One of my big regrets is that I’ve not written as many blog posts on Hong Kong as I’d have liked to. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the city and the islands, and I wish I could go back one day. Until then, here’s a guest post from Lovestruck Hong Kong‘s Lynn Reid on one of my favourite parts of HK. Take it away Lynn…
Lamma Island is one of the most beautiful of Hong Kong’s outlying islands, with hundreds of activities for you to choose from and more sights to see than your camera could possibly hold. If you’re looking for a relaxing retreat or a wholesome holiday, Lamma Island is likely to be the place for you.
Where is Lamma Island?
Lamma Island is situated to the southwest of Hong Kong Island, and is just 4.3 miles in length. There are two main villages, one of them on the northern edge of the island, and the other on the eastern. These villages are called Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan – the island is so small that it only houses 6,000 people.
The History of Lamma Island
There are many debates regarding the reason for the name of Lamma Island – some believe that it is due to the Chinese characters that the island represents and how these characters are pronounced. Another rumour is that there used to be a monastery upon the island, and that it was the monks who named the island.
It’s also believed that artefacts have been discovered from as early as the Middle Neolithic and Bronze Age – that’s as early as 4000-3000 BC!
Sights you Should See
There are a number of sights to see on the island, but there are a few treasures that you have to see while visiting.
See the Sea Turtles
My friend and I were lucky enough to visit during the time when the sea turtles were hatching from their eggs and heading towards the sea – that means if you time it right, you can visit the breeding ground and take photos of baby turtles as they toil in the sand before being washed away with the tide.
Festivities and Fireworks
Lamma Island is one of the last locations in Hong Kong that celebrates Chinese New Year traditionally. As the clock strikes midnight, the largest families on the island will set off a round of fireworks to ward away evil spirits. The celebrations last for up to half-an-hour before dying down and finishing completely – the fireworks are definitely worth the wait.
The Tin Hau Temples throughout Lamma Island are the traditional places of worship. This is because the island holds a large portion of fishing villages, and Tin Hau is believed to be the goddess of the ocean and fisherman. Tin Hau protects the fisherman while they are away at sea, and makes sure that they return with full nets.
If you visit the Tin Hau Temple at Yung Shue Wan, you might notice that the lions at the entrance of the temple are not the original lions. The original statues were damaged some time ago and the mason that was hired to replace them specialised in western-style animal statues, including lions.
Restaurants and Relaxation
If you have been following the Lamma Island Family Trail, you will arrive at a row of restaurants that serve fresh fish and seafood dishes. Visiting any of these restaurants would be the perfect end to a perfect trip to Lamma Island.
There are many other activities for you to take part in while visiting this beautiful island – for one, the beaches are truly beautiful with their powdered sand and clear waters or you could take a tour with some of the locals. Whatever you decide to do with your day, there couldn’t be a better place for it than Lamma Island.