Hong Kong, a city home to more than seven million people, is renowned for its frenzied pace of life and perennial hustle-bustle. Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and even parts of the New Territories are always busy and bustling. However, there exist areas of the city where the tempo is more laid back and restful. To find these serene spots you need to travel away from Hong Kong ‘s crowded enclaves and head out to Hong Kong’s inhabited outlying islands.
Two hundred and sixty-three outlying islands are included within the boundaries of Hong Kong. While most of these islands are rural and sparsely populated, some of the larger ones like Lantau and Lamma are home to vibrant residential communities.
Rugged, craggy-faced and lush Lamma Island known as Pok Liu Chau in Chinese is the third largest island of Hong Kong’s island cluster. Archaeological findings indicate that Island has supported inhabitation since the Middle Neolithic and Bronze Ages.
Once associated with hippies or those seeking an alternative lifestyle, Lamma Island today is home to a lively multi-national population. The main residential communities on the island are concentrated around the villages of Yung Shue Wan (Banyan Tree Bay) on the northern end of the island and Sok Kwu Wan (Rainbow Bay) on its eastern half. Besides these two large villages are other smaller sparsely populated villages such as Mo Tat, Yung Shue Ha, Tung O and others. Lamma Island is easily accessible via a twenty-five minute fast ferry ride from the piers of Central or Aberdeen.
Lamma Island 101
The island is a vehicle-free zone and is thus devoid of any auto or noise pollution. All commutes on the island are on foot or by bicycle. This feature accounts for the concentration of inhabitation around the villages of Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan as ferries, private yachts, and even Kaito boats from Hong Kong Island dock at these points.
The topography of Lamma Island includes several pristine beaches, secluded coves and bays. Hung Shing Yeh Beach located in the shadow of the Lamma Power Station is the island’s largest beach and is a favorite with day-trippers. The beach is rocky in parts, but features changing rooms,volleyball nets, a restaurant and refreshment kiosks and shark nets.
Sham Wan is a beautiful sandy bay located on the south side of Lamma Island. This secluded beach is off limits to the public from 1st June to 31st October for at this time it serves as the nesting place of the endangered Green Sea turtles. The site is one of the few remaining nesting sites in Southern China and is under the conservative umbrella of the AFCD.
Lamma Island like much of Hong Kong offers opportunities for hiking. The most popular trail on the island is the Family Trail. A 3 km walk that links the villages Yung Shue Wan and Sok Ku Wan. Most hikers kick off the hike at Yung Shue Wan Main Street as they disembark from the ferry from Central. The path leads hikers through the village of Long Tsai Tsuen as continues past the Lamma Police Post to arrive at Hung Shing Yeh Beach.
The trail then begins to ascend steeply it approaches an old world Chinese Pavilion offering panoramic views of the lush island scenery, including its highest point Mount Stenhouse and the islands of Cheng Chau and Lantau.
After soaking in the views, hikers carry on walking to arrive at Lamma’s pretty Lo So Sing Beach. They then walk on to take in some of the island’s famous sites like the Kamikaze Cave, a relic from the Second World War and a beautifully restored Tin Hau Temple which stands at the entrance of the village of Sok Ku Wan. Once they arrive at Sok Ku Wan, the hungry hikers indulge in scrumptious seafood meal atone of the many restaurants that line the village’s famous seafood street.
Lamma Island aside from being a popular day-trip haunt is home to a year-round resident population of approximately seven thousand people according to recent estimates. Bars, cafes and restaurants such as Lala Mama,Book Worm Café, Green Cottage, the Banyan Bay Café and Lung Kong populate the main street at Yung Shue Wan while a plethora of seafood eateries dominate the culinary landscape at Sok Ku Kwan.
Stores such as Herboland (a store and a café selling nature-based herbal remedies), Brothers Store, Just Green (organic grocery) are some of the popular shopping haunts on the island. Residents usually supplement the island’s offerings with purchases from the mainland.
Medical and School facilities
Medical and school facilities are rather limited on Lamma Island though there is a government-run outpatient clinic on Main Street.Patients are transported to hospitals on Hong Kong Island in the case of medical emergencies.
The only school on the island is the Chinese instruction North Lamma School.
Life on Lamma Island may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you wish to escape the frenetic pace of city life and raise a family in a clean, green environment where children and pets have a chance to run around then Lamma Island may be an ideal choice for you.
Engel and Volkers currently have stunning stand-alone family homes for sale on island. Do get in touch with our sales and leasing advisor Heather Clarke for more information and further details. Engel and Volkers Hong Kong has recently completed a transaction in Lamma Island.
Heather is available on email at Heather.Clarke@engelvoelkers.com or on +852 25613616.