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12 pm | Hong Kong

A visit to Lamma Island

Just to the southwest of Hong Kong Island is a charming place where locals and tourists go to escape city life and take in the sights and sounds of pristine nature.

The third largest island in the region known as Hong Kong, Lamma Island is truly like no other place in the surrounding area, offering both nature lovers and artists a peaceful getaway from it all. A place where sea kayaks outnumber automobiles and time stands still.

Getting here by ferry.

With regular ferry service throughout the day from Hong Kong Island, a boat trip to Lamma Island takes about 25 minutes. And at $2-4 dollars each direction depending on the time, it’s an affordable adventure. Embarkation takes place at one of Lamma’s two main piers: Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan. Both are connected by a popular nature trail that takes about an hour and a half to complete.

Above: walk on the pier on Lamma Island, Hong Kong

Pick a pier, start an adventure.

Yung Shue Wan, or Banyon Bay, is where most of the population lives. Just beyond the pier, you can leisurely stroll the town streets and find numerous cafes, souvenir shops, fresh markets and the like. Sok Kwu Wan is more of a classic fishing village where it’s still common to see brightly painted fishermen’s junks trolling the waters. Here, seafood restaurants and stunning views of the coastline provide the perfect backdrop for a nautical adventure.

The many trails that connect from each pier make for wonderful day excursions, allowing visitors to explore everything from Sham Wan—an important ecological area where protected sea turtles live—to the intricate system of Kamikaze Caves that fortified the island during the Second World War, as well as multiple points of interest along the way. Like the white sand beaches of Shek Pai Wan. Or the enchanting waterfall at Bride’s Pool. Wherever you adventure, though, make sure the weather is on your side. Hiking is enjoyed best in the cooler winter months, as summer temperatures can be quite hot.

A storied history

The island is also home to Sham Wan, one of the most important archaeological sites in the region, where recently discovered Bronze Age settlements have shown evidence of people living in the area from as far back as 3,800–3,000 BCE. With this rich history as a backdrop, the area also plays host to many cultural festivals and icons, such as traditional Chinese New Year observances, the Tin Hau Festival and the many Tin Hau temples that dot the coast to honor the goddess of the sea. With the surrounding natural beauty, it’s easy to see why so many enjoy spending time here today, and for centuries prior.

For a more complete experience and to read all the adventures, download our free interactive eBook, “Life Well Travelled Hong Kong“

Explore each of the tiles below to read the full narratives from our travelers
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