Cheung Chau

Address: Outer Islands, Hong Kong, China

- Free


High jinks rather than high-rise on Hong Kong's most distinctive outer island.

Cheung Chau - a pirate haunt in days gone by - is best known for its annual Bun Festival in May, when costumed children are paraded through the streets and the island's young bloods race each other up a bamboo tower to grab lucky buns. However, for my money, Cheung Chau is worth a visit any time of year. The narrow streets and alleyways lead from tiny shops and boutiques, past temples and old folks' homes, to neat little plazas and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. A seaside promenade snakes along part of the northwest coast of the island, and climbs up to what is known as The Peak, where a lot of Hong Kongers maintain weekend retreats. This is also the home of Hong Kong's only OIympic gold medallist (Lee Lai Shan) and there's a popular windsurfing school on the east coast. Numerous guest houses do brisk business at the weekends with young couples who probably don't get much sleep. And keep an eye open for the island's fire engine and ambulance, which look as if they could have been manufactured in Toy Town.

Value for money

Price advice

Apart from the ferry fare (from HK$11.50 one way) this jaunt shouldn't cost you a cent.

Expert tips

The triple-decker ferry serving Cheung Chau has an open deck at the stern.

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • Foodies
  • Sporty types
  • Great views / scenery
  • People watching
  • Sightseeing
  • History