Hong Kong: Lamma Island – Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan 5.7km

Good Mrs’ and my second Hong Kong hike this Christmas break was between two ferry piers on Lamma Island. From Yung Shue Wan to Sok Whu Wan. These are also the island’s two main settlements.

Map as follows:

The second map below shows a possible walk extension around Ling Kok Shan. Just add the red loop below once you arrive in Sok Kwu Wan. Good Mrs and I didn’t on this occasion.

Both sections are named Lamma Island Family Walk

To hike, you need to first get to Lamma Island.

Central Pier number 4 on Hong Kong Island offers those services, and you can see me on that ferry below. The journey across to Yung Shue Wan on Lamma Island takes some 30 to 40 minutes. You can arrive at one ferry port. And depart the other.

There is an additional route to Lamma Island. From Aberdeen on the south side of Hong Kong Island. Lamma Island is not serviced by any bridges or tunnels so a vessel is your transport.

On the ferry to Yung Shue Wan

Victoria Harbour offers great Hong Kong Island views towards Victoria Peak.

North side of Hong Kong Island from the Lamma Island ferry

Nowadays, Lamma Island is home to hipsters, dropouts, and creatives. In addition to fishermen and people in the tourist industry. The feel there is very laid back compared to the rush of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. No cars are allowed on the island. Although there are some four-wheel maintenance vehicles. Bikes in various conditions of course.

Once you arrive at Yung Shue Wan ferry pier on Lamma Island, turn right onshore. Follow the main route through the village. Look for signage towards Sok Kwu Wan. You are on Lamma Island Family Walk.

Arriving at Yung Shue Wan

Yung Shue Wan’s main thoroughfare is lined with craft stores, bric-a-brac stores, cafes and some seafood restaurants. Although, Sok Kwu Wan may be a better alternative for seafood. Plenty of seafood restaurants there along its waterfront. Maybe you can reward yourself for completing your hike…

Yung Shue Wan “Main Street”

Some direction signage below, just outside Yung Shue Wan.

Lamma Island signage

Good Mrs and I followed the Lemma Island Family Walk between buildings and some fields and deserted lots. A few caucasian hippies chat away with each other. No stress. Such a difference from Hong Kong’s city centre.

A small settlement appears. With a proper beach. Hung Shing Ye.

“This beach” is Hung Shing Ye Beach

Plenty of benches along Hung Shing Ye Beach. Almost nobody around. Perfect place to stop for a break. Prefer sunny or shady? Take your pick.

Hung Shing Ye Beach has its own lifesaver tower – although we saw nobody there nor in the water

A gentle climb follows Hung Shing Ye Beach. More picnic tables. Lamma Island’s Power Station comes into full view.

Picnic area on the other side of Hung Shing Ye Beach

The Lamma Island Family Walk trail was mostly surfaced and obviously suitable for families. Although there are some ups and downs along the way. In particular, this next section where you ascend to eventually get across and descend to the island’s eastern side.

Good Mrs on the trail

Soon, part of the vegetation showed sign of burns. Whether the fire was deliberately lit for fire prevention reasons or not, we didn’t know. The surrounding high grass would if left unattended, likely provide a fire hazard in dry conditions.

Suddenly this. Among the vegetation just off the trail. A smaller “shrine” appeared a short distance to the right. No signage so I can’t comment further.

A place of worship in the bush

Parts of Lamma Island Family Walk looked recently refurbished. Here, pipes ran along the trail on either side.

Newish part of trail

Fires, yes. A common problem in many parts of the world and of course at home in Australia. On Lamma Island, for smaller spot fires, you could use council provided fire beaters as per below.

Fire beaters

Plenty of photo opportunities now opened up. Below we are looking back towards from where we arrived and towards Hung Shing Ye Beach.

Selfie on Lamma Island Family Walk

Below was an interesting spot. Today’s trail highlight.

This is Lamma Island Lookout. With Lamma Island Lookout Pavilion. Clearly a popular place for locals and visitors alike. Plenty of broken and tattered plastic chairs littered the place. Garbage and what looked like a council rubbish collection next to the trail. Still…

Lamma Island Lookout Pavilion

…the views were spectacular.

Lamma Island Lookout was an even more awesome place to kick back than the beach earlier. Find a plastic chair you still can sit on, move it to where you want to be if not there already, sit down, enjoy. As I did below.

Brilliant views off Lamma Island Lookout

There is a small walkable headland. Walk out there, look back and you see Good Mrs. And the pavilion to the left. Pretty darn cool place. Facing west, sunsets must be spectacular from there.

Lamma Island Lookout – looking in

Some distance further was “The Pavilion” a sign told us. Yes, another pavilion, off the track a bit this time, but the area was small and with obstructed views. A destination for quiet meditation perhaps but not for grand views.

The Pavilion

We soon left “The Pavilion” and returned to the main trail.

Leaving The Pavilion

We passed yet another pavilion on the other eastern side of the hill. Here, down to the right is Sok Kwu Wan, today’s destination. Let’s check it out.

Checking out Sok Kwu Wan

Sok Kwu Wan looked like a narrow strip of land between the sea and the hill Ling Kok Shan behind it. The hill summit is supposed to have amazing views of Lamma Island and of Hong Kong. Unfortunately, we didn’t get up there today.

Sok Kwu Wan from across the bay

Closer to Sok Kwu Wan, a piece of magnificent street art. The island’s creative side. Unexpected, filling the whole side of a building, there wasn’t anything surrounding it suggesting something like that. Cool!

Street art on the way to Sok Kwu Wan

We heard about some kamikaze caves just outside Sok Kwu Wan, three of them still accessible. The Kamikaze Cave stretches back to World War II when the Japanese concealed speedboats there. In preparation for suicide mission deployments against Allied shipping. I don’t any of the speedboats were ever used for such a purpose. I don’t think so.

We found one kamikaze cave.

Outside a kamikaze cave

The kamikaze cave was merely a “hole in the wall”. Rubbish and stale water on the ground. Not much. I didn’t venture far in.

Just inside a kamikaze cave

I mentioned seafood restaurants in Sok Kwu Wan earlier. Here we are.

Sok Kwu Wan’s “seafood restaurant strip”

At 10.45am or so, there were not many diners. That didn’t stop spruikers from approaching us offering menus and suggestions. We declined. Way too early. Place empty. Hence, I can’t comment on the products and services on offer here.

One of many (empty) Sok Kwu Wan’s seafood restaurants

After those seafood restaurants, there are two piers. Returning to Hong Kong Island, you want Pier No 2. Pier 1 appeared to be a working pier for goods.

Sok Kwu Wan Pier No 2

A short lovely “stroll” across Lamma Island. Easy walking, mostly surfaced and wide path from memory. Great views, highlight being, of course, Lamma Island Lookout. And easy to extend it for more distance. Just continue walking beyond the ferry pier.

And no shortage of eateries if you’re into seafood…


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