This weekend we made a day trip to a little island not so far away — Cheung Chau. This island is extremely cute. Its name apparently means ‘long island’ and it is sort of shaped like a dumbbell with a long, narrow strip in the middle. At one point you can walk from the ‘east coast’ to the ‘west coast’ in just a few steps!
It was surprisingly crowded, especially compared to the other nearby island, Peng Chau, but perhaps that’s because it was a Saturday. There were lots of tourists — both local Hongkers and foreigners — and close to the ferry pier were lots of souvenir shops along the main strip. It even has a McDonalds and some nice clothing boutiques — things that I am sure were not there ten years ago…
But even though Cheung Chau seems to be modernising itself, it still remains a small fishing community. The water is thick with fishing boats and the little streets are full of bicycles, as there are no cars on this island other than one police vehicle and one firetruck.
The thing I liked most about Cheung Chau is that the people there seemed to be so laid back. And perhaps because they are accustomed to getting tourists you felt quite comfortable walking into little alleys, checking out the shops, poking your head around doors to peek inside, petting people’s pets. I remarked that in comparison, Discovery Bay is like Wonderbread: white, consistent, neatly packed in a clear plastic bag, and utterly flavourless, while Cheung Chau is like a nice multigrain roll, with lots of tastes and textures, and ultimately more interesting. It is too bad we don’t live there!