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A Relaxing Day Trip to Cheung Chau

Ferry, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Justin’s and my visit to Hong Kong this past summer was a fantastic adventure full of new sights and great bites. But after several days exploring the city, we decided we needed a little break from the crowds. Luckily, Hong Kong’s excellent ferry system makes seeing nearby islands a breeze. So, we decided to take a day trip to Cheung Chau–a small island located 10 km southwest of Hong Kong Island.

Ferry, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

A Day Trip to Cheung Chau

The journey from Hong Kong to Cheung Chau takes approximately 1 hour on an ordinary ferry (13.2 HKD M-Sat. & 19.4 HKD on Sundays and holidays) which we chose over the “fast ferry” for its superior sightseeing possibilities.

 Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

 Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

100 years ago, Cheung Chau was just a little a fishing village, settled mainly by Southern Chinese. Over the years, it evolved into a commercial hub (still focused upon the fishing industry); and in more recent decades, taking a day trip (or an overnight) to Cheung Chau has become popular amongst both Hong Kong locals and tourists who come to enjoy the island’s sandy beaches, green hills, and fresh seafood.

Sign, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

As we neared the ferry pier, we were struck by just how bright and cheerful the island appeared–with boats, houses and storefronts painted a rainbow of colors. 

Port, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Boats, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Boats, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Ferry Pier, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

The island’s narrow streets are too small to accommodate cars, so bikes proliferate around the town. (There are several places for tourists to rent bikes near the ferry pier.)

Bicycles, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Cheung Chau’s Beaches

Our first stop of the day was at the beach! Tung Wan Beach is the biggest and best beach on Cheung Chau. Even on an overcast day like this one, the beach had plenty of visitors.

Tung Wan Beach, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Beach, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Tung Wan Beach, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Right next door to Tung Wan Beach is Kwun Yam Beach–a beach most famous for being the place where windsurfer Lee Lai-shan learned her craft (she brought home Hong Kong’s first Olympic gold medal from the Atlanta Games in 1996). 

Kwun Yam Beach, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

The Little Great Wall

Following the path up the hill from Kwun Yam, we made our way to the start of the “Little Great Wall” hiking trail. The relatively short duration of this path (approx. 850 m) makes it perfect for day trippers (just be sure you’ve got your mosquito repellent at the ready).

Helicopter Pad, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Little Great Wall, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

The Little Great Wall trail is a paved pathway which follows the headland of Chi Ma Hang, on the southeast side of Cheung Chau. Why the name “Little Great Wall”? As far as we were able to determine it has something to do with the idea that the granite handrails bear a sort of resemblance to the Great Wall of China. (Personally, I don’t really see it, do you?)  

Little Great Wall, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

In any case, the trail does offer hikers some great views through forests, along cliffs, and past a number of uniquely shaped rocks (all with names) which have been carved by the elements.

Rock Formations, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Rock Coast, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Rock Formation, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

As we walked along, we spotted a number of birds…

Bird, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Coastline, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

…a veritable bevy of butterflies…

Butterflies, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

…as well as some other slightly creepier critters. 

Big Bug, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Spider, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Exploring the Back Streets of Cheung Chau

Upon reaching the end of the trail, we decided to head down and inland so we could explore some of the town.

Path, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Shrine, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Flower Pots, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

You won’t find many tourists was you wander Cheung Chau’s tiny backstreets, but there’s certainly plenty of fun and interesting things to observe:

Cats on Fence, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Steps, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Streets, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

As we drew nearer to the waterfront, we found ourselves in the midst of the local market. There are, of course, the usual sorts of bakeries, vegetable and fruit stands…

Bakery, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Produce Shop, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Produce, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

But if you’re interested in seeing more of the food market scene, be sure to stick your head inside the big, indoor “wet market” space. Note: seafood purchased in this market can be taken to almost any seafood restaurant along the waterfront, in which case only a “cooking fee” will be charged. 

Wet Market, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Poultry, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Finally, we walked back toward the ferry along the water–passing several of the island’s top seafood restaurants, and a number of souvenir shops.

Markets, Streets, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Streets, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Port, Boats, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Back to Hong Kong

We decided we wanted to enjoy sunset from the boat, so around 6pm, we headed back toward Hong Kong.

Clouds, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Ferry Trail, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Lighthouse, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Evening Ferry, Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

Definitely the perfect day trip!

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Day trip to Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, Uncontained Life

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2 Responses to A Relaxing Day Trip to Cheung Chau

  1. Damond Low February 21, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

    Dear sir/mdm
    You mentioned that we can rent bicycles to ride round the Cheung Chau island.
    However if we want to go to the Little Great Wall is it still workable to rent the bicycles since we are walking up and down the hills?
    What is the rental charges of the bicycles?
    Is it safe to ride on the island?
    How do we move around on the island?
    How is the public transport system on Cheung Chau island? Easy to get a taxi?

    We will be staying near Mong Kok MTR station, what is the best way to go to Cheung Chau island from Mong Kok MTR station?
    If we are going on a weekday (say wed), what would be the best time to avoid human traffic to the island?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    • UncontainedLife February 22, 2016 at 4:11 am #

      Hello! Glad to hear you’re thinking of visiting Cheung Chau. Here’s what I can tell you: If you do want to go on the Little Great Wall, I would wait to rent bikes until you’ve finished the hike (just head back to the harbor area once you’re done and you’ll find plenty of places offering rentals). There’s a seaside path that runs along the western coast of the island that is almost completely flat. It’s very safe to ride bikes on Cheung Chau, particularly because there are NO cars on the island at all, except for some small vehicles used by the emergency services (so no taxis). If you do choose to ride, however, you should make sure you’re comfortable navigating narrow streets and around pedestrians. From Mong Kok MTR just take the train to Central Station and, from there, just follow signs to the Central Ferry Pier.

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