"Cheung Chau, Hong Kong" Cheung Chau by SWFC_Fan
Cheung Chau Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 53 photos
The small island of Cheung Chau (just 2.5 sq. km in size, but with a population in the region of 25,000), is one of the 260+ islands that form Hong Kong.
Cheung Chau lies about 20km to the south west of Hong Kong Island and just a few kilometers from the eastern coast of Lantau Island.
How to get there?
Regular ferries (about every 30 minutes throughout the day from early morning to late evening) make the 50 minute journey between Hong Kong Island and Cheung Chau.
Ferries leave from pier number 5 in Central on Hong Kong Island and the journey costs just 10.5 HKD each way (adult fare in ordinary class) or 16.8 HKD (adult fare in deluxe class). Childrens' fares and fares for over 65s are roughly half the adult fares.
Prices correct at January 2006: (1 GBP = 13.7 HKD)
A few recommendations of things to see and do based on my 1 day on the island:
Cheung Chau has a number of excellent beaches. These fill up on warm weekend days as locals and residents of Hong Kong city take the opportunity to soak up some rays or swim in the clear seas. I visited on a cold, cloudy Monday when all the beaches were deserted.
Tung Wan Beach - this long stretch of golden sand is the biggest and, in my opinion, the best beach on the island. It lies on the island's east coast, directly across the island from the ferry port - but because the island is so small this is only a 5 minute walk away! There are lots of facilities available for visitors, including changing rooms, watersports, boats for hire, barbecue areas and picnic tables.
Tai Kwai Wan Beach - this beach lies on the island's north west coast, just a 5-10 minute walk from the ferry port. Although it is not as large as Tung Wan Beach and offers no facilities, the sand is golden and the sea is relatively clear.
Kwun Yam Wan Beach - also known as "Afternoon Beach", this is another clean, sandy beach just a short distance along the coast from Tung Wan Beach. There are limited facilities nearby and a couple of beach bars.
Nam Tam Wan Beach - also known as "Morning Beach", this is a small, rocky and not particularly impressive beach on the island's south coast.
The island contains a number of impressive and ornate Chinese temples:
Pak Tai Temple - the most important and, arguably, the most impressive temple on the island. Inside this temple I paid 20 HKD for a handful of incense sticks, lit them and placed them in a bucket of sand where dozens of other sticks were already burning. The lady in the temple gave me a wooden club and asked me to strike a large bell 3 times. She then asked me to beat a large drum 3 times with the same club. This apparently brings good luck!
Kwan Kung Pavilion - this is an impressive Chinese pavilion set in equally impressive surroundings. The interior is typically ornate and colourful, with incense sticks and coils as well as statues and stone lions, while the exterior consists of bright flowers and trees.
Kwun Yam Temple - this small temple overlooks the beach of the same name. It is typically ornate with statues, lions, incense sticks, candles, and fruit offerings.
Sai Wan Tin Hau Temple - another small temple at the bottom of Sai Wan Road. A large urn stands out front with burning incense sticks while the interior is typically colourful and decorated.
Nam Tam Tin Hau Temple - another temple, located close to the beach of the same name. Incense coils burn above the entrance while the interior and exterior are typically colourful with the usuaul assortment of statues, candles and trinkets.
From Kwun Yam Wan Beach there is an excellent, scenic walk to be made around the eastern peninsula of the island. Follow the Cheung Chau Sports Road to the rear of the Warwick Hotel and climb uphill following signs for the Kwun Yam Temple. After passing this temple the cliffside path, winding through trees, vegetation and rock structures, leads to some super views along the east coast over Kwun Yam Wan Beach, Tung Wan Beach and right across the island to the main town and ferry port (see main intro picture above). Keep following the path to see the interesting rock formations such as "Vase Rock" and "Human Head Rock" and a number of pavilions with great views out to sea.
There are many simple seafood restaurants lining the seafront either side of the ferry port in the island's main town. Make your choice of fish or crustacean from the tanks outside the restaurants and have it cooked the way you like it. If seafood isn't for you, you might be happy to know that standing somewhat incongruously amongst the seafood establishments is a ubiquitous branch of McDonalds.
Cycle around the island
Although I chose to walk around the island, I passed many people (or rather, they passed me!) on bicycles. Bicycles, tricycles and other such vehicles can be hired from near the port and, with no motorised transport on the island, they are also the preferred method of transport for many of the island's inhabitants.
A few observations from my 1 day on Cheung Chau:
I'm struggling to think of too much more to say about this small island, but here are a few notable points:
* Many shops on the seafront, and a little further inland amongst the narrow streets of the main village, sell a wide range of dried fish and other dried sea creatures. I'm not sure whether these are a delicacy or whether they are souvenirs. Given their abundant numbers and the relative lack of tourists, I assume it is the former.
* Amongst the main town's numerous shops are several which sell very sweet looking (and smelling) cakes and buns. In fact, the island is famed for a "Bun Festival" that it hosts each year in May.
* Cheung Chau's harbour, just to the north of the ferry pier, has a huge number of junks moored in it. Many of the islanders make a living from the sea and some even live on their boats.
* With an area of just 2.5 sq. km and a population of some 25,000 people, Cheung Chau is very densely populated. However, on a weekday (when presumably a number of islanders had commuted to work on Hong Kong Island), I didn't find it too difficult to escape the crowds. In fact, the walk that I undertook along the south east cliffs was probably the most peaceful part of my entire stay in Hong Kong.
- Pros:Good beaches, scenic walks, easy to escape the crowds
- Cons:Limited entertainment and sights
- In a nutshell:A relaxing retreat from downtown Hong Kong
Regular ferries (about every 30 minutes throughout the day from early morning to late evening) make the 50 minute... more travel advice
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