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Best Things to Do in Cheung Chau: Day Trip Itinerary

One of the best things to do in Hong Kong is to explore the outlying islands of the Island District. Of the 263 outlying islands, a handful are worth visiting, and one of them is Cheung Chau Island.

Located 10km southwest of Hong Kong Island, Cheung Chau is a favourite weekend destination for locals and travellers because there are many things to do in Cheung Chau. When you spend a day on the “dumbbell island” (because of its shape), you can spend the day exploring the hiking trails, seeing secluded beaches and eating fresh seafood or local snacks.

If you want to escape the city and wonder what to do in Cheung Chau, I have the perfect answer. Follow my efficient one-day Cheung Chau itinerary and explore all the best attractions in one day. Keep reading, and I’ll show you how.

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What you need to know before going to Cheung Chau Island

Before you take a day trip to Cheung Chau, take a look at my Hong Kong solo travel guide. I included a lot of useful travel information.

Here are a few additional tips specifically for going on a day trip to Cheung Chau Island:

  • Start your day trip as early as possible. I suggest arriving before 9:30am so you can comfortably see all the attractions listed in this post.
  • The best time to visit Cheung Chau is during weekends and holidays because many stores and restaurants are closed on different days during the week. Although it can be busy, there are more food and shopping options.
  • Plan your visit to Cheung Chau and see the Cheung Chau Bun Festival, an annual spring festival (April/May). There are parades, lion dances, and competitions to climb up “bun towers” (like the mural below).

How to take the Cheung Chau Ferry

The most common way to get to Cheung Chau is by taking the Sun Ferry (ordinary or fast ferry) from Central Pier #5. You can pay for the ferry ticket with cash or Octopus.

Hong Kong Island to Cheung Chau Island

Sun Ferry: from Central Pier #5 to Cheung Chau Pier

  • Time: 1 hour (ordinary ferry), 40 minutes (fast ferry)
  • Mondays to Saturdays: $14.80HKD (ordinary class), $23.20HKD (deluxe class), $29.20HKD (fast ferry)
  • Sundays and Public Holidays: $22HKD (ordinary class), $33.80HKD (deluxe class), $42.30HKD (fast ferry)
  • Check: Sun Ferry website for the ferry timetable and cost

Other islands to Cheung Chau Island

Other inter-island ferries can also take you to Cheung Chau. They pick up passengers from Peng Chau, Mui Wo, and Chi Ma Wan. The ferries are not as frequent, so make sure to check the schedule before you plan your day.

Sun Ferry: from Peng Chau to Mui Wo to Chi Ma Wan to Cheung Chau Pier

  • Time: from 20 minutes to an hour (ordinary ferry)
  • Cost: $14.50HKD (ordinary class)

Cheung Chau Ferry Timetable

There is a comprehensive Cheung Chau ferry schedule in front of Central Pier #5 and it looks like the photo below. Or check the Sun Ferry website for the latest schedule and cost.

Click to enlarge

Cheung Chau Map: What to Do in One Day

There are many things to do in Cheung Chau, as the island is quite big. But with a proper itinerary, you can see all the best attractions in one day.

I included all the Cheung Chau activities and attractions on Google Maps and the description for each highlight around the island. Follow the numbered pins and read the description below.

Cheung Chau Day Trip: Things to See in northern Cheung Chau

The first half of the day in Cheung Chau covers the island’s northern part. When you follow the Cheung Chau Family Walk, you can see parks, beaches and various lookout pavilions along the trail.

Here is a visual of the Cheung Chau Family Walk. Click on “more options” on the top left corner of Google Maps and the map will open in your browser or in the app on your smartphone. I also included the elevation profile of the trail for northern Cheung Chau.

1. Cheung Chau Family Walk

When you arrive at the Cheung Chau Pier, turn left immediately on Pak She Praya Road and follow the pedestrian road.

At first, you will see many vendors selling souvenirs and snacks. Don’t worry; you’ll come back here later to pick up some food and souvenirs.

Pak She Praya Road merges with the Cheung Chau Family Walk, which takes you around the northern perimeter of Cheung Chau Island.

2. Tai Kwai Wan Garden

Keep walking until you see a walking path on the right. Turn right and walk up the hill.

Not far away is the Tai Kwai Wan Garden. It is a little park where you can take a break before climbing the Cheung Chau Family walking path. The park is a quiet spot with a sea view. It’s great for taking a break, but perhaps we’ll keep going since it’s the start of the hike.

3. Coral Beach (Tung Wan Tsai Beach)

The Cheung Chau Family Walking path leads uphill toward the other side of the island. Turn left when you see a sign pointing to Coral Beach. Follow the path at the top of the stairs until you see two paths merging into one. Keep walking straight. When you see a large rock on the left, turn right and walk down the stairs.

Keep walking down the flight of stairs. Along the way, you’ll see many rocks on the side of the mountain and then a panoramic view of Coral Beach from above.

Coral Beach is a small and clean beach on the north side of Cheung Chau Island. Although this area is less popular than the south part, it is worthwhile to see this off-the-beaten-path area.

I went on a weekday, and there was only one other person and a few dogs at Coral Beach. It is a good spot to take a dip in the turquoise blue water before moving on to the next spot.

4. Lookout Platform

When you are ready to keep going, you don’t have to climb up the stairs you just descended from. But you’ll have to walk up the set of stairs on the other side of Coral Beach.

Along the way, you will see views of Coral Beach and the landscape of northern Cheung Chau Island. And soon enough, you will reach the lookout platform.

5. North Lookout Pavilion

Keep following the set of stairs all the way to the North Lookout Pavilion. The entire path is exposed to the sun, so it can be quite hot. Make sure you have sun protection (sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, etc).

The North Lookout Pavilion is the highest point in the northern part of Cheung Chau Island. From here, you can see an awesome view of the central part of the island, including Tung Wan Beach and Kwun Yam Wan Beach.

6. Pak She Tin Hau Temple

After a long hike in the scorching sun, the rest of the path back to the main town is quite easy—and it is all downhill!

Follow the path until you reach an area with a few covered pagodas. Keep walking straight. A small path goes down the hill. This is still part of the Cheung Chau Family Walk.

Continue walking until you reach a junction where there is a playground at the end of the path. Turn left here. There are signs that will lead you to Pak She Tin Hau Temple.

And as you approach the town, Pak She Tin Hau Temple is on the left side. However, the temple is behind a closed gate (when I visited) and looks like it is part of an elderly home. Since the gate was closed, I couldn’t go in, but I was able to snap a photo (see below).

There are many “Tin Hau Temples” in Hong Kong. These temples are dedicated to Tin Hau, a Chinese sea goddess, which is why there are many Tin Hau temples around the outlying islands of HK, including Lamma Island and Peng Chau.

7. Pak Tai Temple (Yuk Hui Temple)

Not far from Pak She Tin Hau Temple is the colourful Pak Tai Temple, also known as the Yuk Hui Temple.

Built in 1783, Pak Tai Temple commemorates Pak Tai, who was regarded as the God of Water. Worshippers visit the temple and wish for longevity and safe navigation on the sea.

The temple has a typical Chinese temple layout where there is the main hall in the centre and side halls on both sides. But what sets it apart from other temples are the decorative elements.

Throughout Pak Tai Temple, you will find trencadis mosaic that features several auspicious animals, like a dragon, phoenix and tiger. And don’t miss the colourful eaves board which depicts either a traditional story or has a lucky pattern, and the elaborate Dragon Pillars.

8 & 9. Have lunch at a seafood restaurant or snacks around Tung Wan Road area

After the morning stroll around the north end of Cheung Chau Island, it is time for lunch!

One of the best things to do in Cheung Chau is eat at an alfresco seafood restaurant. Since Cheung Chau is known for fresh seafood, many restaurants along Pak She Praya Road serve the freshest seafood from the ocean. You would’ve seen these restaurants when you walked past earlier in the day.

And eating seafood is pretty affordable in Cheung Chau. You can pick and choose two seafood dishes for $180HKD or so.

But if you don’t feel like a sit-down lunch or think there is too much food for you to eat on your own, there are other food options in Cheung Chau. An open area is located at Pak She Praya Road and Tung Wan Road, and many local food stalls line the perimeter of the square.

Below are some of my favourite places and the must-eat foods in Cheung Chau. They are either in the open square or further south of the pier.

  • Cheung Chau Mochi (長洲平記) – you must try Cheung Chau’s famous mango mochi! This vendor sells the softest and fluffiest mochi with a fresh mango inside.
  • Frozen Fruits – I couldn’t find the name but I pinned it on the map so you can try a slice of frozen watermelon.
  • Cheung Chau Tung Yuen Street Snack (長洲東源小食店) – they sell giant fish balls. Choose from the plainest original flavour to the spiciest curry flavour.
  • Steamed Buns (永佳餅店) – they sell the wheat buns with sweet fillings.
  • Cheung Chau Corner – a colourful cafe that serves delicious roll cakes and fancy tea drinks.
  • Haika Coffee – good spot for coffee and chocolate cake.
  • no.11 – get a coffee with breakfast or a burger.
  • Island Workbench – a cute cafe serving Japanese cafe food and cakes.

Cheung Chau Itinerary: Things to See in the South Part of Cheung Chau

After lunch, the exploration of Cheung Chau Island continues. The rest of the day will be spent exploring the trails around the southern part of Cheung Chau. The paths are clearly marked and you will see rock formations, beaches and a hidden cave.

Here is a map of the walking trail for the afternoon. Again, click on “more options” on the top left corner of Google Maps and the map will open in your browser or in the app on your smartphone. And the elevation profile is for the hiking path in southern Cheung Chau only.

10. Tung Wan Beach

First, a quick visit to Tung Wan Beach, the main beach on Cheung Chau Island. The long stretch of golden sand is the perfect spot for weekenders who want to spend some time in the sun. The beach is the most accessible from the ferry pier, but it is also probably the busiest.

Along the way, you’ll see the Love Lock Garden and several boutique shops on Tung Wan Road.

11. Cheung Chau Rock Carvings

Walk along the pedestrian walkway parallel to Tung Wan Beach. Walking towards the southeast, you will approach the Cheung Chau Rock Carvings.

Keep an eye out for the rock carvings because the rock itself is quite small and is behind a fence. I walked by it a few times because it is not obvious and is near the upper part of the pedestrian walkway.

12. Kwun Yam Wan Beach

Keep walking along the beach, and you’ll approach Kwun Yam Wan Beach. This looks like an extension of the main beach, but it is not.

While visitors go to Tung Wan Beach for relaxation, others visit Kwun Yam Wan Beach for water sports like kayaking and surfing. Between the two beaches, there is also a cafe.

13. Kwun Yam Temple

Keep walking towards the end of Kwun Yam Wan Beach. A small path weaves through the small houses by the beach which will lead you to the back of Kwun Yam Temple.

This Taoist temple is a small red temple with a camphor tree sculpture of Kwun Yam, the Goddess of mercy. Take about 5-10 minutes to wander around and see the quaint little temple.

14 & 15. Chi Ma Hang Viewpoint along Cheung Chau Mini Great Wall

Right next to Kwun Yam Temple is the start of the Cheung Chau Mini Great Wall hiking trail. The paved path is an easy hiking path where you will see many rock formations that resemble different animals and other objects.

The paved path starts with a slow incline but levels off. Soon enough, you will reach the Chi Ma Hang Lookout Pavilion, from which you can get an excellent view of Tung Wan Beach.

Continue walking on the path until the end. Halfway through the Mini Great Wall trail, there is a stairway on the right leading to the south part of Cheung Chau. Remember this spot, as you will return here and walk up the stairs.

16. Kwun Yam Wan Lookout

At Chi Ma Hang Lookout Pavilion, there is a set of stairs that will lead to the coast. Walk down the flight of stairs that zigzags down the side of the island.

On the way down, you can see a rock protruding from the water. This is Loaf Rock, one of many rock formations around the southeastern part of Cheung Chau Island. Does it look like a steamed bun or bread to you?

At the bottom is another pagoda, Kwun Yam Wan Lookout Pavilion. It is almost at sea level and provides another view of Cheung Chau Island.

17, 18, & 19. Rock formations along the Mini Great Wall

Along the entire path of the Mini Great Wall trail, there are signs and directories for finding all the rock formations around the Mini Great Wall. I pinned some of them on the map to show the location but couldn’t find all of them. Here are the rocks you will see:

  1. Loaf Rock
  2. Rock of the Ringing Bell
  3. Eagle Rock
  4. Fa Peng 
  5. Rock of the Serpent
  6. Goat Rock
  7. Human Head Rock
  8. Rock of the Sleeping Crane
  9. Rock of the Skull
  10. Elephant Rock
  11. Rodent Rock
  12. Rock of the Sleeping Cat
  13. Yuk Saai Shek
  14. Camel Rock
  15. Zombie Rock
  16. Tortoise Rock

I was able to see most of them. Some are either behind the bushes or not really visible, and for some of them, I can’t really see the resemblance to what they are supposed to look like. Do you see them? Let me know in the comments!

Once you are back on the main Mini Great Wall trail, keep going until you reach the next set of stairs. When you walk down, you can see Rock of the Ringing Bell, Eagle Rock, and Goat Rock.

Then, return to the main trail until you reach the end, where you will see Jade Seal Rock. From this point, you have to backtrack halfway and explore the southern side of Cheung Chau Island.

20. Nam Tam Tin Hau Temple

Remember the set of stairs that leads to the south side of Cheung Chau Island? Return to that spot and climb up the flight of stairs. Keep following the path around the perimeter of the southeast part of Cheung Chau Island for about 20 minutes or until you reach Nam Tam Tin Hau Temple.

As I mentioned earlier, there are many “Tin Hau Temples” in Hong Kong, and Cheung Chau has two. This one is bigger than the one in Pak She.

But if you don’t know much about temple culture, you can still enjoy the colourful architecture. Plus, the temple is surrounded by the sand and rocks of Nam Tam Wan—the perfect spot to take photos and explore the coast.

21. Tin Fuk Ting

Continue on the hiking trail until you reach the villages in the central part of Cheung Chau Island. On the way to the island’s southwest side, a pink pagoda, Tin Fuk Ting, is a little resting spot in a residential neighbourhood.

I’m not sure what the significance of this pagoda is, but perhaps it is built on an elevated part of the path where you can get a good view of Cheung Chau from above.

22. Pak Tso Wan

Continue walking the path for another 20 minutes. There are signs along the way, so don’t worry—you can’t get lost. The path meanders through the southern part of the island, weaving through villages and Cheung Chau Cemetery.

After the cemetery, there is a small road on the left with a sign pointing to Pak Tso Wan. Follow the path, and you will reach the beach at Pak Tso Wan, also known as “Italian beach.”

Locals frequent this beach because it is pretty secluded and the water is calm. But when I was there, I didn’t see anyone in the water but did see a few people trying to collect shellfish between the rocks.

23 & 24. Reclining Rock (Ng Hang Shek) at Stingray Bay (Po Yue Wan)

Next to the beach at Pak Tso Wan, there is a small path leading towards the island’s west side.

Follow this path, and it will lead you to five large boulders, including the Reclining Rock (Ng Hang Shek) at Stingray Bay (Po Yue Wan).

A small sandy and rocky area is between the Reclining Rock and the other side of Stingray Bay. If you want to save some time and not backtrack onto the main path and continue the itinerary, walk across the sandy and rocky area to the other side of Stingray Bay.

Depending on the time of day, the water might be high enough to get your feet wet. But I recommend moving forward even if you have to take off your shoes to walk across because you will save a lot of time. You can walk on the sand or on top of the large rocks. The walk across takes all of 2 minutes.

The alternative is to backtrack to the main road and continue to Cheung Po Tsai Cave, which is a much longer route.

25. Cheung Po Tsai Cave

After you cross over Stingray Bay (or backtrack to the main road and make your way to the western tip of Cheung Chau), explore Cheung Po Tsai Cave, one of the island’s best attractions.

It is named after Cheung Po-Tsai, a famous pirate from the 1800s who led a fleet of 1,200 junks and over 50,000 men. He hid on the island’s western end during the battle between the Portuguese and his pirate fleet. And apparently, this is the cave that he hid in.

The cave entrance is at the end of the path, on the right side of the large boulder. A sign pointing to the ground indicates the entrance. The cave is about 1 meter high. Use your smartphone flashlight to navigate inside the cave.

I didn’t see anyone going in while there, and I am deathly afraid of small spaces, so I didn’t go in.

But I can confirm that the entrance is on the western side; you can walk through the cave and come out the other end. If anyone is brave enough to see this cave, let me know your experience in the comments below.

26. Sai Wan Tin Hau Temple

After seeing the famous cave (or not), continue on the path to Sai Wan Tin Hau Temple.

Yup, another Tin Hau Temple. This 200-year-old temple is kept quite well and has many old banyan trees around the premises.

27. Take the small boat at Sai Wan Pier back to the main pier

There are two ways to get back to Cheung Chau ferry pier from Sai Wan Tin Hau Temple.

The easiest way is to take a small ferry boat at Sai Wan for $10HKD. The ride takes about 8 minutes, and you’ll see the water scenery on the way to the main pier.

You can catch a small boat at Sai Wan pier (either at the actual pier or off to the left side).

Or, if you still have energy, you can follow the pedestrian walkway from Sai Wan Pier to the main pier. The walk takes about 20 minutes.

28. Catch the sunset before you leave

Depending on your timing and the weather, you might be able to catch a beautiful sunset near the main Cheung Chau ferry pier. Several benches facing the harbour allow you to enjoy watching the sun set below the horizon.

I bought a slice of frozen watermelon and enjoyed it on the bench. It was such a refreshing treat after a long day of exploring. And the sunset was definitely one of the top sunsets in HK!

29. Pick up some souvenirs before going back to Hong Kong Island

Remember the vendors near Cheung Chau ferry pier? This is a good time to pick up souvenirs before returning to Hong Kong.

Cheung Chau is famous for its steamed buns. There are many souvenirs related to the steamed buns and Cheung Chau Bun Festival, like steamed bun keychains, steamed bun cushions, etc. Or you can also buy a real steamed bun and eat it on your way back to Hong Kong Island.

If you love cooking Chinese food, you might be interested in buying dried seafood, as the island is known for it.

Other Things to Do in Cheung Chau

Besides following my one-day itinerary, there are many other things to do in Cheung Chau. I pinned these activities with a green pin on the interactive map so you can easily find them.

  • Water activities like windsurfing, kayaking and surfing at Kwun Yam Wan Beach.
  • Yoga studio in the central part of Cheung Chau Island
  • Bicycle rental for a regular bike or tricycle:
    • Single bike rental: $20HKD/hour or $40HKD all-day
    • Tricycle bike rental: $30HKD/hour or $70HKD all-day

Are you ready to take a day trip to Cheung Chau Island Hong Kong?

Congrats—you made it to the end! Yes, I know there are many things to do in Cheung Chau, but if you follow my efficient 1-day itinerary, you can enjoy the best day trip on Cheung Chau Island without planning it yourself.

If you are interested in exploring other islands in Hong Kong, check out Lamma Island or Peng Chau. They are both excellent day trips if you want to explore one of the outlying islands of HK.

Let me know if you tried this itinerary for your Cheung Chau day trip or if you have any other suggestions for making this an even more awesome itinerary.

Thank you for reading my Cheung Chau itinerary

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Hong Kong

Hong Kong posts
Island District Hikes

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

10 Comments

  • Jimmy Esquibel
    September 23, 2021 at 8:53 am

    While on Westpac, early 80’s, me and a few other sailors were offered an overnight retreat for about $20. We somehow made it to Cheung Chau Island. There, we spent the night at what seems like an old house or maybe now, a B&B? We were treated to a fantastic Chinese dinner, slept where ever we could, and woke up to a traditional American breakfast. Food was so good. Don’t recall the people. Too long ago now.
    In the morning I do recall taking a stroll to a beach. Loved this experience!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      September 24, 2021 at 6:50 pm

      Hi Jimmy, wow! Thank you for sharing this. I love hearing stories about places I am familiar with – a completely different perspective. Appreciate that – thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  • Lynn
    February 16, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    May I ask what time do you start getting into the Cheung Chau Island to complete the entire trip?

    Reply
  • queenie mak
    February 16, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    Hi Lynn, I suggest taking an early ferry to Cheung Chau. If you get there at 930 you should be able to complete everything in this itinerary. And f you have any suggestions afterwards, please let me know. Enjoy your time in Cheung Chau! 🙂

    Reply
  • Émilie
    December 2, 2022 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks for all the effort you put into sharing all those infos ! It wasn’t my first time in Cheung Chau and still you managed to make me discover new and interesting sights of this marvelous island.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      December 3, 2022 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Émilie, aw you are so welcome. I like going back to places and see what I missed the first time around. I plan on going back but even if I don’t find something new, it is always nice to spend the day in Cheung Chau. Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂

      Reply
  • Mary
    April 3, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Is it a safe place for a girl to go solo?

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      April 3, 2023 at 2:41 pm

      Hi Mary, yes it is safe. I’ve been to Cheung Chau many times on my own and hiked these trails by myself. No issue at all. But I also don’t stay past sunset. If you go early in the day, you can see everything mentioned on my itinerary. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Douglas
    April 14, 2024 at 5:12 pm

    Hi Queenie, Amazing guide! Thanks!
    Do you have a similar one for ZhuHai ? Arriving from Hong Kong via the HKMZ Bridge. 1-day trip. Returning from ZH back to HKG via HKMZ Bridge.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      April 14, 2024 at 10:42 pm

      Hi Douglas,
      Thanks so much! Unfortunately I don’t. I’ve been to ZhuHai once but didn’t see much other than the Zhuhai Circuit. Can’t really give you any advice on that. I’m sure whatever you find it will be a fun day trip. Enjoy!

      Reply

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