Hong Kong is blessed with an abundance of outlying islands, each holding its own special charm. Most are easily accessible by ferry — especially for more popular destinations like Cheung Chau, a sleepy fishing village known for more than its alfresco appeal. Every year, the island hosts its Cheung Chau Bun Festival, which reigns in locals and tourists from all over. For the rest of the annum, however, visitors come to bike the scenic trails, shop at the boutiques and dine in seafood paradise. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas…
More from our neighborhood guide series.
Anyone familiar with Hong Kong’s outlying islands knows that every day trip features a winning local seafood restaurant. Cheung Chau’s version is the popular New Baccarat Seafood Restaurant, which overlooks Cheung Chau’s main harbor from Pak She Praya Road. Here, diners can expect homecooked fresh catches and all the crowd favorites in a nostalgic plastic-tables-and-chairs setting. Come here after a full day out and grab a beer while you’re at it to go with the island vibes.
9A, G/F Pak She Praya Road, Cheung Chau, Cheung Chau, 2981-0606. Open every day 10am to 10:30pm.
Cheung Chau’s earliest settlers were fishermen from Huizhou, Chaozhou and Guangzhou of Guangdong Province. After a tragic plague broke out on the island in 1777, the Huizhou people wanted to build a temple to honor Pak Tai, a sea divinity, to protect them from disasters. In 1783, they built Yuk Hui temple and haven’t seen another plague since. The historic Chinese temple now holds a number of treasured antiques as well as historical significance, and continues to be frequented by locals from on and off the island.
Pak She St, Cheung Chau.
Go old school with Hing Kee Beach Store, a local bolthole for tasty nostalgic eats. The 70-year-old beach bar serves good ol’ shack beers which range from international classics to new local brews, while the food selection varies from DIY barbecue kits to tasty cooked meals. It’s the perfect spot for a post-swim bite.
31 Cheung Chau Sports Road, Cheung Chau, 2981-3478. Open every day 10am to 10pm.
Another seaside eatery to add to your list, Hing Lok Restaurant serves classic Cantonese dishes in an alfresco setting. Breathe in the fresh sea breeze while soaking in the sun for a taste of island living. Seafood orders are a must.
G/F, 11D Pak She Praya, Cheung Chau, 11 Pak She Praya Road, Cheung Chau, 2981-9773. Open every day 11am to 10pm.
Bringing French fare to Cheung Chau, Pirate Bay is owned by a couple looking to excite and delight the palates of islanders. The bistro-style restaurant serves European classics including scrumptious crepes and sausage feasts. Pair your meal with a recommended French wine to switch the romantic mood on.
13 Tsan Tuen Road, Cheung Chau, 9664-0699. Open Tuesday to Sunday (times vary).
There’s always room for dessert, and trust us when we say it’s worth it for this sweet gem in Cheung Chau. Gaining popularity initially from its social media buzz, Cheung Chau Bing Sutt became a fan favorite thanks to its selection of Chinese-style desserts. The photogenic appeal is one thing, but the delicious taste is what makes these dishes unsurprisingly so well loved. Recommendations? Obviously the Thai milk tea shaved ice served with taro balls and red bean.
Coffee advocates: head to Valor for unique, expert ice-dripped coffee. One of the more recent additions to Cheung Chau’s F&B scene, the café equips visitors with photogenic brews. Did we mention that coffee is served in seashells and durian?
G/F, 4 San Hing Street, Cheung Chau, 6699-5892. Open every day (times vary).
While the beach restaurants make an ample backdrop for daytime drinking, one can also venture elsewhere for a sun-down spot. Arena offers just that, in a family-friendly setting which extends to serving snacks along with cocktails, wines and beers for an evening respite. Trot down to this cosy bar for a well-earned happy hour.
Perhaps one of the most iconic items of Cheung Chau is the scrumptious street food. Many make a special trip just for the infamous gigantic fish balls, served all over the island. Other must-tries include mochi, frozen fruit slices (watermelon on a hot day – yes please) and Japanese-style waffles. Wherever you walk on the island, you’re bound to come across at least one vendor serving the goods.
Untouched nature – there’s so much of it at this peaceful fisherman’s hideout. You can cycle or walk along the paths to explore the serene gems of the island. Popular beaches include Tung Wan Beach, Kwun Yam Beach and Pak Tso Wan.
Cheung Chau may not be the typical shopping destination in comparison to its metropolitan counterparts, but it offers a more boutique approach for gifts you can’t find elsewhere. Cute hipster options include The Immanuel Handicraft for homemade bags and accessories, Island Origin for unique graphic merchandise and Myarts for quirky knick knacks and ornaments. Get lost in the meanders of streets and markets – who knows what other gems you may find.
Who says the night has to end after sundown? Book your evening at Saiyuen Camping Adventure Park for a themed glamping experience in a stimulating environment. Room choices range from a Mongolian Ger to an African Safari Tent, while activities include bubble soccer, tree top canopy walks and abseiling. If that’s not exciting enough already, there’s also a bunch of workshops like bubble waffle making and drumming lessons to get creative flows going. Hello Cheung Chau!
DD CC Lot 12 Cheung Chau, 2981-1010. Open every day 9am to 6pm.
After your boat ride back to Central, don’t forget to stop by Hong Kong’s dining and drinking destination – Soho. Only a short walk away from the ferry pier on island side, this diverse neighborhood houses some of the city’s best eats and covers nearly all cuisines. Satisfy any food cravings – or perhaps, grab a pint at any of the crowd favorite pubs.