A trip to Cheung Chau Island is a popular weekend day-trip for many Hong Kong locals and can be a great way to conveniently getaway from the city noise or experience a more quiet side of Hong Kong's history as a fishing village.
This is a guide for things to do on Cheung Chau island for your first trip, that covers the basics of what you can experience on the island and how to spend your time on a laid-back beach day.
Cheung Chau island has a wonderful public beach which is easily reachable by foot, located directly across the ferry terminal (on the east coast of the island). The beach has great changing, bathroom and shower facilities which are available to the public. You can also rent sun umbrella's and beach chairs from the cafe just next to the beach! Beach umbrella rental was 80HKD (about 9 EUR) for the whole day in the summer of 2021. If you're after a more low-key beach or on the island a 2nd or 3rd time, there are other options for smaller beaches along the Family walk trail (north island side).
Have local dim sum
Walking along the streets of the island, a choice of food establishments is not something you will lack. There's something special though about having dim sum at this local place on Praya Street. Each morning they prepare large steamers of dim sum outside the shop, which tower high with steam and wonderful smells. They don't have an english menu, so our strategy was to go up to the steamers and point or just ask for the few types of dim sum in Chinese we knew at the time :)
Their food is good and there is just something about sitting on a busy street, having your food next to the towers of steamers and watching locals go about their day.
You can find this place almost directly across from Cheung Chau Municipal Services Building (Tai San Praya Rd). Look for the corner building with the pink & white tiles (as shown in the picture) and the heaps of local grabbing their food.
Visit a temple
There are a few temples you can view and visit on the island, the easiest reachable just by walking along the main path after turning right when getting off the ferry. Other temples can be found If you opt to do a trail around the north part of the island, (Family Walk Trail) or down in the south side of the island.
Walk the quiet residential streets
You can't lay on the beach forever right? Well, wandering the small streets without a significant plan to work up an appetite for lunch or dinner and exploring the local way of island life can able be a very special thing to do in Cheung Chau island. The street vibes here a so different to what you see in the main parts of Hong Kong. The buildings are much smaller and kind of remind you of some residential neighbourhoods in Tokyo!
Have a seafood dinner
Obviously saving the best for last, the main attraction of things to do on Cheung Chau island - EATING SEAFOOD! As you explore the island you'll notice the exceptional amount of small fishing boats, docked all around. These bring in fresh daily seafood that is then cooked up and served to customers all across the island. The main road that stretches along the island's west side (where the ferry dock is) has countless amounts of seafood restaurants from which you can enjoy your meal and watch the sunset.
As you walk along the promenade, be prepared to get called into most of the restaurants by the lovely ladies standing with their menus on the streets. Honestly, this can get annoying at times, so we recommend trying out Hing Lok Restaurant, which is our go-to.
Since this is a first-timer's guide, the vast options of great walking trails and hikes are not covered in this guide of things to do on Cheung Chau Island. We hope to explore the island further ourselves this winter and bring you more helpful posts on island hikes.
However, If you'd like to extend your getaway and stay the night on the island, here are a few accommodation options for every budget:
If very basic accommodation and a balcony on the beach is what you're after, then have a look at Sea View Holiday House & Fong Che Ho Hau Summer House. No fancy room, service or interior, but you'll get your own balcony that's right on the sandy beach.
$$ The only proper hotel on the island, Warwick Hotel Cheung Chau offers hotel rooms with a full beach view and on-site restaurant. Great for families, B & B Cheung Chau falls right in the middle of our accommodation list, offering rather up to date rooms, some equipped with private balconies at an affordable price.
Offering the most up to date interior design, Lychee Sunset Hotel Cheung Chau has a rooftop patio which offers the greatest sunset views overlooking the fishing boats of the island. It's on the pricier side compared to other island offerings, but remain affordable starting at 149 EUR (1600 HKD) per night for 4 people, which also includes breakfast.
Travel & Logistics
Getting to Cheung Chau
This HK island is one of the most popular trips out you can do, due to the ease of getting here. There's a direct ferry service that runs from the central pier of Hong Kong island that's quick, affordable and convenient.
The fast ferry takes around 45 minutes one way and will offer comfy, air-conditioned seats for your trip.
The "slow" ferry takes about 1 hour and has less-comfy seats in the main cabin of the boat and an option to upgrade your ticket to first class & experience air-conditioned comfortable seating. However, taking the slow ferry also gives your access to the outside decks of the boat, where you can sit outside & enjoy the views of the islands passing by.
So unless you're strapped for time or its super hot outside, we recommend the slow ferry!
Tickets round-trip will cost you anywhere from 14-35 HKD (1.40EUR-4EUR) depending on the ticket class and when you go, and timetables can be found here.
Getting around Cheung Chau
The island is very walkable and in fact has no cars on it, so transport out
& about is not something you have to worry about. If you want to ride around the whole island, it's possible to rent bicycles out for the day or even get a tuk-tuk.
We hope you enjoy your first time visiting the island and are sure you won't be lacking in things to do on Cheung Chau!