3 Hong Kong islands for an authentic, natural getaway

Hong Kong is more famous for its skyscrapers than for its natural landscapes. So why not get off the beaten track and explore them while you’re here?

Hong Kong, aka the Perfume Harbour, is a rich and surprising destination. It comprises three main territories: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. Renowned for housing the largest number of skyscrapers in the world, the destination also boasts an extraordinary diversity of landscapes. In fact, up to 40% of its surface area is made up of protected parks and nature reserves! Good news: the destination has reopened its doors with the lifting of travel restrictions linked to Covid-19*.

In this article, we unveil three of Hong Kong’s most sumptuous nuggets: Lamma Island, Lantau Island and Yim Tin Tsai Island. Between deserted beaches, rocky coasts, lush forests, green valleys and temples nestled in the mountains, these are clearly worth the trip. Why not let yourself be tempted?

Lamma Island: a fisherman’s paradise

lamma island - hong kong

Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

  • 📍 How to get there: ferry from Central Piers or Aberdeen (Hong Kong Island)
  • 💙 We love: activities at Lamma Fisherfolk’s Village

Lamma Island is a short ferry ride from Hong Kong Island. Historically associated with the fishing industry, you’ll arrive in the fishing village of Sok Kwu Wan. It’s home to a host of small restaurants and boutiques that line the waterfront promenade. We invite you to take a stroll along it: it’s a real feast for the eyes!

Not far away, Lamma Fisherfolk’s Village, a floating village, offers a glimpse into the daily life of traditional fishermen. You can board an authentic junk and take part in fishing and rope-weaving workshops. Fans can watch – and take part in – the preparation of the island’s emblematic salted fish. This is clearly one of our favorite spots on Lamma.

Hong Kong Great Outdoors 2022-Outdoors-Lamma Island Itinerary POI 4-Hung Shing Yeh Beach-03

Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

Hung Shing Yeh beach is the most popular swimming spot on Hong Kong’s Lamma Island. Its position at the foot of green hills provides an idyllic setting for basking in the sun. On-site stalls offer grilled meats and iced fruit to enjoy as the sun sets. If you wish, continue on to Tai Ling Peak, home to Hong Kong’s first wind turbine. The panorama is truly remarkable.

We continue our visit to the fishing village of Yung Shue Wan, the island’s nerve center. Its relaxed, cosmopolitan atmosphere can be felt at every turn, especially on the main shopping street that runs along the coastline. Here you’ll find a host of fishing-related craft stores and fish and seafood restaurants.

Lantau Island

île de lantau hong kong

Photo credit: TSE HON NING

  • 📍 How to get there: ferry from Central Piers (Hong Kong Island), metro to Tung Chung
  • 💙 We love: the beauty of Cheung Sha beach

Hong Kong’s Lantau Island is a prime tourist destination. Lantau’s star attraction is the Tian Tan Buddha, a 34-metre-high sculpture. To visit it, take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car up from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping village. It offers exceptional views of the island’s verdant mountains, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Great Buddha. The more adventurous will opt for the glass-bottomed cabin for guaranteed vertiginous sensations.

Then head for Tung Chung Fort. During the Second World War, this historic site was occupied by Japanese forces. Afterwards, it was used as a police station and later as a university. The nearby Tung Chung Battery is also worth a visit.

20180515-Big Buddha

Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

A stroll to the village of Pui O and its two beaches is a must! With its three kilometers of white sand, one of them, Cheung Sha, is one of Hong Kong’s longest beaches. Here, you can enjoy a swim or one of the many water sports on offer. Then it’s on to Discovery Bay, the heart of Lantau. Here, you can admire the regattas of the local Yacht Club, go shopping or dine in top-rated restaurants.

The ideal way to appreciate the beauty of Lantau Island is to tackle the seventy-kilometer Lantau Trail. The route comprises 12 sections of varying difficulty, leading to the 2nd highest peak on Lantau Island, Sunset Peak. At 869 metres, it is Hong Kong’s third-highest peak. Finally, the fishing village of Tai O and its canals are a must-see.

Yim Tin Tsai Island

Hong Kong Great Outdoors 2021-Outdoors-Yim Tin Tsai Itinerary-heroImage-02

Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

  • 📍 How to get there: ferry from Sai Kung peninsula
  • 💙 We love: the chance to discover Hong Kong’s only natural salt flats

Once abandoned, the island of Yim Tin Tsai, just off the Sai Kung peninsula, is now home to two UNESCO World Heritage attractions. First, its salt marshes (or yim tin, in Cantonese), which inspired its name. Secondly, the elegant, century-old Chapel of St. Joseph. Its interior features a set of stained-glass windows and a red-and-white altar protected by a high ceiling. The chapel witnessed the religious conversion of the island’s Hakka villagers. The mosaic steps outside the chapel are well worth a visit.

The Yim Tin Tsai salt marshes are Hong Kong’s only natural saltworks. When you visit, you’ll see « Sanctuary of Salt », a cubic art installation representing the original shape of salt crystals. At the Salt and Light Preservation Centre, you’ll also find a souvenir store. Here you can buy bottles of Yim Tin Tsai salt and handmade soaps made from salt produced on site.

Hong Kong Great Outdoors 2021-Outdoors-Yim Tin Tsai Itinerary POI 7-Sai Kung-02

Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

Salt marshes made you thirsty? Head for Hong Kong’s last source of fresh water, the Whitewater Spring. This was the island’s only water supply for centuries. To the south, the Jade Bridge links Yim Tin Tsai to the neighbouring island of Kau Sai Chau. This is one of the most picturesque spots on the island, with views over the China Sea and surrounding islands.

Continue on to the seaside town of Sai Kung. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a good meal, with a high concentration of restaurants. We invite you to sample some of Hong Kong’s iconic local specialties. Seafood, shrimp ravioli, steamed bites… A real delight!

So, which Hong Kong island will you be packing your bags for when you visit the archipelago? We look forward to hearing from you!

*Travel restrictions have been lifted: quarantine, vaccination, indoor and outdoor masks and antigenic or PCR testing before departure from France are no longer mandatory for foreign visitors wishing to travel to Hong Kong.

As a reminder, with a European passport (valid for more than a month after returning from Hong Kong), visitors do not need a visa to stay for up to 90 days as tourists.

partenariat avec logo hong kong