Looking for an easy Hong Kong day trip? Hop on over to Cheung Chau and discover what this little island gem has to offer.
One of the best parts about living in Hong Kong is the proximity to nature and beauty, and the islands that surround our city are just one example of its gorgeous landscape. One of our favourite spots to spend a day in the great outdoors is Cheung Chau, a sleepy little island only a ferry ride away from Central Pier 5. Take either the slow (55 minutes) or fast boat (35 minutes), and marvel at this quaint, little town, vibrant with street vendors, restaurants and beaches.
Sassy Tip: Cheung Chau is a great spot to enjoy with your pooch, but if your four-legged friend is joining you on your day trip, you’ll have to take the slower standard ferry.
Where To Eat & Drink On Cheung Chau
Historically a fishing village, the seafood here is the main reason for foodies to journey out to the island. But there are also traditional Cantonese restaurants, along with western style places, so rest assured there is something for everyone. Most offer similar dishes, and even if the menu is only in Chinese, most have photos so you can point to what you like.
Sassy Tip: Most places are cash only (no credit cards), so hit the ATM before you head out there, or stop off at the island’s HSBC or various convenience stores.
Set inside the Warwick Hotel, Chinese Bayview Restaurant serves a selection of delectable dim sum, classic Cantonese dishes and more. If you have time to stay on the island until sunset, the restaurant is the perfect vantage point for sweeping ocean views.
Traditional Hong Kong desserts are the order of the day at this laid-back local hangout. Order from its signature shaved iced treats, including its BAILEYS or Thai milk shaved ice topped with red bean and taro balls ,or opt for the delicate almond sweet soup or osmanthus sugar tricolour grass jelly for something more classic.
Cheung Chau Bing Sutt, 19C Pak She Praya Road, Cheung Chau, 2981 2982
The Outdoor Café is an alfresco restaurant that is perched on top of a hill overlooking the swells and surfs of the South China Sea. Part of the Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre, dishes on the menu here include vegetarian samosas, spring rolls, chorizos, tapas and Hong Kong style fried chicken wings, amongst others. It also has an extensive wine and iced drinks menu served with spectacular panoramas of the beautiful coastline.
At Delicious Seafood Restaurant Cheung Chau, you can pick your selection from the tanks and get fresh seafood, including prawns, fish and more, served up to your table. Service here is friendly and efficient, and the food – as the name suggests – is delicious.
Delicious Seafood Restaurant Cheung Chau (真味海鮮菜館長洲), G/F, 9C Pak She Praya Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
Gogi came on to Cheung Chau’s restaurant scene back in 2019 with its menu of mouthwatering dumplings. Try traditional favourites filled with pork and chive, or choose from its daily menu which features contemporary flavours such as salted egg yolk, kimchi and curry.
Gogi, 86 Tai San Praya Road, Cheung Chau, 5395 9328
“Heima”, the Icelandic word for “home”, hits the nail on the head with its cosy, welcoming interior and Nordic, family-style food and drink. Don’t scrimp on dessert as its homemade cakes made from seasonal ingredients are the perfect treat to finish up a dreamy day on Cheung Chau.
This charming little beach bar is perfect if you’re looking for a spot to chill out after a day exploring the island. Along with dishes such as fish and chips, pork chops, and other tasty home-cooked dishes, Hing Kee also serves a selection of local craft beers from breweries such as Gweilo, Heroes, and Kowloon Bay.
Found not far from Pak Tai Temple, Kwok Kan Kee Cake Shop has been supplying Cheung Chau with “ping on bao” (peace buns) for over 40 years. Hugely popular throughout the annual Bun Festival, these round white buns, instantly recognisable for its lucky red stamp, are filled with either sesame, lotus seed or red bean paste. There is no English sign on the storefront, so just look out for the buns (and the queue!).
This small restaurant located near the ferry pier offers a predominately Indian menu, along with a few Thai dishes. The restaurant has indoor seating, as well as tables outside with a view of the water.
This long-time Cheung Chau staple has been serving up fresh seafood for 20 years, and patrons keep coming back for more. The staff here are friendly and helpful, and speak both English and Cantonese. If you’re looking for an authentic place to enjoy some fresh food, this is the place for you.
New Baccarat Seafood Restaurant, 9A Pak She Praya Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, 2981 0606
Facing seaward, this friendly French-style cafe was opened by a French and Hongkonger couple. On the menu is a wide selection of French favourites such as ratatouille, beef bourguignon and a hearty homemade chicken rillette. If you’re not that hungry, we recommender ordering yourself a cheese platter and a glass of wine – the perfect accompaniment to a few peaceful hours of watching the waves.
A good spot to head to if you’re looking for craft beers on the island, The Pink Pig serves up the likes of Young Master Ales, Hong Kong Beer Co. and more, alongside its reasonably priced food menu.
Located just minutes away from the Cheung Chau ferry pier, Rainbow Café serves everything from all-day breakfasts to pizza, barbecue ribs, sandwiches and even ice cream and waffles. The café also has a rather bizarre bear theme, so don’t be too surprised by the multiple stuffed animals that may greet you!
A popular seafood restaurant found right on the main street near the ferry pier, So Bor Kee offers up classic Chinese fare such as fried rice and noodles, whole steamed fish, deep-fried squid, fried clams in black bean sauce and more. The menu has both Cantonese and English (along with pictures!), and the staff are super friendly. So Bor Kee is also great value – you can enjoy your choice of four dishes for two people for just $218, six dishes for $398, or eight dishes for $698.
So Bor Kee, G/F, 11C Pak She Praya Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, 2981 0998
This cool coffee shop blows a brew from the city out of the water with its speciality ice drip and coconut ice drip coffees – served in an actual coconut. Don’t miss its exhibitions featuring works from local artists and photographers from across Hong Kong – the perfect weekend hangout.
If you’re a fan of fishballs, Cheung Chau is the place to be. Get them steamed, boiled in stock or served with a curry sauce. Options on the island come in all shapes and sizes (including a square version made from beancurd!). Gan Yongtai is located in the square across from the ferry pier and is said to be one of the best.
Slices as big as your head are offered, and on those hot summer days, these are definitely a treat!
Famous here on the island, a generous slice of fresh mango wrapped in a glutinous rice casing makes for a light and refreshing (and not overly sweet) dessert.
What To Do On Cheung Chau
Kwun Yam Beach
Next to Tung Wan Beach, Kwun Yam Wan is known for its windsurfing and kayaking. The Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre and Aquatic Centre can be found nearby the beach and offers windsurfing, surfing, paddle boarding and canoeing equipment for those keen to get involved.
Editor’s Note: Some beaches may still be closed due to social distancing restrictions.
Tung Wan Beach
This beach is easy to get to and very pleasant. There are vendors who can rent you umbrellas, chairs, and just about anything you need to make your day at the beach a good one. Don’t miss the rafts that lie a few metres from the shore – perfect for laying out on.
Read more: Your Guide To The Best Hong Kong Beaches
North Lookout Pavilion
As the highest point on the island, the North Lookout Pavilion offers stunning views of Cheung Chau and beyond. A great option for visiting guests, or those who fancy a bit of a walk but not a full-on hike, this spot is simple to get to.
From the ferry pier, turn left and continue walking along San Hing Praya Street, before turning left at the end of the road. Follow the signs to the North Lookout Pavilion. You should soon find yourself on Cheung Kwai Road, which then leads to Cheung Pak Road and the Pavilion. In total, the walk should take around 40 minutes.
Love Lock Garden
You may have heard of the Love Lock Bridge in Paris; well, Cheung Chau has its very own Love Lock Garden! If you happen to be on the island with your SO, take a walk down from the ferry pier and seal the deal on your love by clasping a lock onto the unmissable wall. BnB The Creative Workshop (across the road),sells locks, so all you have to do is inscribe your personal message!
Love Lock Garden, 80 Tung Wan Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
Hike To Pak Tso Wan Beach & Reclining Rocks
If you’re down for a bit of adventuring but don’t want to break a sweat, take a gentle hike to Pak Tso Wan (also known as Italian Beach). Simply follow the coastal road to the Sai Wan Tin Hau Temple, then walk uphill until you reach a sign pointing out steps leading down to the beach. Not far from this isolated spot, just around the coastline, is a cluster of reclining rocks – the perfect spot to catch your breath and chill.
Rent A Bike
Rent a bike (for as cheap as $50 for the day) and ride around the island. Turn left when you get off the ferry and stroll along the waterfront until you get to a bike shop. You may be asked to leave a deposit, but it’s refundable when you return your bike. From there, you can head to the beach, visit the caves or just explore where you like. Bikes come with baskets for your bag and locks so you can keep them safe while you explore. The island is small enough to bike around, so we suggest getting there early, having a seafood lunch and then enjoying an afternoon at the beach.
Cheung Po Tsai Cave
Explore the Cheung Po Tsai cave, rumoured to be a hiding spot for infamous pirate Cheung Po Tsai. It gets dark inside, so remember to either bring a small handheld torch or use your phone torch. Plus, make sure you’re wearing sensible shoes!
To get there, make a right after you get off the ferry and walk for about 20 minutes toward Sai Wan Tin Hau Temple. When you get to the temple, walk up the hill for about 10 minutes and you will reach the cave.
Cheung Chau Family Trail
If you have time, go for a quick hike around the island and see if you can find the “Mini Great Wall”, which offers amazing views of many parts of the island. This hiking trail was made in 1997 by the Home Affairs Department and is part of the Cheung Chau Family Trail. It’s a 1.2-kilometre walk from the ferry pier. Be sure to look for the oddly named rocks along the path, such as Human Head Rock and Vase Rock. The entire island can be walked in about two hours.
Where To Shop On Cheung Chau
There are lots of local shops, boutiques and stores selling everything from trinkets to sarongs, jewellery and more on Cheung Chau. Here are a few of our favourites:
Not strictly a shop, but more of a hybrid between a B&B and an art jamming/creative space, The Creative Workshop is certainly unique to Cheung Chau. Get creative and make your own souvenirs, pick up a lock to add to the Love Lock Garden, or get some henna from the owner.
BnB The Creative Workshop, 12-14 Tung Wan Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/bnbthecreativeworkshop
Cheung Chau Market
Be sure to stroll through Cheung Chau Market where you’ll find traditional dried seafood and other fresh produce. This wet food market will come in handy for those who are staying for a night or two and plan on cooking.
Cheung Chau Market, 2 Tai Hing Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
This little store is quite tucked away, but is worth finding as it sells a gorgeous selection of Cheung Chau-made products such as jewellery, bags, cards and accessories. We particularly like the string bags that are made from recycled fishing nets! As well as its store, Island Workbench has a small café just up the road which serves a selection of coffees, teas, pastries and omelettes.
Island Workbench, N0.2, G/F Rear, San Hing Back Street, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/island.workbench
Myarts is full of unique pieces and crafts by local designers. Whether you are looking for small homeware items, jewellery, greeting cards, decorative pieces or eco-friendly gifts, you’re sure to find it here.
Myarts, 3 Tung Wan Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/MyArtsCC
Where To Stay On Cheung Chau
If you’re yet to lust after the infamous Cheung Chau mansion on Airbnb, take a look here to see why we’re picking our jaws up off the ground. The colonial-style building boasts unbeatable views and large, open-plan living that is perfect for a secluded weekend away. It has plenty of outdoor space including a garden and rooftop complete with dining tables, a barbecue and sought-after jacuzzi.
Nestled right next to Tung Wan Beach, Cheung Chau Warwick Hotel is a quaint seaside escape from the hustle and bustle of inner-city life. Explore the island by day and unwind in private accommodation that looks out over the ocean at night. Bring the pup and book in for a pet-cation that promises cute, pooch-friendly amenities such as dog bed, treats, wipes, water bowl, and toys,
Cheung Chau Warwick Hotel, East Bay, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.warwickhotel.com.hk
Located just a five-minute walk from the ferry pier, Lychee Sunset Hotel is a sweet spot to spend the night. This pick has 19 brightly coloured rooms available (some with a spacious balcony overlooking the water). Settle down with a nightcap at the hotel’s rooftop Sunset Terrace, where you can watch the sun sink below the horizon with a bubbly drink in hand.
An outdoor adventure playground spread out over 11 acres of land, Saiyuen promises an unforgettable trip with family or friends. From bubble soccer, abseiling and tree canopy walks to wild camping, glamping and romantic barbecues, this weekend hotspot has it all.
Saiyuen Adventure Park, DD CC Lot 12, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.saiyuen.com
Editor’s Note: This article was originally written by Roxanne Dowell on 30 October, 2017 and was updated in April 2021.
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Featured image and image 1 courtesy of Sassy Media Group, image 2 courtesy of Chinese Bayview Restaurant, image 3 courtesy of Gogi Ice House via Instagram, image 4 courtesy of Kwok Kam Kee via Facebook, image 5 courtesy of Pirate Bay via Facebook, image 6 courtesy of Sassy Media Group, image 7 courtesy of Tiffany Ku for Sassy Media Group, image 8 and 9 courtesy of Sassy Media Group, image 10 courtesy of BnB The Creative Workshop via Facebook, image 11 courtesy of Airbnb.