Header image courtesy of @evafonghy (via Instagram)
For a city as small and compact as Hong Kong, it’s astounding how you never run out of places to visit. Just when you think you’ve explored every nook and cranny, a new adventure opens up. Journey to the western coast of the New Territories and therein reveals the quaint fishing village of Lau Fau Shan.
Historically, this far-flung neighbourhood has been reputed for its oyster farming and fishing industry. However, due to the over-exploitation of natural stocks, the business has significantly shrunk over the last few decades, overshadowed by its more touristy cousins in Sai Kung and Aberdeen. Now that dust has settled, the area is now rarely frequented by out-of-towners.
Yet, contrary to popular assumptions, Lau Fau Shan is more than mere vestiges of its former glory. Instead, it is filled with diverse hidden gems for those looking for off-the-beaten-track experiences. From fish markets and Instagrammable sunset spots to seafood restaurants, you might just find yourself smitten with the charms of this oft-neglected swathe of coastline. Check out our top picks for places to visit when in Lau Fau Shan.
A bucket-list destination, this gorgeous six-kilometre stretch of coastline is one of Hong Kong’s best-kept secrets for sunset viewing. With the vast landscape of intertidal mudflats and uninterrupted sea that lend to ravishing ombre reflections of the setting sun, Ha Pak Nai is a veritable treasure trove of inspiration for photographers. Watch entranced as the sky morphs into kaleidoscopic hues of gold, pink, and purple and revel in the fact that you don’t have to jostle with hordes of other tourists to capture the mesmerising scenery!
Ha Pak Nai, Lau Fau Shan, Yuen Long
Although the local fishing business has outgrown its halcyon days in the 1960s and 1970s, fishing still remains the heart and soul of Lau Fau Shan; and there is no better place to soak up the salty air and local ambience than Lau Fau Shan Seafood Fishing Village.
Take a stroll through the bustling fish market and you’ll find a slew of merchant stalls proudly displaying the day’s fresh-off-the-boat bounties, various dried seafood products, as well as local snacks like shrimp crackers and grilled squid. Pro tip: It’s common practice here to pick up a fresh catch from the market, then bring it to a nearby restaurant to have it cooked and served for you on the spot!
Lau Fau Shan Seafood Fishing Village, 233 Deep Bay Road, Lau Fau Shan
Experience all the thrills of fishing without the hassle of getting your own equipment or the disappointment of empty catches! As the city’s largest artificial fishing pond, Happy Fish Farm is an ideal place for beginners and young anglers to foray into the leisure sport, as its calm waters and abundant fish stocks guarantee successful catches no matter the season.
The 120,000 square-foot freshwater pond plays host to a myriad of fish species, including carps, tilapia, and catfish, keeping you on your tippy-toes with every tug on the line. For a set price, you can take home your catch for dinner, or better yet, enjoy it grilled one-site at one of the barbecue pits!
Happy Fish Farm, 154 Sheung Pak Nai Tsuen, Lau Fau Shan, Yuen Long | (+852) 9671 5420
Longing for a taste of countryside life? Make a trip out to Luk Yau Yau Farm and spend a peaceful afternoon out on the vines harvesting organic produce! Clocking in at 200,000 square feet, the sprawling farm invites visitors to get a little closer to earth, learn about local agriculture, and pick their own fruits and vegetables.
While strawberries are the most lucrative crop, you can fill your basket with an abundance of other seasonal produce as well, ranging from lychee and longan to beetroot, eggplants, sweetcorn, cauliflower, and more. By the time you leave, your groceries for the week ahead will be set and sorted.
Luk Yau Yau Farm, next to Chi Hong Institute, Lau Fau Shan, Ha Pak Nai | (+852) 9219 4066
No trip to Lau Fau Shan is complete without a feast of its underwater bounties. Among the top-tier line-up of seafood purveyors in the area, Ming Kee Seafood Restaurant has stood out as a neighbourhood stalwart for over 50 years, perennially thronged by locals and visitors alike. The restaurant’s juicy oysters and Chinese-style seafood dishes have even earned it a Michelin feature in 2010.
To guarantee a consistently fresh quality, their seafood is kept live in tanks that are openly visible at the entrance and cooked to order the way you like. Highlights on the menu include deep-fried oysters, salt and pepper mantis shrimp, grilled prawns, and their signature seafood fried rice.
Ming Kee Seafood Restaurant, 40 Lau Fau Shan Main Street, Lau Fau Shan | (+852) 2472 1408
Having claimed its spot along Lau Fau Shan Main Street since the 1960s, Pong Kee (邦記) executes the elusive art of “wok hei” (鑊氣) and Cantonese seafood to a level that only decades of experience can provide. Families and groups come to this well-established joint for giant platters of shareable deep-fried seafood, Cantonese stir-frys, and rice and noodle dishes. The fried oysters and salt-baked crabs appear on nearly every table, but also worth your discovery are the grouper fish soup and razor clams with black bean sauce!
邦記海鮮酒家 (Pong Kee Seafood Restaurant), 38 Lau Fau Shan Main Street, Lau Fau Shan | (+852) 2472 1292
Tai Hing Restaurant (泰興美食中心) is a top pick when you are craving some easy-on-the-pocket street food to nibble on as you explore the fishing village. Belying its name, this tiny eatery is more a snack shop than a full-fledged restaurant, though they do offer several rickety tables and stools for dine-in customers.
Judging from its humble exterior, you would never guess that the place has forged a glowing reputation for itself peddling local deep-fried snacks. Order their signature deep-fried oysters and homemade deep-fried radish cakes ($13), a less commonly known traditional Hakka snack that comprises fragrant and tender shredded radish packaged in a crispy golden shell.
Tai Hing Restaurant (泰興美食中心), 17 Lau Fau Shan Main Street, Lau Fau Shan | (+852) 2472 3439
Not your run-of-the-mill tuck shop or café, App Store Café & Barbecue is almost like an all-inclusive oasis of chill-out vibes, featuring an expansive outdoor space and stylish wooden cabins that conjure up images of holiday resorts in Bali or Thailand.
Within the beautifully-appointed premise, you can kick back and enjoy a relaxing barbecue, roam around with your furry friends, and tuck into a scrumptious variety of Hong Kong-style snacks and drinks. We recommend visiting in the afternoon and lingering until sunset to catch breathtaking golden vistas from some of Lau Fau Shan’s best vantage points!
App Store Café & Barbecue, 283A Nim Wan Road, Lau Fau Shan | (+852) 9804 3042