Hong Kong, April 2018: The ferry slows as it enters the Cheung Chau harbour crammed full of little boats. Among the few modern vessels one can see a fleet of vintage stock – Junks, sampans and a couple of fishing trawlers looking like they’r ready to fall apart. Its a scene of relative peace as the ferry chugs slowly towards its docking pier after the 25 minute ride from Central. A harbour that is serene, picturesque with the town flanked on either side by green forested hills. Of a character one might say is little changed from the past – no swanky condominium towers and no hi-rise housing blocks here either, well, not that I’ve spotted so far. A real change of scene from the hectic pace of life in Kowloon and the Hong Kong downtown.
The main street appears to be the one running parallel to the harbour wall. Locals going about their business, in and out of small shops selling all manner of goods to sustain local life. In-fact I’d say the place is positively thriving on this sunny warm spring morning, but something here is amiss. Takes a few seconds to figure it out then the penny drops – no cars, buses, taxis, scooters. A place without the throbbing of engines, where one can breath air, clean and sweet, must be called paradise! There is of course the occasional motorised sampan boat crossing the harbour, but the gently throbbing engine is hardly noticed.
So, the thing to do now is aimlessly stroll around watching the locals watching me! groups of old timers passing the time of day in the towns square and on the public pier where a nice breeze tempers the humidity. This pier is the place to catch a ride to Aberdeen, a town on the southern shores of Hong Kong Island. There’s an indication here that Cheung Chau could be a busy place on weekends when the ferry schedule almost doubles. For today though, a rather quiet Tuesday morning soaking up the charm of this quiet little Island town. Plenty of empty cafes the place making me feel a little on the peckish side, however its still only mid-morning and there appears to be little action from within. A somewhat laid back appeal exudes from the town here which I don’t mind at all.
The market place is, as so often in Hong Kong, under cover in a purpose built building. some activity here as locals barter for their daily groceries.
Cheung Chau, laid back, easy going…
NEXT.. Cheung Chau part 3, Hiking