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Hong Kong Travel, tours, sightseeing, Lamma Island

Lamma Island

Hong Kong's leisure playground...

With its low population density, lovely landscapes, easygoing lifestyle, cosmopolitan ambience, pristine beaches and fabulous restaurants and cafés, Lamma Island certainly deserves to be titled "Hong Kong's leisure playground".

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It is Hong Kong's third largest island (after Lantau and Hong Kong Island), and although it occupies an area of only 13.5 km² (less than one sixth of its predecessor), it has a population of well less than 10,000... Which means it is really "spacious" compared to many other areas across the territory (quite surprising, when considering its relative proximity to the large metropolitan centre).

 

The best thing you can do on Lamma is to take it easy and enjoy life... and that is not a cliché...  There are no stunning temples here, neither are there any themed parks, ostentatious museums or unmissable tourist attractions... Just lots and lots of peace and serenity, excellent seafront restaurants with comfy couches and many nice people to socialize with...  (And as cars are not allowed on the island, you'll have a chance to walk around (or bike) and actually meet all those nice people...).

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Although some of Hong Kong's most ancient traces of human civilization can be found on Lamma, the island never really developed much... mostly due to its ragged terrain, which made it hard for farming to build up...

 

It was actually the European expat community in Hong Kong that has put Lamma on the map... Many westerners have made the island their home, enjoying its Mediterranean-leisurely ambience and the relatively low rents... Even today, expatriates form a significant portion of the island's population.

 

Yung Shue Wan, Lamma's largest settlement, is the place where most people start their visit to the island from.  Stretching along a small picturesque bay, with lush-green hills as a backdrop, the village looks as if it belongs more to an island in northern Greece than to Hong Kong...

 

Simple tavernas and cafés along the waterfront overlook the turquoise bay, while the village's back alleyways (especially its "main" street) are lined with all sorts of homey restaurants, small boutique shops and street stalls.

 

Other than the small Tin Hau Temple, there are no "monuments" as such in the village, so you can either rent a bike or just stroll around and enjoy yourself...

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Hung Shing Yeh Beach is a short walk from Yung Shue Wan village, on the other side of the hill, and near the monstrous power plant (which is, probably, Lamma's most serious down side...).  There is a nice sandy beach here, surrounded by some lovely views (spoilt by the plant, of course...) and with most of the usual beach facilities... The Concerto Inn, right by the beach, is a good place to grab some cold beers and unwind... 

 

From Yung Shue Wan village, there is a walking trail that crosses the island southwards, through Hung Shing Yeh Beach, to Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma's second ferry pier, where you can find a cluster of popular seafood restaurants.

 

Walking the trail, from one end to the other, takes approximately one and a half hours (normal pace) and attractions along the way include Shen Feng Cave, the Tree Frogs Reserve and the 200 year-old Tin Hau Temple, in Sok Kwu Wan, among others...

 

Just past Hung Shing Yeh Beach you will see Herb Land, Hong Kong's first organic herb farm. There is a small tea house here, where you can enjoy some nice organic teas and herbal beverages.

 

Before reaching Sok Kwu Wan, you can turn right and take a few minutes walk to Lo So Shing Beach, a beautiful (and fairly secluded) sandy beach, surrounded by green hills and picturesque shoreline, and neighboring a small, traditional village with the same name... There are lifeguards on duty and the beach boasts the usual shebang of facilities... It's a great place to spend a few hours at.

 

Just before Sok Kwu Wan, you can see the Kamikaze caves: Some manmade grottos that are believed to have been made by the Japanese forces during World War II, as a hideaway for some explosives and other equipment they planned to use for suicide bombings against British targets across the region...

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A tip from 'Metropolasia-Man' :  

More than a few visitors start the day on one end of the trail (usually at Yung Shue Wan village) and take the ferry back to Central from the other end... 

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Fisherfolk's Village, Lamma's latest tourist attraction, is a kind of an open museum where you can learn stuff about the island's unique fishermen culture, through a series of "hands-on displays" that actually allow the visitor to participate in all sorts of daily fishermen activities.

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Occupying an area of 2,000 m² of floating rafts in the bay opposite Sok Kwu Wan, the "village" boasts all sorts of interesting exhibits: from floating boat-people dwellings, to junks, sampans, dragon-boats and fishing-rafts... Everything is authentic.

 

Fisherfolk's Village features a few different ticket options: From the 2-hours-visit ticket that goes for HK$ 40 for an adult or HK$ 30 for a kids (3-11) and elderly (above 65), via the Full day ticket that sells for HK$ 60 for an adult or HK$ 50 for a kid/elderly, and up to the Premium Package Ticket that includes a full day entry, as well as some activities and discounts on shopping, and sells at HK$ 88 for an adult and HK$ 68 for kids/seniors.

 

The "village" is open daily, 10am - 7pm.  For more information, you can call them on 2982 8585 or visit their website www.fisherfolks.com.hk/english

 

The small peninsula, to the east and southeast of Sok Kwu Wan, provides some of the best hiking in Lamma.  There is a relatively easy trail that encircles the peninsula (through Mo Tat Wan and Shek Pai Wan beach), and a more difficult trail that climbs to the area's highest peak.

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Mo Tat Wan, just slightly more than a kilometre east of Sok Kwu Wan, is a tiny, relaxed settlement, lying on a beautiful sandy beach and surrounded by lush green hills and some fabulous views towards Hong Kong Island's south shore... There is a small pier here and a regular ferry service to both Sok Kwu Wan and Aberdeen.   The Bay, one of Lamma's more prestigious restaurants, is a good place to enjoy 'alfresco dining', when in Mo Tat Wan.   (The village and the beach are 30 minutes walk from Sok Kwu Wan).

 

Further on, the trail leaves the coastline, through the old village and the woodland, it crosses the small peninsula and reaches its southern shore, where Lamma's longest beach, Shek Pai Wan, can be found... In terms of Hong Kong, this beach is almost deserted... with a long strip of sand, some impressive rocks and plenty of serenity...

 

From here, continue walking for a few more minutes, till you reach tiny Tung O village, from where you can turn right (northward) and cross the peninsula to its northern shore and back to Sok Kwu Wan.  Alternatively, you can first walk from Tung O village to Sham Wan (Deep Bay), where green turtles come every year, between June and October, to lay their eggs (although you should not enter their designated hatching area on season, without a permit from the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation). Sham Wan is 10 minutes walk from Tung O village and, apart from the green turtles, it is one of Hong Kong's most important archaeological sites.

 

There is also a yellow marked walking trail that departs from Sok Kwu Wan and climbs to the peninsula's highest peak, Ling Kok Shan (250 m. a.s.l), from where you can enjoy some absolutely gorgeous views of Lamma Island and the whole area. There are also some seriously impressive boulders that can be seen around the peak... like the Ling Kok Rock and the Flying boulder.  The trail is a bit steep and you might have to huff and puff before reaching the summit (especially if you are not fit...) but it's worth the effort.

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From the peak, you can actually connect to the trail that encircles the peninsula and walk to either Mo Tat Wan or Shek Pai Wan Beach, or back to Sok Kwu Wan.

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For the most recommended restaurants, cafés an tavernas in Lamma, see our Hong Kong Restaurant and Nightlife Guide.

 

Getting to Lamma : Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry Ltd. (HKKF) operates the service from Central (Hong Kong Island) to both Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan.

 

There are more than 30 ferries a day (on each direction), between Central and Yung Shue Wan, and they run in intervals of 15 - 60 minutes, between 6:30 am and 00:30 am.  Regular one-way-fare is around HK$ 14.5 for an adult (HK$ 20 on weekends) and HK$ 7.30 for a child under 12 or an elderly above 65 (HK$ 10 on weekends).

 

10 ferries a day ply the water between Central and Sok Kwu Wan (more on Saturdays and Sundays), from 7:30 am to 11:30 pm.   Regular one-way-fare is around HK$ 17.7 for an adult (HK$ 25 on weekends) and HK$ 8.90 for a child under 12 and an elderly above 65 (HK$ 12.5 on weekends).

 

For more information, you can call them on 2815 6063 or visit the relevant page on their website: http://www.hkkf.com.hk/

 

Chuen Kee Ferry Ltd. operates the service from Aberdeen to Sok Kwu Wan, via Mo Tat Wan (which means you can also travel with them on the Sok Kwu Wan - Mo Tat Wan section).   Ferries run from 6:40 am to 10:50 pm  and the regular one-way-fare is around HK$ 9.20 for an adult (HK$ 13.80 on weekends) and HK$ 4.60 for a child under 12 and an elderly above 65 (HK$ 6.90). 

 

For more information, you can call them on 2375 7883 or 2982 8225 or visit the relevant page on their website: http://www.ferry.com.hk/ 

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You may also like to read about some of Hong kong's other islands...

Lantau Island

Peng Chau, Cheung Chau and the smaller islands