The day after finals were over, my cousin suggested that we should visit Cheung Chau. Next thing you know it, we were on a ferry to the island. The literal meaning of the Cheung Chau is “long island” which it is, sort of. It’s not a big island, nothing huge like Lantau Island, but it is quite long. You will only need a day to explore the entirety of the island.
To get to the island you have to take the ferry from Central, which is in Hong Kong Island. The ride to the island was quite short, about 30-45minutes.
The moment we entered the island, it felt like we were in a different place. All of Hong Kong’s high rise apartment buildings and skyscrapers were gone and all we were left with were small houses and village shacks.
But don’t let the old looks fool you–Cheung Chau is no city, but it is it quite modern in its own way. The main mode of transportation on the island is either by walking or by biking. There are “mini” cars and small trucks, but no personal cars because that is how small Cheung Chau is.
Cheung Chau is a fishing village, but has turned into more of a tourist spot in recent years. They are most known for the “Cheung Chau Bun Festival” where the village will build a tower of buns and people will have to climb up the town and snatch them. My cousin told me that in recent years, they’ve changed the buns from real ones to plastic so they do not waste food. Sadly, I missed the festival this year since it was during finals week (boo!). But, there were a lot of knick knacks on the streets to remind visitors about the Bun Festival.
For a small island, I wasn’t expecting to see any foreign establishments but there are at least two English pubs here along with a tiny pizza parlor. They were all family businesses and were operated by non-Chinese owners, which really amazed me because it showed how diverse Hong Kong can be, even on the small islands. I also heard one of the owners speak fluent conversational Cantonese, which shocked my cousin and I because Cantonese is one of the harder Chinese dialects to learn.
There’s a lot of good food on the island so please come with on a an empty stomach. We ate nonstop the moment we stepped off the ferry and the food was so good. I sadly have no pictures of food because I was too busy consuming everything we bought, but I do recommend the big fish balls on a stick and the red bean pancakes!
Sadly, the weather wasn’t cooperating and we got caught in a massive downpour. It was amusing seeing people scramble into stores to hide from the rain. Luckily we brought umbrellas with us or else we would have been soaked.
But after the storm cleared we decided to head to the beaches. The day was pretty hot and humid so we cooled ourselves off at the beach by sticking our feet in the water. The pictures do not do the water justice!
Cheung Chau is a nice place to visit if you want to get away from the hectic city life. It was something I needed to relieve all the stress I got from finals and to get away from the high rise buildings in Hong Kong.