Because sometimes you just want to get away from it all… without actually getting away from it all! We round up the best Hong Kong day trips right on your doorstep – enjoy!
Probably the most popular of all the outlying islands, Lamma is a go-to destination for Hong Kongers and tourists alike.
For me, Lamma has three big draw cards:
- The village in Yung Shue Wan – a bustling little mix of restaurants, clothing boutiques and trinket shops
- The hiking trail that connects Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan (the perfect way to burn a few cals before tucking into a plate of salt & pepper squid)
- The seafood strip in Sok Kwu Wan – my restaurant of choice is the Lamma Hilton (no connection to the Hilton hotel chain!), located at the end of the strip furthest away from the ferry pier
On a recent jaunt to Lamma, I happened to have a successful nosey around an awesome little boutique near Sok Kwu Wan called Loso Shop. Bursting at the seams with an eclectic array of vintage and handmade jewellery, accessories, clothes and ornaments, Loso Shop is definitely worth a scope – and chances are you’ll leave with at least something small and sparkly.
Getting there: From Central, Pier 4, Central Ferry (20-30 minutes to Yung Shue Wan, 25 minutes to Sok Kwu Wan). From Aberdeen, ferry from the pier near the Jumbo Floating Restaurant (30 minutes to Sok Kwu Wan).
A swift 35-minute (or so) ferry ride from Central is Cheung Chau – a cool little island packed with places to eat, things to see and stuff to do. With clean sea air to take in, no cars to dodge or blurring taxi horns to talk over, a visit to Cheung Chau is sure to help clear your head and recharge your batteries.
If you feel like getting physical, the island is small enough to cover on foot and has a few really nice paths and trails. If walking doesn’t spin your wheels, you can hire a bike from one of the many rental stores sprinkled along the waterfront near the ferry terminal. The standard rental rate is about $10 per hour (cheaper than an ice cream)!
While here, be sure to check out the Pak Tai Temple. Built in 1783, it’s one of the most colourful, well-preserved temples I’ve come across in Hong Kong. It also plays host to the famous Cheung Chau Bun Festival held in spring each year. [You can read about our full experience of that here!]
If you’re keen to cool off at some stage, Tung Wan is a nice swimming beach but be warned – it can get very very crowded so take a towel to mark your spot on the sand! Round the day off with a cold bevvie and bite to eat at one of the seafood restaurants located along the harbour and you’ll be away laughing!
Getting there: Pier 5, Central Ferry (see full schedule here); the ferry ride takes between 35-50 minutes depending on what ferry you take.
Long Ke Wan was one of the first beaches I visited when I moved to Hong Kong and it’s remained right up there as one of my absolute fave spots. With its silky white sand, clear blue water and casual camping ground nestled amongst the trees, the 20-minute uphill hike to get there is well worth it.
To make your visit to Long Ke Wan worthwhile (because despite being situated in Sai Kung East Country Park, it isn’t exactly a ‘walk in the park’ to get to) here are a few tips:
- If you’re going for the day, flag the sleep-in and set off early! From Central, it generally takes between 60-90 minutes to reach the start of the hiking trail if traffic is on your side. The beach and camping area can become quite busy (especially around lunch time), so if you plan to have a BBQ, make sure you snag a spot as soon as you get there.
- Long Ke Wan also makes for an ideal weekend getaway for keen campers. Same deal as the above: if you want to land a good camping site (there are only a handful), the earlier you arrive, the better the odds! Pitch your tent, sort your stuff out then meander down to the beach for some quality R&R.
- There are no shops in Long Ke Wan, so be sure to pack everything you need: water, sunscreen, insect repellant, food etc.
Getting there: Catch the MTR to Diamond Hill (Kwun Tong Line); EITHER take Exit C to bus terminals and jump on green minibus 1A to Sai Kung OR follow exits to taxi stand and take red taxi to Sai Kung; at Sai Kung you need to change to a green rural taxi that is on a cheaper rate and will take you to Long Ke Wan (there is a huge reservoir) – get out at the very end of the road; from here, it’s a 20-minute walk over the hill to the glorious splendour that is Long Ke Wan!
Tucked around the corner from Stanley lies Chung Hom Kok, a quaint little beach that has ‘urban hideaway’ written all over it. Easily accessible but slightly tricky to find if you’ve never ventured there before, Chung Hom Kok is a three minute walk down through a leafy park directly off a quiet residential street (meaning it’s nowhere near as busy as the likes of Repulse Bay or Stanley as you can’t see it from the road).
With a stack of BBQ pits, full-time lifeguard service and nice water for swimming, it’s an ideal spot to catch up with friends for an afternoon or day at the beach.
Getting there: From Central (Exchange Square), it’s easiest to catch bus 63 or 262 to Chung Hom Kok – hop off at the roundabout. If you’re not in the mood for a twisty bus ride, jump in a cab instead!
So what are you waiting for… get exploring girls and make the most of a summer in Hong Kong!