Did you know there is another side of Hong Kong besides its busy cityscape? When visiting Hong Kong, make sure to visit the Outlying Islands of Hong Kong for the hiking trails and their awesome scenery, a preview of the laid-back side of Hong Kong life, and for general great outdoor fun.
Apart from the best well-known Lantau Island where the Hong Kong Disneyland is situated at, there’re other outlying islands which can be experienced by day trip and very convenient.
Our boys loved the family hiking trail in Lamma, exploring the mountains and the fishing village of Tai O in Lantau Island. Make sure to have an extra time to explore the UNESCO Global Geopark of Hong Kong.
Here are the four experiences we highly recommend on your next trip to Hong Kong with your family (and how to get there easily):
1. Lamma Island
Lamma Island is the third largest island in Hong Kong with two main areas: Yung Shue Wan, with a multi-cultural scene and the preferred home for creative spirits, and Sok Kwu Wan, known as a fishing village and for its seafood restaurants.
Start to explore the Yung Shue Wan Main Street with a rustic coastal village vibe, with craft stores, artisan boutiques, tourist shops, and quaint cafes. The pop-up and neighborhood indie shops extend all the way along the hiking route to Sok Kwu Wan.
We love the family-friendly and safe Lamma Island Hiking Trail from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan, which takes about 2 hours with a halfway stopover at Hung Shing Yeh Beach.
The kids couldn’t resist taking off their shoes and playing on the sand until the sunset on the horizon. It was dark when we left the beach, but the hiking route is safe, well-signposted, and easily trekked, with the highest point around 100 meters above sea level.
We reached the fishing village of Sok Kwu Wan just in time to have a sumptuous seafood dinner as a reward for conquering our hike.
We recommend eating at Lamma Rainbow where you could enjoy their seafood specialties cooked upon order coming fresh from their aquariums. They also provide a complimentary boat ride from Sok Kwu Wan pier to Central or Kowloon pier, exclusive to Lamma Rainbow diners.
Lamma Rainbow Seafood Restaurant
23-25 First Street, Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 2982-8100/ 2982-8100
For more information, visit http://lammarainbow.com/
How To Get There:
It’s easy to go to Lamma Island by taking a ferry from Central Ferry Pier 4 to Yung Shue Wan port.
To go back to the city, take the Lamma Island Family Trail to Sok Kwu Wan and take the public ferry or the Lamma Rainbow boat back to Central Pier (approximately 40 minutes).
2. Hong Kong Disneyland
You’ll be surprised if you think Disneyland is all about princesses! Hong Kong Disneyland also has many offers for the boys too!
We loved the Star Wars where you can ride the Star Wars-themed Hyperspace Mountain, meet Wookiee warrior Chewbacca in the Command Post, and train your kids to be little Jedi.
The Iron Man Experience was a hit with our kids! They really enjoyed the Augmented Reality experience where they transformed into Iron Man to defend Hong Kong.
How To Get There:
Take the MTR train to the Sunny Bay Station via the Tung Chung Line in Lantau Island. Transfer to the Disneyland Resort Line to go to Disneyland Resort Station.
You can walk for six minutes to the Hong Kong Disneyland Park.
HONG KONG DISNEYLAND
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 3510 2000
For more info, visit https://www.hongkongdisneyland.com/
Where To Stay:
If you plan to visit Disney, I suggest staying at the new Disney Hotel with explorer’s lodge theme for the boys. It’s actually very spacious which accommodates 4 people / the whole family in a room.
Make sure to reserve the character breakfast dining with explorers Mickey and Minnie at the Dragon Wind Restaurant with better dim sum choices than Enchanted Garden.
DISNEY EXPLORERS LODGE
Magic Road, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 3510 2000
For more info, visit https://www.hongkongdisneyland.com/hotels/disney-explorers-lodge/
3. Tai O Village – Exploring Ngong Ping and Lantau Island
Tai O is a fishing village and the home of the Tanka people, who built their houses on stilts on the western coast of Lantau Island.
Walk through one of the last remaining authentic fishing villages in Hong Kong along interconnecting bridges and a local specialty market and a glimpse of rural life in Tai O.
It is a photographer’s haven for its charming village setting, with a beautiful vista of sea and mountain, and a spectacular view of the Lantau sunset.
The kids loved walking around town looking at the market and restaurants with aquarium displays, eating big fish balls and local donuts, sitting in a cafe on stilts, and watching the sunset.
Tip: Don’t take the touristy boat tour because they hurt the endangered pink dolphins. Best to join the more sustainable tour with Hong Kong Dolphin Watch.
How To Get There:
Take the MTR to the last station of Tung Chung Station, Exit B.
On the way to Tai O, the best option is to take a one-way Cable Car to cross the mountain into the Ngong Ping Village (approximately 25 minutes) then walk to the bus terminal to take Bus 21 to Tai O terminus (approximately 20 minutes).
You have to stay for the sunset, so the only way back is to take Bus 11 from the Tai O terminus to Tung Chung (the journey takes approximately 50 minutes).
4. Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark
Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark is the perfect getaway for families and adventurers who appreciate outdoors and breathtaking landscapes.
The massive park encompasses 150 km2 of rock formations and points of interest that have preserved millions of years of Hong Kong’s Geological History.
Its main features are the hexagonal rock columns covering most of Sai Kung and sedimentary rock formations in the North East end of the Park. There are also a number of Arches and sea caves carved into shores of the many islands dotting the park that is only accessible by boat.
First things first!
Pay a visit to the Geopark Museum and Visitors Center in the Sai Kung Water Front Park where you can book tours and check out their educational hands-on exhibits.
We had a great time learning about the geological processes that shaped Hong Kong and the importance of conservation programs that are preserving the parks natural wonders for future generations.
To really appreciate what the Geopark has to offer, we recommend booking a Geotour via boat. The 3-hour tour takes you around the park and its various islands and geological formations.
The kids would love the boat ride and pointing out the different geological formations.
How To Get There:
The fastest way to reach Sai Kung via MRT is to exit Hang Hau Station, where you will catch the minibus heading to Sai Kung.
(The minibus can be boarded at the terminal right next to the Hang Hau station entrance/exit.)
For more info, visit www.geopark.gov.hk
I really love exploring the authentic, less touristy villages, and great outdoors of Hong Kong. I originally thought Hong Kong was just about theme parks, but our kids enjoyed exploring more of Lamma Island and the Tai O Village in Lantau Island.
For families with young kids, I would recommend going to Lamma Island and to Tai-O Village. Make sure to go there in the morning to maximize your time exploring these outlying islands and don’t forget to catch the Hong Kong sunset from this vantage point.
For families with teenagers, we would recommend challenging them to hike the Dragon’s Back or to explore the UNESCO Global Geopark. Make sure to allow a whole day trip to explore the awesome scenery unique to the Hong Kong islands.
Make sure to visit the Outlying Islands on your next trip to Hong Kong with the kids!
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: We paid for meals and experience. This post is in collaboration with Hong Kong Tourism Board. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Here are the awesome winter activities in Hong Kong this December season.