Cheung Chau is a small island lies on the southwest of Hong Kong Islands, near Hong Kong largest island, Lantau. Cheung Chau means long island in Chinese and its name is given by the fact that the shape of this island is rather long and dumbbell like. It can be reached by ferry taken at Pier 5, Central Ferry Piers. There are two kinds of ferry available on daily basis, Fast Ferry and Ordinary Ferry. The duration taken each ferry to Cheung Chau is 35 mins for the fast one and 55 mins for the ordinary one with an hour or so intervals.
The schedule of the departures and arrivals can be observed on the timetable provided on the pier dock. You should pay HKD 36 for one way travel from Central to Cheung Chau using Fast Ferry and HKD 20 if you choose Ordinary Ferry but you would need to pay HKD 7 more if you upgrade to Deluxe Deck on Ordinary Ferry. What makes deluxe deck and ordinary decks different is the way the ferry crew put the seats, they put tables on this deck and the chairs are not nailed to the floor unlike those on ordinary decks. The room is air-conditioned with one counter where you can order some snacks.
If you take Ordinary Ferry, you could spend the time on board by sitting on the back of the ferry which offer you fresh air and impeccable scenery of both Kowloon and Hong Kong Island West District. And if you’re lucky, some sun.
Once arrive at Cheung Chau you instantly could smell the fresh sea air. There are stands outside the ferry pier offer you hotels and homestay. Cheung Chau is usually crowded with visitors during festivals when youngsters have their school holiday. So don’t be surprised by how many teenagers you could see around this small island carrying backpacks even luggage. Chances are they spending time there for days with their peers.
Or if you would love to spend days there with luxury, you could choose Warwick Hotel, the only 5 starred hotel on the island. The hotel is facing to Tung Wan beach where it’s packed with swimmers and sunbath worshippers in summer. You could windsurf or paddle in a kayak for this beach is famous with those two activities.
Along the main road you could find stands after stands offering dried marine products such as dried prawns, salted fish, dried oysters, fish maws etc. Besides of those stands, there are small boutiques sell beach clothing with oriental patterns, most likely imported from Thailand. Not only you could buy beach clothing but you would also find ethnic dresses and blouse, pretty thongs for your feet, bags in every size with beautiful and colorful Thai’s batik prints. Accessories are widely available, too. You’re offered with a wide varieties and selections here. The prices are reasonable, at least cheaper than if you buy the same items in Hong Kong main island.
Besides, Cheung Chau also has traditional delicacies you might want to try. Still in the main street you could find snacks stands run by locals. They offer any kind of fritters like taro, potato and sweet potato. Some sell puddings and traditional cakes, barbequed dried squids and many more. There is even a restaurant provides you with dim sums if you’re interested to sit down for a while and drink Chinese tea to go with those delicious dim sums.
At night there even more restaurants to choose from. Most of them are seafood restaurants which would prepare the freshest seafood and they would let you decide how your food is cooked. If you have no idea how you would want it to be cooked, the waiters would love to give you suggestions even offer you their specialties.
But if you find BBQ is more interesting, some shops could cater you need by providing you place and grills even the supplies. You could buy food for BBQ from them, too. But it’s okay to bring your own food and only rent the place and the grill.
Before night comes, you could walk along the waterfront enjoying the scenery of Cheung Chau. You would see mountains from a far. They belong to Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong Islands. You could also rent bicycle from several bikes rental near Hung Shing Temple. Bikes are common means of transportation in Cheung Chau because there are no cars available here. You would find carriages with motor though not so many of them.
You’d be awed by the Cheung Chau sunset in the evening. In clear weather, the almost sunken sun looks big with reddish orange color, a big salted duck yolk, as locals call it. Sunset is best spent with your loved ones, sitting on the benches by the waterfront. The look of traditional sampans on the golden tinged waters adds the nuance. It might be one of the other things which make you want to come back for more once you visit this divine small island.