For the third instalment of our Island Series, we’re zooming in on the teeny tiny island of Peng Chau. Nestled off the north east coast of Lantau (which is, incidentally, the subject of next week’s Island Guide), this quiet, leafy island is a superb place to rediscover the joys of personal space. With a scattering of beaches, temples, and local restaurants to keep you entertained, and panoramic views over the ocean and surrounding islands, it’s a pleasant place to spend the day. Or part of your day, depending on how long you can make the handful of activities last.
How to get there …
Pop down to Central Pier 6 and hop on the ferries which run every 30 – 45 minutes. If you manage to board a fast ferry, you’ll be on the island in just half an hour, or alternatively 50 minutes if the regular ferry is your vessel of choice. The last outbound boat leaves Central at 12.30am, followed by one at 3am, and the start of regular service at 7am.
Four-legged pals are welcome to board all vessels, but are asked to settle down in the front two rows to ensure snacks are not snaffled from unsuspecting passengers.
Click here to check out the ferry schedule
Fairly clean and quiet, Peng Chau’s beaches are in keeping with the theme of all-things-miniature, but are well suited for an outdoor wander or catching some summer rays away from the crowds. Feeling peckish? Check out Tung Wan Barbecue Area on the east of the island, overlooking Tung Wan Bay. Alternatively, you could bypass the faff of firelighters and stoking flames with a good old-fashioned picnic. Think gingham blankets and wicker baskets – just make sure you don’t get any sand in your sandwiches!
Read more! Take a dip at Hong Kong’s Cleanest Water Spots.
As a small fishing island, it’s no wonder that seafood is the order of the day in Peng Chau. Wander around and browse the local menus for freshly caught fish dishes, or check out our favourite spots below.
Kee Sum Cafe
When it comes to cafes, Kee Sum Cafe on Wing On Street serves up as good a snack as any. Setting you back only a few pennies, this may not be the place to while away the hours, but it will certainly fill you up. For around $30, a bowl of noodle soup is yours. Alternatively, try the prawn toast – a favourite with returning customers.
Kee Sum Cafe, 29 Wing On Street, Peng Chau, (+852) 2983 0554
Read more! Tuck into our Localiiz Restaurant Reviews.
Definitely falling into the category of ‘hill’ rather than ‘peak’ or ‘mountain’, Finger Hill is the highest point on the island, reaching 60m above sea level. Compare that to Victoria Peak’s 550m elevation and you’ll start to understand just how gentle an incline we’re talking. Nevertheless, not ones to judge by size, we found the views from the summit to be absolutely divine. You can spy Disneyland on neighbouring island Lantau, old-school fishing boats bobbing around on the ocean, and the Tsing Ma Bridge. Get your timings right and you can watch the sunset from the comfort of the pavilion – the perfect way to wrap up your day of exploration.
Around 30 minutes walk from Peng Chau Ferry Terminal
As it’s possible to walk around the entire island in just over an hour, you’ll have no problem swinging by all of the temples on your day out. The largest of Peng Chau’s temples, Lung Mo, is a picturesque red and gold building on the high street, within which is a dragon bed thought to bring good luck to those who touch it.
If the pitter patter of tiny toes is the sound you’re longing to hear, then pay a visit to the Seven Sisters Temple (pictured above) and enlist the help of these Chinese deities. Though helping young ladies improve their needlework skills is their usual calling, family planning has popped up as a sideline activity. As a result, this temple is particularly busy during the Spring Lantern Festival (aka Chinese Valentine’s Day).
Lung Mo Temple, 15 Chi Yan Street, Peng Chau
Seven Sisters Temple, around 10 minutes walk from Peng Chau Ferry Terminal
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Part of Peng Chau’s appeal lies in its old-world charm – you’d be forgiven for feeling like you’d stepped off the ferry and into a 1970s time capsule. The seaside town still boasts a lot of old architecture, including an old theatre (recognisable now only by the sign on its facade), a former matchstick factory, and vintage shop Sun Sat Store – a veritable treasure trove full of little curiosities you’ll want to take home.
Former Peng Chau Teatre, 15 Wai Tsai Street, Peng Chau
Match Factory, 2, Nam Wan Shan Ting Tsuen, Peng Chau
Sun Sat Store, G/F, 27 Wing Hing Street, Peng Chau, (+852) 9864 3014
Owing to the island’s flatness, Peng Chau’s Family Trail caters for all ages and capabilities. If avoiding anything too strenuous whilst feasting your eyes on gorgeous views is your aim, then the Family Trail is the path you should take. Head down the main high street, Wing On Street, when you come out of the ferry pier and admire the quaint, abandoned buildings along the way. These empty shops and houses hark back to Peng Chau’s period of industrial boom back in the 1960s and 1970s. Their vintage charm makes a welcome photo spot – totally photogenic and very Instagram-able. Then it’s up to Finger Hill where you can soak up the panoramic views, a short stroll along the beach front, and back to the ferry pier. In little over an hour, you will have toured the entire island!
Peng Yu Path
This picturesque, 10-minute stroll along the north coast of the island runs between Tai Lei Bridge and Old Fisherman’s Rock. Again, views are the central attraction here, as are the leafy surroundings which become so exciting when you live in a concrete jungle.