The territory of Hong Kong encompasses 243 islands, the majority of which are uninhabited, with some barely more than a big rock.
However, in addition to Lantau Island, where I live, there’s also a community on Lamma Island, which lies to the South-West of Hong Kong Island.
Whereas Lantau is the biggest island in the territory, Lamma is one of the smaller ones and probably the smallest one with any community.
This map shows the southern part of the Hong Kong SAR (only a part of Kowloon is shown, and the New Territories are not shown here):
A popular and easy excursion from Hong Kong (or Kowloon, but you’ll need to cross to Hong Kong to get the ferry) is a trip to Lamma.
Lamma boasts a very well-known (and good) seafood village at Sok Kwu Wan and you can get there direct by ferry from Central.
However, I recommend taking the ferry (Pier 4 from Central) to Yung Shue Wan, which is on the west side of Lamma and walking across the island to Sok Kwu Wan, which is on the east side:
That is an easy walk, which takes about an hour and a half. And it means you can enjoy the food and wine when you get there with a feeling that you’ve earned it..!
This is Yung Shue Wan. The ferry pier is out of the picture to the left, so you walk around the bay towards from where I took this, to start the walk to Sok Kwu Wan:
The route to Sok Kwu Wan is sign posted (there are also signs to ‘The beach’), so just follow the signs to either place – you go past the beach on your way to Sok Kwu Wan.
Yung Shue Wan is small, so very quickly you’re walking through countryside like this, heading towards the beach at Long Tsai Tsuen:
The beach is nice but quite small and it gets pretty crowded during good weekend days in the Summer.
This is looking back the beach, with Yung Shue Wan in the background, having started the climb up towards a small pagoda, which is the highest point of the walk:
. . . and up there you can see the small pagoda:
This is at the pagoda, the highest point on the walk – it’s all downhill from here on, crossing from the west side of Lamma to the east side.
This is the view from the pagoda looking south west:
As you start down the eastern side of Lamma, Hong Kong Island comes into view.
This is looking at the south western part of Hong Kong – that is Ocean Park on the left, with Repulse Bay further back:
As you continue down the hill you pass another pagoda (they are actually supposed to be rain shelters) and you get a view of the entrance to Sok Kwu Wan bay:
. . . and, finally, the fishing village of Sok Kwu Wan comes into view. That’s your destination:
It was low tide when I took this, and, when the tide is in, the water extends right up to the end of the bay, just out of the picture to the right.
To get to the restaurants, you need to continue down the hill until you get to a small clutch of houses where you need to turn sharp left and head back towards the water (due east).
Follow the path down to the water’s edge and then you will need to walk around the top of the bay. From there you’ll come to the restaurants from the south (from the right in the picture above).
There are any number of restaurants there, all of them serving seafood caught that day. As you can see from the picture above, they are all resting on stilts over the water.
Here’s a typical view from your table in any of them:
Those houses you can see across the water are where you come out at the water’s edge, to start your walk around the bay.
All the restaurants at Sok Kwu Wan offer freshly caught seafood – and it’s absolutely delicious.
A favourite routine of a group of us a few years back, was to do the walk I’ve just described and then settle down in one of the restaurants with a bottle of wine or some beers, and just spend a lazy afternoon chit chatting.
We’d have a bit to drink, order a bit of food, and spend a few hours there, ordering another dish or another bottle of wine as and when we felt like it. Super relaxing..!
Some of the restaurants operate their own ferries and will arrange to get you back to Central. But if the restaurant you happen to end up in doesn’t have its own ferry, the regular ferries go every 30 – 45 minutes – and it’s just a 30-minute trip back.
The trip to Yung Shue Wan, the walk across to Sok Kwu Wan and the trip back is a very relaxing day out from Hong Kong or Kowloon – a wonderful rest from the ambient noise in the city.
The walk is really very easy – the first 15 minutes or so are on the level, then there’s about a 20-minute climb up to the first pagoda and then it’s 45 minutes or so down the other side of Lamma to Sok Kwu Wan.
I recommend it!
Ferries leave from, and return to, Pier 4 at the Central ferry piers. You can get to both Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan from Pier 4 – one uses the left side and the other the right, so be sure to check!
The trip takes about 30 minutes.
Have you explored Lamma? Tell us about it!
The Expat Traveller