Yes, it is possible to escape the madding crowd in this town.
For one of the most densely populated parts of the planet, Hong Kong has a surprising amount of green space. Most people live literally on top of each other in high rise apartment towers, concentrated along the shore of Hong Kong Island.
Behind them are forests leading up to the Peak, which absolutely must be scaled, by foot or by cable train, by every visitor. Except for us.
We find our Hong Kong green space on one of the outer islands.
Lamma Island is a 30-minute ferry ride from Hong Kong Central Pier. It’s an interesting ride, since it’s the first chance we get to see Hong Kong from the water.
We file off the ferry in the scruffy little village of Yung Shue Wan, traipse along the waterfront past the seafood restaurants, where staff gently invite us to sit down and drink something, if not to eat some of the sea creatures squirming in tanks.
Then we follow the small groups of day-trippers along the Family Walking Trail – a well-made and marked path across the island towards the village of Sok Kwu Wan.
It’s not a difficult walk. We reach Sok Kwu Wan in a couple of leisurely hours, even on a warm, humid day, with pauses to admire the views across to Lantau Island. We can best compare it to a stroll around the fringes of Sydney Harbour – some nice bushy bits, a pleasant beach, nothing really spectacular.
Rainbow Seafood Restaurant makes it into all the Hong Kong guidebooks and lists of top eating places. I suspect its location on the beach, looking out on the fishing rafts moored in the bay has much to do with its success though, judging from the lobster and crabs we tried, the food is good too.
It’s casual dining, sitting on plastic chairs, and we’d have to say the service, like much we’ve found in Hong Kong, is pretty casual and unfriendly too. People do their job efficiently enough, though nobody’s going out of their way to please. 10% service charge is added to the bill anyway, so there’s no need to impress. And we’re just tourists anyway; they’ll never see us again in their lives.
Have others had this experience too, or is it just us?
All in all, a good day.