Island Getaway: A quick sight-seeing guide to Cheung Chau

Not many cities can match up to Hong Kong’s dynamic cultural scenes, especially when it comes to experiencing rich heritage, vibrant festivals and delicious local delicacies. Every year, during the month of May, Cheung Chau island transforms from a quaint fishing village to one of the most visited locations in the city for its annual Bun Festival — attracting tens and thousands of people. If  you’ve yet to take trip down this outlying island, this week would be the perfect day to do so as the local Bun Festival will be held on from 17 to 20 May. From Instagram-worthy landscapes and cuisines to costumed-parades and the annual Bun Scrambling event, here’s a quick sight-seeing guide to Cheung Chau.

How to get to Cheung Chau
Taking a trip to Cheung Chau is the perfect excuse to take your sailboat or yacht out into sea, but if without, fret not because hopping on the ferry from Central Ferry Pier No. 5 is just as easy. There are two ferries available at the pier: the fast ferry will get you to the island in around 35 minutes, while the  journey on the ordinary ferry can take up to an hour. Just remember to get to the pier early as it gets crowded on public holidays.

Check out local art at Valor
If the sunshine and island vibes of Cheung Chau isn’t enough to start your morning off on a bright note, a quick stop for coffee would likely get you going. Valor is a cafe that doubles as an art hub where it serves  a special coconut ice-dripped and features a rotation of artworks by local artists and photographers.

Take Instagram-worthy photos on the way to the beach
Take a stroll along the beautiful coastline of the island on the paved trail the North Pavilion where a panoramic view of the South China Sea offers a refreshing perspective of Hong Kong. There are also several Instagram-worthy pit stops worth making on the way, from natural rock formations to the 18th Century Cheung Po Tsai Cave. For a less trafficked path, the trail to the Mini Great Wall is an easy family-friendly alternative that leads to the less crowded Kwun Yam Beach where the seven-decade-strong local Hing Kee bar serves fresh mocktails and cold beers by the shore.

Snack on local delicacies
Exploring the many backstreets of the island is any foodie’s adventure where almost everything can be found from Western diners to local desert shops, but the highlight of a trip to the Cheung Chau is snacking on the slew of street food and delicacies unique to the island, from giant fish balls and potato swirls to refreshing frozen fruits and grilled squid.

For a departure meal, a visit to Cheung Chau cannot be complete without a Canton-style seafood feast by the seaside where every eatery lined along the harbour front offer a range of fresh seafood options, from razor clams to mantis shrimp, whole crabs and seasonal fish.

Visit traditional Chinese temples
There are several temples in Cheung Chau that date back centuries and are frequently visited by locals. The Pak Tai Temple, in particular, was built in 1783  to honour of the Taoist God of the Sea. Distinguisibale by its dragon-guarded ceramic roof, the temple houses several Qing (1644–1911) and Song (960–1279) dynasty artefacts and is the dedicated venue for the annual Bun Scrambling event on the day of the spirited Bun Festival.


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