Hong Kong/Outlying Islands

Hong Kong's Outlying Islands (離島 lèih dóu) are a generic label for the other 234 islands, islets and rocks in the territory.

For tourists, the most popular islands include:

Understand

Lantau Island

Lantau Island is Hong Kong's largest island, and is actually part of the New Territories. It is also well connected to Kowloon via the MTR metro system. It is not part of this article, therefore please refer to the Lantau article for more details.

Hong Kong's islands have been and to some extent continue to be Hong Kong's hinterland, home to rustic fishing villages battered by the occasional typhoon, monasteries run by hardscrabble monks and little else. However, the last decade or so have seen some changes. The islands are car-free, so expect plenty of bicycles and a chance to escape the noise, aggression and air pollution associated with the modern motor car.

Peng Chau offers an unpretentious and less hectic experience than other islands.

Get in

Travelling to the Outlying Islands is much simpler and easier than many visitors might suppose. Most tourists and local residents use the frequent and inexpensive ferry services to travel to their preferred island. The exceptions to this rule are the smaller and more remote islands where you will need to either hire a boat to take you there or investigate the less frequent and more informal boat services that can, sometimes, be hard to find. However, most Hong Kong people never concern themselves with the smaller islands, so simply head for the Central ferry terminals (alongside the Star Ferry) and make your choice. Having an Octopus card will speed you through the gates because some ferry services only accept payment using coins or Octopus.

See the main Hong Kong article on how to get and use the Octopus Card.

Some services impose a 50% surcharge for travel on Sundays and public holidays. Therefore, it's usually cheaper and less crowded to visit during the week or on Saturdays. Paying more for a premium seat on a ferry is usually a disappointing experience.

By boat

Ferries for all major islands of interest depart from the Outlying Islands pier in Central, to the west of the Star Ferry terminal. The largest operators are New World First Ferry and the Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry Company . Some ferries come in slow (or "ordinary") and fast versions. The slow ferry is generally available every other departure, so if the fast ferry comes every thirty minutes, the slow ferry will come every hour. When time tables show an asterisk beside a departure time, it usually means that a slow ferry is available in addition to the fast ferry.

There is also a local ferry service [ from Aberdeen to Lamma Island (Mo Tat and Sok Kwu Wan).

Get around

On the islands you're pretty much restricted to walking, renting a bike ($10 an hour or $30 a day is typical) or catching a kaido (街渡 gāaidouh), a small ferry, from one pier to the next.

See

Besides participating in the festivals, tourist can visit different sites, for example the temples and caves.

Buy

There are not many shopping bargains on the islands. However, beach items tend to be more reasonably priced.

Eat

Lamma and Cheung Chau are well known for a large number of seafood restaurants. The decor of the restaurants are generally basic but clean and should never be seen as an indication of the quality of the food which is usually high.

Drink

Aside from a few pubs on Lamma, the nightlife in the islands is pretty quiet. Island drinking usually amounts to no more than either a few bottles of cheap Chinese beer, or endless cups of jasmine tea.

Sleep

Accommodation on these islands is fairly limited compared to Kowloon and Hong Kong island and consists mainly of guest houses (a few of which call themselves hotels).

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, August 05, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.