I absolutely LOVED having mum visit me in Hong Kong, firstly because it was so great to spend time with her, but secondly because it made me see a whole new side of my wonderful home. Despite the fact that she was only here for six short days we covered a lot of ground, including day trips to Lamma and Lantau Island and plentiful special & memorable meals.
Lamma is a short ferry ride away from Hong Kong Island with the option to arrive at either the northern village Yung Shue Wan (20 mins), or the eastern village Sok Kwu Wan (35 mins). You can walk from one to the other in just under an hour along the “family trail”, a very relaxed walk that offers insight into daily life on Lamma as it guides you through its small neighbourhoods and jungle terrain. The trail provides beautiful views of the coastline of the island as well as peaceful respite at a number of beaches along the way, and is suitable for people of all ages and capabilities.
Mum & I decided to do the family trail in the usual direction starting at Yung Shue Wan and finishing at Sok Kwu Wan. The ferry ride enables great views of Hong Kong harbour as well as views of the more remote Repulse Bay and its mountainous backdrop.
Fun fact of the day: As for the peculiar-looking building with a hole in the middle, this is one of numerous examples of feng shui at play in Hong Kong. Despite it being an incredibly crowded city and space a precious and expensive commodity, feng shui is serious business here and as the city continues to expand, buildings are being erected that potentially “block” the dragons’ passage from the hills to the sea, creating bad feng shui and blocking the natural air flow through the city, which has resulted in valuable real estate being sacrificed at a large price so as to ensure buildings have “gates” or “windows” that allow the dragons to pass through the city unimpeded on their way to the sea. Never underestimate the power of dragons.
The landscape changes dramatically as you near the island with plenty of greenery, simple homes and casual fishing boats bobbing along the sea. As I said in my November round-up, stepping off the boat at Lamma was like someone hitting the refresh button on me. The island is so peaceful and tranquil with an abundance of natural scenery.
Worlds apart from the hustle & bustle of Hong Kong Island, it’s honestly as if someone’s hit the slo-mo button on the remote when you arrive at Lamma. With no cars in sight, the only means of transport on the island is either by foot or bicycle. It’s amazing what undisturbed nature sounds like!
Yung Shue Wan
Yung Shue Wan village is the most populated area on Lamma Island. The family trail starts on the colourful and multicultural Yung Shue Wan Main Street, a narrow but lively thoroughfare where local and Western eateries sit side-by-side, grocery stores and shops selling exotic arts & crafts can be found. Lamma definitely has that “hippie” vibe going on.
Hung Shing Yeh Beach
The powdery sands and clean waters of Hung Shing Yeh Beach make it a popular destination for residents and visitors alike. AP Tip: Hold out until you reach the second beach, which is much smaller and less crowded. Continuing on the family trail you will walk amongst vibrant vegetation and see stunning sea views. The hilltop pavilion offers the chance for a breather and is an excellent vantage point to see Lantau Island and Cheung Chau in the distance.
Lo So Shing Beach
About a 15-minute walk from the pavilion you come to sandy Lo So Shing Beach, the more deserted and less well-known of the two beaches where mum & I parked ourselves for a good hour. I had every intention of reading my book but was apparently out like a light within moments of lying down, which just goes to show what effect peaceful surroundings can have on the body! As the sun was beginning to set we continued on our journey to complete the last of the family trail.
Sok Kwu Wan
The trail ends in Sok Kwu Wan, a traditional fishing village consisting mainly of seafood restaurants, with Rainbow being the most popular. AP Tip: Rainbow restaurant has its own ferry which departs from the village at different times to the main ferry, so it may be worth you stopping by even for a drink if the main ferry return times don’t suit you. Sok Kwu Wan is also home to the 150-year-old Tin Hau temple which one is free to explore.
Mum & I stood in the queue for the ferry and admired the beautiful sunset before us. It was the perfect way to end a perfect day. I can’t recommend a day trip to Lamma Island more highly, it’s such a special place and so very different to what people think of as “Hong Kong”. I can only describe it as providing the natural medicine you didn’t know you needed!
Have you been to Lamma Island, or even Hong Kong before? I’d love to know whether you have and what you thought, or if Lamma is now a place that you’d make time to visit if you came this way! xo