If you’re going to visit Cheung Chau, research it properly first. Don’t do what I did and randomly select the island as your day out because you told your boyfriend you were planning the weekend and then completely forgot and when he asked you what the plan was you randomly googled ‘Things to do in Hong Kong’ and replied with the first thing on the list. Breathe.
However, my panicked choice turned out to be a good idea. I mean, when something is so close to number 1 on Trip Advisor it can’t be that bad. Plus I cut out a lot of time that I would have spent googling and taking an unnecessarily long time picking something with. Thus, freeing up more time for me to… watch Netflix/drink tea/tidy.
I’ve already gave a spoiler and told you that it turned out well, the reason I say to research it is because when we got to the island we were thoroughly underwhelmed. I mean, the first thing we saw was a McDonalds. On an island where the sole method of transport is bicycles, there was a McDonalds. I don’t know why I’m surprised, I’m pretty sure cavemen invented the wheel after seeing the perfectly round burgers (My point with that joke is that McDonalds have been around for ages).
All I knew about Cheung Chau was that there’s excellent sea food, a nice beach and some good views to be seen. We ate scrambled egg on toast and pizza, Paul complained about the sand and we could not figure out how to find these goddamn beautiful views. That’s where research is handy.
Eventually, after doing laps of the island we found a temple that was pretty pretty, from that temple we found ourselves hauling ourselves up practically vertical paths and somehow we ended up on a hike trail. Complete fluke, if in doubt, head towards dense trees. It was lovely and shaded and there actually was some incredible views. There was a viewing platform on the top of a hill that gave you a 360 view of Cheung Chau and other nearby islands. We stayed up their quite a while looking around and getting the breeze and then we carried on to what is called ‘The Mini Great Wall’ lots and lots of steps. Lots. It was awesome running down the steps, not that awesome dragging yourself up them – especially when you don’t have any drinks and are in the line of the sun for long periods of time.
The path took us to a little beach, it’s called Coral Beach and it’s tiny and secluded and the only way to get to it is taking the trail we took. The water was a lovely greeny blue and the sand was golden. Unfortunately for Coral Beach, lots of plastic trash washes up here. There was drinks bottles, tablet bottles, polystyrene, plastic bags. All sorts of crap that isn’t bio-degradable and will be there until someone cleans it all, and then more will wash up. It was all man-made, there was a few pieces of drift wood or old ropes that would actually give the beach a piratey cove feel if that’s all that was there. It was really sad to see such a beautiful place looking like a tip. That didn’t stop a few people from sunbathing here though, I would too if we went back because it was so peaceful and the water looked amazing (apart from the rubbish).
By this time, I’m dying. I’m cursing Paul for not heeding my warning and getting drinks before we embarked on our adventure. I’m mentally cursing the sun for being too damn hot and I’m cursing myself for having this stupid idea. I deal with the heat really poorly, I get dehydrated easily and then I get headaches and get irritated. I was still in good spirits (though you might want to confirm this with Paul) I just wanted the stairs to stop going upwards and for someone to put an ice cold bottle of water in my hand.
Eventually the stairs did end and we found a bench, it’s fun to sit down and people watch as it’s pretty hilarious seeing the tourists who have hired the bikes. Also, you could hire a bike yourself. as there’s some fun looking hills to ride down (but not ride back up again).
The day ended well, with me getting my beloved water and once we got back to Central Paul finally got himself a bottle of Amaretto (Strangely hard to track down in HK).
It’s pretty easy to get to Cheung Chau, just get yourself to Central Pier 5 and the boats run every half an hour. We took the slow ferry which gets you there in less than an hour but there is a quicker alternative.The ferry is less than $15hkd each way which is an absolute bargain if you compare it to the costs of a day at the seaside in England (or maybe it’s expensive compared to whatever country you’re from!) We took a taxi from Happy Valley to the pier but it’s a quick walk from Hong Kong Station. Food is really cheap on the island too, a great day out without spending an absolute fortune. Remember to buy water before starting a hike!!!
*WOW* I managed to spell Cheung Chau wrong in every way possible! Fixed now!