One of the things I enjoyed the most about our time in Hong Kong was the laid-back routine: feasting on seasonal fruit (mangoes, dragon fruit and lychee), devouring dim sum (which was delicious and reasonably priced to boot) and strolling around Sheung Shui before setting off on the adventure du jour. Adopting a more easy-going approach enabled us to recharge our batteries (since unlike the Duracell Bunny we can’t go at full pelt indefinitely) and made Hong Kong’s sky-high humidity levels and sweltering temperatures that bit more bearable.
Eager to make the most of the forecasted sunshine, we boarded a boat to another of Hong Kong’s Outlying Islands: Lamma. Docking at Yung Shue Wan just past 13:00, the small settlement hugging the coast was alive with tourists and locals alike. After purchasing a large bottle of water, we set off on foot for Sok Kwu Wan; the paved route takes ninety minutes or so to walk, depending on how often you stop to gawp at enormous spiders take photos en route.
A canopy of papaya trees shaded the concrete path leading out of Yung Shue Wan – and several large spiders had made themselves at home in the dense foliage. I’m not a fan of these cobweb-dwelling critters, so kept well clear of the bushes! When we reached the first hamlet, Laurence’s face lit up at the sight of a small café selling tofu desserts. My sweet tooth was craving something sugary, so when we reached Hung Shing Yeh beach I picked up a mango-flavoured Drumstick – which Brits will recognise as a Cornetto.
Lamma’s most popular beach, affectionately nicknamed ‘Power Station Beach’ by locals, is a sweeping bay of golden sand with litter-free waters. The turbines, concrete chimneys and metallic towers aren’t your typical beach view, but in Hong Kong they don’t seem out of place.
Leaving the aptly-named Power Station Beach behind, we headed up into the hills. Exposure to the afternoon sun and limited shade meant we were soon sweating like pigs (a nonsensical idiom which apparently refers to pig iron, not the oinking variety).
The coastline was peppered with secluded bays and rocky inlets; before long, Lamma Power Station disappeared from sight and the greenery gave way to views of Sok Kwu Wan. Veering off the path, we reached a small lookout with good views of the cove: a small row of waterfront restaurants; a sliver of golden sand snaking alongside the vegetation; clusters of rafts and fishing boats floating in the bay.
On the final stretch, we passed fruit trees (including one with bizarre carrot-like fruit dangling from its branches), the remains of a rather long snake and some classic bamboo scaffolding (which is much more picturesque than steel poles). Just off the trail is Kamikaze Cave, which the Japanese used to store speedboats packed with explosives for use on suicide missions against the Allies during WW2. Despite being fully aware of its existence prior to our visit, we didn’t actually spot it!
Since Lamma is known for its fresh seafood, we decided to treat ourselves at Rainbow Seafood. Our late afternoon lunch consisted of squilla (for Laurence), white fish with broccoli and sweet and sour pork. After paying the bill, we were pleasantly surprised when we were given tickets for the restaurant’s boat service back to TST. It was a rather choppy ride, but it saved us waiting around an hour for the next public ferry, so we weren’t going to complain!
We’d planned to check out the Avenue of Stars, but it was under repair so that didn’t happen. Instead, we set about finding a prime viewing spot on the harbour front for the light show, A Symphony of Light. Though we couldn’t hear the commentary, it was an enjoyable (free) show. Since we didn’t plan to be out late on our remaining nights in Hong Kong, we decided to detour via Temple Street night market. Unfortunately for us, the heavens opened and we ended up soaked to the skin – but we did manage to find some little sew-on flag patches, so we returned home with smiles on our faces.
- The boat ride from Central to Yung Shue Wan (Lamma) takes approximately 35 minutes; a single fare was HK$14 in August 2016.
- Ferries to and from Yung Shue Wan are more frequent than those to and from Sok Kwu Wan; bear this in mind when planning your trip so you’re not left high and dry.