With the typhoon just passing Hong Kong a day ago, I was closely monitoring the weather just to make sure that there was not going to be any residual rain that was going to spoil our plans for Cheung Chau. Being the avid TVB drama fan, I always wondered what it would be like in Cheung Chau, Lamma Island and the likes. So we decided to do something a little less city-ish and try out Cheung Chau with the kids.
We took an MTR from Jordan near our hotel and reached Central MTR in less than 15 minutes. From there, it was a short walk to the Central Ferry Pier where different lines/ routes departing from different pier numbers. We headed towards Pier 5 where the ferry would take us to Cheung Chau. We left our hotel at 745am and were at Central Pier 5 by 825am. In fact we made it just in time for the 830am ferry. Do check out the ferry schedule beforehand though because there are 2 types of ferry..the fast express one and the normal one which leaves at different time slots. We were initially targeting for the 9am Express ferry but figured the extra wait time at the ferry terminal versus the longer journey time on the 830am ferry would have us reaching Cheung Chau about the same time anyway and we preferred to be on the move.
We got to Cheung Chau nice and early and most shops were either still closed or just opening up. I had planned for us to have some authentic hole in the wall dim sum breakfast so we headed in search of 漢軒茶樓 (located at 58 Hing Lung Back Street). It is located in the right side of the next alley which runs parallel to the Main Street. You have to know what you are looking for because the looks from the shop front will send any sanity loving parents of young children running in the opposite direction. :p It is a really small cramped shop with a stove full of dim sum basket at the front of the shop and tables cramped up inside. The owner was very nice when I said I needed four seats and found us a table with empty seats immediately but of course we had to share it with a couple of uncles leisurely reading their newspaper and enjoying the morning tea. We were abit uncomfortable at first and were worried that we or the kids were disturbing them but they silently move the utensils and pots or cups around and it almost felt like a silent acceptance and their way of looking out for us. I was hungry and determined to have my breakfast there and I suppose a part of me stubbornly wanted my kids to get through this and be tossed out of their comfort zone if only for awhile. We ordered the food from the stove in the front and the aunties there were very nice to give us recommendation so we just ordered some stuff which tasted really good and was really good value too!
Now this may seem random but parents with potty trained kids would know why this is important..we were almost through our meal when Jah decided that this was a good time to need the loo. Nope not the kind of need where mummy equipped with a pee bag was ready for. Joel had this look of horror on his face! Where are we going to find a toilet on this island! Luckily I remembered seeing a toilet sign while we were searching for the restaurant and I immediately took off and started backtracking with Jah (wonders of a mother’s subconscious mind haha) Needless to say we found the toilet and Joel’s fears were unfounded because it was really really clean!
For those with older kids, there are lots more to do on Cheung Chau like hiking and visiting the Po Chai Cave. However we didn’t think the kids would be able to handle a hike of that distance and then make their way back (which usually calls for an entire day trip). So we focused our time within the few alleys of the main street, basically in search of different types of snack and food. We had planned to visit a lot of shops but Joel would complain to you that he wasn’t expecting it to be an eating expedition and really wasn’t ready to stomach so much.
We tried Giant fishballs which were available at almost every corner. Kind of wished I had waited abit longer for the ones that sold the curry ones to open. We also stopped at a shop for shaved ice, mango mochi and fried chips with your choice seasoning. Although I have to say the chips were rather hard. But the kids were really happy so…:)
Joel needed his coffee fix and was surprised to find a little shop selling freshly brewed coffee.
I wanted to try some ping tang hu lu (candied haw) and put zai kou (red bean cup ‘jelly’..honestly I felt abit disappointed because the ping tang hu lu in this instance was really iced fruits and the put zai kou was kind of tasteless. Looks like I will have to head to Taiwan for the real ping tang hu lu?
After all that snacking, we decided to head for lunch (yes Joel was about to kill me ahha) but there was no way we could have done any hiking in those sunny humid conditions as you can see from my kids going on strike in one of the above photos. (Probably should have brought our carriers for this)
We headed to New Baccarret (one of the many seafood restaurants) on the main thoroughfare. Most of them would come with standard sets that you could order or you could do it ala carte. I asked for an English menu and then started to wonder if there was a difference in pricing hmmm but I really was too tired and hot at that point to bother. We ordered fried rice, some prawns in garlic sauce and fried calamari. The prawns and the sauce was ohh so good!
We made it in time for the 1pm ferry after that. Half glad to be making it back to city life and an afternoon nap but also half glad that we tried this. I would come back with the kids again especially when they are abit older and ready to do alittle more exploration of the island. But it was a good experience for what it’s worth 🙂