Tourists who come to Lamma Island are usually presently surprised to find so much nature so close to the urban center of Hong Kong. It seems like another world, though it is just a little island (7 kilometers long).
It is a pedestrian and biker only island. Cars are not allowed. This fact and its size, small mountains and sandy beaches make it ideal for children and families.
There is a Family Trail Walk pathway you will enjoy, and if you wish you can take it for some rougher hiking, camping and sightseeing in a hill on the south end.
It is a wonderful place to go to escape from the concrete and urban crowds of Hong Kong.
What is Lamma Island?
- Area: 13.6 sq km (5.3 square miles)
- Length: 7 kilometers (4.3 miles)
- Recommended visit: 9 hours (great for a day and evening trip)
Lamma (南丫島) Hong Kong is the third largest of the islands of Hong Kong. It has about 10,000 people living on it, less than 1% of the population of nearby Hong Kong Island.
It is easy to get to because of two ferry ports on the island, on the northwest and southeast, ferry tourists back and forth from Central piers and Aberdeen.
A good idea for an invigorating cross-island walk is to land in one of the piers and follow the Family Trail Walk to the other pier to get back. Another idea to hit the varied sights of Central, Lamma Island and Aberdeen in one day perhaps by having dinner in Aberdeen or Central in the evening.
The ban on private vehicles and both paved and dirt hiking and biking paths makes it a quiet and more natural setting, and it is a wonderful place for bicycle riders, pedestrians and hikers. It constantly rates tops for everything from its seafood restaurants, to its little beaches, to its scenery.
What are Lamma Island's Main Highlights?
On the little island, there are many good places to go and visit. But these are the main highlights:
Natural and Scenic
- Hung Shing Yeh Beach
- Lo So Shing Beach
- Family Trail Walk (9 kilometers long)
- Mount Stenhouse in the south (recommended for a get away and serene views)
Restaurants and Villages
- At Yung Shue Wan (larger northern village)
- and at Sok Kwu Wan (smaller southern village)
Our suggest day trip plan will go to these places for an optimal day walking tour.
Our Suggested Lamma Island 1-Day Tour Plan
For an optimal day visit during your stay in Hong Kong, we recommend seeing these highlights and doing these things as priorities in this order in a daytime or day and evening walk. You'll experience the island's best scenery, nature, culture and experiences for a varied and enjoyable walking visit.
The reason we are suggesting that you begin the day at Yung Shue Wan and end it at Sok Kwu Wan is that it is nicer to go to and relax on the beaches when it is hotter and sunnier during the midday hours.
It is better to climb up Mount Stenhouse in the cooler shadows of the late afternoon and evening when you can see the sunset views. Little Sok Kwu Wan and its little restaurants are particularly enchanting and quiet in the evening.
Bikers: You can follow this walking plan too since the Family Trail allows bikes. But we have also prepared a detailed Lamma Island's Best Bike Routes Guide just for you. You can rent bikes on the island. See the article for details.
Lamma's mountain bike tracks are noted as among the Best Mountain Bike Tracks in Hong Kong.
Morning Arrival: Getting to Lamma Island from Central
- Morning: Ferry from Central piers to Yung Shue Wan (approximately 25 minutes).
Go to Central Piers: To start the day optimally, avoid the morning rush hour crowds and traffic. So go after about 9:00 in the morning. If you can, definitely go on weekday, Monday to Thursday, work day and avoid the busier weekends and public holidays to avoid crowds, enjoy better experiences, and get better service in the restaurants.
Chinese crowds arrive around 11 or lunchtime. On this trip, if you want to eat at a floating restaurant in Aberdeen, we suggest that you reserve seating beforehand. We can do that for you.
Transport: For public transport, we recommend taking the MTR to Central Station or Hong Kong Station. Then, walk for a few minutes over to the Lamma Island Ferry Pier 4. You'll see a big distinctive 丫 sign on it.
Our travel advisors can help with reservations and private transport. We can facilitate a whole tour of Lamma and the region or accommodate you in assisting your Hong Kong visit in other ways according to your plans. We take care of the tickets and transportation.
Pack some food and refreshments, water and/or drinks, and a meal especially if you want to have a picnic. You can buy food and drink in Lamma, but is probably more convenient and less expensive to go prepared.
Morning Activity - Enjoy the Yung Shue Wan Area
- Shopping and breakfast or brunch at Yung Shue Wan
- Optional: see the 1 giant wind turbine (71 meters tall)
- Stop at Hung Shing Yeh Beach
- Lunch: have a picnic or eat at a Yung Shue Wan restaurant or a restaurant at Hung Shing Yeh.
Yung Shue Wan Village: Once you arrive in the morning, you can shop, snack or have breakfast or a brunch in one of the cafes or restaurants. Definitely try some of the seafood.
Family Trail Walk Guide: We have prepared a detailed Family Trail Walk Guide for you to use on your day trip.
Optional: See the Windmill
The windmill power generator is interesting, especially if you never saw one before. But the problem is that it is at the top of a small steep hill, and there isn't much to do there except just to look at it.
It is along the route to get to the Hung Shing Yeh Beach area, and if you are not very fit or are feeling tired and just want to relax, you can skip the windmill side detour and just continue directly to the beach.
Have lunch: We suggest you can pack a picnic for a picnic at the beach or along the Family Trail. Once you get to the beach, you'll find places to eat there. Or you could just have lunch in Yung Shue Wan before you head out. You will find the Family Trail pathway adjacent to the beach.
Afternoon - Enjoy the Family Trail, the Beaches, the Sightseeing, and the Hiking
- Family Trail Walk (about 1 and a half hour leisurely stroll with stops and breaks)
- Optional Excursion: Lo So Shing Beach
- Optional Excursion: Mount Stenhouse
- Dinner in Sok Kwu Wan or Aberdeen (perhaps on a famed restaurant boat).
The 9-kilometer Family Trail Walk has beaches, sights, and places to buy refreshments along the way. The views are wonderful from different viewpoints, and the road is paved.
It is especially suitable for families with children.
Optional: Lo So Shing Beach
Of the two beaches, Lo So Shing and Hung Shing Yeh, Lo So Shing is much more beautiful and secluded. Both have lifeguards and public bathroom facilities. But the scenery at Yung Shing Ye isn't very good, and it is more crowded.
If you want to choose just one beach, skip Hung Shing Yeh and just stroll about half an hour along the Family Walk and take the turn off to the left (east) to go down to Picnic Bay cove.
We recommend Lo So Shing Beach as one of Hong Kong's Top 10 Beaches.
Dinner: You'll find a short row of notable Chinese seafood restaurants where you can have a memorable meal at the end of a good hike. The ferry piers are near the restaurants. See our Lamma restaurant recommendations in Where to Eat in Hong Kong.
By going to Aberdeen, you have the option of one of the famed restaurant boats of Hong Kong. We can help provide transport to your accommodations afterwards.
Transport: Check the schedules for the ferry you want to take. You can get little schedules for free from the ferry ticket windows. See Transport information below.
Option - Stenhouse Mountain
For a more varied experience, especially suited for someone who wants more outdoor and local culture, we suggest hiking up Mount Stenhouse in the late afternoon or evening.
With the strange rock formations there, the evenings and sunsets can be unusually beautiful, even strangely and serenely so. See the Family Trail Walk Guide for more information and details about what to do there.
Mount Stenhouse is the highest hill on Lamma Island. It has an elevation of 353 metres (1,158 feet). This might not seem like much, but stair climbing at the end of the day can be tiresome especially if you are dehydrated. So drink plenty of water. It is a wonderful place to catch the sunset.
The Best Time for a Visit
The best time to visit Hong Kong's Lamma Island is from October to December when it is cool and dry. Rainy, cloudy weather usually commences in January.
The summers are beautiful, warm, and sunny, but there are occasional tropical storms. Of course, summers and early fall when it is hot are best for swimming and beach excursions.
Travel Essentials for Planning a Trip
How to Get There by Ferry
From Central Hong Kong Pier 4 to Yung Shue Wan, ferries generally run hourly all day, and there is limited overnight service. The ride takes about 25 minutes. From Central to Sok Kwu Wan, the ride takes about 37 minutes, and the ferries depart every 90 minutes or so.
From Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island to Yung Shue Wan, ferries depart about 11 times a day and the ride takes about 20 minutes. From Aberdeen to Sok Kwu Wan, there are about 14 trips a day via Mo Tat Wan.
- Victoria Peak is the highest peak on Hong Kong Island. Half of it is parkland, and the other half is mall. A popular, scenic tram can take you up to the top.
- Lantau Island has notable big beaches, much bigger mountains, much bigger towns, and huge parklands to explore.
- Ma Wan Island is a much smaller island than Lamma that is notably good for families with small children. Noah's Ark theme park is a highlight on it. It too is good for a half-day visit.
Touring Lamma Island with Us
If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, Lamma is the perfect place to go. Enjoy a delightful and worry-free tour with China Highlights.
Our knowledgeable guide will share the interesting stories of the island with you and will lead you to the best spots for taking pictures. Your driver will ferry you conveniently with care.
Here are Hong Kong tours ideas we can combine with a visit to Lamma Island:
- One-Day Hong Kong Ocean Park Tour Package - Ticket-Line-Skipping and Worry-Free. We will take care of tickets and transfers to save your time and energy.
- 4-Day Hong Kong Family Tour - Disneyland Park and highlights of Hong Kong. We could modify the tour plan for various excursions on Lantau or other places in Hong Kong or China.
- 10-Day Beijing, Guilin, Yangshuo, and Hong Kong Tour - Imperial and Scenic China Family Tour
Or let us know your requirements and we'll tailor-make a tour for you.