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Hong Kong: escape to Lamma Island

Just half an hour by ferry from Central is Lamma Island, a great place for locals who descend on weekends and public holidays, and tourists who don’t really know it’s here.

Lamma Hong Kong

Looking at the ferry terminal

Yung Shue Wan

Yung Shue Wan from the ferry terminal

I popped out for lunch and a cheeky afternoon beer on a little cafe deck overlooking the harbour bobbing with fishing boats. It’s really great if you want an authentic Hong Kong Chinese experience without the throng of people (unless it’s a public holiday – which it was when I visited!)

We disembarked the ferry and walked past a huge parking lot of bicycles which islanders must use to “commute” to the ferry terminal and head off to Hong Kong Island or Kowloon for work.


Selfie time!

First impressions are of ramshackle houses and cheap and cheerful food vendors. I really can’t understand why it’s not overrun with expats and modern apartments. This would an ideal place to live, only 30 minutes from the city, but away from it all.

We followed the crowd around the bay on Yung Shue Wan main street and I was immediately enticed by the open air dim sum, so down we sat and ordered some steamed prawn dumplings and a cup of Chinese tea while I sat with my camera poised ready to click.

Yum cha lunch

Yum! About $4 will buy you a basket of 4 steamed dumplings

Lamma Island Hong Kong

A busker from Israel plays for his keep

The plan was actually to have lunch on the island, but not at the first place we came to! So after 20 minutes of savouring the yum cha and people watching, my guide Frederic and I ambled along, noseying into small souvenir and handcraft shops, past the left turn for the beach, and on to Just Green, an organic shop with air conditioning, for a beer. An organic beer. Which was actually delicious on this hot and humid afternoon (see my personal post for the girls here on my tips for not sweating!)

But Hung Shing Yeh beach is what most people come to Lamma Island for. It’s about a 30-minute walk to one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong – and one of the most popular. The tip is to arrive here early on weekends or go during the week. It’s protected by a shark net and has public toilets, showers and changing rooms plus some restaurants.

However, having been distracted at Just Green our next stop was Andy’s Seafood. Also named Sau Kee Seafood Restaurant, it’s located just a little further along the main street and you can sit outside under the awning overlooking the bay or inside with the air con. The tourists seemed to be sitting outside. I was happy to let Fred order a selection from the huge menu and we nibbled on salt and pepper squid, steamed clams in oyster sauce, scallops served on their shell, small abalone (paua) and greens. Delicious.

Lamma Island seafood restaurant

The perfect spot for seafood and (another) beer

Sau Kee seafood restaurant

Our yummy lunch

Then it was time to head back to the ferry to Hong Kong Island. Replete.

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!