Finally we have reached our day of freedom so that means we can eat out in restaurants and cafes. Today I decided we should leave the urban jungle behind us and head to one of the outlying islands. I last visited Cheung Chau in 1989 and unbelievably Anthony had never been in his 45 years of living in Hong Kong.
We caught the 11.15 ferry and grabbed a seat on the outside top deck to enjoy the sea air and sunshine. The slow ferry takes around an hour and no need to buy tickets as we could use our Octopus Card which is used for all transport in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a country of contrasts; steel, glass and concrete skyscrapers dominate the skyline with dense green hills and mountains behind. Many visitors are surprised by the abundance of greenery and countryside that Hong Kong has to offer. It is a great place to hike in the cooler months.
There are no cars allowed on Cheung Chau, the narrow alleyways are not big enough for vehicles to pass through. There are mini fire engines, ambulances and police cars for emergencies. I did see an ambulance and it was very tiny, if you were a tall person I think your feet would be hanging out of the doors! Everyone rides bikes here and bells are ringing from every direction and you have to be on your lookout as they speed through the alleyways and around corners.
After disembarking we walked along the harbour front looking for a place for lunch.
Anthony was very surprised to find an Austrian cafe serving pork knuckle, one of his favourite dishes.
I had looked on the map before getting here and thought it might be nice to walk to the Mini Great Wall. A leisurely stroll is what I had in mind! Almost an hour and a half later, up many stairs and steep hills we ventured back into the village. It was one of those walks where I thought we can’t walk much higher and with Anthony up ahead saying we have to keep going.
Cheung Chau has many sandy coves and beaches, even though it is December we saw a few people swimming. It is home to around 20,000 people and has apartment style buildings designed for school camps. I remember both my children went to Cheung Chau for their year 4 camp when they were 8 years old for four nights.
Above are images of the different rock formations dotted around the island. Also part of the “mini Great Wall”.
There are many houses up in these hills and we were wondering how difficult it would be for the occupants to bring shopping up. Not just that but how furniture is delivered and how on earth they were built in the first place. There were also many abandoned buildings.
Finally making it down again we walked back to the ferry through the labyrinth of streets and alleys.
Below are some more photos I have taken of various murals, small shops and stalls.
It was a fabulous day exploring Cheung Chau and a great place to visit if you have an extra day or two in Hong Kong. There is a completely different way of life here, where a more leisurely pace is encouraged.