To recover from the stress of visa-processing, me and my hallmates treated ourselves to a night out in Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) before I had a flick through Lonely Planet to see if there was anywhere nearby I could explore. I stumbled across Cheung Chau Island, a small island close to HK Island, which is accessible by ferry. The ferry costs just HK$13 (£1) or HK$19 on a Sunday, which is when I headed over. You can catch the ferry from Central Ferry Pier 5 and the ordinary ferry takes 45 – 55 minutes to get over there. They leave every half an hour so you’re never waiting too long for one.
Cheung Chau itself is a pretty chilled place and, oddly, was the first time since I arrived that I felt like I was back in Asia. The bustling markets, the smell of street food and the overall vibe took me back to Vietnam and Thailand and it was a welcome feeling. Here, I sampled humungous fish balls (a must-try in Hong Kong) dipped in BBQ sauce for just $10. I also sampled some dubious meat which the woman said was pork. I wasn’t convinced.
The island is home to numerous small beaches. The busiest, Tung Wan, is easy enough to find from the pier but walk 5 minutes along from there past the Warwick hotel and you find yourself on the smaller Kwun Yam beach which is much quieter and more relaxing. I spent the evening lying here, headphones in and with a cold beer in my hand. A perfect way to spend a Sunday night.
Beyond the beaches, there are numerous walks you can go on with some fantastic scenery. The quirky Mini Great Wall of China left a lot to be desired (especially as it just looked like a flatpack B&Q wall) but the walk up to the North Pavillion, giving you a view of the whole island, was fantastic. Like Dragon’s Back, it wasn’t too strenuous and you’re rewarded with incredible views at the end. Whilst here, I also managed to go off the beaten track and find a small beach hidden away amongst the trees. It was absolutely disgusting with rubbish piling up over most of it, but it was pretty cool to be the only one there (probably for a reason). It was here I also managed to lose one of my flip flops as it was washed away by the tide. In a miraculous twist of fate though, as I was leaving (downtrodden and remembering the good times we’d shared), the flip flop washed up next to me, covered in god knows what. An uplifting ending to a brilliant day, though I did have to get it sterilised.
Cheung Chau’s definitely worth a look though if you’re looking for a chilled out island with great seafood and some fantastic walks. I’m glad I gave it a look.
I also realised the other day that I’ve been in Hong Kong almost a month now. In no time it’s going to be reading week, then Christmas, then 2015 – I’m having such an awesome time and it’s flying by. Last night was the first of our accommodation’s formal High Table Dinners. It made me realise that I’m only a month in and I’ve already met some amazing people and had some incredible experiences.
Long may it continue!