Cheung Chau Island - where the past means the present

Visit Cheung Chau Island

Cheung chau island is easily one of the more popular island these days due to the decent HK drama 情越海岸線 (Slow Boat Home). You can easily tell why this island currently attracts so many visitors; its rustic, almost untapped setting. hundreds of fishing boats line the pier, so colorful, it makes the horizon look amazing especially during sunset.

vessels lining up 
so colorful and its only mid afternoon. more vessels yet to dock

How to get to Cheung Chau: 

the easiest way to get to Cheung Chau is by ferry at Central Pier 5. A short walk from either Hong Kong MTR or Central MTR, will past IFC and you will reach the piers. Go to Pier 5 where the ferries will depart at intervals of 15mins. It takes around 45 mins and poof you will be on the shores of Cheung Chau. 

Getting around Cheung Chau:

Bicycles would be the best means of getting around the island. Coming in twin form, shaded trolley bicycles and the normal bikes, i recommend getting the normal bikes because it is quite hilly and some parts of the island. Having other types of bicycles may hinder your progress to discover scenic gems. 

What to do at Cheung Chau:

1. Visit Cheung Po Chai Cave

A short 20mins cycle towards the south west of cheung chau will lead you to a bottom of a hill. Lock your bikes and take a slow ascend up the pathway.
the sun was a killer, the path up was even steeper at the start
Trek up for about 10 mins and you will find yourself looking at one of the more beautiful sights in Cheung Chau. Becareful as you have to go under the poles to get that breadth taking view of western Cheung Chau

At the end of the short hike, you would end up at this point where a small cave hole emerges. If you dare to explore, go ahead and jump into the hole, a place where locals said pirates used to hid stolen treasures. 

climbing down into the cave

Sinking into the dark hole, navigated by our iphone lights, at some point of time, the cave would be so narrow, your body would be sandwiched in between. burrowing inside for a couple of minutes, you'd re-emerge from the other side, overlooking a stiff fall down the cliff if you are not careful.   

2. Visit the so called beaches

Was told there are two beaches in cheung chau. The more famous one would be Tung Wan beach. Just a couple minutes walk to the other side of the island from the pier. The other, would be a quieter beach at cheung kwai walk north of the island. the former was filled with people suntanning and swimming. The latter was more of a fishing destination. Nonetheless, the beaches weren't that fantastic. The sunset we caught though, was quite beautiful.

sunset at cheung kwai walk beach
tung wan beach

3. Cycle and explore the back alleys of cheung chau

For an island that small, you would somewhat we lost in the winding circles of the back alleys and alleyways. We rode our bikes around the lanes, trying to navigate our way around with Google maps. However, it seems like there are places and lanes even google has no clue. 

What to eat in Cheung Chau:

1. Seafood

I guess the one thing we missed out in Cheung Chau was to eat its cheap and fresh seafood. As time did not permit us too, probably it would be something i'd come back to years later. However, according to friends from Hong Kong, the line of seafood shops around the pier and fresh and relatively cheap. Still, there are occasions where tourists will receive the 'carrot'(overcharged) treatment. 

2. The street eats in cheung chau

There are so many varieties to choose from:

the yummy egg tarts. they use fresh cow milk to do it. really good

the long stick potato chips
it seems almost every country has their own version. Be it in Korea, Taiwan or Philippines i have seen this being sold in the streets.

fried ice cream!!

cheung chau buns

These buns are part of a yearly festival called Cheung Chau Bun Festival. Usually during early May, where it is a mark to celebrate Buddha's birthday. Nowadays, the buns are sold throughout the year.  

unique i must say. This hotel, run by a Norwegian family selling a rather potent beer. It was alright, but really was heavily than the normal beers. Probably a night stay at cheung chau and a beer party on my next visit. anyone game? 

3. Tau Huay (bean curd) (4hands)

On google map, the name of the building is called cheung chau commercial centre. In reality, it is literally a huge abandoned warehouse north of the island just after the seafood shops. This friendly auntie will sell her freshly made tauhuays. So smooth and silkly. The orange sugarcane sugar which can be added makes this bean curd a must try when you are here.  
the friendly auntie blue beancurd shop

4. Cheung Chau's version of fishball (3hands)

I still prefer the one at Tai O but this fishballs are also worth a try. Here, the fishballs come in a number of flavours - Ma La, chilli, satay and curry. We were introduced to the shop which the folks from Slow Boat Home filmed.

tempting michelle with the fishballs

here's the other sights of cheung chau. Although it was a short adventure on the island, we did quite a few things on this tiny island. WIll be back next to to explore its cemetery, the northern part of the island after cheung kwai walk which was closed and the seafood!

its me at the edge of the cliffs with michelle further back at the pathway
so good on such a warm day

the girl and her bike

looked at where i was pointing. This flying fish was attracting a crowd

and lastly, we would like to thank this hong kong family and bringing us down into the cave. Initally, we were hesitant to enter due to the sheer darkness. The little girl changed our perception when she said : 'So easy!' in her hong kong slang, climbing down with her dad. We just had to follow suit.

goodbye cheung chau. you were a blast. so much things to do yet so little time. 

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