Did you know that Hong Kong is made up of 260 islands? Unfortunately, many of them are not open for habitation and are instead rocky outcrops that you might pass over either by boat or by plane. If you are looking to strike out from Hong Kong island and have already visited Lantau, Lamma and it’s less famous neighbour Cheung Chau are slightly off the tourist track. They were inhabited by Chinese settlers long before being colonised by the British and have a laid-back vibe that is sometimes hard to find in the big city. The beaches are open for sunbathing, but it is not recommended that you take a dip. High levels of pollution mean that the water is largely unsafe for swimming. However, if good food and a different pace of life is what you are looking for, then you might just find it.
Arriving in Lamma
Taking the ferry from Central is quite easy. Look out for ferries to Yung Shue Wan departing from the Outer Islands Ferry Piers. Ferries run every day between 6.30a.m-12.30a.m, take around 30 minutes and cost $16.10. The price increases slightly on Sunday to $22.30. Make sure that you buy the tickets before you depart, either from the ticket offices or online.
What to see in Lamma
Yung Shue Wan, where the ferries dock, is a pretty village that remains largely unspoiled by tourism and this is also where the majority of people living in Lamma have their homes. You can visit the Tin Hau temple, which dates back hundred of years but really, this village is the perfect starting point to explore the island. If you are looking for somewhere to pitch your beach towel and relax on the sand, then walk twenty minutes out of the village to Hung Shing Ye, which has a cute beach with plenty of shade. It also has a barbecue pit and a couple of restaurants. You might be put off however, by the shadow of the power station which towers over the beach. If you decide to continue on, head for Lo So Shing, another small beach which is slightly better equipped for visitors. Here you can find changing rooms, showers, kiosks and more barbecue pits.
If you fancy seeing something in Lamma that is not beach life and demonstrates the flavor of Chinese influence on the island, then walk along to Sok Kwu Wan. Ferries also dock here, and the village harbour has some fantastic traditional fishing boats. The real draw of visiting here is the plentitude of fish restaurants that line the bay.
Where to eat in Lamma
Concerto Inn has a South East Asian flavour and a terrace overlooking a beach but it is on the pricier side, with mains starting from $180. If you want to eat somewhere that is cheaper, then try Lamma Seaview Man Fung which is right by the pier in Yung Shue Wan. They also have an outdoor terrace, specialise in seafood but also have a great selection of rice and noodle dishes for a fraction of the price. For more seafood options, try Rainbow Seafood which can also be pricy, but by no means extortionate. You can pick your seafood here and the deep-fried chilli squid comes highly recommended.