Lying just a half-hour ferry ride from Central, Lamma Island is the third largest of Hong Kong’s islands and is a unique escape for Hong Kongers from the hustle and bustle of urban life. There are no cars here and few buildings are over three storeys high. Trails meander along hills and coastline and the beaches are actually quite clean and inviting!
My earliest memories of Lamma Island were as a young boy heading with my family to eat fresh seafood on its shores. Over the last 20 years the site has become much more commercial and small stalls where we lunched have now given way to rows of seafood restaurants that ferry customers to and from Hong Kong Island.
Lauren and I recently took a day excursion to the island and walked from north to south between the island’s two main villages. It’s a slight climb and can be done in under two hours.
Yung Shue Wan
Our route took us first to the small village of Yung Shue Wan. Until a few decades ago, this was a small village relying mostly on agriculture and fishing. It has expanded in recent years mostly to accommodate people attracted to the lower rents and laid-back lifestyle. Walking the narrow streets between the tightly packed buildings, you’ll see shops and restaurants that reflect his mixed heritage: stalls with dried fish, shops selling TVs and outlets with ghastly clothing.
Hung Shing Yeh Beach
This beach was surprising clean (for Hong Kong) and would be one of the few places I’d actually consider swimming.
At the top of a long, windy paved road is a single wind generator. This was built as a testament to Hong Kong’s commitment to alternative energy and a symbol of the regions need to pursue forms of clean technology. We trekked to the top and took some photos of the Hong Kong island and the wind generator.
Though there are a few small woods, the vegetation is mostly sparse grassland and scrub. At the top of the hill there is a pavilion with nice panoramic views of Lamma and nearby islands such as Cheung Chau and Lantau (site of the Hong Kong airport and Giant Buddha).
Lo So Shing Beach
During the Tang Dynasty (7th to 10th century AD), this was a center of local industry where seashells were baked to make lime. There are kilns nearby and many make shift docking stations for rich Hong Kongers to dock their boats while they snack on fresh seafood at the nearby restaurants. As you walk from Lo So Shing to Sok Kwu Wan, you’ll see tunnels that were used during the Japanese occupation in the Second World War. These tunnels were known as Kamakaze Tunnels as the Japanese used to camp in here to await unsuspecting enemies.
Sok Kwu Wan
As you’ll see, seafood restaurants dominate Sok Kwu Wan. They mostly serve people arriving on pleasure junks but are also a great place to eat lunch after a long walk. We had a fixed price meal for two (HK$320) at the Rainbow Seafood restaurant that was surprisingly good and include a free ferry ride back to Hong Kong island!