Thursday, May 18, 2017

How to get to Lamma Island (南丫岛) from Hong Kong and Things to Do/Eat on Lamma Island

Visiting outlying islands of Hong Kong is one of the favorite things to do for the local Hong Kies, especially during long weekends. Since we have been to most Hong Kong tourist attractions and did not feel like doing so for this trip, we wanted something unique and more 'in-depth'. Naturally, visiting all these islands is a good choice. There are a few big islands- Lamma Island, Cheung Chau, Peng Chau etc but we picked Lamma Island for this adventure, mainly because it is larger and has more exciting things to explore (particularly food). 

Going to Lamma Island is easy, simple head to Exit A of MTR Central (中环站) and walk for approximately 10 minutes towards Central Ferry Pier No. 4 (中环4号码头). The one-way fare to Yung Shue Wan is HKD 17.1 (Mondays to Saturdays)/ HKD 23.7 (Sundays and Public Holidays) and please be mindful that only Octopus Card is accepted. Cash purchase of ferry tickets is not accepted at the ferry pier. The ride to Yong Shue Wan can be quite choppy and bumpy, so for those who are not used to rough boat rides, be prepared. Otherwise, the fully air-conditioned ferry can be quite comfortable and the journey from Aberdeen ferry pier takes approximately 35 minutes to Yong Shue Wan (Lamma Island). Notable highlights for Lamma Island (as far as food is concerned) are:

1) Kin Hin Ah Por Tau Fu Fah 建兴亚婆豆腐花
Address: 1, Yung Shue Wan, Tai Wan To, Lamma Island 南丫島榕樹灣大灣肚1號
Business Hours: 9 am to 6 pm. Opens Daily.

Chilled Tau Fu Fah (HKD 12 per bowl)

For travelers to Lamma Island, Ah Por Tau Fu Fah is a good pit stop rest your tiring feet. It is quite easy to spot this place, keep walking the path from the ferry pier and you will find Ah Por on your right (after a 10-15 min walk). According to some locals, this is the best Tau Fu Fah that you can find in HK but we begged to differ. The Tau Fu Fah we had was not as smooth as we would have hoped. It was fragrant though, the distinctive Soy Bean aroma can be discerned but the texture can be better. Though not entirely chilled, it was a good elixir for us to quench the thirst and cool ourselves down during a sultry hot afternoon.

2) Choy Kei Cart Noodles 蔡记车仔面
Address:Yung Shue Wan Alley 南丫岛榕树湾后街
Business Hours: 12 pm to 8 pm. Opens Daily.

Classic Cart Noodles 车仔面 (HKD 40 with 3 ingredients)

Herbal Jelly 自制凉粉 (HKD 10)

Lamma Island has no shortage of food, there are countless of restaurants and bars scattered around the island. One particular place that caught our attention is Choy Kei (due to the photo featuring Chow Yuen Fatt), which specializes in serving Hong Kong styled Cart Noodles. The soup base is standardized but there are a few types of toppings for diners to choose from. We had the braised Beef Brisket, Squid Balls and Cuttlefish for a bowl while another with Fish paste, Fish balls and Gyoza. The Beef Brisket was just alright, the flavor did not shine and the broth was a tad too greasy to our liking. Both Squid Balls and Fish Paste were interesting in texture but again, we did not find them mind-blowing. All in all, we thought the food was just standard-average but if you are looking for an economical place to settle the lunch commitment, this can be an alternative.

The pace seems to be slower and more relaxed in Lamma Island. If you are not a food person, you can try the hiking trail from Yung Shue Wan (榕樹灣) to Sok Kwu Wan (索罟灣). The journey will take approximately 1 hour. The hiking trail is user-friendly but beware on the weather, especially if you are visiting in May to August (summer time), the scorching hot temperature might kill you. Otherwise, it can be quite a fun trip there to enjoy the beauty of mother nature and to experience the local culture. 

Have Fun and Travel Safe!