Hongkongers love their islands and Cheung Chau is perhaps the most popular destination for an island getaway. Next to the regular cycling routes and sunbathing on the beaches, we found some local hidden gems for you to really experience the real culture and beauty of the island. Let’s get in on the secrets!
Ferries to Cheung Chau run from Central Ferry Pier 5 at all hours of the day. Standard ferries take about one hour, whereas the fast ferries cut the travel time down to 40 minutes. If you are bringing your pets with you, remember to take the slower, standard ferry! Click here to see the full schedule.
Kwan Kung Pavilion is one of Hong Kong’s most popular cherry blossom viewing sites if you get your timing! Set outside of the traditional Chinese Pavilion with burning incense and a green tiled roof, you will find yourself standing in a grove of cherry blossom trees. Newly planted after the Typhoon Mangkhut in 2018 (all of which were donated by the Warwick Hotel to the Pavilion), locals and visitors can come during the spring season in March and April to admire the beautiful pink petals of the 18 cherry trees standing tall.
In 1919, the Hong Kong colonial government erected 14 boundary stones on the boundary line to separate and preserve the southern area of Cheung Chau for the British and American missionaries at the time. Some of the boundary stones can still be found nowadays along the boundary line drawn from Po Yue Wan (in the southwest of the island) to St John Hospital. You can try to find all of the eleven existing stones; if you do so, you will have thoroughly walked through the entire island!
Each stone is about a half metre tall, carved from granite in the shape of a column spire. The order number of the stone is engraved on it as well as the letters B.S. — which stands for boundary stone. Hope your naughty mind wasn’t thinking of something else!
There are two cafés in the area: The Outdoor Café and Hing Kee Beach Bar. The Outdoor Café is an alfresco restaurant that overlooks the South China Sea at Kwun Yam Beach. Opened and operated by the uncle of Lee Lai Shan, Hong Kong’s first windsurfing Olympic gold medalist, this is quite the popular pilgrimage spot for fans.
Popular among local dog owners and surfers, Hing Kee Beach Bar is a good place to chill and relax on Kwun Yam Beach. This family-run beach bar serves home-cooked snacks and has a variety of locally brewed craft beers such as Gweilo, Heroes, and Kowloon Bay.
Cheung Chau started off as a small fishing village with a majority of its residents living on junk boats, earning the name of 水上人, which translates into “people living on the water.” Hence, dried and preserved seafood has always been a staple food among the locals for a long time. They have all kinds of dried seafood, such as dried squids and salted fish, which is particularly popular among tourists.
If you wish to learn more about local dried seafood and the process of making, Warwick Hotel offers private boat tours with local tour guides that you can book in advance, which includes three hours of exploring around the island and dried seafood workshops.
What good is exploring a quiet and remote island if you can’t take in the beautiful views come sunset? For the best view overlooking Cheung Chau island, look no further than The Warwick Hotel’s hidden rooftop. Located right next to Tung Wan Beach, walk up the stairs behind the fire exit door on the sixth floor and you will find an area open to hotel guests exclusively. With cute decorations and a beautiful wall painting that encapsulates Cheung Chau’s most iconic events and elements, it is definitely a photo-worthy spot. Guests can enjoy drinks whilst watching the sun go down over the horizon.
Also found in The Warwick Hotel, most rooms have their own balcony with a view overlooking the South China Sea that is unlike any other hotel experience in Hong Kong. Here, you can experience the true tranquillity of the island, given that the metropolitan side of the ever-famous Victorian Harbour makes up only less than half of Hong Kong. You can be looking at the horizon or the beach just right next to the hotel. If you’re lucky, maybe you can even spot different patterns in the clouds.
The balcony is also the perfect spot to unwind oneself and while away the afternoon. If you feel like pampering yourself, why not get some room service and watch the lazy waves lap at the coast with a drink in hand? When night falls and the stars come out, you will also have the best view of the starry sky — now that’s living the high life!
One of the quirks of Cheung Chau island is its local food stalls that sell a variety of local street food. Other than dried seafood, there are local food stalls that sell Cantonese traditional sweets and snacks. A few can be found along the coast on Sai Tai Road, including the famous Cheung Chau fishball (which can be as big as your palm!) or fried mango and durian mochi for the more adventurous palettes. There are so many types of street food that we will leave it to you to explore all the flavours!