Views of the Cheung Chau Hike

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Looking for an easy hiking trail in Hong Kong? Try the Cheung Chau Hike.

Coming to Hong Kong for the first time it’s easy to assume that here it’s all about skyscrapers, designer stores and fancy restaurants. Yes, you will find all of that in Hong Kong. But that’s not all. Hong Kong has also plenty of nature and hiking trails. And there many islands to be explored, more than 250 to be exact.

Cheung Chau island is one of the islands near Hong Kong. Still very little known by foreigners, but easily accessible on a day trip. What to do in Cheung Chau?

Here are four of the main reasons why people visit Cheung Chau:

  • to escape noise of the city,
  • to swim,
  • to indulge on seafood,
  • to do the Cheung Chau hike.

Since the island is so small, it’s easy to do all of that on a single trip to Cheung Chau. I’ll be focusing on the hiking part, but by reading this you will also have a better idea what this island is really like.

1. The Cheung Chau Hike: Basics

A man walking the Cheung Chau Hike
Cheung Chau Hike, Hong Kong

First of all, Cheung Chau is a small island. You can easily walk across all of it in some 3-4 hours. There is no one specific Cheung Chau Hike, but there are three suggested sightseeing routes. What I’m going to talk about is something slightly different.

It’s a slightly different route that will allow you to see some of the best sights this island has to offer.

STARTING POINT: Cheung Chau Ferry Pier, get off the ferry and walk the island clockwise;

TIME: from 2-3 hours (easiest  option) to 3-5 hours (if you walk off the trail as well) + travel time to get to the island and back;

DIFFICULTY: easy, but you’ll have to walk on the stairs quite a lot;

TIPS: bring a bottle of water with you & go on weekdays to avoid the crowds.

The hike is easily doable also in bad weather.

The hike is easily doable also in bad weather. I was there right after the rain. I was all alone for most of the time.

The island is easily accessible by public ferry. Cheung Chau ferries run from Central Pier #5, a short walk from the IFC Mall, Hong Kong MTR station and Star Ferry. Once you get off the ferry you can start walking. At the end you will walk back to the same Cheung Chau Ferry Pier.

Ferry ride costs 14 HKD (one-way).

2. The Cheung Chau Hike: My Experience

Cheung Chau island life
Cheung Chau island life

The journey to Cheung Chau Island starts from Hong Kong Island, from the place where Hong Kong’s business district is located. Where it’s all about shiny skyscrapers and well dressed businessman going from a meeting to meeting.

Once you enter the ferry to Cheung Chau Island it immediately feels a bit different world.

When you get off the ferry you are in a completely different Hong Kong.

Bicycles on Cheung Chau

Once you get off the ferry you’ll see Mcdonalds and Circle K in front of you.

Turn to the left and walk. Follow the coast.

At first I thought that Cheung Chau is gonna be a very boring island with nothing to see. Turned out that I was wrong.

At one point you’ll see a road leading to Cheung Chau slaughtery. Don’t turn there, continue straight instead.

Buildings on Cheung Chau

Follow this coastal road.

Coastal road on Cheung Chau
Coastal road on Cheung Chau

At the “end” of the island turn to the right on the road going up the hill.

Walking up the hill
Walking up the hill

Walk until you see a sign North Lookout Pavilion. Get on that path.

North Lookout Pavilion sign
North Lookout Pavilion sign

Follow the path.

Soon you will have to choose either to go to the right or to the left.

Trail signs

Turn to the left. 

At the end you will return to this sign to walk to the North Lookout Pavilion.

If you don’t fancy going through the bushes (in some places more; in some less), then you will have to walk only a little bit.

Until the path leading down to the Tung Wan Tsai Beach.

Until this point.

Trail on Cheung Chau
Beach is to the right

Here you can walk down a little bit to take in the view. To take some photos.

You will get down to the same beach by taking another path.

Feeling adventurous? A little bit?

If you are ready for some walking through the bushes (there is a trail), get on that trail.

This trail will take you all the way to big rocks you see on the left side.

To these rocks.

Standing on rocks on Cheung Chau Island
Standing on rocks on Cheung Chau Island – Cheung Chau Hike

Here as well you can either turn around or continue further.

If  you go further, this is more or less what you can expect.

Narrow trail

Bushes on Cheung Chau

Theoretically you should be able to walk all the way until the end of this. This is what I see from the maps now.

What you see far in the distance is Hong Kong Island.

In reality I couldn’t walk that far.

Everything was wet from the rain, and I didn’t want to be all wet. Well, I didn’t even know if it’s possible to hike that far back then. So at one point I stopped and walked back.

Hiking on Cheung Chau

These are the views you have further down the trail.

You can see Lantau Island, Hong Kong’s largest island.

Islands near Cheung Chau
Lantau Island, as seen from Cheung Chau

Walk back to the North Lookout Pavilion.

Stairs on Cheung Chau

The North Lookout Pavilion on Cheung Chau
The North Lookout Pavilion on Cheung Chau

This is how Hong Kong Island looked just 30 minutes ago.

Hong Kong Island after rain
Hong Kong Island after the rain

From the North Lookout Pavilion there are stairs going down to the beach in front of you – the Tung Wan Tsai Beach.

Cheung Chau island views

Stairs to the Tung Wan Tsai Beach
Stairs to the Tung Wan Tsai Beach

Ship near Cheung Chau

And there are also stairs to the opposite side. Back to the town and port.

If you aren’t going down to the beach, turn around at this point.

And take the stairs back into the town.

Cheung Chau town

Stairs to Cheung Chau
Stairs to Cheung Chau

Turn to the left at this place.

Follow the road going to the Pak Tai Temple.

Road sign

And soon you’ll end up back in the town.

See, it was easy. Hiking here is easy, most of people can do it, making it one of the best things to do in Cheung Chau.

Entering Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau town on a sunny day

There is one more beach, the Cheung Chau Island’s main beach. It’s on the opposite coast, right across from the ferry terminal. Most of locals and tourists go to this beach, as it’s so much easier to get to that to the Tung Wan Tsai Beach.

2.1 Cheung Chau Island Map

Here is a map of the island.

Cheung Chau map
Cheung Chau map

3. How to Get to Cheung Chau Island

On a ferry from Cheung Chau to Hong Kong
On a ferry from Cheung Chau to Hong Kong

It’s very easy to get to Cheung Chau Island.

Just take the MTR to Hong Kong MTR station. Get out and walk to the Central Pier 5. There is a footbridge which will take you all the way to the piers. If you are coming by the Star Ferry, you’ll get off the ferry a short walk away from the Pier 5.

Ferries run from Central to Cheung Chau roughly every 30 minutes. Whenever you come you will not have to wait for too long.

There are slow and fast ferries to Cheung Chau Island.

The journey to Cheung Chau takes around 35 – 40 minutes on a fast ferry, around an hour – on a slow ferry.

If you want to leave as fast as possible, once at the ferry terminal see which ferry is leaving next (slow or fast) and buy the right  ticket.

The journey to Cheung Chau takes around 35 – 40 minutes on a fast ferry, around an hour – on a slow ferry.

Central to Cheung Chau ferry fare is only 14 HKD (one-way; regular ferry).

4. Cheung Chau Accommodation: Where to stay in Cheung Chau

Skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island
Skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island

Have you decided to stay away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong? Stay on Cheung Chau for a night or two.

It’s possible to find accommodation on the island on arrival. When you get off the ferry you will immediately notice people offering holiday rentals. However, if you want to be on the safe side, book online.

The choice here is very small. But it’s also cheaper here than on Hong Kong Island or in Kowloon.

Here are 2 good options.

Warwick Hotel Cheung Chau

Located just a short walk away from the ferry pier and the beach, Warwhich Hotel Cheung Chau offers rooms with sea views. The hotel features an outdoor pool and 2 restaurants. Breakfast is available at extra cost.

Double room starts at 550 HKD.  Check prices and availability.

B & B Cheung Chau

A simple hotel located in the same area like the already mentioned Warwick Hotel Cheung Chau. Some of the rooms feature a balcony. There is a water kettle and hairdryer in every room. Rental bicycles are being offered to guests of the hotel. Breakfast is included in the price.

Double room starts at 500 HKD.  Check prices and availability.

Do you want something more? Try the Dragon’s Back Trail. It’s awesome!

Have you done the Cheung Chau Hike? Did you like the island? What other easy hikes in Hong Kong would you recommend?