Last Sunday, I visited Lamma Island (南丫島) with some friends who wanted to go to the beach. At around 10km between its northern and southern tips, Lamma is one of the said “outlying islands” of the Hong Kong SAR. It is located directly southwest of the much larger (10-15 times in terms of area) Hong Kong Island, opposite the locality of Aberdeen (Hong Kong Chai).
Ferries to Aberdeen and to Central are available at two different piers on the island. We took the one from Central that served the most populated area, the village of Yung Shue Wan (榕樹灣) in the northern part of Lamma. The boat ride took 25 minutes and we got off and were in a small little village, reminiscent of the one I visited in Cheung Chau (if you’ve been there — it’s another “outlying island”).
We set off to walk the entirety of the island, to reach the second port in the east. The trail being 5-10 km long, we never actually made it there. We stopped along the way to get fresh tofu dessert, before reaching the beach at sunset for a fantastically warm swim.
I returned to Lamma yesterday, to bring a friend from Montreal who was on his first trip to Hong Kong, to show him the marvels of the rural Hong Kong. We ate at one of the local seafood restaurants — so either I should’ve chosen my fish or ordered the grouper instead.
We had a red snapper steamed with soy sauce and scallions. It wasn’t extremely bad, but clearly did not satisfy my craving for Cantonese-style fish, the ginger & scallions fish that some call the perfect dish with the distinct Cantonese taste. While the snapper relieves you of $HKD170, the grouper is yours only if you’re willing to fork out $HKD300. Even if my stomach thought otherwise, my budget tourist wallet had the last call. The tung choi was pretty enjoyable.
So this would be my second time in Lamma, but I am already considering it the top place where I want to say. It would be pretty ironic that while I lived with the most “Hong Kong” view in Montreal (opposite Cité du Parc), that I would consider moving one of the least “Hong Kong” places in Hong Kong.
One last note about the island is that it is car-free. Yep, so no real motorized vehicles are allowed on the island! most people go about on foot or by bike (being a fervent cyclist, I was hoping not to lose the habit in Hong Kong). On the other hand, look at the previous picture. Do you notice the huge chimneys with a plume of black smoke coming from one of them? This is the first instance of a coal power plant that I am seeing with my own eyes… Not quite as smoky as the ones in SimCity, but still rather scary. Apparently, this plant powers Hong Kong Island, Ap Lei Chau and Lamma. There is a wind turbine too.