Lamma Island

Laidback and even slightly hippie in character, Lamma Island is a call to an alternative experience. This is Hong Kong’s third-largest island and is located south-west of Hong Kong. Vehicles are banned on Lamma and the only way to get around is on foot or bicycle. Since construction is restricted to a maximum three storeys, the island is starkly different from Hong Kong’s urban centres. The small-town feel, tranquility and quiet sounds of lapping waves have tempted a significant number of expats as well as artists and musicians to live on the island.

Day-trippers come to Lamma Island for the beautiful, elevated walk along its scenic coast, called the ‘Family Walk’. The trail, a well-paved stone pathway, starts at Yung Shue Wan village, the largest settlement on the island, where you arrive by ferry from Hong Kong Central. The main thoroughfare at Yung Shue Wan is packed with seafood restaurants, pubs, grocery stores and shops selling South-East Asian handicrafts. This is an interesting stop before you start your coastal walk. Proceed to beautiful Shing Yeh Beach, where you might want to pause for a dip and even some barbecue. Onwards, you arrive at a small pavilion that offers another place to rest. The view is gorgeous and on a clear day, you can see as far as Cheung Chau island. Further on, you pass Lo So Shing Beach and a tidbit of history – Kamikaze Caves dug into the hillside by the Japanese who had briefly occupied Hong Kong during World War II. These caves once concealed munitions and speedboats deployed on suicide missions against the Allied forces during the war.

The Family Walk concludes in Sok Kwu Wan, a fishing village, whose boats glinting in the sunlight make for a very pretty picture. We reckon you’ve whipped up quite an appetite by now, and you can indulge in all manner of seafood at any of the restaurants perched above the bay. This dinner-with-a-view is hard to beat, and makes the trip to Lamma Island well worth it. Finally, catch the ferry back to Hong Kong Central from Sok Kwu Wan. Yes, in Hong Kong, havens of peace are just minutes away!