Sunday, 8 July 2012

Lamma, not Llama

Brilliant sunshine on Saturday, a day off! Accompanied, as usual, by high temps and even higher humidity (Easterners, you know all about this!). Undaunted, I set off for one of Hong Kong's smaller Islands, Lamma, with one of my neighbors. Stephanie is an interior designer from Singapore who is working in Hong Kong for a year and is as keen to explore as I am. So nice to have some company!

The island is about 20 minutes by ferry from downtown, so off we went across Victoria Harbor, dodging freighters anchored there and eying passing launches. The water was blue-green and a bit bouncy, but it was wonderful to feel the breeze as we headed south.

The ferry discharged us in Yung Shue Wan, one of the two towns of any size on the island. Tourism is apparently big business, with a number of restaurants and shops eager for our business. We browsed a bit before heading off on the Family Trail, a paved concrete walkway that leads pedestrians from settlement on the island to another, with offshoots that take people to scenic overlooks or various beaches.

Since it was past lunchtime, we were quickly seduced by aromatic smells coming from further ahead. We tracked them to the Lamma Grill, a small takeout place that had only been open for three days. Its owners are Australians who are longtime Lamma residents and we succumbed to the lure of Westerm food: pulled pork for Steph and a lamb burger -- OK, that's more Australian than Western -- for me, along with thick, fresh cut fries. Mmmmm!

Fortified, we made our way along the trail, enjoying the foliage, the bird songs and the lovely flowers adorning the trail. Soon, we found ourselves at the island's most popular beach, Hung Shing Yeh, which stands in the shadow of a huge power plant. (Simcoe-area friends, insert choking sound here!) The water was clear and the sand was yellow, but the beach was only half-full. Not a bad option for a beach escape, but we were on a wandering mission. However, it didn't preclude me from adding to my shell collection!

Up and down the hills we went en route to the opposite side of the island. The views were glorious: sun-drenched trees and shrubs, light sparkling on the blue bays, ships settled calmly at anchor.

We reached the town of Sok Kwu Wan a while later, but decided we weren't yet hungry enough to stop for dinner, so it was on to the hamlet of Mo Tat Wan. There, we had a beach almost to ourselves: a couple of teens were bathing at the opposite end. A perfect opportunity to take off our shoes and let the incoming tide soothe our feet.

Next, on to dinner. The island is home to many fishermen, and there's nothing like seafood right off the boat. Interestingly, there are a half-dozen restaurants cheek by jowl, and they all have seafood pens along the shoreline. When they get low on one item or another, someone simply takes a bucket and walks to the shore to replenish!

We were lucky enough to get a table right by the water, and that's where we enjoyed a dinner of prawns in soy sauce, razor clams in black bean sauce and steamed eggplant with garlic. Yum! And with such a picturesque setting, it was easy to linger until it was time to board the ferry for home.

Yes, it's a tough life here in HK, but heck, I'm a survivor! :)


  1. Oh boy, your posts always make me hungry! :)

  2. I love that you're having such a sensory experience and are able to share it with us that way.