Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Wandering China Day 5: Hong Kong Lamma Island (南丫島)


The Hong Kong stock are an interesting bunch, drivers seem to have little patience on the roads as horns and honks are staple to Hong Kong’s acoustic ecology. On the other hand, virtually everyone respectfully makes way for people coming out of trains, and they seem quite happy to put on facial masks if they are ill to prevent spreading of airborne germs. Retail and service staff are largely trilingual, able to switch easily between English, Mandarin and Cantonese; mostly with a smile.

Fishing village in Lamma Island. Photo - Chen Siyuan

Today was the day I changed my mind about Hong Kong. Well known as one of the most densely packed places on the face of this planet that was one of the earliest 24-houred cities; I had always thought all 1,104km2 of Hong Kong and its 7 million inhabitants to be pure metropolis. A 30-minute boat ride that cost $17 HKD = $2AUD to the outlying island of Lamma (南丫島) changed all that. The quaint fishing village is one of two outlying islands that were left largely untouched by the bullet of time and is third largest island in Hong Kong. Lamma is famous for being the hometown to Chinese actor Chow Yun Fatt and its seafood.

Interestingly, there are height restrictions to the hilly island, buildings stop at three stories, and there are no automobiles either; well not any most cities would be familiar with. The island community’s only means of transport is by foot or bicycle. There were only one type of vehicle apparent during my visit – distinctive open-back vehicles that looked more like pure chasis; perhaps indicative of the sensitivities of the island’s preferred lifestyle – laid back; an antithesis or perhaps alternative to the hectic bustle of the commonly represented Hong Kong.

Lamma Island village vehicle. Photo - Sean Taylor, Panoramio

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Filed under: Back to China, Bob's Opinion, Hong Kong

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