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Lamma Island
Photograph: Mabel Lui

Lamma Island: Ultimate guide

We search for the best gems that encapsulate this neighbourhood’s captivating but humble spirit

By Time Out Hong Kong
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With an effortless and laid-back charm that encourages tourists to visit and locals to stay, Lamma Island is well-known as a place for the free-spirited. The two main hubs of the island are Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan, and the former boasts a waterfront with numerous outdoor seafood restaurants while the latter features indie boutiques, specialty stores and casual eateries. Neither over-commercialized nor pretentious, Lamma Island combines both rustic charisma and multicultural influence to deliver a captivating but humble spirit. If you're planning to hop on a ferry to pay this unique island a visit, here are our recommendations for the best things to do, eat and see while you’re there.

RECOMMENDED: While you're in the mood to explore, follow our list of all the best Instagram photo spots in Hong Kong, our guide to the famous fishing village Tai O, as well as Hong Kong's best hikes

By Mabel Lui

Best things to do and eat in Lamma island

Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island
Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island
Mabel Lui

Kamikaze Caves

Attractions Lamma Island

The caves in Sok Kwu Wan have a spooky backstory. The historic Kamikaze Caves were dug out by the Japanese military during World War II to conceal speedboats that could be used for suicide missions against the Allies’ warships. Thankfully, the explosive boats were never used. Dive into Hong Kong’s wartime history with a visit to these caves, found 10-15 minutes from the start of the Lamma Island Family Walk (Sok Kwu Wan side).

Lamma Rainbow
Lamma Rainbow
Photograph: Mabel Lui

Rainbow Seafood Restaurant

Restaurants Lamma Island

If you're departing from Central, there's a free boat ride that will ship hungry passengers to Lamma Island to feast at this outdoor, live seafood restaurant. Formerly known as 'Lamma Rainbow', the family-run Rainbow Seafood Restaurant’s roots on Lamma Island began in 1984. Steamed catch of the day and black bean clams are the usual suspects, but if they're in season, order up the 'pee-on' shrimps and ask for them to be fried with salt and pepper. A fun escape for an evening of island dining.

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Lamma Corner Lamma Island
Lamma Corner Lamma Island
Photograph: Mabel Lui

Lamma Corner

Shopping Lamma Island

Home to a range of endlessly fun knick-knacks and paraphernalia, Lamma Corner is the place to go if you’re looking for a unique gift or souvenir to take home. Everything in this corner has cultural significance or an intriguing story, like upcycled Hong Kong Flour Mills tote bags, old stamps (circa 1972), soy candles in porcelain Chinese teacups and even a Vitasoy lemon tea coin pouch.

Lamma Vinyl Record Store

Shopping Lamma Island

It’s time to face the music: in the digital age, vinyl records are a bit of a dying breed. Thankfully, stores like Lamma Vinyl are keeping the beat alive for analog lovers, and the massive array of vinyl records and cassette tapes in this store are sure to bring you down memory lane. Gems like the original movie soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever and The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl can be found here, but if you want to go even more old-school, vinyl records of classical music including Beethoven, Bach and Vivaldi are also displayed in abundance.

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lamma island mush store
lamma island mush store
Mabel Lui

Mush Store

Shopping Lamma Island

If you thought self-service stores were a thing of the future, think again. The second you walk into Mush, you’ll immediately notice the lack of a storekeeper. The straightforward layout here makes the process of window shopping and buying merchandise simple and clear. Instead of a salesperson, Mush relies on bright red walls, a neon store sign and tongue-in-cheek prints to pique your interest – the caps, tees and hoodies all pay homage to the island where Mush calls home, sporting logos like ‘Lamma Brand’ or ‘Lamma Cult’.

nick the bookman
nick the bookman
Mabel Lui

Nick the bookman

Shopping Bookshops Lamma Island

Easily recognisable by his long beard, Nick the Bookman has become something of a Lamma Island cult figure. Along with his apprentice Tim, Nick has found a home for his outdoor bookstore just off the Main Street where he sits three days a week with a lopsided but endearing display shelf of secondhand books. When he’s not selling, Nick moonlights as a local mover and occasional DJ. If you’re lucky enough to catch him, stop by and chat – both he and Tim are friendly as can be.

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something about cats
something about cats
Mabel Lui

Something About Cats

Shopping Lamma Island

The cat’s out of the bag! Visitors come far and wide to this shop for its many cat-themed knick-knacks. Cat chopstick holders, cat ice cube trays, cat tote bags, tableware with cat printed all over it – you name it, they have it. Needless to say, this one is for all of our feline friends out there.

Duk Kee
Duk Kee
Mabel Lui

Tak Kee

Restaurants Chinese Lamma Island

There's something about cha chaan teng instant noodles and macaroni with shredded ham that Hongkongers can never get enough of, and that's exactly what Tak Kee offers. Tucked away from the main street, the eatery has all the classic cha chaan teng offerings, with everything done to perfection. Visit here for a relaxing afternoon with scrumptious food.

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