If you're visiting Hong Kong, a day trip to Lamma Island, also called Pok Liu Chau, is a great way to escape the city and explore nature. To get there, take the MTR train to Central Station or Hong Kong Station, and follow the signs to Central Public Piers (exit gate E1, continue via the extensive, above-road network of walking tunnels). From there, you can catch a ferry from Central Pier 4 or Aberdeen, which is located on the south side of Hong Kong Island. The ferry ride is short and inexpensive, making it a convenient option for travelers on a budget.
Lamma Island is a quaint little island spanning 7 kilometers that houses two charming villages. Visitors can easily reach these villages by taking a ferry from Central. The first ferry ride will take you to Yung Shue Wan village in just 25 minutes. Alternatively, the second ferry ride will take you to Sok Kwu Wan village in approximately 35 minutes.
Lamma Island Vibes
Upon disembarking the ferry, there is an immediate sense of distance from the bustling Central Area of Hong Kong Island. The contrast between the two locations is palpable.
As you walk towards the end of the pier, you'll notice the charming small-town atmosphere of the village. There are countless bicycles parked and locked to the guard rail, indicating that many locals may have taken the ferry to the mainland for work or shopping.
Lamma Island offers a unique and refreshing experience compared to the bustling life on Hong Kong Island. The island presents a tranquil atmosphere, fresh air, and a romantic laid-back charm that is perfect for a change of pace. It is notable that the island is free from cars, except for emergency service vehicles, which adds to the peaceful environment. Additionally, building apartments and houses higher than three stories is prohibited on Lamma Island, contributing to its unique and distinct character.
Yung Shue Wan (also known as Banyan Tree Bay)
Yung Shue Wan is a village located in the northern part of Lamma Island. It is the most populated village on the island and is known for its laid-back, hippy vibes and alternative lifestyles. The area is home to a few boutique cafes and bars, restaurants, and giftware and clothing stalls. There are also general mom and pop shops that sell basic grocery items and fresh produce. Yung Shue Wan attracts a significant number of western ex-pats who want to escape from Hong Kong's urban city life and enjoy a refreshing change of pace.
Let's go to the beach… Hung Shing Yeh Beach
Located in the northern region of Yung Shue Wan, Hung Shing Yeh Beach and the Lamma Power Station are two popular attractions. Hung Shing Yeh Beach is a pristine bay that is well-shaded and protected by the surrounding coves. The beach is equipped with shark nets, modern shower and toilet facilities, and picnic areas that provide visitors with a comfortable experience. Along the walkways, there are several vendors offering a range of beach items, snacks, and drinks to visitors. However, vendors are not permitted to sell items on the sand.
Lamma Wind Station.. is it worth the walk uphill?
Located about 20 minutes uphill from Yung Shue Wan, the Lamma Wind Station is a major power generator that uses a single large wind turbine. Additionally, there are small information booths available for visitors to learn more about wind power generators and the amount of energy that can be saved by utilizing such wind turbines. While the walk up to the Wind Station can be time-consuming, those interested in renewable energy and sustainable power sources may find it worth the effort. However, if you are short on time or simply looking to relax on the beach or explore the nearby villages, it may not be a necessary stop.
Walking Trail between Yung Shue Wan (hippy village) and Sok Kwu Wan (fishing village/seafood street)
If you're looking for a leisurely outdoor activity in Hong Kong, consider taking a walk from Yung Shue Wan pier to Sok Kwu Wan pier. The 4km trail offers stunning views of Hong Kong Island, surrounding outlying islands, and the natural beauty of Lamma Island. Along the way, you'll find various viewing pavilions where you can pause to take in the scenery and snap some photos. Although some parts of the trail are steep, the tranquil atmosphere and picturesque surroundings make it an enjoyable experience for all.
Sok Kwu Wan
Sok Kwu Wan is a charming fishing village on Lamma Island, Hong Kong that is famous for its seafood restaurants. The village is situated on one side of the fishing bay, which is filled with fishing junk and rafts, making it a bustling hub of local activity. Travelers can catch ferries to Central Pier on Hong Kong Island, Aberdeen on the south side of Hong Kong Island, or Yung Shue Wan, the larger village on Lamma Island, from the pier located at the end of the seafood restaurants.
Cave, Temple and Family Walk Trail
As you follow the walking trail towards the Sok Kwu Wan seafood restaurants, you will come across the Kamikaze Cave. During the World War II era, this cave was utilized by Japanese troops as a hiding spot for speedboats, which they planned to use for escape purposes. Although the cave is relatively small, it features a wide entrance providing access for those interested in exploring its contents.
If you're looking to explore the area, you might want to check out Tin Hua Temple. To get there, you can follow the path away from the pier and keep an eye out for the last seafood restaurant. This temple has been around since 1826, but it was damaged by a fire in 2004 and has since been renovated.
Family Walk Loop
If you're looking to explore the picturesque landscapes of Sok Kwu Wan, consider taking the one-hour walking trail that winds through smaller bays, abandoned houses, and stunning natural scenery. This loop trail begins and ends at the stairs located just behind the Tin Hua Temple, making it a convenient starting point for your adventure.
For those seeking a diverse day trip experience, I recommend starting with a morning hike and ending with a beach visit, browsing local crafts at village markets, or enjoying a meal at a vegetarian restaurant or western-style bar. To avoid the unpleasant sight of fish being slaughtered before your eyes, I suggest finishing the day at Yung Shue Wan (also known as Banyan Tree Bay) on Lamma Island, after arriving at Sok Kwu Wan. As a vegan, I regretted waiting for the ferry back to Hong Kong Island while surrounded by this scene.
To make the most of your day on Lamma Island, consider starting in Yung Shue Wan and exploring the town before embarking on a scenic walking trail that stretches all the way to the other end of the island. Along the way, you'll get to enjoy the stunning beach views and end up in Sok Swu Wan, also known as Seafood Restaurant Street, where you can treat yourself to a delicious dinner before catching the ferry back to Hong Kong Island.