Header images courtesy of @eXpose (Shutterstock) and Tung Cheung (Shutterstock)
Secreted away in South Lantau is the quaint getaway of Mui Wo, a blend of urban and rural so deliciously blurred that buffalos roam the streets and beaches. Despite being a seemingly quiet and isolated neighbourhood, there’s plenty of choices to make when it comes to what to do. Should you swim at the beach or the waterfall? Bike along a hiking trail or around the island? Hop on a ferry from Central and come decide for yourself.
Right next to the pier and the bus terminus is the government-run Silvermine Bay Beach, filled with endless amounts of things to do. Go swimming, kayaking, or paddle-boarding, and when you’re finished exerting yourself, wander over to one of the many seafood restaurants, local cooked food markets, or bars by the beach. Prefer to cook your own meals? Light up one of the free-to-use barbeque pits on the beach for a homemade meal with a stunning view. If you aren’t ready to return back to the city just yet, turn your day trip into a staycation at the cosy Silvermine Beach Resort.
Silvermine Bay Beach, Tung Tau Wan Road, Mui Wo | (+852) 2984 8229
Near the beach is a short, easy hike to one of Hong Kong’s most accessible yet hidden waterfalls. Along the way, you’ll pass by two other falls—the Silvermine Lower Falls and the Pearl Falls—before reaching the Silvermine Main Falls. Scamper along the rocks at the foot of the falls, dip your feet in, or go for a swim as you relax beside one of the rarer natural sights in Hong Kong.
Above the Silvermine Falls is Silvermine Cave, a relic of the past and the namesake of the area. The cave used to be the entrance to a silver and lead mine that closed all the way back in 1898; today, you can still enter the cave and explore for a bit, though most of it has been sealed off for safety. Adventurers with chiroptophobia, be warned; the ancient hollow is home to a number of rare bat species.
There are a number of trails within Mui Wo itself, but for those who yearn for a tougher challenge, check out this moderate level hike with a rewarding gem at the end. Don’t rush but slow down instead and soak in the expansive sea views dotted with quaint islands. When you’ve had enough fun at Pui O Beach, don’t worry about hiking back; simply hail a cab or ride the bus back to Mui Wo. Alternatively, check out our guide for a hike from Mui Wo to Discovery Bay for another stunning hike out of Mui Wo.
Concealed in a small village is the oldest temple in Mui Wo, said to be built more than 400 years ago. The name Man Mo is not a deity but instead refers to both the God of Literature (Man Cheong) and the God of War (Mo Tai). Come admire the intricate and vibrant Chinese artwork around the temple and the stories behind them.
Man Mo Temple, Pak Ngan Heung, Mui Wo | (+852) 2540 0350
Tired of the usual Sha Tin route? Bike around a laid back island for a change of pace. After renting a bike from the convenient pier-side Friendly Bicycle Shop Cycle, take your pick of cycling by the breezy beach or through the charming streets of Mui Wo. For advanced bikers, rent a mountain bike and traverse around the island or even up to the Silvermine Falls for a most scenic and unique experience.
Friendly Bicycle Shop, G/F, Shop 5, 18A Mui Wo Ferry Pier Road, Mui Wo | (+852) 2984 2278
Sample the best of local Cantonese seafood fare at the jam-packed stalls in the Mui Wo Cooked Food Market. If you can’t decide where to eat here, we recommend Wah Kee Restaurant and their signature dish, the light and crispy Salt and Pepper Fried Squid. When you’re done feasting, don’t forget to shop for some dried seafood to bring back home as a practical Mui Wo souvenir.
Mui Wo Cooked Food Market, Mui Wo Ferry Pier Road, Mui Wo | (+852) 2984 2240
Right by the ferry is the British pub China Bear, a popular pit stop and gathering place with great beach views. Try their fine selection of British fare, including classics such as a hearty plate of Bangers and Mash, the robust Steak and Guinness Pie or a slice of the Sticky Date Pudding. If British cuisine is not to your liking, they also serve a range of pasta and freshly baked pizza—whatever it is you order, don’t forget to pair your meal with a beer or a shake.
China Bear, Shop 2 & 4, G/F, Mui Wo Centre, 3 Ngan Wan Road, Mui Wo | (+852) 2984 9720
A dozen steps from China Bear is Café Isara, a bar that offers a distinctly different experience. Whether you’re craving Asian, fusion, or Western, Café Isara offers it all with dishes such as the aromatic Pad Kra Pao ($88) to the tangy Tom Yum Seafood Pasta ($108) to a juicy UK Doner Kebab ($98). In-between bites, head over to their pool table or the darts area for a quick game or two.
Café Isara, 18A Mui Wo Ferry Pier Road, Mui Wo | (+852) 2470 1966
Looking for a quiet way to spend your afternoon? Hole up in The Kitchen, a homely Italian restaurant and coffee shop. Wind down with a dainty cup of Cappuccino ($28) and a plate of homemade pasta; we recommend the Mushroom Pesto with Cherry Tomatoes and Homemade Pesto ($108) for a taste of their secret recipe pesto. If you’re sharing with friends, be sure to order one of their razor-thin-crust pizzas as they’re baked on the spot.
The Kitchen, Shop 1, G/F, Scenic Crest, 18A Mui Wo Ferry Pier Road, Mui Wo | (+852) 5991 6292