Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Walking Tour: Lamma Island

This week's installment of Wednesday Walking Tours takes us to Lamma, the outlying island known for seafood, dogs, quirky shopping and free-spirited residents. If you missed the earlier Hong Kong walking tours, check out the tab above. A special thanks to my new friend Joyce of Hongkonghavers for accompanying me on this trip.

For this tour, we'll start out at the ferry pier in Central. You might remember this spot from the Star Ferry walking tour.

Walk through the ticket barrier and pay the 14 HKD fare (less than $2 US)


Walk down the ramp to the ferry.

Mind your feet as you step over the gangway.

Find a seat...

...and enjoy the city views as the ferry pulls away from the pier.

As you head west you'll notice some of piers you passed on your way to the ferry.

Even if it's a misty day like this one, you'll still get a whole new view of the city.

You'll swing around the outer edge of Hong Kong Island, where the buildings taper off.

Of course you won't be the only ones out on the water.

After about 25 minutes, you'll arrive at the closer bay of Lamma Island, which features a totally different landscape than the one you just left behind.

Carefully make your way off the ferry along with the tourists, expats and locals.


Exit the pier, but check the return ferry times before you do. This one usually runs every forty minutes or so.

As you breathe the fresh ocean air, look to your left at the junkboat in the water.

And take a peek behind you at the ferry you just left.

You'll pass through the gates amidst weekenders who are getting ready for a day in the sunshine.

Walk down the dock. The flags represent the teams for the dragon boat races, which happened during the first weekend in June.

The dock is lined with bicycles because people do not drive on Lamma.

Look to your left at some of the makeshift residences above the water.

Look to your right at the main section of the village.

When you reach the end of the dock, look to your left again. That tiny building is the Lamma public library.

You'll also see a signpost to help you get your bearings.

As soon as you reach the shore you'll start to see little waterfront hotels.

Continue walking toward the main section of Yung Shue Wan village.

Notice the ads for services, apartments, tutors and events pinned to the fence on your right.

Don't miss this view of the boats in the little bay just past the fence.

You'll come to a shop/restaurant than spans the road.

Keep walking.

You'll walk through more restaurants where the main kitchen is to the left of the road...

...and most of the tables are on your right by the water.

Just to remind you, you're on Yung Shue Wan Main Street.

There are a few sections of sand, but the nicer beaches are elsewhere on the island.

As you walk through restaurant after restaurant, you'll see bamboo steamers for dim sum...

...and tanks for live seafood.


This is the restaurant where I like to have garlic encrusted shrimp, but I'm sure they're all good if you like seafood.

The street makes a gradual turn to your left and becomes more crowded.

And of course, there's more seafood.

You'll start to see little side streets and different kinds of restaurants.

You'll find everything from ice cream to an English pub.

Eventually you'll come to market stalls full of fresh vegetables...

...boxes of wine...

...and dried seafood and spices.

Just keep going on this road.

You'll pass quirky hang out spots.

And you'll see dogs hanging out...


There are plenty of beach things for sale if you forgot yours.

Eventually you'll reach a crossroads. If you turn left you'll pass more shops and eventually reach the beach. If you keep walking for an hour and a bit after that, you'll reach Sok Kue Wan village, home of the famous Rainbow seafood restaurants. But that's a walk for another day. Keep going straight.

You are walking parallel to the water here, so if you look to your right you may occasionally see paths to the sea.

They have everything in the shops here.

Lamma is a particularly good place to look for handmaid jewelry, peasant blouses and sundresses.

As the street narrows you'll see more fresh fruits and veggies and more shops full of quirky keepsakes.

Eventually you'll see the Bookworm Cafe on your right, which is our stop for today. But first walk to the end of the street.

There's one more thing to see at the end of the road.

You'll notice more traditional village houses here as the shops start to thin.

And finally you'll see a little Tin Hau temple, where you can smell the heady incense and feel the quiet. At this point our tour is complete, so you can turn around...

...and go back to the Bookworm Cafe where you can enjoy a vegan chocolate cake and refreshing iced lemon tea surrounded by an eclectic collection of books, music and people.

I'll hope you enjoyed this little tour of Yung Shue Wan village on Lamma Island. Come back next week for another Hong Kong walking tour!


  1. Yet another great post! Will definitely have to check this out next time I'll visit Hong Kong. Well done :)

  2. Really enjoyed the step by step detail, whIch I haven't found in other guides. I used to live on Lamma and you've transported me back, thank you!


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