Lamma island is a short ferry ride from Hong Kong pier yet it feels like a completely different world. Once the ferry pulls into dock, you disembark to find a "parking lot" of bicycles awaiting their riders followed by the sight of a charming fishing village- my ferry arrived into Yung Shue Wan, or Banyan Tree Bay. Fresh seafood sits prominently, proudly, in front of the many eateries lining the path. There are actually two villages on the island, one at each end, so my goal was to hike across the length of the entire island to the next village of Sok Kwu Wan, or Rainbow Bay. The mood is markedly more relaxed, more languid, here.
Families walk hand in hand along the gravel path, marvelling at the seabirds and oceanside vistas, while local kids sword fight among the lush ferns. There are beaches where people splash about and make sand castles- one man was walking around with a loud speaker in his backpack playing upbeat music as he ambled about at the time of my visit. Vibrant tropical flowers creep and burst from unexpected corners, and the style of the homes follows in eclectic colourful suite. Boats and feet are the primary forms of motility among the locals as there are no cars on the island.
Given the bounty of exceptionally fresh sea creatures hanging around to tempt your taste buds, it was only a matter of time before I opted to stop and sample some. ;) After completing my hike seemed the apropos time for a full meal, as I didn't want to embark on a long hike with a heavy stomach. In Mongkok I had eaten a bowl of beef noodles prior to catching the train to Hong Kong station and walking to Central, or the pier, and this ensured my meal had time to settle. I did stop and sample some egg waffles, though, for a quick snack.
Midway through the hike I encountered a mysterious smirking stone, with arrows pointing to a barely visible path to the peak of a mountain. This offered me expansive views of the surrounding area in solitude, as I was the only soul brave enough to follow the trail at that moment. It was a wonderful moment in a truly wonderful locale. I could see raising a family or retiring here quite happily someday, if the fortunes allowed.
More photos ahead.
Check back soon for the next half!