Cheung Chau Island – The 11 Best Things To Do

by | May 5, 2021 | 0 comments

Planning a trip to Cheng Chau Island?

Need some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Whether you’re planning a day trip or a weekend getaway, Cheung Chau Island is the perfect place for you to recharge.

Just a stone’s throw away from the city, this sleepy village is easily accessible by ferry. Board at Central Pier 5 and find yourself in a quaint little fishing village surrounded by local delicacies, street vendors,  pristine golden beaches, and mysterious caves dating back to the bronze ages.

In this article we will explore:

  • The best beaches
  • Rock carvings
  • Hikes
  • Glamping
  • Local delicacies and the growing hip cafe scene

and more. Prepare to spend hours exploring this little gem!

Fun facts about Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau island is an eclectic mix of old and new.

  • It is nicknamed “dumbbell” island due to its odd shape.
  • Cheung Chau island has a rich history and is home to more than 23,000 inhabitants dating back to the Ming Dynasty.
  • The signature colorful fishing boats lining the pier showcase the island’s traditional fishing roots.

 

What are the best things to do in Cheung Chau?

1. Tung Wan Beach and Kwun Yam Wan Beach

The beaches in Cheung Chau are simply stunning.

What to do there?

  • There are plenty of options of cafes and restaurants to grab a bite.
  • The best part? You don’t have to lug around giant umbrellas and collapsible chairs; there are rental places for that.
  • Entertain your kids by pitching a tent or by building sandcastles out of the coarse golden sand. The only downside to Tung Wan Beach is that it can get a little crowded on the weekend.

How to get there?

  • From the ferry pier, walk past the Chinese Banyan tree, love lock bridge, down the street littered with cafes and stores, and head to Tung Wan beach.
  • Along the way, stop by Wellcome or 7-Eleven to stock up on drinks and snacks.

Prefer a quieter beach?

  • If seclusion and quiet are more of your jam, we got you covered. Take a 5-minute walk down Tung Wan Beach, and you’ll find yourself on the tinier, peaceful shore of Kwun Yam Wan Beach.

  • Find your perfect spot, kick your heels back and soak up the sun rays.

  • There is an outdoor cafe at the beginning of Kwun Yam Wan Beach. The restaurant also runs a rental next door to rent water sports equipment such as kayaks and surfboards.

2. North Lookout Pavilion

What to do there?

  • North Lookout Pavilion is the highest point of Cheung Chau. This spot allows tourists to marvel at the bird’s eye view of Cheung Chau and beyond.
  • We recommend taking a scenic walk to the pavilion in the evening to catch the sunset.
  • The glimmering golden rays reflecting against the waves in Tung Wah Beach are truly a spectacle to behold.

How to get there?

  • Turn left from the ferry pier and walk along San Hing Praya Street.
  • Turn left at the end of the road. Follow the signs to the North Lookout Pavilion. It is a 40-minute easy walk.

3. Cheung Chau rock carvings

What to do there?

  • History nerds gather around! The Cheung Chau rock carvings are believed to date back to the Bronze Age.
  • A closer look reveals geometric patterns that are similar to the rock carvings at Big Wave Bay.
  • The ancient rock is protected from elements by a transparent glass enclosure.

How to get there?

  • Located right below the Warwick Hotel on East Bay.

4. Cheung Po Tsai Cave

What to do there?

  • This cave is named after the notorious 19th-century pirate Cheung Po Tsai, who commanded over 2000 men and 600 junks.
  • Grab your kids for a treasure hunt! Legend has it that Cheung Po Tsai hid his loot right here in this cave!
  • It gets dark inside, so remember to bring a small handheld torch or make sure your phone flashlight is all charged up.
  • Also, a good pair of shoes is crucial to navigating the winding passages as the cave can get quite slippery!

How to get there?

  • Turn right after alighting the ferry and enjoy the 20-minute scenic walk towards Sai Wan Tin Hau Temple.
  • From the temple, walk up the hill, and after 10 minutes, you will find reach the cave.

5. Tin Hau & Pak Tai temple

What’s the scoop?

  • Tin Hau and Pak Tai temples are revered among the locals.
  • Marvel at the Chinese traditional designs, ceramic tiles, and stone sculptures of Chinese deities and dragons as you are transported into the past.

Pak Tai Temple?

  • This temple is dedicated to Pak Tai, the God of the Sea and saint to the local fishing community and is the central location of the annual Bun Festival.

Location Pak Tai Temple?

  • Pak She Street, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
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Tin Hau Temple?

  • There are several Tin Hau temples on Cheung Chau, which aim to honor the Goddess of the Sea and serve as a patron saint to the local fishermen.
  • One temple is located near Pak Tai Temple, another located north of Morning Beach, and the last one on the southwest of Cheung Chau.
  • Fishermen often go to the temples to pray for protection and good fortune during their time out on the sea.

6. Cheung Chau windsurfing centre

What’s the scoop?

  • Love taking on a challenge? Spend your day riding the waves in Kwun Yam Wan beach.
  • There are many water sports to try out from, and you can hire SUP boards, windsurfers, kayaks, and all the necessary equipment from Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre.
  • Known locally as the island’s most famous resident, Lee Lai Gun, uncle to Olympic gold medalist Lee Lai Shan used to train with her on this very beach.
  • Whether you are a seasoned veteran looking for lessons or a membership or a newbie trying out a new sport, Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre has something for you.
  • If you feel hungry from all the exercise, there is a little waterfront cafe for you to take a breather.

Location?

  • 1 Hak Pai Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong

7. Cheung Chau Island hike

Hiking in Cheung Chau is a lovely activity to do.

What’s the scoop?

  • There are plenty of hiking trails to do throughout Cheung Chau. Don’t fret! Each hiking trail is guaranteed to lead you to Cheung Chau’s well-known landmarks.
  • Exploring the entire island will take approximately 4 hours.
  • Those who aren’t so good at directions are rest assured that no matter which hiking trail you do, you won’t stray too far from the ferry pier.
  • Furthermore, signs can be found in both English and Chinese in case you get lost.

8. Lovelock garden in Cheng Chau

What’s the scoop?

  • You don’t have to fly all the way to Paris for a romantic getaway. Cheung Chau has its own Love Lock garden for lovers!
  • Head down to the BnB Creative Workshop across the road for locks and inscribe a personal message with your SO. Secure your lock on the colorful wall as a memorandum of your love.
  • Come back a few years later and see if you can locate it!

Location?

  • Love Lock Garden, 80 Tung Wan Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong

9. Other beaches Cheung Chau

What’s the scoop?

  • Tung Wan Beach is popular as it is the closest beach to the ferry.
  • However, if you’re willing to trek a little bit more, there are several other beaches, including Kwan-yin Wan Beach, Tai Kwai Wan, and Tung Wan Tsai beaches on the northern end of the island.
  • Further away from tourists, these beaches are quieter and more secluded compared to their rowdy neighbors.

10. Cheung Chau bun festival

What’s the scoop?

  • Legend has it that this festival dates back to the 18th century when the island was wrecked with plague and pirates.
  • The Cheung Chau Bun Festival is celebrated in honor of the deity Pak Tai responsible for driving away evil spirits from this island.
  • The annual festival takes place during the fourth lunar month and lasts for up to a week.
  • The whole island turns vegetarian for two days. Thousands of visitors will flood to the island during the period to watch Taoist ceremonies, lion dances, and games.
  • The highlight of the festival is a game involving its signature tower of buns.
  • 12 participants selected from preliminary competitions will compete with each other to grab the bun on the top of the tower.

Editors note:

  • The Cheung Chau Bun Festival has been discontinued to discourage gathering and reduce social contact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Although the Bun festival is canceled, you can still visit bun tower exhibits, witness deities’ procession, lion dances, and eat the buns.

Location?

  • Pak Tai Temple, Pak She Street, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong

11. Glamping at Saiyuen Camping Adventure Park

What’s the scoop?

  • If you have younger children, they will love spending the night at this adventure park
  • There is so much to do from the beach right next door to the little goats running around, cooking classes, craft classes, and outdoor activities
  • Adults will love it too; the accommodation is comfortable and you can enjoy a BBQ at night

Pro tip:

  • Don’t book too many activities for the kids, they will have a lot of fun enjoying the open space
  • If you want to want to book activities once you’re there, the front desk is pretty accomodating

How to get there?

  • If you’ve got kids and lots of stuff, take the Sanpan which you’ll find right next to the Ferry terminal (on your right as you leave the terminal).
  • When you get off the Sanpan, it can be slightly confusing. Don’t turn right otherwise, you’ll be starting a short hike.
  • Instead, veer towards the left and onto the main road. Once you’re on the main road, you’ll see a hill on your right. Walk up this hill towards the red gate of Saiyuen.
  • Otherwise, walk directly to Saiyuen, the walk will take about 15-20 minutes.
  • Once you leave the ferry, turn right and walk to the end of the road, at the end of the road take the last left turn. You’ll need to walk up a small hill, keep walking straight up this hill until you see the red gate. The red gate is Saiyuen Camping Adventure Park.
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Where should I eat in Cheung Chau?

Cheung Chau is truly a foodie paradise, from a mix of local delicacies and authentic local seafood restaurants to hip cafes.

Street food

Cheung Chau is not short of restaurants or cafes. However, there’s a certain charm for its street food sold across the ferry pier as well as on Tai San Praya Road. Enjoy famous street food around the world on this little island.

Here is our list of delicacies  you absolutely HAVE to try out:

  • Frozen watermelon slices
  • Mango mochi
  • Giant fishballs
  • Red bean pastries
  • Japanese style Taiyaki waffles

Chinese style seafood

Craving local cuisine?

Walk along the main promenade to see the selection of seafood fresh from the boats. You will find:

  • Stir-frying
  • Roasting
  • Deep-frying
  • Braising

There are endless ways to prepare Chinese dishes.

If you are traveling in a group, we suggest you order multiple dishes to share among friends and family. The bigger the group, the better as that means that you can try out more dishes!

Hip Cafes

There has been a trend of hip cafes popping up in Cheung Chau island. Whether you want to chill for some cold drip coffee or enjoy an exotic Scandinavian breakfast, Cheung Chau has almost every cuisine under the sun.

Rainbow Cafe:

  • Bear themed, get ready to find stuffed teddies all over the place!
  • All-day breakfasts
  • Sandwiches

Rainbow Café, G/F, 63 San Hing Praya Street, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/myrainbowcafe

Fresh Basil Pizza:

  • Small pizza starting from $55 and large pizzas from $100

Fresh Basil Pizza, G/F, 19 Tai Hing Tai Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.fresh-basil-pizza.com

Heima Heima:

  • Scandinavian inspired cafe
  • Pastel decor
  • Specialty: Scandinavian desserts
  • Only open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays

Heima Heima, 25 Tsan Tuen Road, Cheung Chau, 6078 3417facebook.com/heimaheimahk

Morocco’s Bar:

  • Mostly Indian and Thai dishes

Morocco’s Bar, G/F, 71 Sun Hing Praya Street, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, 2986 9767

The Outdoor Café:

  • Next to Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre overlooking the beach
  • Extensive wine and iced drinks menu, perfect for admiring the sunset
  • Closed on Wednesdays

Valor:

  • Specialty: ice drip coffee
  • Hosts rotating art exhibitions

Valor, 4 San Hing Street, Cheung Chau, +852 6699 5892; facebook.com/valorcheungchau

 

FAQs Cheung Chau Island Hong Kong

How long is the ferry to Cheung Chau?

There is an option of a 35-minute ferry and a 55-minute ferry. Our tip is to board the 35-minute ferry to get there speedily, but if you’re prone to seasickness, opt for the normal 55-minute ferry for a smoother ride. Grab window seats in the express ferry to enjoy the view or lounge in the open deck for a longer ride.

How many islands are there in Hong Kong?

There are more than 260 islands in Hong Kong. However, due to the fame from the annual Bun Festival, Cheung Chau has become the most popular of all the islands.

How do you get to Cheung Chau?

Cheung Chau is easily accessible by ferry from Central. Board the ferry to this quaint fishing village from Central Pier 5.

How do you get around Cheung Chau?

Walk! Or rent a bike for as little as $50 a day if you want to zip around quicker. Bikes come with baskets and locks for you to keep your possessions safe. Whether you want to head to the beach or visit the caves, it is all a bike ride away!
How to get there: turn left after getting off the ferry and walk along the waterfront until you see a bike shop. You may be asked to leave a deposit which you’ll get back after returning the bike.

Accommodation on Cheung Chau?

Want to spend more time on this island? We got you covered.
1. Warwick Hotel: Check out Warwick Hotel for a 3-star night stay away from the city. This pet-friendly hotel also caters to pooch-friendly amenities. Score!
Cheung Chau Warwick Hotel, East Bay, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, www.warwickhotel.com.hk
2. B&B Cheung Chau:  Located right next to Tung Wan Beach, this B&B is just a short walk away. Perfect for those who want to spend time loads of time on the beach.
3. Lychee Sunset Hotel: Located just 5 minutes away from the pier, Lychee Sunset Hotel is super convenient. Get a drink and watch the sunset from the terrace.
Lychee Sunset Hotel, 94-95 Lai Chi Yuen, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, 2986 9992, WhatsApp: 9727 1792, info@lycheehotel.hk, lycheehotel.hk

Finally

Cheung Chau may seem like a sleepy town; however, a closer look reveals it to be a vibrant town full of life.

This island is perfect for a romantic getaway or a friends and family day out. It is up to you to set the pace.

Spend time lazing by the beach or plan a full day of cafe hopping and eating street food. Cheung Chau is truly a haven for foodies. Adrenaline-fueled adventure lovers can opt to partake in water sports, exploring caves, scenic trails, and temples rich in Chinese history and culture.

Take the weekend to explore this gem when you get the chance!

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