The territory of Hong Kong encompasses 246 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.
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 extremely 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..!
As you can see from the pictures that follow, the weather on this particular day was very changeable – typical for Hong Kong during May! If you visit during May, I do recommend an umbrella..!
This is exiting the ferry pier at Yung Shue Wan. You need to follow the path from the pier around the bay to the point indicated by the arrow, where the path will turn away from the bay:
Follow the path as it turns to the left, away from the bay and between the shops and restaurants:
Keep going until you see the sign I’ve indicated in this picture, where you turn left (the writing is smaller but it says Hung Shing Yeh Beach and Sok Kwu Wan):
Follow that path way. The only place where you might be tempted to take a wrong turn is after about 10 minutes’ walk. You need to turn to the right and follow the path down:
You will cross a couple of roads, but keep going (check and follow the signs to Sok Kwu Wan) and the path will eventually bring you out at the beach. It’s a nice beach but quite small and it gets pretty crowded during good weekend days in the Summer:
You need to cross (or walk around) the beach to the point opposite where you can see the white wall and those two yellow signs, and then take the path up the hill.
If you walk around the beach, rather than crossing it, this is just after the changing rooms and it’s the path you follow to start up the hill:
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 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 village (Lo So Shing Village). The path curves to the right, into the village, and then you need to turn sharp left, doubling back on yourself, just behind where those two people are standing:
Walk down towards the water and then turn to the right and follow the path, which will take you around the top of the bay.
On the way you will pass a couple of caves. These were called Grottos and they are where the Japanese hid small boats during World War 2, in the event that any Allied boats entered the bay:
Follow the path, around the head of the bay and you’ll cross an open space with a temple to one side, and come to the restaurants.
There are any number of restaurants there, all of them serving seafood caught that day. As you can see from the earlier picture, they are all resting on stilts over the water.
Here’s a typical view from your table in any of them:
All the restaurants at Sok Kwu Wan offer freshly caught seafood – and it’s absolutely delicious. Definitely the best seafood in Hong Kong and absolutely good enough to rival anywhere else!
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