The ferries that are going to the islands around Hong Kong are very cheap. This makes it very affordable to visit the islands. All the islands are very unique and have their own qualities. Today I took a trip to Lantau Island and Peng Chau. One being very small and cozy and the other very big and diverse. Cycling is a great way to see the beauty of Lantau Island, which is exactly what I did.
The island Peng Chau is only 1 km² in size so it doesn’t take very long to see all of it. It’s just big enough to have a couple of villages and it’s not touristy at all. There are many fishermen living here and there are restaurants all over the place. Time seems to stand still in Peng Chau. Like most of these small Hong Kong islands, cars are not allowed.
Peng Chau can be reached with a ferry from Central and it costs only 28 HKD for a one way ticket. The exact fare must be paid when paying cash, but Octopus cards can also be used. It only took me around 30 minutes to get to Peng Chau with the fast ferry.
Many tourists will go up Finger Hill. This is the highest point of the island and supposed to be a great lookout point. Because I arrived a bit late in the afternoon and wanted to visit Lantau Island too, I didn’t go here. I took a walk to the east side of the island where a beach is located inside the bay.
In the small streets that lead to this east side beach, there are many fruit shops and restaurants. I decided to buy some meat sandwiches here to kill my appetite a little. Very tasty indeed. After a short 10 minute walk, I found myself at the beach.
The beach offers a great view of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon in the distance. The last couple of days were very rainy in Hong Kong but today there was no rain at all and the skies were very clear. This made for some spectacular views. The beach wasn’t really the kind that you want to lay on and enjoy the sun at. All kinds of garbage washed ashore and some dogs made it their territory.
At the end of the beach there is an uphill stairs that lead to the hilltop. This overlooks the bay and provides a view in the direction of Hong Kong Island. Up here is also where a concrete soccer field is located, which is open to the public.
There is a ferry going from Peng Chau, which is called the Inter-Island service. This ferry goes to Lantau Island (first Mui Wo and then Chi Ma Wan) and the Cheung Chau Island. I took this ferry to Mui Wo, which cost me another 28 HKD. Mui Wo is a city on the south eastern part of Lantau Island.
There’s a lot going on at Lantau Island, which is the largest island of Hong Kong. The airport of Hong Kong, for example, is located on the northern part of the island and is connected to Lantau by train and highway. There are also several tourist activities on the island, such as the Big Buddha and the cable cars. I’ve already been there 3 years ago and know that they can be very crowded. Mui Wo is a bit more laidback. Cars are allowed on Lantau island but bicycles are still a very popular way of transportation here, especially in Mui Wo.
What was funny about Mui Wo is that the first thing I saw on the island, was a McDonald’s restaurant. It was very visible from miles away already, looking out of the ferries windows. So much for authenticity.
I wanted to explore the island on a bike so I headed to the first bike rental I could find. It didn’t take long for me to find one, which was called The Friendly Bicycle Shop. What’s in a name. They were indeed very friendly because I didn’t bring the necessary photo ID but they still rented me a bike. They also didn’t mind that I had no money left to pay the required deposit. I ended up paying 30 HKD for a 1.5 hour ride on one of their cheaper bikes.
Unfortunately for me, Mui Wo isn’t very big and most of the roads are going nowhere. There is one road going out of the village but it goes up a very steep mountain. I tried going up here but thought better of it after about 100 metres. It really wasn’t the weather for this and I came a bit unprepared. There are many trails going all around Lantau Island but I didn’t have enough time left to do any of these, unfortunately.
The most interesting place I found around Mui Wo was a helicopter pad at the end of some road. This gave a magnificent view on Hong Kong Island.
It was fun to explore Peng Chau and because it’s not very big in size, it can be done in just 1 or 2 hours. If i was to go there again, I would also go to Finger Hill to have a lookout over the island.
Mui Wo was worth going to, because of its beautiful nature and the mountain trails. I would like to go back one day and spend an afternoon cycling around the island. This is however quite challenging with all the steep mountains so it would take some preparation to do this.