Lamma Island, also known as Pok Liu Chau, is a small and peaceful island located just a short ferry ride away from Hong Kong. With its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and abundance of hiking trails, Lamma Island is a popular destination for travelers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle that Hong Kong is known for!
One of the main reasons why I really enjoyed my day trip to Lantau Island is because you’re just able to breathe freely and walk around without having to feel on edge or being shoulder to shoulder with people.
It really is a welcome getaway if you are open to slowing down, immersing yourself in nature, and experiencing a different side of Hong Kong living!
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HONG KONG IN A NUTSHELL
Here’s a quick overview of all the useful info you need to plan an awesome trip!
- When To Go: October through December (peak season). January to April or June to September (off-season, good for decent weather and fewer crowds).
- Where To Stay: Popular areas to stay in include Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Causeway Bay. You can discover some of my favorite Hong Kong accommodations in this post!
- Nearest Airport: Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
- How to Get Around: Public transportation all the way! Hong Kong has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trains, trams, and ferries. The Octopus card is a super convenient way to pay for transportation and can be used on most forms of public transportation.
- Must-Do’s: Take the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak for epic views of the city skyline, visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island, eat loads of dim sum, go to Hong Kong Disneyland, and party it up in Lan Kwai Fong (LKF).
- Before You Go: Pack comfortable shoes for walking around the city, and be prepared for the humidity and occasional rain. If sightseeing is one of your top priorities, consider grabbing the Go City Hong Kong digital attraction pass to save loads of money on attractions! You can buy the Go City Hong Kong pass online here.
- Internet access: If your phone plan doesn’t include free international data, we recommend getting a prepaid SIM card for internet access during your stay in Hong Kong. Another option is to use Airalo, an affordable eSIM option for travelers. With Airalo, you just purchase a data plan online and activate it on your phone without the hassle of purchasing a physical SIM card or picking it up in person!
- Local Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) – click for current conversion rates
- ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Cantonese:
- ‘Hello’ in Cantonese: Nei hou or Lei hou (你好)
- ‘Thank You’ in Cantonese: M̀h’gōi (唔該)
What Is Lamma Island Known For?
Lamma Island is one of the three main islands that make up the territory, along with Lantau and Hong Kong Island. This picturesque destination is well known for its unspoiled nature, relaxing atmosphere and quaint villages!
The island’s main attractions include a variety of outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, camping and biking. The beaches on Lamma are some of the most beautiful in all of Hong Kong, offering wide-open views of the open sea. There are also some excellent seafood restaurants that serve up delicious dishes using freshly caught fish from local fishermen.
The nearby Yung Shue Wan village has several interesting sights including an old police station and a traditional Hakka walled village dating back to the Qing Dynasty period.
How To Get To Lamma Island
There are several ways to get to Lamma Island from Hong Kong. The most popular method is to take a ferry from the Central Pier on Hong Kong Island. Head to Central Pier 4 for Lamma Island.
Ferries to Lamma Island depart regularly from the Central Pier and the journey takes around 30 minutes. Just long enough to get a quick nap in! You can purchase tickets for the ferry at the terminal or online in advance.
Now when you get to the terminal, you’re going to notice multiple entrances to different ferries: Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan.
While both ferries will get you to Lamma Island, they don’t take you to the same ferry pier. Yung Shue Wan will drop you off at the northern part of the island and Sok Kwu Wan will drop you off in the middle of the island.
Here’s a map so you can have some spatial understanding of what I’ll tell you next:
If you plan on walking around as much of the island as you can, for simplicity’s sake, take Yung Shue Wan ferry. You can walk a very popular trail called the Lamma Island Family Trail which will eventually bring you to the Sok Kwu Wan area. From there, you can take the Sok Kwu Wan ferry back to Hong Kong Island.
You can find all the fare information and timetables for both ferries here.
To get on the ferry, simply scan your Octopus Card the same way you would at the subway station. Once you’re on the other side, wait for the ferry doors to open and grab a seat!
Once you arrive on Lamma Island, you can explore the island on foot (recommended) or by renting a bike or a scooter. There are also minibus services available for those who prefer not to walk or bike.
Overall, getting to Lamma Island from Hong Kong is relatively easy and convenient, and the ferry ride offers really pretty views of the city and the surrounding islands!
Things To Do On Lamma Island
Enjoy The Seaside Views
Upon landing at the ferry port, you’re going to want to snap some pics! The walk over to Shue Wan Village boasts some of the best waterfront views of the entire island.
Strike a pose or two and admire all the lazily floating boats in the water before pulling yourself away and continuing on your Lamma Island adventure.
Walk Through Yung Shue Wan Village
Yung Shue Wan Village, located adjacent to the Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier on Lamma Island, is a tranquil and picturesque village area perfect for strolling through.
From enjoying the views of the bay to perusing the local gift shops (such as Lamma Corner and Mush Store) to discovering delicious street food, there are plenty of little things to do in Yung Shue Wan that will keep you entertained for about an hour or so.
Since most of the restaurants are clustered in this area, if you haven’t had breakfast/lunch yet, this is a great place to sit down and enjoy a meal!
One of the main things that Lamma Island is known for is its seafood. The island is home to a number of seafood restaurants, many of which serve freshly caught fish, shrimp, and crabs.
Two of the most popular seafood spots on the island are Rainbow Seafood Restaurant and Tai Yuen Seafood Restaurant, where you can sample a variety of local delicacies, such as squid balls, fish balls, and fish soup.
Not interested in seafood? There’s a really good Indian restaurant on the island called Spicy Island Indian Restaurant & Bar if you’re looking for a change of pace.
Snack On Local Delicacies
Since fishing and seafood are so popular on Lamma Island, it’ll come as no surprise that even their most popular handmade snacks are seafood-related.
Upon getting off at the ferry port and entering Yung Shue Wan Village, we quickly started seeing stalls selling dried snacks, fishy sauces, and other dried goods (likely to be used for soups). And while these items can also be found on the mainland, why not try them on an island that specializes in this kind of stuff?
Pick up some dried shrimp and dried cuttlefish in Yung Shue Wan Village before continuing your exploration across the island. Even if you’re not hungry now, you’ll be able to save it and eat it along your hike.
And if you’re feeling famished anytime during your hike, you’ll be happy to know that you’ll encounter various snack shacks and super casual open-air restaurants along the way.
You can pick up an ice cream cone, smoothie, or even a cold/refreshing tofu pudding!
Hike Around The Island
If you’re looking for a more active day out, you’ll be glad to know that Lamma Island is home to a number of hiking trails that offer expansive views of the surrounding area. So when on Lamma Island, expect to do some walking!
The most popular trail is the Lamma Island Family Walk, which takes you through the island’s lush forests and past two of the main traditional fishing villages.
Along the ups and downs of this island-wide trail, you’ll have the chance to see a variety of local flora and fauna, including birds, butterflies, and wildflowers.
If you want to explore the island, this hike is very straightforward and very easy to follow. When in doubt, just follow the main path that all the other travelers are walking on!
You can start the hike by catching the Yung Shue Wan Ferry to Lamma Island, hike to the other side of the island, and take the Sok Kwu Wan Ferry back to Central or Aberdeen (Hong Kong Island). This means you won’t have to retrace your steps after your hike, win!
This main hiking path will take you through a Feng Shui forest to a paved coastal path, where you’ll find awesome vista points that overlook the scenic coast. You’ll continue hiking up a hill for views of the South China Sea’s shipping lanes, Lantau Island, and Cheung Chau Island.
Eventually, you’ll descend into the village along a bamboo path, encountering the 19th-century Tin Hau temple to a local sea goddess, pass by Kamikaze Cave, and arrive at Sok Kwu Wan Village, a waterfront village. This is another great time for a late lunch or early dinner before catching the ferry back to town!
Walk Around Sok Kwu Wan Village
At this point of your hike, you’ve reached civilization once again! You’ll be in Sok Kwu Wan, or Picnic Bay.
This area is less densely populated with shops and restaurants compared to Yung Shue Wan, but it’s still fun to stroll through nonetheless. If you’re looking for a real sit-down meal, the famous Rainbow Seafood Restaurant is on this side.
Looking to snack on stuff instead while at Sok Kwu Wan Village? Try the assortment of fish balls and mango mochi at Mango King! The mango was so sweet and juicy–it complimented the chewy mochi soooo well!
Hang Out On The Beach
Another thing that Lamma Island is known for is its beautiful beaches. Lo So Shing Beach and Hung Shing Yeh Beach are both popular spots for swimming and sunbathing, and offer a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and explore the crystal-clear waters around the island.
Lamma Island: Essential Packing List
- Comfortable walking shoes – especially if you’re doing any hiking at all
- A packable puffy jacket or packable windproof rain jacket – because Lamma Island is, well, an island, it can get windy and breezy during certain seasons!
- Trekking poles – optional, and only needed if you have bad knees (the Lamma Island Family Trail does have some steep parts to it)
- Snacks and water packed up nicely in a daypack
- Lightweight travel umbrella – The weather in Hong Kong can be quite unpredictable during certain seasons, and rain is not uncommon. Make sure you pack a travel umbrella when visiting.
- A nice digital camera – I personally use the Sony a7 IV Full Frame Mirrorless Camera for all my international trips.
- Your trusty Octopus Card
- SIM Card – If you plan on using the internet for Google Maps, and even random internet searches when there’s no WiFi around, I’d highly recommend picking up a Hong Kong prepaid SIM card. I did HK without a SIM card (just used T-Mobile’s free international roaming) and while Google Maps worked fine, even basic Google searches would take ages to load.
- Make sure to download Google Maps and Google Translate on your phone. That way, you can check bus/train schedules, access maps, navigate to your stops on foot, and read food menus easily.
Pro Tip: Once you get back to Central from Lamma Island, you’ll be right near The Hong Kong Observation Wheel Playground. If you’re interested in seeing a sweet view of Victoria Harbor (it’s great during the day or at night), hop onto the observation wheel! It’ll go around about 3 times and doesn’t cost very much to ride it. Walk around the area, grab a snack, and head home!
Hong Kong Travel Insurance
This is a no-brainer. When traveling internationally, be sure to get yourself some travel insurance.
I’ve heard of too many unfortunate experiences where friends and family have had baggage lost/stolen, hotels canceled, or have had unexpected medical emergencies while traveling where they’ve had to cut their trips short.
True story alert — in 2022, my partner even had his shoulder completely dislocated while surfing in Mexico, resulting in a $950 USD emergency room bill that we had to pay out of pocket for! Not fun and not cheap.
Without travel insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket for these mishaps. This is why I get travel insurance for all my international trips now!
One of the best budget-friendly travel insurances for those traveling outside their home country is SafetyWing.
SafetyWing Insurance provides coverage for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. This means that if you get ill or injured, they will cover the medical expenses.
In addition, it provides emergency travel-related benefits such as emergency medical evacuation (much needed if you like to go hiking / trekking in the wild), travel delay, and lost checked luggage.
Overall, Lamma Island is a great destination for a day trip from Hong Kong. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, hike through beautiful green forests, or sample some of the island’s delicious seafood, this sleepy yet charming island is sure to deliver!
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