Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Hong Kong Day trip - Lamma Island

Lamma Island was one of my dad's favourite haunts and one that I remember well from childhood for its pleasant hikes and seafood.  It's a quick half hour ride on the ferry, which leaves every 20 - 30 minutes from Central on Hong Kong Island to Yong Shue Wan on the west side of Lamma island.  It's like a commuter ferry because some people live on Lamma Island and work on Hong Kong island - a rather idyllic arrangement.  The ferry also goes to Sok Kwu Wan on the east side of the island but only hourly.  A good way to see the island is to land on one side and hike to the other side where you can take the ferry back. There are seafood restaurants at either end, good for lunch or dinner!

We landed at Yong Shue Wan, checked out the prices at the seafood stalls to get an idea of what we should be paying when we get to Sok Kwu Wan, since it's too early for lunch.   After strolling through the busy centre, we came to a nice beach with change rooms and nice shade - that would be something to consider for the next trip.  There was a roadside stall selling tofu dessert (reputedly the best ever!) and we stopped to try it out, assured by the lineup - it was indeed excellent.  After that, it was an easy hike up the side of the island then across the narrow "neck" to the other side.

On the way we came across two temples to the Heavenly Goddess of the Sea, one at either end of the trail, saw a variety of village houses, some modest villas, small farms and even a historic cave from the Second World War.  We were definitely hungry by the time we got to Sok Kwu Wan a couple of hours later.  We found a restaurant with what seemed like reasonable prices and friendly service and settled down for a nice seafood lunch.  It was a great way to spend a day for some fresh air and much needed break from the bustling city.  There are many islands in Hong Kong that are great for day trips.  Check out the Tourism Board.

Ferry terminal to the islands

Trail map of the island on the pier

Lamma Island waterfront

Lined with seafood restaurants where you get the seafood from the tank.  Not everything here is local.  The bright yellow sign says "wild South African abalone"!

Nice beach 

Tofu stand that has been around a long time

Village gardens

Looking back at Yung Shue Wan from the trail

Old "Tin Hau Temple" at Yong Shue Wan, dedicated to the Heavenly Goddess of the Sea.

Gigantic Kumquats!

Looking down from the trail on Sok Kwu Wan with its many fish farms 

Grotto from World War II where the Japanese hid some of their boats for a suicide attack on the allies but the war ended before this happened.

Small banana farm

Scenic rest stops on the way

The "Tin Hau" Temple at Sok Kwu Wan

Seafood lunch at destination!