Get us in your inbox

Search
Peng Chau
Photograph: ShutterstockPeng Chau

The best day trips to take in Hong Kong

Need a break from the city? Check these out

Jenny Leung
Written by
Jenny Leung
Advertising

Hong Kong may be internationally known for its unique combination of glitz, glamour, and grittiness; but long-time residents know that there’s a lot more to the city than just skyscrapers and neon-drenched streets. One of the biggest benefits of living in an archipelago – most of which remains undeveloped land (for now) – is that a serene beach or scenic hike is never more than a hop, skip, or ferry ride away. Just check out these one-day getaway options!

RECOMMENDED: 10 Best places to visit for fresh air in Hong Kong; 10 Secluded islands to explore in Hong Kong

Best Hong Kong day trips

Cheung Chau
Photograph: Iris Lo

Cheung Chau

Famed for its annual bun-climbing festival, giant fishballs, and being the hometown of windsurfing Olympian Lee Lai-shan, Cheung Chau is one of Hong Kong’s most popular outlying islands. Just a short ferry ride away from Central, this vehicle-free island is highly walkable and teeming with Taoist temples, dried seafood shops, and snack stands. Artsy types are sure to enjoy the surprisingly high concentration of indie lifestyle stores, while families can amble or cycle along easy walking trails. 

Sai Kung
Photograph: Tatum Ancheta

Sai Kung

Smack dab in the centre of the idyllic Sai Kung Peninsula, Sai Kung Town is a laidback neighbourhood with scores of interesting shops, restaurants and bars, and a cool floating seafood market to boot. Its pier and transport links also make it the perfect jumping-off point for boat trips to volcanic rock-studded islets in the Hong Kong Geopark, pristine sandy beaches, or surrounding country parks and hiking trails. To make your day trip even more exciting, pay a visit to Yim Tin Tsai, Hong Kong's little salt pan and art island. Just a short boat ride from Sai Kung town centre, the island is home to a heritage exhibition centre, the beautiful St Joseph's Chapel, as well as various public artworks dotted around the island.

If you're in need of a quick bite or a caffeine fix, check out our fab list of the best cafes and coffee shops to visit in Sai Kung.

Advertising
Tai O
Photograph: Cara Hung

Tai O

Dubbed as the 'Venice of Hong Kong', Tai O is a fishing village and the only major stilt settlement left in Hong Kong. Located on the northern tip of Lantau Island, it’s famous for its dried seafood, locally-made shrimp paste, salt pans, as well as being one of the most picturesque places in Hong Kong. This tiny village has been inhabited by the Tanka 'boat-people' for more than 200 years. While walking past pans of fish drying on the pavement, you can picture the Hong Kong of yesteryear – a humble fishing port which gave our modern city its name. Easily reached by bus from Tung Chung, Tai O’s famed stilt houses are best seen from motorboats that tour the area.

Aside from picturesque sceneries and historical colonial buildings, Tai O also offers a ton of delicious street bites that will keep you fuelled throughout the day. Take a look at our Cheap Eats: Tai O Edition video as we eat our way around Tai O with just $100!

Ngong Ping
Photograph: Courtesy NP360

Ngong Ping

Whether you’re religious or not, visiting Ngong Ping is a great one-day excursion. This highland on the western part of Lantau Island is best known for the iconic Tian Tan Buddha statue which can be seen a mile away, as well as the neighbouring Po Lin Monastery and its lush green surroundings. Though these popular attractions can be reached by cable car (hop on the Crystal+ cabin with transparent sides and bottom if you're feeling brave) from Tung Chung, a cheaper and still very scenic method of transport is the good old bus.

Advertising
Peng Chau
Photograph: Shutterstock

Peng Chau

Well off the beaten tourist track, Peng Chau is one of Hong Kong’s most charming outer islands. With scenic treks, ancient relics, traditional temples, strong community vibes, and no cars in sight, stepping ashore on this tranquil island feels like travelling back in time to old Hong Kong.

 

Lamma Island
Photograph: Mabel Lui

Lamma Island

As Hong Kong’s third-largest island and one of the most popular weekend destinations for daytrippers, there's no way we’d forget to mention Lamma. Over the years, Lamma’s reputation for picturesque views, slow-paced island living, safety, and friendly residents (yes, we’re counting the dogs) has attracted many a city slicker to settle down on its sandy shores. Who can blame them, when all that is just 25 minutes away from Central by ferry?

For those of you who prefer to have the best of both worlds, rest assured that you can fit a brunch, a leisure hike along the island, an afternoon pint, and one of those famous Lamma seafood dinners into one compact trip. If you do only one thing, a meal at one of Lamma Island’s famous waterfront seafood restaurants in Sok Kwu Wan is a must.

Advertising
Tap Mun
Photograph: Shutterstock

Tap Mun

Tap Mun, which sits off the coast of Sai Kung Country Park, is also known as Grass Island. The island is composed of rolling, grassy hillocks complete with wandering cows. The island has an exciting history as a smuggling and pirate haven – legend has it there was once a pirate’s tunnel that led from the altar of the island's Tin Hau temple all the way out to the sea – although its now-sleepy streets belie this. Tap Mun is a popular spot for both camping and kite-flying and boasts several rocky beaches. Follow our guide for an adventurous day out on this beautiful island.

Advertising
Shenzhen
Photograph: Shutterstock

Shenzhen

Just on the other side of Hong Kong’s border with mainland China, Shenzhen was historically an inconsequential little town until it became China’s first Special Economic Zone in 1979. Now, having developed in economic parallel with Hong Kong, it is a booming Asian metropolis. If you do plan to take a day trip there, make sure you check out some of Shenzhen's best shopping malls.

Recommended
    You may also like
    You may also like
    Advertising