As we approached the jetty of the island we noticed the artistic graffiti sign, Welcome to Lamma painted on the concrete barrier. A warm greeting to an island that is about 30 minutes from Central Hong Kong.
Lamma offers a different side to Hong Kong, an island where there are no cars,roads or high rise buildings. To get around the island you have option A bicycle or option B to walk.
The people of Yung Shue Wan, mainly a western community looking for an alternative lifestyle seemed a friendly group. They greeted each other with smiles and stopped to chat , craft shops selling unique hand made goods,cafes serving vegetarian lined the streets, while one man had even set up his own little stall selling second hand books. We sat and watched the local soccer game, two teams mixed with foreigners and Honkanese. It was interesting to see them go about their normal days, living together in peaceful harmony. The little town also had another Tin Tau temple that had been there for over 100 years. It’s nice to see the local culture still exists.
Yung Shue Wan
Lamma islands other town Sok kwu Wan is on the other side of the island around a 90 minute walk away. We set out on the hiking track that follows the rugged coastline. Around 15 minutes into the hike we saw two people coming the other way with wheelie suitcases. That seemed strange but around 10 minutes later we came to Concerto Inn, a small hotel overlooking Hung Shin Ye beach.
Hung Shin Ye beach
power plant at Hung Shin Ye Beach
Hung Shin Ye beach is the most well known beach on the island if you looked straight or out to the left it would look like a pretty picturesque beach covered with sand and trees to help shade you from the sun but out to the right on the tip of the cove was a huge power plant.
There were lots of other hikers on the path that had been paved by the power plant company. Lamma Island is a popular day trip for the local Hong Kong residents too. The trail weaving along the coast in general offered spectacular views of the sweeping ocean, the curvy beaches down below the cliffs and hidden caves.
Lamma Island, like the rest of Hong Kong had been occupied by the Japanese during World War 2. The Japanese had hidden their kamikaze boats in three caves along the cove. The Japanese had never used these boats until the day of the Japanese surrender when a British fleet sailed into the waters. The Kamikaze sailed out to defend their waters, having not heard about the surrender,the British fleet blew them away
Like most small islands Lamma has trouble sustaining the population with the only industry on the island being fishing. People leave their homes to take up residents in Hong Kong and you can see what has been left of the run down, derelict homes of the people who have been lured away by the bright lights of Hong Kong island.
Sok Kwu Wan
Finally at Sok Kwu Wan, a one street town you will see a plethora of seafood restaurants offering the freshest seafood. This is not fine dining by any means, no linen tablecloths,no fancy decor, just plastic seating outside but what I’ve heard it will be one of the best meals you’ll ever have.
Have you been to Lamma Island? Did you experience the seafood in Sok Kwu Wan?
We would love to hear what you thought of the island.