I felt the cool beach breeze as the virtual tour of exploring Chiang Chau began. It is a small bell-shaped island in the southern part of Hong Kong.
This nearly three square kilometer island is famous for its unique coastal scenery, moored fishing boats and seafood restaurants. Beyond the typical fishing village, the island feels lively as many young people move to or return to Cheung Chau.
The emergence of cafes, as well as craft shops, combined with popular food outlets all add to the dynamism of this motorless island. Last week’s virtual tour of the island was based on bicycles as a vehicle and was started by tour guide Virginia Chan and local shop owner R Sai.
At the first stop, Virginia invited participants to get an authentic feel of the area at Pak Tai Temple. This is a historic Taoist temple, one of the oldest in Hong Kong. This impressive structure was originally built in 1783 by the island’s fishing community in honor of Pak Tai, known as the King of the North.
The building has a colorful carved roof and two green and gold dragons guard the spire. The main square outside Pak Tai Temple is the site of the Cheung Chau Jiao Festival or Cheung Chau Bun Festival.
In the year In 2011, this third edition of the National Intangible Cultural Heritage List featured the most popular challenge, where brave contestants battled each other to climb the Lucky Bread Tower and claim as many loaves as possible.
After being paralyzed by thousands of protesters, Hong Kong International Airport resumed operations on Tuesday (08/13/2019) morning. Airport closures have resulted in the cancellation of more than 150 flights.
North Lookout Pavilion and Pak Kok Tsui
The tour continues to North Lookout Pavilion and Pak Kok Tsui. Virginia described this as a family-friendly hike. “Not to mention the many photo spots along the way,” he said.
Upon reaching the top of the hill on the northern side of the island, participants are invited to enjoy a panoramic view of the island’s button formations. Virginia said, “On a clear day, you can see Lama Island on one side, and the Tsing Ma Bridge, which connects Lantau Island to the cities of Hong Kong, on the other.
“If you want to enjoy a romantic sunset view, I recommend coming at sunset.”
To the east of the pavilion, visitors can head to Pak Kok Thuy, a small peninsula with a small beach called Tung Wan Chai, which is a popular destination. From here, travelers can continue on their way through the group and towards the island.
Visible sense of environment
In the “Handle Long” area of Cheung Chau, visitors are treated to panoramic views of the long, crescent-shaped beach known as Tung Wan. On a clear day, travelers can see the southern part of Hong Kong Island.
Additionally, visitors can take a walk to reach Kum Yam Beach, which offers a windsurfing center. This small, but popular beach attracts many water sports enthusiasts, including paddlers, kayakers and surfers.
“Or you can come to relax at the cafes and restaurants along the beach,” says Virginia.
The exploration is not over yet. Virtual tour participants are invited to Shan Hing Street and Pak She Street. Here, visitors can spend time browsing craft shops selling handmade items by local artists. The previously mentioned trendy cafes are here to chill drinks and savor homemade Earl Gray tea chiffon cakes.
Don’t miss out on trying the red-printed fortune bread, which is filled with sweet pastes like sesame, red bean or lotus seeds. This wonderful snack is not only sold at the island’s annual bread festival, but is steamed and sold all year round. Pastry Shop owner Martin Kwok, the official supplier of the Fortune Bread Festival, wants to stay relevant while maintaining tradition and continuing to innovate in taste.
The best place to enjoy twilight
Walking north along the waterfront, past the main pier and rows of sun-dried fish, visitors reach San Hing Phra Street and Pak She Phra Street, home to many Cantonese-style seafood restaurants.
Diners can choose items from the menu, even bring in fresh seafood purchased from the island’s fishmongers and have it cooked to order. Travelers will find French, Thai, and Indian restaurants serving a wide variety of seafood.
R Sai called it “the best place to enjoy the sunset and eat some seafood before taking the boat back to town.”
Between virtual tour programs, participants take part in quizzes that increase their unique knowledge of Cheng Chau. The session is closed with a calligraphy class, according to calligrapher Mabel Lau, it is a meditative activity after a long day of work.
The participants also demonstrated their ability to write Chinese characters with brush and ink. By the end of the virtual tour session, many participants expressed that they couldn’t wait to go back to explore Hong Kong.