From The top of the hill, we could see the sandy beach at Hung Shing Yeh. Jerome could not wait to get there and almost ran ahead, down the hill. Considering the last few days in Hong Kong had been a pleasant temperature of around 20C but certainly not warm enough to go for a swim in the sea, we were lucky that on this day the actual temperature was much higher and warm enough for us to change into our swimming costumes and laze on the beach. The beach was equipped with changing rooms, showers, toilets and a convenience store. The boys played in the water, while I watched them and the other people on the beach. The beach had a different designed lifeguard tower in a happy go lucky pink, with a stripy sunshades, a contrast to those on our previous walk. No lifeguard in sight though, most local people would probably not consider it swimming season yet.
There also was a man with a straw sunhat and a rake pulling a basket behind, raking up the dirt and rubbish from the sandy shores. I went to put my feet into the water, which was pleasant, but not warm enough to tempt me to rush in. To the left side we could see the huge power station, which is responsible for illuminating Hong Kong and the outlying islands. Some people might be concerned about coming to an island that is home to a coal power station like found on Lamma, but checking websites and forums, everyone agrees that the pollution is pretty much the same everywhere in Hong Kong. The water quality on the beaches of Lamma is also always rated as very good and if you fancy a beach away from the tourist trap of Hung Shing Yeh, head to Lamma Power station beach only a few minutes walk away. Lots of locals come here to avoid the tourists or to walk.
After our time lazing we went for lunch at the restaurant behind the beach. We luckily grabbed some free seats on the terrace, overlooking the walking trail and the beach with the sea shining through the trees. The restaurant does not deserve to praised in any kind of form for the taste of its basic food, but it surely must be in line for the longest French fries in the world.
Leaving the beach behind we wandered on towards Yung Shue Wan. The trail winds its way along, beneath the shady canopy of trees and past the lush green hillside. There was the odd residential house perched in between. We reached the outskirts of the village fairly soon and the path turned into a wider road. Children on their bikes passed us, there were locals returning with shopping bags and woman hanging their washing out onto the line in the sunshine or on the balcony. There are no cars allowed in the village, which makes it a very pleasant stroll but watch out for some crazy cyclists rushing around the corners.
Hung Shue Wan village itself is slightly bigger than Sok Kwu and in the street behind the seafront we could see a selection of shops selling daily essentials and there also were plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from if anyone wanted to stay on for dinner. We made a little detour to the village temple, Tin Hau, with its two stone lions and the signature incense spirals slowly burning under its roof. Opposite the temple was a playground and sports field and we watched some of the kids playing football for a while.
Walking back down the main street that follows the curve of the bay to the other end we found the pier for the ferry. The walkway to the pier was decorated with red Chinese lampions and colourful bunting. There were bikes upon bikes parked all the way down the pier, which was no surprise as this is the easiest and fastest way for locals to get around the island.
Some people might consider returning to Sok Kwu Wan for dinner, which is definitely a possibility, as the return four kilometre walk would only take about an hour or so if you just keep on walking non-stop. The other option is to take one of the ferries to Hong Kong Island.
With children in tow Lamma makes a great day out, away from the city, especially if it is warm enough for a swim in between. The Family trail is paved the whole way and there are no steps which would make it possible to take a pushchair, but I personally would advise against it as it is not too far for little legs, but that is just my personal preference.
The ferry came shortly after and there were plenty of people disembarking, returning home from a day of work in down town Hong Kong. I have to say the island feels like being in a different world and yet it is so close to this vast city. People living here, surely must have a better way of life than being cramped into one of these huge tower blocks on the main island. We enjoyed our ride back on the ferry. The sun was just setting behind the skyline of Sheung Wan and Central, which made the window fronts of the buildings glow like gold. The perfect ending to a beautiful day in the city state.