Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
Total votes: 69

Hidden Hong Kong: Cheung Chau Island

18
by : 
Rik Glauert

If someone mentions Hong Kong to you, you probably think of giant skyscrapers, busy streets and pollution. Indeed, the actual island of Hong Kong and the Kowloon peninsula opposite is home to 6 million people crowded into a very small place. There can be up to 50,000 people per square kilometre in these areas and property prices are some of the highest in the world.

However, the whole of Hong Kong is not this claustrophobic. The region is actually comprised of 263 Islands and a staggering 75% of the area is rainforest, mountains and sandy beaches.

I arrived in Hong Kong about a month ago and have spent most of that time sweating and spluttering through the crowded and busy streets getting things sorted. Life is very cramped and crowded – flats are incredibly small and the daily journey to work involves squeezing yourself onto metro trains, trams and busses.

With the arrival of my lovely friend from Seoul, however, I took the opportunity to get out of the city centre and into some unchartered waters. One morning, we set off to explore one of Hong Kong’s outlying islands – Cheung Chau. For city dwellers like me the adventure offered a welcome break from the rat-race, a real escape to the country. A holiday on my doorstep.

The island of Cheung Chau can only be reached by ferry. We boarded the ‘fast ferry’ which lived up to its name and smashed and bounced over the waves, making using the on-board toilet a difficult task. The ferry arrived safely at island’s dock and we were immediately enchanted. Cheung Chau has somewhat of a Mediterranean charm but in an Asian style. Old fishing boats bob in the harbour and restaurants line the seafront, offering the freshest catch from that day.

We rented bikes and set off in the blazing heat to explore the island. Cheung Chau is shaped like an hour glass. The town, the quay and main beaches are in the middle, where the island is less than a kilometre wide, whilst rainforest covered mountains and unexplored beaches are at either end. We cycled (and sweated) from tip to tip, discovering temples and hidden beaches.

After a well-deserved cool off in the sea and a snooze on a deserted beach, we went back to the quayside for dinner. A beautiful red snapper fish was served, plucked straight from the sea before us and steamed with ginger, garlic and soy sauce. As we watched the sun drop down amongst the distant sky-scrapers and mountains of Hong Kong island and plop into the South China Sea, we realised what a delightful break from the city we had had (and just how sunburnt we were!).

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Discussion

Have you ever been to an island? 

Comments

clsn's picture
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clsn 21 December, 2013 - 14:02

I have been to an island before. Actually, I live on an island - Hong Kong Island. There are lots of hills on this island and only a little flatland near the coast.

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23 users have voted.
nanotechnology's picture
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nanotechnology 7 September, 2013 - 11:01

Hi
I went to an island before, I went to Cheung Chau. Cheung Chau really a beautiful island, I like there very much. I want to go there again if I have time to go.

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24 users have voted.
SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 23 August, 2013 - 18:51

hi, mpampoll
I have heard for greece's islands and I think they are really worth to go at least once.
I wish one day I am going to visit them Thank for your suggest.

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29 users have voted.
Natalija's picture
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Natalija 23 August, 2013 - 11:13

Yes, I went to islands several times, I like that so much. I went to Greek islands, Greece is the most beautiful country in the world, and its' islands are so relaxing. I went to island Corfu, Rhodes and Symi,

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26 users have voted.
mpampoll's picture
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mpampoll 22 August, 2013 - 21:57

Hi everybody.I am from beautiful greece and as everybody know greece is full of islands............it means that i have gone to some as crete,mykonos,santorini.paksoi-antipaksoi.tinos and some more when i was younger....the truth is that the opener the sea is the colder the water of the sea is.so i suggest you if you ever decide to go to a greece's island to visit santorini or crete as in my opinion are the best.........

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26 users have voted.
SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 14 August, 2013 - 21:39

Albania has some wonderful islands in the south. Recentely the services has become great with european conditions. The islands of Saranda can be compared with Greek and Italian islands. Everyone is WELCOMED TO ALBANIA!

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25 users have voted.
ellen's picture
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ellen 12 August, 2013 - 10:19

I have never been to an island, but I had like.
Island has got very nice seas.
I would want to be UK.

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28 users have voted.
mpampoll's picture
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mpampoll 22 August, 2013 - 21:49

hi herbs!!!!!!!!!!my name is mary and i am from beautigul greece..............i would like to ask you where are you from i mean generally from europe,america.africa etc because i like to know about other countries but i am not pretty good in geography xaxaxaxaxaxa...i hope to answer to me soon

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18 users have voted.
Herbs's picture
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Herbs 27 August, 2013 - 13:06

Hi mpampoll,
I am from Taiwan. It's a country in Asia, near Hong Kong. I would like to know about Greece! Please tell me something about it! Come to Taiwan someday!

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20 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 9 August, 2013 - 12:17

Hi Herbs! What's Havar like? What did you do there? It should be very fragrant because of all the lavender.
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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21 users have voted.
Herbs's picture
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Herbs 9 August, 2013 - 13:28

Hi Jonathan,
Havar is a beautiful island. I went on a vacation with my family. And you're right. It's very fragrant because of all the lavender! Have you ever heard of my country Taiwan? It's a wonderful island too!

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23 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 10 August, 2013 - 13:00

I've heard Taiwan is a very nice place. It must be great to live on an island! :) Wherever you go, you must be pretty near to the coast and the ocean. Do you live on the coast or inland? Are there any beaches near your house?
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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21 users have voted.