After our first FAT Monday last, well, Monday, here’s another first of a new feature: AFK Thursday, where we will take you away from your keyboard to daydream about far away places. Starting with… Lamma Island!
This summer we’ve been spending most of our time in the hustle and bustle of Mong Kok, one of the most crowded places in Hong Kong. I’ve mastered the art of squeezing past slow little old ladies and dodging my fellow Pokémon Go players as they stop in the middle of the street to catch a Zubat.
Anyway, we could use a bit of space and clean air, so Lamma Island seemed like the perfect, peaceful getaway with their beaches and fresh sea breeze. But you know what, Hong Kong Tourism Board? You could have told us about the GIANT FREAKING SPIDERS.
Ok ok, forget about the spiders for a second, I’ll get back to that later. With pictures.
Arriving on Lamma Island
For about 17 – 20 HKD you can take a half hour ferry ride from Central to Yung Shue Wan, the largest village on Lamma Island. You can see the Main Street as soon as you arrive at the pier, where you can find most of the local shops and restaurants. It’s where I would recommend you book your hotel/apartment if you plan to stay longer than a day. There’s also a hotel at the beach if you don’t mind walking about 15 minutes to the Main Street.
Lamma Island is stunning. Many restaurants on the Main Street overlook the water, so you can sit down with a cocktail until the sun sets behind the mountains. Much of the island is covered in lush green forest with banana trees and village houses popping up out of the leaves here and there. It’s an excellent location for hiking, and there is a hiking path called the Family Trail from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan village, which is famous for its seafood. From there, you can also take a ferry back to Central.
Lamma Island is known for its excellent (but supposedly overpriced) seafood, but I have to admit we didn’t try any of that. The island is also home to a lot of British expats, so after a month in Hong Kong we decided to indulge in some surprisingly good Western food. I was expecting some tourist traps, but everywhere we ate turned out to be great. Great burgers, English breakfast, melt-in-your-mouth ribs… More about that in our next FAT Monday!
The pace of life
Lamma has a very… hippie sort of atmosphere, which is not really my thing, but everyone seems quite relaxed. People are friendly, and if you’ve been in Hong Kong, you’ll know this is a big deal. Life doesn’t feel rushed like the city, it’s a different world. There are no cars on the island, though you need to watch out for the motorised carts buzzing around with supplies for the shops. There’s even an unmanned shop where you check out your items yourself. It was awesome.
GIANT FREAKING SPIDERS
Though Lamma Island is indeed excellent for hiking, you have to be prepared for one thing: BIG spiders. On our hike, we had to dodge low-hanging spiders a fair number of times, but we were awarded with some of the most amazing views. Not doing that again though. They’re supposedly gone in the winter, so that might be a better time go on a hike. The spiders are also not venomous enough to hurt people. That’s the job of the giant centipedes (that we luckily didn’t encounter), which bite might send you to the hospital, but is only rarely fatal. So yeah, no worries.
And the ugly
Lamma Power Station
The three towers of Lamma Power Station seem to be visible wherever you are. Look one way, and there’s an idyllic view – look the other way and BAM, Lamma Power Station. From the small beach in the picture you could hear the constant rumble of the power station. I like it in the sense that it gives the otherwise perfectly picturesque island a somewhat dystopian vibe. It makes for an interesting contrast.
All things considered, I love Lamma Island and I can’t wait to go back. I love it for all its quirks and I’d be more than happy to brave a couple of spiders to see that sunset again. Would you?