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 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 sweet, little town, that is 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:
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 there is something for everyone. Most offer similar, 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 here, or there is an HSBC on the island, along with various convenience stores.
So Bor Kee
A popular seafood restaurant found right on the main street near to the ferry pier, So Bor Kee offers up classic dishes 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, and u 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
This long time Cheung Chau staple has been serving up fresh seafood for 20 years, and patrons keep going back for more. The staff here are friendly and helpful, and speak both English and Cantonese. So, if you’re looking for an authentic place to enjoy some fresh food, look no further.
New Baccarat, 9A Pak She Praya Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
真味海鮮菜館長洲 Delicious Seafood Restaurant Cheung Chau
At Delicious Seafood Restaurant Cheung Chau you can pick your selection from tanks and get fresh seafood, including prawns, fish and more. Service here is friendly and efficient, and the food delicious.
真味海鮮菜館長洲 Delicious Seafood Restaurant Cheung Chau, Pak She Praya Road, G/F., 9C Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
Bayview Chinese Restaurant
Set inside the Warwick Hotel, Bayview Chinese Restaurants serves a selection of dim sum, classic Cantonese dishes and more. If you have time to stay on the island until the sunset, the restaurant offers sweeping ocean views.
Bayview Chinese Restaurant, Warwick Hotel, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, 2981 0081, www.warwickhotel.com.hk
The Outdoor Café
The Outdoor Café is an al fresco restaurant that is perched on top of a hill overlooking the swells and surfs of the South China Sea, and is a 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 has an extensive wine and iced drinks menu served with spectacular panoramas of a beautiful coastline.
The Outdoor Café, 1 Hak Pai Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, 2981 8316
This small restaurant located near the ferry pier offers a predominately Indian menu, along with a few Thai dishes. The restaurant offers indoor seating, along with tables outside with a view of the water, and the bicycles and foot traffic of the island.
Morocco’s Bar, G/F, 71 Sun Hing Praya Street, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, 2986 9767
Hing Kee Beach Bar
This charming little beach bar is perfect, if you’re looking for a spot to chill out after a day on the beach or exploring the island. Along with dishes such as fish and chips, pork chops, and other tasty home-cooked food, Hing Kee also serves a selection of local craft beers, from breweries such as Gweilo, Heroes, and Kowloon Bay.
Hing Kee Beach Bar, Kwun Yum Beach, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/Hing-Kee-Beach-Store
The Pink Pig Music Bar & Restaurant
Another 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.
The Pink Pig Music Bar & Restaurant, G/F 11, Kin San Lane, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, https://www.facebook.com/thepinkpig.cc/
Fresh Basil Pizza
If you’re after some pizza while on Cheung Chau, than Fresh Basil is the palce to head to. All classic toppings are available and pizzas are priced from $55 for a small, or $110 for a large.
Fresh Basil Pizza, G/F, 19 Tai Hing Tai Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
Located just minutes away from the Cheung Chau ferry, 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!
Rainbow Café, G/F, 63 San Hing Praya Street, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/myrainbowcafe
Kwok Kam Kee Cake Shop
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 that are instantly recognizable for its red lucky stamp are filled with either sesame paste, lotus-seed paste or red-bean paste. There is no English signs on the storefront, so just look out for the buns (and the queue!).
Kwok Kam Kee Cake Shop, 46 Pak She Street, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/KwokKamKee
Famous Cheung Chau Snacks to try:
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.
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 include a square version, which is made from bean curd. Gan Yongtai is located in the square across from the ferry pier and is said to be one of the favourites.
What To Do:
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 the bikes. 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. 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 find 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” – with amazing views from 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.
Tung Wan Beach
Not feeling very adventurous? Not a problem. The beach here 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. There are rafts a few metres from shore to lay out on, or, despite the written warnings, to jump off into the sea.
Kwun Yam Beach
Next to Tung Wan Beach, Kwun Yam Wan is known for its windsurfing and kayaking. The Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre is found here , and can provide windsurfing, surfing and canoeing equipment for those keen to get involved.
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, the lookout pavilion is simple to get to. From the ferry pier, turn left and continue walking along San Hing Praya Street and turn left at the end of the road, following the signs to the North Lookout Pavllion. 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, but Cheung Chau has its very own Love Lock Garden! If you happen to be on the island with your beau, 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, which is 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
Where to Shop:
There are loads of local shops, boutiques and stores selling everything from trinkets, to sarongs, to jewellery and more in Cheung Chau. Get lost among the rows of vendors and enjoy browsing all they have to offer, and take your time to stroll around and check out the variety of options. Here are a couple of our favourite stores:
This little store is quite tucked away, but is worth finding is 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 from local designers. Whether you are looking for small homeware items, jewellery, cards, decorative pieces, or eco-items, you’re sure to find it here.
MyArts, 3 Tung Wan Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/MyArtsCC
BnB The Creative Workshop
Not strictly a shop, but more of a hybrid between a B&B and a art jamming and 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
Editor’s Note: This article was originally written by Roxanne Dowell and published on 30 October, 2017 and was updated on 29 August, 2018.
Featured image property of Sassy Media Group. Image #1 courtesy of Tiffany Ku and property of Sassy Media Group, image #2 property of Sassy Media Group, image # courtesy of Hing Kee Beach Store via Facebook, image #4 courtesy of The Pink Pig Music Bar and Restaurant via Facebook, image #5 courtesy of Kwok Kam Kee via Facebook, image #6 and #7 courtesy of Tiffany Ku and property of Sassy Media Group, image #8 via Getty, image #9 property of Sassy media Group, image #10 courtesy of Island Workbench via Facebook