Escape the city: island hopping in Hong Kong

Think Hong Kong is all about filling your luggage with affordable wardrobe finds and eating dumplings until you drop? Think again because Hong Kong is also made up of a collection of easily-accessible, skyscraper-free islands that provide a blast of fresh air, mountain scenery and slow-paced village life.

Think Hong Kong is all about filling your luggage with affordable wardrobe finds and eating dumplings until you drop? Think again because Hong Kong is also made up of a collection of easily-accessible, skyscraper-free islands that provide a blast of fresh air, mountain scenery and slow-paced village life.

Peng Chau

Only decades ago Peng Chau was a thriving industrial hub, now its abandoned workshops and factories sit alongside peaceful temples and shrines to create a place perfect for travelling families.

As a small, sleepy island that is easily explored on foot, Peng Chau is a great day trip destination for families with children of all ages. Teens will enjoy discovering abandoned matchstick factories and old cinemas while littlies will love spotting Disneyland in the far distance while wandering the Peng Chau Family Trail. Only a 30-minute ferry ride from Hong Kong’s Central Pier, Peng Chau is an ideal, hassle-free island destination to break up a stay in Hong Kong.

Lantau Island

The largest island in Hong Kong, Lantau Island is a popular spot so expect to share the island with many others. Despite being home to many built up areas and tourist attractions like Hong Kong Disneyland, it’s estimated that about 50% of the island is made up national parks, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get out in nature here.

Of course, travelling families will love a visit to Disneyland, however a hike to Sunset Peak offers incredible views and the chance to get your blood pumping. A cable car ride offers bird’s eye views of the island without breaking a sweat, while a stroll around the serene Wisdom Path reveals wooden monuments inscribed with prayers and glimpses of the South China Sea.

Po Toi

A great choice for fit couples and families with older children, Po Toi’s hiking trails and dramatic cliffs provide the ultimate opportunity to burn off some energy. Located only a few kilometres off the coast of Hong Kong Island, it’s hard to believe that somewhere of such wild, natural beauty is so geographically close to a built up, population-dense city like Hong Kong. Ferries and private boats regularly take local and foreign day trippers to this island, where hiking the rugged trails remains the most popular activity.

With trails running across dramatic clifftops, around otherworldly rock formations, through fields and past farmhouses, streams and tiny shops selling everything from foraged seaweed to cool drinks, Po Toi offers a big blast of nature and local life.

Tap Mun

Experience the slow pace of local life on the tiny island of Tap Mun (or Grass Island). Home to a small population of fisherman and farmers, the population of this island is in decline, but reminders of its busier past still remain. Thanks to its diminutive size, wandering around the island is easy, even for little legs. Heading to the top of the hills provides views of surrounding islands and local children flying colourful kites, while wandering through the streets filled with temples, rundown buildings and worn shopfronts gives insight into the local way of life.

Many small shops operate as cafes, selling local delicacies to tourists, so be sure to stop in for some tea and snacks. Only a 15-minute ferry ride from Wong Shek Pier, a day trip to Tap Mun is an easy journey for travelling families in need of a break from the fast pace of city life in Hong Kong.

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