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Peaceful Cheung Chau Island, The Beach Getaway At The Heart Of Hong Kong

Peaceful Cheung Chau Island, The Beach Getaway At The Heart Of Hong Kong

Hop on the ferry to Hong Kong’s outlying island of Cheung Chau to explore the temples, seafood restaurants and easy hiking trails.

Fernando Fong

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Cheung Chau is your destination if you’re in Hong Kong and you’re only gonna visit one island.

It’s located in the southwestern part of Hong Kong and is accessible by ferry from Hong Kong’s Central Ferry Pier. 

The fast ferry takes 35 to 40 minutes while the slow trip is about an hour, near enough for a day trip yet makes you feel a world away from the rest of the city.

Cheung Chau’s Cantonese name translates to Long Island, which refers to the island’s shape.

There are many things to do from exploring the dreadful hiking paths, rock climbing, biking, beaches, temples, and most importantly, eating the food!

It’s best to give yourself a whole day here for exploration as there are all kinds of shops and stalls here.

You can find fresh fish, shellfish, fruits and veggies, not to mention the many locally distinct restaurants here that are always packed during holidays.

So aim to get there by 10 am as by 6 pm, businesses are winding down, and people are already eating their dinner

Virtual Travel Tours

The Hong Kong Tourism Board recently conducted an online tour of Cheung Chau, where participants experienced authentic cultures and local heritage.

They also explored the new faces spanning arty spots, handcraft shops and nonmainstream spaces in Cheung Chau.

There was even a Chinese calligraphy workshop during which participants handwrote Chinese calligraphy art together.

The online tour concluded with a live chit-chat and Q&A session with local guides.

Here are some not-be-missed locations on the island.

Pak Tai Temple

The historic Taoist temple — one of the oldest in Hong Kong and also known as Yuk
Hui Temple — lies to the north of the main village area, where Pak She Street meets
the Cheung Chau Family Walk.

The impressive structure was originally built in 1783 by the island’s fishing
community to honour Pak Tai — also known as ‘King of the North’ — their protector
and patron deity.

Pak Tai Temple is also a lively Cheung Chau Bun Festival venue. (Pix: Hong Kong Tourism Board)

The building includes a colourfully ornate ceramic-tiled roof with two green-and-gold dragons standing guard along the ridge.

The main square outside Pak Tai Temple hosts the much-cherished Cheung Chau Jiao Festival or Cheung Chau Bun Festival.

The third national list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2011 features the hugely popular challenge where brave competitors battle one another to climb ‘bun
towers’ and claim as many buns as possible.

San Hing Street And Pak She Street

San Hing Street and Pak She Street have transformed over the years, rejuvenated by
the influx of new, younger residents who have decided to call Cheung Chau home.

Spend time exploring enticing craft shops selling handmade items created by local
artists and trendy new cafes offering Instagrammable treats, including cold brew and
homemade Earl Grey tea chiffon cakes.

San Hing Street and Pak She Street have been remade over the years. (Pix: Hong Kong Tourism Board)

Be sure to try the red-stamped ‘lucky buns’, filled with different sweet pastes such as sesame, red bean or lotus seed.

These iconic snacks are used during the island’s annual bun festival and are steamed and sold yearly.

North Lookout Pavilion And Pak Kok Tsui

Cheung Chau Family Walk heads from Pak Tai Temple to the hilltop on the island’s
northern side.

This short but steep stretch takes hikers to Cheung Chau North
Lookout Pavilion, the island’s highest point.

You can savour a panoramic view of the island’s tombolo formation — a perfect spot for Instagram enthusiasts.

You can savour a panoramic view of the island’s tombolo formation — a perfect spot for Instagram enthusiasts. (Pix: Hong Kong Tourism Board)

On a clear day, you can see Lamma Island on one side and Tsing Ma Bridge, connecting Lantau Island to Hong Kong’s urban areas

Further east along the pavilion, more adventurous hikers can head to Pak Kok Tsui, a
a small peninsula with a small beach called Tung Wan Chai, which is a famous scenic

From here, hikers can continue along the path through a bit of forest and back to
the bustling part of the island.

Tung Wan & Kwun Yam Wan

The ‘handle’ of Cheung Chau’s dumb-bell shape is home to the ferry pier, the bustling
commercial and residential area.

The area is packed with alleyways of shops selling knick-knacks and locally designed accessories, cafes, bars and restaurants, and village houses.

Only a short walk east takes you to the long, crescent-shaped stretch of beach called
Tung Wan.

The island’s water quality is good, and on a clear day, you can see southern
Hong Kong Island.

A short walk further south leads to a coastal walkway below Warwick Hotel with a
group of Bronze Age rock carvings.

They are among a series discovered on sea-facing rocks on Hong Kong’s different outlying islands — a declared monument featuring stylised geometric patterns, some resembling human or monster forms.

Kwun Yam Beach, also known as Afternoon Beach, is a gazetted beach facing Kwun Yam Wan on the east coast of Cheung Chau. (Pix: Timeout)

Keep walking to reach Kwun Yam Beach, which offers a windsurfing centre.

This small but famous beach attracts many water sport enthusiasts, including stand-up paddlers, kayakers and kite surfers.

It is served by several beachfront bars and cafes where people can unwind as they watch the sea

San Hing Praya Street

Walk northwards along the waterfront, past the main pier and rows of hanging
sun-dried fish.

You will reach San Hing Praya Street and Pak She Praya Road.

These are home to many Cantonese-style seafood restaurants providing mouth-watering al fresco dining with stunning sunset sea views.

 San Hing Praya Street is a foodie paradise and home to an increasing number of hipster cafés and hidden shops. (Pix: Flickr)

Diners can choose items from the menu or even bring freshly caught seafood bought from the island’s fishmongers and have it cooked to order.

You will also find French, Thai and Indian restaurants here serving a wide range of savoury seafood delights.

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