Cheung Chau Island – Hong Kong
Photos from my mini vacation to Cheung Chau, a little island outside Hong Kong. It’s a cute island, fairly friendly and inexpensive. I would go there again. Great getaway to relax and good place for couples.
To get to Cheung Chau from Hong Kong take the ferry from Pier 5. It was about $20HK ($2.50USD) for the ferry which takes about 25 minutes.
I went with my friend Olivier (“the French Dude”) from the Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA band. We stayed at the Warwick Hotel. To get to the Warwick – just take a right outside the ferry terminal and then a fairly quick left into the courtyard. Walk straight past the Park N Shop for about three minutes – then left at the beach up to the Warwick.
If you get lost like we did (and spent an hour walking the whole island) – just know that the Warwick is located directly on the opposite side of the island from the ferry terminal. But it’s a very thin strip of land so only a 5 minute walk (if you do it right and don’t get lost).
The Warwick Hotel is $700-$900HK off season ($90-$110USD). The rooms are not very fancy, much like a Motel 6 in the states. But it has the best view high above the beach and overlooking the ocean. American breakfast is included and delivered to the room. Nice little balcony for watching the ocean. And only a five minute walk from the ferry terminal.
Some friends of ours stayed at the BandB (Bed and Breakfast) for only $500HK ($60USD). They said it’s more of a couples place because the rooms are very small – and it doesn’t have a view of the beach. But looked very cozy and cute.
The view of the beach from our room at the Warwick Hotel. Complete panoramic view across the island and over to Hong Kong. Lifeguards on duty at the main beach during the day. (I didn’t see any sharks). Around the corner from the Warwick you can rent Windsuring equipment.
Back in the main town by the ferry terminal we have fresh shrimp and a whole lobster for about $30 total. The fish and shellfish are caught locally and kept live in tanks until you order.
Here we rent a junk to take us to the famous Pirate Cave. That’s one of the reasons we came here – to see where the pirates used to hide out.
Our junk operator lets me drive the boat for a bit. Of course I’m a tourist and think it’s the coolest thing in the world (not as cool as when I had a friend let me steer his plane while flying) but this guy is bored out of his mind because I’m tourist #3,232,032.
We hired a junk to take us to the caves and they said it was $100HK ($12.50USD) for an hour. We thought this was a great deal for a private boat for an hour so we didn’t bother bartering even though I had read online that you should only pay $5HK (60 cents USD) for the trip.
The boat ride was beautiful, but we found out quick that he was really only taking us to another dock that we could have walked to in 15 minutes. Now we know why all the people on the dock were laughin and waving to us as we embarked on the journey.
I thought the boat would take us around the island and into this gigantic cave like something from Prates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. But as you’ll see my imagination was much more fun than what was to come.
We are let off at the far dock and follow the path to the Pirate Cave, some famous rock (that’s just a big rock) and to the Buddhist temple.
A beautiful view and walk – and we’re getting very excited to explore the Pirate Cave!
Cheung Po Tsai Cave. Hey, I’m too lazy to turn the picture around so just do me a favor and angle your computer monitor so you can read it.
What? The plaque says that Po Tsai might have never even been to the cave? What’s this? I read that this is where all the pirates used to hide out with Po Tsai. I smell a saavy tourism board in the wood pile.
Spitting Is Disgusting – A reminder to the Chinese not to spit on the ground at the park or during the walk. Certainly adds to the old world charm of our journey…
We’re almost at the cave! We see other people coming out so we can hardly contain our excitement to see where they used to hide the buried treasure.
We get there and it’s a little hole in the ground. I go down a couple feet to see if there’s more, but it’s just a little hole. I don’t think I can make it through.
Olivier doesn’t even want to try – and he is very upset.
I am crying because the highlight of our vacation was to see the secret pirate cave. And it’s like five feet deep.
So later that night we run into other Cirque folks on the island and tell them about how awful the pirate cave was. One of them told me their friend went to it and it was absolutely beautiful. So now Olivier and I feel stupid for not bringing flashlights and trying to wriggle our way into the cave. So is it a tourist scam or is there really a big cave down there? I DON’T KNOW! ARGGHHH!!!!
But another part of the walk brought us to this little Buddhist temple. We made a donation and lit incense because it seemed like the cool thing to do – for all I know we conjured up an ancient monster or something. It’s probably eaten half the island and is burping down in the pirate cave…
Our junk operator actually waited for us the complete hour. Normally they leave and someone else takes you back – but for $100HK they can take the day off and wait for the stupid tourists.
I had also read online that by the pirate cave was a village that still fished for food just like they did hundreds of years ago. Olivier and I walked around trying to find this area, and then realized we were already there! I had pictured native pygmies or indians or something like that – but it was just a bunch of boats by apartments.
This next picture is part of a mural by our hotel. Olivier says I am twisted, but I think it’s supposed to be dirty.
Aside from the beach, the other best part of my mini vacation was to find the next morning that my girlfriend had snuck my Teddy Bear into my backpack. I thought it felt a little heavy! So now the secret’s out – Yes, I have a Teddy Bear (and a stuffed Turtle). I didn’t want them to miss my China adventures.
Having breakfast on the balcony of the Warwick. What a great view – we sat there for hours watching the ocean. Remind me to clip that nose hair next year.
Olivier trying to wake up.
The next day we visited a friend in Satin – a suburb of Hong Kong. We hired another junk to take us to Hap Moon Beach. Beautiful boat ride and sunset.
Back to Hong Kong for the day. Finished off by dinner at Shakey’s, a trip to Lo Quai Fon (the Westerner party district) and finally to Wan Chai, another party district.
Price for the day in Cheung Chau, splitting a room overlooking the ocean, food, boats and ferries from Hong Kong: $1,000HK ($125USD). What a great bargain!