Hong Kong – Shek O, Cheung Chau, 27 July 2010

Long day ahead, for some Hong Kong beach, and one of the outlying islands.

I read online that there’s some beginner’s surfing to be had at Big Wave Bay, which is conveniently beside the beach at Shek O, so off I went for my little adventure. Getting there was definitely fun. I took the star ferry to Central, and went a-hunting for the tram that runs through Hong Kong Island to Shau Kei Wan. The tram trip is definitely a must do. It costs around 1.50 USD, regardless of distance, and from the second level of the tram, you can check out some pretty cool places like the Christian cemetery, and Happy Valley. Also, as you wind through the streets of Hong Kong, it sometimes feels as if the tall skyscrapers are converging upon you. Yet, amidst all the skyscrapers, you still some really old school stuff like clan associations in these buildings.

Shau Kei Wan

Shau Kei Wan

After the interesting hour-long journey, I arrived in Shau Kei Wan, and hopped onto the minibus heading for Shek O. It does take an interesting winding journey through the hills of Hong Kong, which really gives you an idea of how the landscape makes it impossible for all the land to be utilized, and why so many people are packed into the little bits of land that are more habitable. Though I wanted to check out Big Wave Bay and try some surfing in Hong Kong, the weather had other ideas. It was raining, and there was lightning as well.

Shek O

Shek O Beach

After all the effort I took to get myself here, I wasn’t about to leave without seeing some beach. So I headed to Shek O beach, and just kinda admired the beach as much as someone can in the drizzle. Small as it is, I think it’d have been a nice break for Hong Kongers to come here to get away from the city. They also have an area fenced off so that you can swim in safety, and not worry about people in boats and stuff. After a short stay, I hopped back on the bus and got back to downtown Hong Kong to meet my family again.

As we all got back pretty early, (and probably tired of my whining) my dad decided we’ll go explore Cheung Chau, one of the outlying islands. It was an easy one-hour ferry ride from the Hong Kong side of the star ferry. Do check the times. I believe they leave every half hour or so.

When we first got off the ferry, it was ever so slightly disappointing. First thing we saw? A McDonald’s. We walked away from that, and saw other stuff like a pretty grand looking temple in Cheung Chau town. It appears that Cheung Chau is some sort of weekend getaway for Hong Kongers. When we went to the opposite end of the island, away from the ferry terminal, they have quite a number of holiday chalets that face the beaches of Cheung Chau. Taking a loop around Cheung Chau probably took us half an hour. Looking at the ferry times, my dad just asked us to come back on time for the next ferry back to Hong Kong, instead of staying in Cheung Chau for dinner. I headed in a different direction from the loop we took, and discovered a little food market. I saw a shop selling Gai Dan Zai (a type of sweet, floury snack), bought some, and got back in time to share it with my bro and mum.

Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau

Gai Dan Zai

Gai Dan Zai

We headed back to Hong Kong, had dinner at some Cantonese restaurant (yes, I have no clue, it’s all the same to me by now). After dinner, we took the mid-levels escalator in Central for a view of Hong Kong. That’s definitely another free thing one can do when one goes to Hong Kong – you get to see the colourful nightlife in the form of its bars, and some pretty interesting sights like cute shops, and even a mosque on the way up.

Escalator to the Midlevels

Mid Levels Escalator


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