Working in a concrete jungle for a five-day week wears us out. An effective way to recharge our battery is to get close to nature. The outlying islands in Hong Kong are great getaways, but some of them such as Cheung Chau can be as crowded as the city centre, particularly when festive events take place. For those who opt to travel at a more leisurely pace, head over to Peng Chau.
Going to Peng Chau is a piece of cake – a 30-minute ferry ride from Central Ferry Pier 6 will take you to the quaint island. Once getting off, you barely feel the familiar urban vibe in which you have long been living. The island is notably quiet as no private driving is allowed except emergency vehicles. Restaurants with big shiny signboards are rarely seen, but instead replaced by street food stalls. The island is home to a traditional specialty – stuffed sticky rice cake, home-made by the Chaozhou inhabitants, who make up a large part of the population.
Golden Industrial Era
Located in the northeast off Lantau Island, Peng Chau once witnessed vibrant economic activities, where lime kilns, shipyards, furniture and matchstick factories are dotted around since early 1900s. But with the advent of modern construction materials (e.g. cement) in the 30s and lighters in the 60s, clusters of the factories were forced to close down. Peng Chau returned to calmness once again after the last match factory shut down business in the 70s.
What to Play
Peng Chau is more than scenic beauty and rich history. It has much to offer. A beautiful start is to go fishing at Bridge Peng Chau, a great place to soak in its idyllic charm. After spending some time in solitude emptying your mind, treat yourself a variety of dim sum delicacies at a Chinese restaurant around the pier. You’ll notice the serving size is bigger than usual. Don’t forget to try the signature dessert style – stuffed sticky rice cake. Noon time is perfect for an easy hike. Get up to Finger Hill to grab a bird’s-eye view of the neighboring landscape. It’s also a vantage point to watch the sunset and catch a glimpse of Disneyland firework if it fits your schedule. Go downhill and enjoy dinner in a seafood restaurant.