Only 25-minutes from the city, get ready to discover Lamma’s unique local charm with our guide for where to eat, drink, shop!
Known by some as Hong Kong’s ‘hippie island’, Lamma has evolved since it’s more bohemian days and has a lot to offer from cosy cafes and quality restaurants, to cool hang-outs and even its own mini-music festivals. Once a traditional fishing village, Lamma is Hong Kong’s third largest island and is only a short 25-minute escape from the city, with boats that go to either of its two sides – Yung Shue Wan (the more populated), or Sok Ku Wan. The island’s laid-back vibe, abundant hiking trails and quiet beaches make it perfect for a day of exploring. So jump on the ferry from Central Pier and get ready to discover Lamma’s unique local charm and authentic island life…
Where to Eat & Drink:
You won’t miss the “Churros Guy” on the walk from Yung Shue Wan ferry pier to the Main Street. His fried-dough pastries dusted with sugar are the perfect kick-starter to your day of exploring.
Find him at the start of Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma, Hong Kong
For a killer cup of coffee to go with your churros, look no further than the Coffee Guy (known as CG) who makes his own coffee from freshly ground Guatemalan beans. CG sells his speciality blends at The Blue Goose Tavern every morning from 5:20am to 11:20am. For Lamma locals, it’s worth befriending him so you can WhatsApp your order and have it ready to pick up before you board the ferry commute.
Find him at The Blue Goose Tavern, 47, Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma, Hong Kong, 9023 3366
Just a short walk from Yung Shue Wan ferry pier is local favourite tapas joint and hang out, Candela. Buzzing every night of the week, Candela’s lively vibe is great for group gatherings over delicious Spanish small plates, and a jug or two of refreshing sangria. Head down on a Sunday for the restaurant’s brunch menu of Paella (cooked in a giant “paellera” on the street), and broken eggs with toppings from chorizo and peppers to spinach and cheese.
Find it at 23, Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma, Hong Kong
Dim Sum at Sampan Seafood Restaurant
With queues most mornings, this dim sum spot is a morning ritual for many locals. Order your dim sum delicacies from street-side bamboo steamers, and watch village life go past over a hot cup of cha.
Find it at 6, Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma, Hong Kong
Known for having some of the best seafood in Hong Kong, Lamma has a number of great authentic local seafood restaurants, but Andy’s Seafood (which has been running for 19 years!), is hands down the best for Cantonese staples done right. Perfect for a post hike feast, order the minced quail wrapped in crispy lettuce, salt and pepper squid, eggplant hotpot, garlic prawns and a couple of chilled Tsing Taos to satisfy a hungry table. Make sure to call ahead and book the alfresco terrace for a sunset dinner with a view.
Find it at 43, Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma, Hong Kong, 2982 0210
Banyan Bay Cafe
For a wholesome brunch to cure any hangover, head down to Banyan Bay Cafe where you will be taken care of with friendly service and generous portions of perfectly poached eggs, golden toasted bread and fresh fruit smoothies. Order the Cath’s special with avocado and ask to sit around the back for a quiet seaside view.
Find it at 67, Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/Banyan-Bay-Cafe
Lamma Grill Express
Opposite the Lamma Grill restaurant is its sister pizzeria which satisfies all your carb needs with freshly baked thin crust pizzas piled high with toppings. Go for the Regina topped with egg, or the Vegetarian with aubergine, artichokes, rocket and feta.
Find it at 44, Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma, Hong Kong
Vietnamese from Joy’s Tailor
One of the island’s best-kept secrets, the tailor in Tai Yuen Village becomes a Vietnamese pop-up at the weekends. Joy cooks up bowls of traditional fresh rice noodles topped with marinated beef, colourful pickles and spring rolls. Served to take-away, enjoy down by Hung Shing Ye beach (located further along the road), and return your bowls on the way back to the ferry.
Find it at 55 Tai Yuen Village, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma, Hong Kong
Yardley Brothers Beer Shack
Next stop towards the beach is this street-side beer shack where you can pick up locally brewed craft beer and IPA to go with your picnic.
Find it at 16B, Tai Yuen Village, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma, Hong Kong, www.yardleybrothers.hk
Lamma’s raw vegan café has a colourful menu of organic, fresh dishes, cakes and drinks. Treat yourself to its hot turmeric milk and matcha mousse cake. The restaurant also has a grocery section with raw vegan supplies and eco-friendly products.
Find it at 18E Tai Yuen Village, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/Rawsoever
Kin Hing Tofu Dessert
The family-run stall in Tai Yuen village is a popular spot for a refreshing bowl of tofu fa (chilled silken tofu), on a hot summer day. The hot tofu fa is the perfect winter warmer in chillier months.
Find it at 1, Tai Wan To, Tai Yuen Village, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma, Hong Kong
Tai Peng Spice
Who knew Lamma would be the place for truly authentic South Indian food. Writer by day and one of Lamma’s veteran residents, Jane Ram cooks up home-style South Indian vegan food for outside catering and takeaways. For a taste of local life, Jane hosts small groups in her quaint home nestled in Tai Peng New Village. Ask for the Okra with coconut and idlis (steamed rice-and-dhal cakes) served with traditional sambar and chutneys. Hosted meals and catering must be booked five days in advance.
Find out more by emailing [email protected]
Where to Shop:
Aside from natural products and organic groceries, Lamma’s Just Green stocks eco-friendly home and beauty products which are locally made. Shop Manager Paul makes his own zero chemical dishwashing soap made from recycled ingredients and bee’s wax products from his garden beehive. The store’s sun-filled terrace has a beautiful sea view and can be rented out for parties and gatherings.
Find it at 75, Yung Shue Wan Main Sreet, Lamma, Hong Kong, www.justgreen.com.hk
Run for over four years by owner Ming Ho, the island’s independent record store is a place where you can spend hours digging through a wide selection of music through the eras and eclectic sub-genres. The vintage treasure bins are particularly entertaining for a glimpse into Hong Kong vibrant 50’s and 60’s music scene, from jazz and blues to emerging Canto-pop.
Find it at 1/F, 45 Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma, Hong Kong, www.lammavinyl.com
Nick the Bookman
Undoubtedly Lamma’s most famous resident, Nick the Bookman is a stalwart figure on Yung Shue Wan Main Street where his second-hand book stall raises money to look after homeless cats and dogs on the island. A resident for more than three decades, the former journalist is also a part-time DJ and music writer.
Find him at Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma, Hong Kong, www.lamma.com.hk
At the end of Lamma Main Street is design concept store, Mush. Fulfilling all your graphic T-shirt needs, Mush represents local and regional designers as well as their own ‘Lamma Brand’ for die-hard locals. Look out for ‘Nick the Bookman’ immortalised on his own printed T.
Find it at 91, Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/mushstore
Fa Fa House
Towards Sha Po Old Village is this cute plant shop selling lush greenery, potted and hanging plants, and beautiful hand-made ornaments to decorate your home.
Find it at 39 Sha Po Old Village, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/fafahouse
What to Do:
The island has some beautiful trails that take you through green jungle terrain and across peaks with stunning 360 views. We recommend going in the morning to to avoid weekend crowds. A couple of favourites are:
Hike from Sok Ku Wan to Hung Shing Ye Beach
Take the ferry to Sok Ku Wan, the less inhabited, sleepier side of the island. Follow signs for the Family Walk which will take you past the 150-year old Tin Hau (Goddess of the Sea) Temple and a hilltop pavilion with clear views of Aberdeen and Repulse Bay. End the hike with some street-side grilled corn and a dip in the sea on Hung Shing Yeh Beach.
Hike from Tai Peng to Lamma Winds
Start from Yung Shue Wan ferry pier and follow signs for Tai Peng Old Village. Once in Tai Peng Old Village, keep an eye out for a village shop called ‘Regent Store’ which is on the corner of a turning on your right. Take that turning and continue along the road past a pretty community garden until you reach a signpost for Lamma Winds. Walk up the hill road and before you reach the top, look out for a dirt track that branches off to the left hand-side (see photo above!). The tree lined path opens out to stunning 360 views of the whole island. Continue along the path until you reach Hung Shing Yeh beach.
Nothing beats a mid-summer sunset barbecue on the beach. Pick up everything you need from Lamma’s surprisingly well-stocked village stores – don’t miss Lamma Gourmet delicatessen on Yung Shue Wan Main Street for freshly made hummus, a wide selection of cheese and wine – and head to Hung Shing Ye to snag a barbecue pit with a sea-facing view.
Hung Shing Ye Beach, Lamma, Hong Kong
Lamma Gourmet, 71 Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma, Hong Kong
Enjoy some quiet calm at weekly rooftop yoga classes in Tai Peng Old Village. Teaching a mixture of Hatha and Vinyasa, Janet has classes every Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, check out her website for more info.
Yes believe it or not, Lamma does have life after dark thanks to certain groups of Lamma residents who know how to throw a party. For those looking for something different to Hong Kong nightlife, keep an eye out on The Lamma Book Club and Kiosky Facebook pages for jungle parties, beach festivals and one-off parties with local DJ talent.