Muddy and Magical: Lamma Island
Lamma Island, located to the southwest of Hong Kong Island, is the SAR’S third largest island. Its name comes from a misreading of Portuguese navigational charts; “Lama”—‘mud’ in Portuguese—was inscribed in the vicinity of the island, a notation regarding the muddy holding of the surrounding seabed. This was mistakenly taken as the island’s name, and has since stuck. Formerly a traditional Chinese fishing village, Lamma Island has since been transformed into a laid-back multicultural community. Boats from Central run to two sides of the island: Yung Shue Wan, the more populated ‘main town’, and Sok Ku Wan, which has an emphasis on seafood establishments. Apart from service vehicles, no public transport runs on Lamma, so everyone either walks or bikes— a lovely change of pace from the hectic city life.
Visitors won’t find the usual range of high street shops, but Lamma Island nonetheless has its share of interesting retail. Lamma Vinyl is the island’s independent record store, and a place where you could easily fall down the rabbit hole and end up spending hours in. Ming, the store owner, stocks a wide selection through eras and sub-genres, and it’s worth having a dig around to see what you can discover. Lamma’s residents all know Nick the Bookman, whose second-hand book stall is used to raise money towards helping the island’s stray animals. The former journalist is also a part-time DJ and music writer, so you can imagine the stories he’d be able to tell you. Seek Nick out at Yung Shue Wan Main Street and have a chat while donating to a worthy local cause.
Mush, at the end of Lamma Main Street, is a design concept store representing both local and regional designers. Check out their range of funky graphic t-shirts—there are so many you’ll be spoilt for choice, and they’ve even done a print of Nick the Bookman.
南丫島沒有高檔品牌，但卻有些特別的零售店，如島上的Lamma Vinyl唱片店，可以讓你流連忘返；ming的店搜羅不同年代的非主流貨品，實在是尋寶的好地方。南丫島的居民都認識Nick the Bookman，這家二手書店把賣書的收入幫助島上的流浪貓狗，Nick以前當記者，亦是兼職dj和樂評人，可想而知他有數不盡的故事跟你分享。他的書店就在榕樹灣大街上，不妨一邊與他閒談，一邊捐款支持有意義的活動。
大街末端是間出售本地及區內設計師作品的商店，一系列圖案T恤，選擇十分豐富，令人眼花撩亂，他們甚至為nick the Bookman設計了一款t恤呢！
As a bit of a hippie community, you're sure to find some quirky locals on Lamma. One such personality is the Churros Guy. You'll find him on the walk from Yung Shue Wan ferry pier to the Main Street; great for fuelling up before exploring the island. A hidden gem lies in wait at Joy's Tailor; this tailor in Tai Yuen Village transforms into a Vietnamese pop up over the weekends. Take your bowls somewhere with a nice view, and return them on your way back. Visit Kin Hing Tofu Dessert for tofu fa (silken tofu), served hot or chilled but both equally delicious. Andy's Seafood has a terrace for alfresco dining with a sunset view. They also offer Cantonese staples done right, and have done so for 19 years, so do order the minced quail in crispy lettuce, eggplant hotpot, and salt and pepper squid.
Yardley Brothers Beer Shack produces locally brewed craft beer and IPA which are much appreciated in Hong Kong. Stop by to grab cool refreshments (complete with cool bottle labels) to go with your picnic. Candela is a lively tapas joint perfect for group gatherings. We're told the weekend brunch is a must-try, so grab your friends and go enjoy a jug or two of sangria with Spanish bites. Otherwise, get cozy in Bookworm Café, where you can flick through their book collection while feasting guiltfree on their organic and vegetarian fare.
Lastly, there's no way you can visit Lamma Island and not indulge in the seafood that draws fans from all over Hong Kong. Rainbow Seafood Restaurant has won Silver in the seafood category of the Best Culinary Awards organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Some hero dishes include fried crab with black pepper and honey, stir-fried prawns with chili peppers, and braised South African abalone with oyster sauce. The restaurant even provides a boat service to and from Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, so there's no real excuse not to visit.
南丫島社區有點嬉皮氛圍，島民來自四方八面，由榕樹灣碼頭到大街的路上，你會找到Churros Guy，不妨先吃點美食再在島上探索；大園新村的Joy's Tailor在周末變成越南美食店，找個景觀好的位置，一邊吃東西，一邊欣賞美景；建興亞婆豆腐花可凍食和熱食；壽記海鮮酒家的戶外用餐區是欣賞日落美景的地點，酒家有19年歷史，其廣東菜式炮製得恰到好處，記得品嘗鴿鬆生菜包、魚香茄子煲和椒鹽鮮魷。
Yardley Brothers Beer Shack生產精釀啤酒及ipa，大受香港人歡迎，可以買些冰涼飲品帶去野餐；Candela是間供應西班牙tapas小吃的餐廳，適合與三五知己聚餐，有說周末的早午餐值得一試，不妨約好一大班朋友一起大快朵頤；不然，到氣氛溫馨的Bookworm Café一邊閱讀，一邊享用有機素菜。
Get a sense of the island's fishing history at Lamma Fisherfolk's Village, which offers themed activities such as angling, rope weaving and hauling in fishing nets. There are also authentic fishing junks, dragon boats, and booths on folklore and local dwellings. If you've ever wondered about the heritage and lifestyle of the traditional fishing community, this is the place to go. As a marine-dependant town, there is of course a Tin Hau Temple where fishermen pray for bountiful catches and safe voyages. What's interesting about Lamma's Tin Hau Temple is that its entrance is flanked by Western-style stone lions. Apparently when the original Chinese ones were damaged in the 1960s, the stonemason who was hired to replace them specialised in Western-style stone carvings.
Lamma Island is also home to Hong Kong's first green energy plant, the 233 foot-tall Lamma Winds. It can be visited free of charge and offers a panoramic view of Hong Kong's southside from the nearby pavilion. Visitors should also make a point of doing a leisurely hike while on the island. Hiking from Sok Ku Wan to Hung Shing Yeh Beach will take you past the Tin Hau Temple and the hilltop pavilion so you can visit Lamma Winds along the way, ending at a nice quiet beach to unwind. Alternatively, the same beach can also be reached from Tai Peng as a starting point, offering different views. Either way, hiking on Lamma Island isn't too strenuous—just as well since the cooler autumn weather is only just starting.
Kin Hing Tofu Dessert建興亞婆豆腐花 BEST Kebab & Pizza最好的烤肉串和披薩 Rainbow Seafood Restaurant天虹海鮮酒家
Tin Hau Temple天后廟 Hung Shing Yeh Beach洪聖爺灣 View from Lamma Island Family Walk南丫島家樂徑景色