For those who want to see a different side to Hong Kong, visiting one of the outlying islands is a great thing to do. Cheung Chau Island is one of the easiest and best to visit. It has all the old-world charm of a fishing village, with a colourful harbour, traditional temples, small roadside shrines and a string of local seafood restaurants along the waterfront.
The highlights of our most recent trip were swimming, a coastal walk along part of the Looped Family Trail and lunch at Pirate Bay, where the French owner does a whole roast chicken.
Rather than swim at the main Tung Wan Beach, we prefer to continue a little further around the headland instead to Kwan Yum Beach. It’s smaller but it’s also prettier, quieter and has the charming Hing See beach-shack bar.
GETTING TO CHEUNG CHAU: Public ferries run all day, roughly every 30 min from #5 Central Pier. It is only a short walk from HK MTR station and the piers are numbered in order, from 1-10 so it is easy to find the #5. If you don’t already have an Octopus travel card then you can buy tickets at the gate. There are 2 choices of ferries – the big, slow ferry or the smaller, fast ferry. Both leave from #5. The slow ferry takes just under an hour and is $14 HKD one way. The fast ferry takes half that and is $25 HKD. If you tend to get queasy on boats, the fast ferry is a much smoother ride and is a/c throughout. The advantage of the slow ferry is that you can sit outside. If you have the time, the slow ferry is a very cruisy and scenic trip.