Issue No. 6: A journey to Hong Kong's beautiful islands and secluded beaches…



Hello again everybody and welcome to the sixth issue of "Hong Kong Travel Tips"!


So… What is in today's newsletter?


Enjoy the read!

Roni Shwartz




 A)   Somewhere to put your head at night: Spending a night at a beach-side hotel in one of Hong Kong's outlying islands


Hong Kong's outlying islands do not boast a booming tourism industry, so you should not expect to find here the likes of Thailand's glitzy beach resorts… As a matter of fact, the ambience here is very relaxed and easy going, and so are the very few hotels that can be found on the islands…


Concerto Inn, in Lamma Island, sits on a lovely bay (although the nearby power plant spoils it a bit) and offers its guests a quiet and homey ambience, nice beachfront bar and 14 relatively modern rooms with balconies that overlook the nice scenery around… It is just a heartbeat from Lamma Island's main village, Yung Shue Wan, which means you can easily walk there whenever you want and enjoy the nice cafés and restaurants (which are open until fairly late)… There are also some walking trails nearby, and you can even rent a bike…

The Warwick, Cheung Chau Island's only "real" hotel is fairly modest, when compared with Hong Kong's glitzy 5-star hotels... But it's quite nice nonetheless, with a lovely swimming pool, and the view you get from the oceanside rooms (especially those on the high floors) is awesome...


Just like in the case of the Concerto Inn, the Warwick is a short stroll from Cheung Cahau's "town", with its great seafood restaurants and bayside cafés, and there are one or two nice walking trails around.


Still on Cheung Chau Island, B & B Cheung Chau is far less pretentious than the Warwick.

Located in the middle of the village, between the Ferry Pier and Tung Wan Beach, and just a spit away from everywhere, this lovely little guesthouse has only 16 rooms, which are all quite clean, comfortable and properly equipped. 



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B)    Sights and stories of Hong Kong: The former fishermen's village of Shek O


The former fishermen's village of Shek O, with its narrow streets and vivaciously painted houses, is one of Hong Kong's nicest and most serene corners... Engulfed by relaxed beaches and picturesque green mountains, this almost Mediterranean village makes a lovely retreat for those who want to get away from the city's hustle and bustle without having to travel miles away...


Shek O also makes a good starting or ending point for those of you who wish to hike the Dragon's Back, which one is one of Hong Kong's best nature trails.


Other than a beautiful rocky bay (with a sandy strip) on the side facing the South China Sea, and a wide sandy beach on the side facing the inner bay, the village boasts a few good and unpretentious restaurants and cafés, and a truly laid back ambience.


To visit the rocky islet of Tai Tau Chau, you should go to the end of the village (a couple of minutes' walk from the beaches), where a bridge that connects the shore with the island can be found: There is a nice trail that goes through the islet and passes some observation points, from where you can get fantastic panoramic views towards the New Territories.


Getting to Shek O: Travel to MTR-Shau Kei Wan, take exit A-3 to the bus interchange, and board bus No. 9 to Shek-O (Regular service runs every day, from 6 am till around midnight).

You can also take a taxi from Stanley (There is no bus service): The ride is not too long, so the price is not likely to drill a hole in your pocket…



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C)    Restaurant of the fortnight: Green Cottage


Run by some nice people, who really make you feel at home, this cute Lamma Island café boasts a pleasant and relaxed ambience and you can easily spend a long time there, reading newspapers and magazines while enjoying the unbeatable sea views and thinking you are somewhere in the Mediterranean... 


The menu offers a decent selection of lovely vegetarian delicacies, including wholesome breakfasts, freshly-baked whole-wheat baguettes and muffins, awesome vegetarian sandwiches, homemade Mushroom pate with cheese on toast, fresh smoothies and juices, and excellent coffees, served in humongous mugs...


Open daily, from very early, and prices are quite reasonable.


26 Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island                    Phone: 2982 6934



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D)   Authentic eatery of the fortnight: Mak Man Kee Noodles


Located on Parkes Street in Kowloon, next to the legendary "Australia Dairy Company" and just a short stroll from Jordan MTR Station, this fabulous hole-in-the-wall eatery has been around for 40 years or so, and still serves the same fantastic Wonton noodles that has earned it its reputation, with thin skin and rich filing of either pork or shrimps, floating in a delicious slow-cooked broth with springy handmade noodles, that are traditionally prepared with duck-eggs.


Quite expectedly, English is a problem here, but with a bit of assistance from other customers you will be fine (Otherwise just say "Wanton min" or "Wantan mee" and they will understand what you want...)


Open daily, from 12 noon till after midnight, and prices are very moderate.


Getting there:  51 Parkes Street, Jordan/Yau-ma-Tei (Just a short walk from exit C-2 of MTR Jordan, through Bowring Street, and then turn right to Parkes St. and you will see the eatery on your left).


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E)     Events worth knowing about…


Olivia Newton-John, one of the most awarded singers in history, will perform a single concert at Hong Kong's Conference and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), in Wanchai, on the 2nd of April, where she will bring to life hits like Xanadu, Magic, Physical and, of course, the legendary songs from "Grease"...


For more info and tickets, click here.


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F)     Tip of the fortnight: How to buy jade in Hong Kong ?

Thinking about buying Jade jewelleries or sculptures in Hong Kong? Here are two articles that will give you the most important tips you should know…


1)        5 Tips on Buying Jade Jewelry

2)        Jade: The Imperial Gem


Well folks, that is all for this issue… I hope you enjoyed the read and look forward to sending you our next issue in two weeks' time.


Meanwhile, as a frequent traveler in Asia, you might also have an interest in our other newsletter: Singapore Travel Tips, which brings the best of what Singapore has to offer, straight to your inbox, or Asia Cheap Eats, where you can find out about Asia's BEST inexpensive restaurants !


And one last thing… For those of you who missed the first two issues of this newsletter, here is a link to them…



All the best, Roni


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