Last Updated on September 15, 2020 by queenie mak
Did you know there are 263 outlying islands that make up the Island District of Hong Kong? Yup there are many islands worth visiting where you can get out of the city and enjoy a bit of nature.
And Lamma Island is one of them. Located to the southwest of Hong Kong Island, Lamma Island is the third-largest outlying island and it is known for its laidback hippie vibe, good hiking trails, gorgeous beaches and delicious seafood.
When you visit Lamma Island, hike the main hiking trail that connects the two biggest villages on the island. The journey starts from Sok Kwu Wan, a small fishing village and ends at Yung Shue Wan, the largest village on the island. And in between, see beautiful scenic spots and panoramic views on both sides of Lamma Island.
Keep reading and I’ll show you all the things to do in Lamma Island and hike the main Lamma Island hiking trail.
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What you need to know before travelling to Hong Kong
Before you travel to Hong Kong, take a look at my solo travel guide to Hong Kong and get an overview of the city. And here are some additional travel tips:
- Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking public transportation (MTR, bus, minibus, ferry and tram). Purchase one at any MTR station or convenience store. It costs $100HKD but you can use $50 stored value and get your $50HKD refundable deposit when you leave. Get an Octopus Card to pay for the Lamma ferry.
- Hong Kong is a safe city for solo female travellers
- The local language is Cantonese but most people have a knowledge of English.
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How to get to Lamma Island
Lamma Island has 2 ferry piers: Aberdeen Pier (close to Sok Kwu Wan) and Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier (close to Yung Shue Wan).
Aberdeen Pier is in the inlet on the eastern side of Lamma Island while Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier is located at the northwestern side.
The most common way to get from Central to Lamma Island is by taking the Lamma Island ferry operated by Islands Ferry Company Limited, from the ferry terminal at Central Ferry Pier No. 4 on Hong Kong Island. Take either ferry to Lamma Island by paying your fare with the Octopus card at the turnstile gate.
Check HKKF website for more information on Lamma Island ferry schedule.
Lamma Island ferry schedule: Central to/from Sok Kwu Wan
There are many daily ferries to Lamma Island that dock at Aberdeen Pier (Sok Kwu Wan). Click on the photo to see an enlarged photo to see the ferry schedule or check the HKKF website for more info.
- Ferry: from Central Ferry Pier No.4 to Sok Kwu Wan
- Time: 45 minutes (almost 1 ferry each hour from 7:20 am to 11:30 pm)
- Cost: $22HKD (Monday to Saturday) $31HKD (Sundays and Public Holidays)
Lamma Island ferry schedule: Central to/from Yung Shue Wan
There are a few more scheduled ferries fro Central to and from Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier. Yung Shue Wan is a bigger village than Sok Kwu Wan and if you want to spend a day on the beach, it is better to take the ferry directly to Yung Shue Wan. Click on the photo to see an enlarged photo to see the ferry schedule or check the HKKF website for more info.
- Ferry: from Central Ferry Pier No.4 to Yung Shue Wan
- Time: 45 minutes (2 ferries each hour from 6:30 am to 12:30 am)
- Cost: $17.8HKD (Monday to Saturday) $24.7HKD (Sundays and Public Holidays)
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Hiking Lamma Island Family Trail
The hiking trail between Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan is called the Lamma Island Family Trail. The hiking trail crosses the central park of Lamma Island where you can see the best views on both sides of the island and see many attractions and beaches along the way.
The best way to hike Lamma Island Family Trail is to take the ferry to Aberdeen Pier and start in Sok Kwu Wan. The trail will you all the way to Yung Shue Wan where you can take a ferry back to Hong Kong Island.
Here are more details about the Lamma Island Family Trail.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Duration: 62 minutes (one way from Aberdeen Pier to Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier)
- Distance: 4.8km
- What to bring: comfortable walking shoes (sandals are okay too), sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, umbrella), camera, water, snacks
Arriving at Aberdeen Pier at Sok Kwu Wan
After a leisure ferry ride, you will arrive at Aberdeen Pier at Sok Kwu Wan.
Sok Kwu Wan is a small fishing town (smaller than Yung Shue Wan) on the east coast of Lamma Island. There are several seaside restaurants, and local shops selling dried seafood.
At the pier, follow the signs to Sok Kwu Wan (towards north). It will take you to the fishing village.
If you are really up for an adventure, you can walk south and hike the Ling Kok Shan Circular Hiking Trail around the southeastern peninsula of Lamma Island. The hike includes a visit to Balcony Rock and crossing through Yung Shue Ha and Ma Tat Old Village.
Lamma Island is known for its seafood. There are many waterfront restaurants that look like the photo below: simple dining tables and chairs on a casual terrace overlooking the water.
And there is plenty of seafood you can try. But as much as it is a nice experience eating fresh seafood at one of these seaside restaurants, I feel it might not be very practical for solo travellers because you can only order a limited number of dishes and won’t get the variety.
So for this itinerary, I would suggest to eat at one of the restaurants or cafes at the end of the trail at Yung Shue Wan.
Pro tip: Free ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui or Central to Sok Kwu Wan
Hong Kong locals love eating fresh seafood! And many will take the ferry to Sok Kwu Wan just to have the catch of the day.
Lamma Rainbow Seafood Restaurant has exclusive ferry transportation for people who want to have seafood by the water. The free ferry can take you from Tsim Sha Tsui or Central and directly into Sok Kwu Wan.
So if you plan on coming back and have seafood at the largest seafood restaurant on the island, this is an excellent option. Click on the photo to see an enlarged photo for ferry schedules.
Tin Hau Temple in Sok Kwu Wan
After you walk by all the waterfront seafood restaurants, you will see Tin Hau Temple in front of the mudflats. The 150-year-old temple is one of the hundreds of Tin Hau Temples in Hong Kong. These temples are all dedicated to Tin Hau, a Chinese sea goddess. She is worshipped all over the coastal towns and cities throughout Hong Kong and China.
While you are walking towards the hiking trail, look over to your left and you will see the Kamikaze Grottos. During WWII, thousands of Japanese soldiers stationed at Lo So Shing as a naval port. The plan was to hide speedboats in the grottos. But the war ended before they can launch this plan.
You can peek in and see what’s left of these grottos. I didn’t go in nearly enough to see anything interesting. But perhaps you will? Leave a comment below if you do!
Best Lamma Island hiking trail: Lamma Island Family Trail
The Lamma Island Family Trail is really easy to hike. The well-maintained trail connects the two largest villages on the island and crosses through several scenic spots.
All you have to do is follow the few signs at the beginning of the trail and follow the paved path.
Sok Kwu Wan Lookout Pavilion
At the beginning of the trail, you can see the mudflats covering part of the inlet. And as you hike up the marked hiking path, the path will get a bit steeper but not difficult.
Then you will approach Sok Kwu Wan Lookout Pavilion. It has a little traditional pagoda and a gorgeous view of the Sok Kwu Wan inlet. It is an excellent spot to take a bit of rest (if you need to) and also to get a bit of shade from the scorching sun.
Any beginner would be able to tackle this Lamma Island hiking trail as it is suitable for any age. I saw many older aunties and uncles on the trail (in Chinese culture, you can call any older men and women, uncles and aunties) and they don’t seem to have any problems with the incline and overall path.
However, I would highly recommend bringing some type of sun protection as the sun is sooo hot especially during warmer months. And the path isn’t covered at all so you will be exposed to the sun. Many people wear hats and hike with an umbrella. Yup, an umbrella is a hiking gear for a lot of hikers in Hong Kong.
At the highest point of Lamma Island Family Trail, you can see a panoramic view of the west side of Lamma Island. The view includes blue seawater and greenery. Oh and the view includes the Hong Kong Electric’s Lamma Power Station. The tall chimneys in the background are not the prettiest, though.
Hung Shing Yeh Beach
The second half of the trail is much easier – the entire path is either downhill or flat. And after maybe 10 minutes or so, you will approach Hung Shing Yeh Beach.
Hung Shing Yeh Beach is the perfect beach for spending a few hours sunbathing and swimming.
At the south end of the beach, there are public barbecue pits. It is completely free of charge and on a first-come-first-served basis.
But if you are like, you probably didn’t bring any food or equipment for a day of barbecue. That’s okay too because there are a few cafes and restaurants at the north end of the beach.
If you want to come back to Lamma Island and stay overnight, the majority of accommodations are located at Hung Shing Yeh Beach. Check Agoda for current rates and reviews.
When you have enough fun in the sun at Hung Shing Yeh Beach, continue on Lamma Island Family Trail.
Along the way, there are two local places that serve a traditional Chinese dessert: Tofu Fa. Tofu Fa is a silky tofu pudding with a light gingery syrup.
The first Tofu Fa stop (don’t know the name) is a small little local shop. They also serve beef brisket noodles too.
I tried the tofu dessert from the second place called Tofu Garden (Ah For Tofu Fa), which is further up the road, across from Tai Wan Tsuen Playground. It was really good! It brought back a lot of my childhood memories when I grew up near Kowloon City.
There is another beach that you might want to explore. At Tofu Garden, you will see a road facing south. The road will lead you to a small beach called Lamma Power Station Beach. You’ll get a closer view of the chimneys.
Many villages of Lamma Island
As you continue on the Lamma Island Family Trail, you will come across many small villages. Each of them has little rustic houses, with local shops selling soft drinks and snacks, and some of them even have shops selling handmade gifts, etc.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are no cars or public transportation on Lamma Island. You can either walk or rent a bicycle.
There is a bike rental in one of the small villages before approaching Yung Shue Wan. The sign was hidden behind all the retro and vintage knick-knacks.
But the bike option is better suited for another day trip where you start in Yung Shue Wan where you can bike around the different villages on the north end of Lamma Island. And I guess it is possible to bike along Lamma Island Family Trail but the trail may be a bit steep closer to Sok Kwu Wan.
Yung Shue Wan
And finally, the Lamma Island Family Trail will lead you directly to Yung Shue Wan, the largest village on Lamma Island.
The majority of retail stores and F&B are all concentrated in Yung Shue Wan. And the village is super popular with expatriates because of the laidback hippie vibe of Lamma Island. This is precisely why you can find many excellent western cafes and restaurants. And the village has many vegetarian restaurants too. If you are starving after your hike, finding a good restaurant in Yung Shue Wan is easy peasy!
There is another Tin Hau Temple on Lamma Island and is located in Yung Shue Wan. This one is smaller than the one in Sok Kwu Wan. But the entrance facade is beautifully decorated.
Take one last look at Yung Shue Wan before taking the ferry back to Hong Kong Island. Similar to Sok Kwu Wan, many restaurants line the harbour in Yung Shue Wan where you have a lovely meal and enjoy the sea view at the same time.
Ferry back to Central Pier No. 4
After a full day of hiking, roaming around villages, and spending time at the beach, it is time to go back to Hong Kong Island.
The best part about this itinerary is that you can start from one part of the island and finish in another part. You don’t have to double back where you started to catch the ferry.
At Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier, catch the next ferry back to Central Pier No. 4. Similar to the ferry to Sok Kwu Wan, use your Octopus Card to pay at the turnstile gate. The seats on the ferry are not assigned so grab a window seat if you can.
Want to explore Hong Kong with a tour? Check out one of these exciting tours:
Are you ready to do some hiking on Lamma Island?
I really hope so! Lamma Island is full of nature, good vibes and excellent food. It is the perfect getaway from the noise in the city. And if you love hiking, Lamma Island is the perfect spot!
Let me know in the comments if you are spending the day on Lamma Island.
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