island. It’s where IFC Mall is located and the start of the Mid Level Escalators, and right where the Hong Kong MTR station is located.
Lamma Island is a half-hour ferry ride away from Central Ferry Pier and has 2 piers:
- Yung Shue Wan on the northwestern end
- Ferries run every 20-30mins in morning and evening, 45-60 minutes in afternoon
- HK$17.80 (S$3) on weekdays and HK$24.70 (S$4.30) on weekends
- Song Kwu Wan on the southeastern end
- Ferries run every 75-120mins
See the timings of the ferries at the HKKF website.
I really like that you can just use your Octopus Card to pay for the ticket, just tap and go like you’re taking the MTR.
Lamma Island Family Trail
Lamma island is also known as Pok Liu Chau, but should probably be called Laidback Island people go there to get away and enjoy nature, so don’t visit Lamma Island expecting a ton of activity. We basically walked around and soaked in the view, and I’ll be the first to say that I’m not usually one for trekking, but this was quite manageable for a casual walker like myself, and while it can be a bit tough on the slopes, it was a really pleasant walk overall.
Yung Shue Wan
We took the 10am ferry that brought us to Yung Shue Wan Bay in about 40 minutes. Perhaps it was the timing or that the bay is quite shallow, but we had to walk a little way to get from the jetty to the main village. It was quite a lovely idyllic view save for the chimneys of the nearby Hong Kong Electric Power Station. It’s an unexpected sight given the quaintness of the squat village buildings and the rolling green hills in the distance, but this is actually the 2nd largest of Hong Kong’s power stations.
We decided to embrace the slow life and enjoy the serenity of the bay by having a dim sum breakfast with a waterfront view at Sampan Seafood Restaurant. While its name might not make it the obvious place for dim sum, it had a really inviting looking counter piled high with dim sum baskets so we just had to sit down there for a quick but surprisingly filling breakfast. It also had a really nice view of the bay.
Completely stuffed from all that dim sum, we decide to go exploring after our brunch. Make sure you wear a good pair of shoes as you will do a lot of walking on Lamma island. As with many other places in Hong Kong, it can be pretty hilly at points. We took the Family Trail and enjoy the greenery and quiet of the island.
We took a detour off the main Family Walk path to see the Lamma Winds, which is really a rather fancy name for the one wind turbine on Lamma Island that is 71m tall and impressively tall up close. You’ll see it at various junctures during the walk, and it always seems like you are right next to it because of its sheer height! They definitely picked one of the windiest spots on the island to put this turbine at.
Hung Shing Ye Beach
Rejoining the Lamma Island Family Trail again, we continued walking until we ended up at Hung Shing Ye beach which seemed to be where most of the island’s visitors head to. There was a really popular barbeque area and lots of big groups arriving with large bags of skewers and food when we were there. The water in the bay was too cold for swimming in March though I did dip my feet in the water for a bit before we continued along the Family Walk.
Sok Kwu Wan Lookout Pavillion
After we left the beach, it was more uphill climbs as we headed inland, cutting across the island towards the east coast. This bit was definitely more tiring but had excellent views of the surrounding sea. We were probably lucky that it was kinda cloudy so it was good walking weather even if the photos aren’t as pretty.
We keep walking amidst the greenery and finally stopped for a rest at the Sok Kwu Wan Lookout Pavilion which overlooks the sea and lo and behold, we could see the village of Sok Kwu Wan in the distance. The good news for anyone walking is that everything else from this point on is thankfully downhill, phew!
We could also have taken a detour west to Lo So Shing Beach, but we were aiming to catch the ferry back so we kept going.
Sok Kwu Wan
Finally we reached Sok Kwu Wan! One of the popular things to do here in Sok Kwu Wan is have a feast at one of the many seafood restaurants here, but because we were there at an odd late afternoon time it was pretty quiet.
The Family Walk continues eastwards to Mo Tat Wan, or you can go further down south to Tung O and Shek Pai Wan where there is another jetty, but we had to head back to the main island that evening for some Art Basel events, so we ended our journey at Sok Kwu Wan and waited for the ferry to take us back to Central Pier.
Essentially our visit to Lamma was one very long walk – all in all I think we walked a good 5km that day! It is a pleasant way, easy and affordable way to spend a day in Hong Kong if you want to get away from the hectic city centre.
You can also read an article I wrote for Turkish Airlines Skylife magazine about visiting the outlying islands in Hong Kong.