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Asia > East Asia > Hong Kong > Hong Kong/Outlying Islands > Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau

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Cheung Chau (長洲 Chèuhng Jāu) is one of the most populous of the Outlying Islands of Hong Kong with a population of over 20,000. The island is also referred to as "dumbbell island" (啞鈴島) in Cantonese due to its shape.

Cheung Chau main settlement as seen from the surrounding hills.

Cheung Chau is a popular weekend getaway destination for Hongkongers, and during summer the streets can get very busy. At peak times during the year, it is not unknown for the population of the island to more than double as busy Hongkongers come to the island for a break from the city and to sample the seafood on offer.

Understand[edit]

Location of Cheung Chau in Hong Kong

A small island near Lantau that used to be a pirates' den but now houses mostly windsurfers and sunbathing day trippers.

It still has a traditional community based on an active fishing fleet and many thriving seafood restaurants, and also has a number of reasonable hiking trails and some usable beaches.

Cheung Chau settlement in 1919.

In the past, the higher parts Cheung Chau were, like Victoria Peak, racially segregated and Chinese were prohibited from living there. This was relaxed after the Second World War, and at present much of the land on the hilltops of the island are occupied by monasteries.

Get in[edit]

  • 1 Cheung Chau Pier (長洲碼頭). Cheung Chau is accessible from Hong Kong Central Pier 5, with sailings departing every 20-60 minutes. The journey time ranges from 35 to 40 minutes for fast boat and 55 to 60 minutes for ordinary boat.
Day Sailing Type Ticket Type Price
Monday - Saturday Ordinary Adult $13.60
Child / Elderly / Disabled $6.80
Fast Adult $26.80
Child / Elderly / Disabled $13.40
Sunday & Public Holidays Ordinary Adult $20.20
Child / Elderly / Disabled $10.10
Fast Adult $38.80
Child / Elderly / Disabled $19.40

There is also service between Cheung Chau and South District of Hong Kong Island (Aberdeen). One-way journey takes about 55 to 65 minutes.

Day Ticket Type Price
Monday - Friday Adult $30.00
Child $15.00
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays Adult $32.00
Child $16.00

Cheung Chau is also accessible from the island of Peng Chau, or from Mui Wo on Lantau island by the inter-island ferry.

Origin Sailing Type Ticket Type Price
Peng Chau / Mui Wo Ordinary Adult $13.40
Child / Elderly / Disabled $6.70

Get around[edit]

Cheung Chau has no cars except for some small "village vehicles" used to transport cargo, and the vehicles used by the emergency services. Visitors must travel by foot or by bicycle.

See[edit]

There is a walking tour available around the island with scenic views and temples; look for the tourist map near the ferry pier. It is best to visit in good weather, if it rains, there's nowhere to wait it out because nearly everything is outside.

  • 1 Tin Hau Temple (天后廟). Tin Hau, the queen of heaven is the god who receives the most respect from many who live on Cheung Chau, especially those who are fishermen. Tin Hau is revered as the god who protects fisherman. Tin Hau has been respected for many years, and so there are four Tin Hau Temples on the island.
Prehistoric rock carvings on Cheung Chau.
  • 2 The Cave and Rocks (長洲古石刻). There is a very famous cave on Cheung Chau which is called Cheung Bo Zai Ton. This cave is named after a local pirate and is located at Sai Bay (西灣). The cave is associated with the fictional story of the priate, Cheung Bo Zai, who supposedly hid his treasure in this cave. Along the same coastline are a number of rocks with different shapes and it is a local tradition to imagine what they resemble.
  • 3 Windsurfing memorial statute (風帆雕塑). On Cheung Chau, visitors should also look out for the this statue which commemorates a Hong Kong windsurfing athlete, Lee Lai-shan (李麗珊), who won the first (and the only) Olympic gold medal for the territory.

Do[edit]

  • The Cheung Chau Bun Festival.
    The Cheung Chau Bun Festival in 1961.
    Is a popular annual event held in early May, this is a festival where people climb up a tower which is covered with buns. Previously it had been abolished because a tower collapsed and injured 24 people in 1978 under immense weight by people climbing onto it. However, thanks to the people who live in Cheung Chau, who campaigned for many years, the government allowed this component of the festival to restart in 2005. It is now turned into a climbing competition with heats and finals for men, women and team categories.
    A bun tower being prepared for the festival.
    The Bun festival lasts for five days and the climax is on the third day when participants dress up as historical characters and ride on floats. When children act on the floats, they appear in the air because of their dress. On the last day, at midnight, buns from the tower will be given to the community, bringing them good luck throughout the year. People believe that the more they get, the luckier they are. Ferries are very crowded on the day though, so expect long queues if you intend to go.
    Cheung Chau Bun Festival (Q846585) on Wikidata Cheung Chau Bun Festival on Wikipedia
  • Birthday of Tin Hau. Besides the Bun Festival, another big festival is the birthday of Tin Hau. Tin Hau is the "queen of the heaven" and is closely associated with seafarers and fishermen. The birthday of Tin Hau is in the Chinese calendar on the 23rd day of the third lunar month. However, people in Cheung Chau usually celebrate it on the 18th, because in the past, there were no street lights on the island and people couldn't see when they were on their way to the temple during the night time, but moving the festivities a few days earlier meant that they could using the moonlight. Now it has become a tradition to celebrate it earlier. During the celebrations, you may see floats, acrobats, lion dancing, and effigies of mythical animals.
  • Windsurfing & Sunbathing. The prime drawcards on the beaches of Cheung Chau.

Buy[edit]

  • Shrimp paste is a very famous sauce in Cheung Chau which is made from fresh prawn.

Eat[edit]

Hong Kong is famous for its fishballs. however, the quality of the fishballs reach peak height in Cheung Chau. One of the most famous fishballs are the Gan Yongtai fishballs that are enjoyed by locals. Some of the fishballs are made with bean curd.

Another delicacy is seafood. There are various types of seafood in Cheung Chau, such as chili clams, steamed prawns and deep fried squid.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

The Cave is dark and the ground is uneven. One should wear appropriate shoes and bring a flash light when exploring the Cave.

From 2000, there were a number of highly publicized suicides by charcoal-burning in vacation homes and guesthouses in Cheung Chau. While the number of suicides in Cheung Chau has gone down since then, if you arrive at a guesthouse and senses something is wrong (sealed windows and burnt charcoal in closed space), leave the building and call emergency hotline (999) immediately.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

Central District - the Central Business District of Hong Kong.

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