Hong Kong is a bustling metropolis that has long been a top destination for tourists from around the world. However, beyond the city’s skyscrapers and crowded streets, there are several outlying islands that offer a peaceful escape from the chaos. From stunning beaches to scenic hiking trails, these islands are home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the region. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best outlying islands in Hong Kong and what makes each one unique.
Lamma Island is one of the most popular outlying islands in Hong Kong, known for its laid-back atmosphere and picturesque scenery. The island is home to several beautiful beaches, such as Hung Shing Yeh Beach and Power Station Beach, where visitors can relax and soak up the sun. The island also has several beginner-friendly hiking trails that offer stunning views of the sea and the surrounding hills. One of the most popular trails is the Family Trail, which takes visitors through traditional fishing villages and past scenic viewpoints.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Central Pier 4 to Yung Shue Wan or Sok Kwu Wan.
Cheung Chau Island
Cheung Chau Island is a small island located just a short ferry ride from Hong Kong Island. With a shape that looks like a dumbbell, the outlying island is famous for its seafood fare and is home to several traditional seafood restaurants. Visitors can also explore the island’s narrow streets and alleys on foot or by bike, which are lined with small shops and traditional houses. Cheung Chau is also a popular destination for water sports, such as windsurfing and kayaking.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Central Pier 5 to Cheung Chau.
Peng Chau Island
Peng Chau Island is a small island located between Lantau Island and Hong Kong Island. The island is known for its relaxed atmosphere and beautiful scenery. The island is also home to several temples, such as the Tin Hau Temple and the Kwan Yin Temple. Peng Chau is also a popular destination for hiking, with several trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding sea and hills.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Central Pier 6 to Peng Chau.
Lantau Island is the largest island in Hong Kong and is known for its natural beauty and cultural attractions. The island is home to several famous landmarks, such as the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery, which can be reached by a 25-minute scenic ride on the Ngong Ping 360 gondola. Visitors can also explore the island’s beautiful beaches, such as Cheung Sha Beach and Pui O Beach, which are popular destinations for swimming, water sports, and a spot of seaside lunch.
How to get there: Take the MTR to Tung Chung or a ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo.
Tai O Island
Tai O Island is a small fishing village on an island of the same name, located on the western side of Lantau Island. The village is known for its houses built on stilts on top of the water, and traditional fishing culture. Visitors can explore the narrow alleys, which are lined with small shops selling seafood and souvenirs. The village is also home to several temples dedicated to deities of fishermen and the sea, such as the Kwan Tai Temple and the Tin Hau Temple. Visitors can also take a boat tour of the village’s famous stilt houses.
How to get there: Take the MTR to Tung Chung and then take a bus or taxi to Tai O.
Tung Lung Island
Tung Lung Island is a small island located in the eastern part of Hong Kong. The island is known for its beautiful scenery, hiking trails such as the Tung Lung Chau Trail and the Chiu Keng Tam Trail, and historical features. These include the ancient rock carving depicting a dragon overlooking a bay, World War II gun emplacement, and Tung Lung Fort, said to have been built to defend the island against pirates. Visitors can also explore the island’s rocky coastline and secluded beaches, such as Tung Lung Beach.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Sai Wan Ho Ferry Pier to Tung Lung Island.
Po Toi Island
Po Toi Island is a small island located just south of Aberdeen. The island is known for its unique rock formations and beautiful, rugged scenery. Visitors can explore the island’s rocky hills to find fascinating natural formations like the Tortoise Climbing up the Mountain and the Monk Rock. The island is also home to three circular hiking routes.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Aberdeen Ferry Pier to Po Toi Island.
Grass Island is a small island located in the northeastern part of Hong Kong. Called Tap Mun in Cantonese, the island is known for its tranquil atmosphere, being one of the more remote outlying islands. Tap Mun is also home to several hiking trails, such as the Tai Tong Nature Trail and the Sam A Tsuen Nature Trail. Visitors can also enjoy fishing, swimming, and rough camping at the island’s secluded beaches.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Ma Liu Shui Ferry Pier to Grass Island.
Tung Ping Chau Island
Tung Ping Chau Island is a small island located in the northeasternmost part of Hong Kong. The island is known as being the most remote island in Hong Kong, as well as for its unique geology and beautiful scenery. Visitors can explore the island’s rocky coastline, which is home to several interesting rock formations, such as the Elephant Trunk Rock and the Devil’s Fist.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Ma Liu Shui Ferry Pier to Tung Ping Chau Island.
Sharp Island is a narrow island located in the eastern part of Hong Kong. The island is known for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful coral reefs, making it a popular destination for snorkeling and diving. Part of the protected Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark, visitors can also enjoy hiking on the island’s trails, such as the Kiu Tsui Country Trail and the Yung Shue Au Nature Trail. The island is also home to several beaches, such as Hap Mun Bay Beach.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Sai Kung Pier to Sharp Island.
Ap Chau Island
Ap Chau Island, also called Robinson Island, is located in the northernmost part of Hong Kong and is one of the city’s least populated islands. Ap Chau means ‘duck head’ in Cantonese, with some calling the above-pictured portion of rock that has been carved out by waves over time the ‘duck eye’. Spanning just 0.04 sq.km, visitors can enjoy a peaceful getaway surrounded by lush greenery and scenic coastal views. Visitors can also explore the island’s small village and enjoy fresh seafood caught by local fishermen.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Wong Shek Pier or Ma Liu Shui Pier to Ap Chau Island.
The Soko Islands are a group of 11 islands located south of Lantau Island. The islands are known for their pristine beaches, clear waters, and diverse marine life. Largely untouched by man, visitors can enjoy water activities such as snorkeling and diving, or simply relax on the many beaches and soak up the sun. The islands are also home to several family-friendly hiking trails, such as the Soko Islands Family Walk.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Aberdeen or Sai Wan Ho Ferry Pier to the Soko Islands.
Yim Tin Tsai Island
Yim Tin Tsai Island is a small island located off the coast of Sai Kung. The island was once a thriving salt farming community and is now home to several historic buildings, including a 300-year-old abandoned Hakka village and a restored church. St. Joseph’s Chapel and the natural salt pans (called yim tin), which are open to the public, are UNESO-listed historical sites. Visitors can explore the island’s cultural heritage, hike on the Yim Tin Tsai Nature Trail, or relax on the island’s small beach.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Sai Kung Pier to Yim Tin Tsai Island.
Header image credits: CHUNYIP WONG via Canva