Arriving in Cheung Chau
You can easily get to Cheung Chau from the Outer Islands Ferry Piers in Central. Ferries run for 24 hours a day and it takes around 40-50 minutes. You can take the fast ferry, which is double the price of the normal ferry, costing $24.60 compared to $12.60. Again, buy tickets before you travel from the offices or online.
Cheung Chau was the ancient seat of the Qing dynasty pirate Cheung Po Tsai, where he terrorized villages along the Chinese coast, accumulating riches and booty. He eventually surrendered and was appointed head of the Chinese navy in the 1800’s. This history is evident all over the island and makes Cheung Chau a must-see, if you do decide to trek out to the Outer Islands. The island itself is densely populated and is easily managed on foot.
Once you arrive, you will land at Cheung Chau Village, which has a charming daily market. This runs all day and is permanently busy, but is a great slice of local village life. Fish, fruit, vegetables and even pearls are all sold here, so if you want to gain an insight into how the people of the island shop, there is no better place than here. Right next door to the pier, you can see a rather majestic banyan tree, which due in part largely to it’s advanced years, is the site of many altars and is a focal point of village life.
Another place worth seeing is the Pak Tai Temple, dedicated to the protector of the village against floods. There is an 800 year old sword that is rumored to bring good luck to fishermen. You can also gain access to an excellent viewpoint over the village here, by heading north.
If you are looking for beaches, head to Tung Wan or Kwun Yam Wan. The latter is widely believed to be the best on the island, but you can also head further afield to Pak Tso Wan, which although a little dirty is quite secluded. The way here from Kwun Yam Wan is quite spectacular however, and on a clear day, offers uninterrupted views over the island.
Where to eat in Cheung Chau
Hong Kee is probably the best restaurant on Cheung Chau and is located right next to the waterfront. It is cheap, cheerful and has an excellent selection of garlic fried prawns, scallops and fried fish. You also get a wonderful view of the harbour and the boats dotted along the waterfront, if you choose a terrace table.