Hiking on Lamma Island

I just spent a month in Hong Kong on Lamma Island, which is one of my favorite places. This little island is blissfully clear of cars and has a quaint, relaxed feel. The hiking here doesn't have all the stairs and steep climbs that can be found on Hong Kong Island but you can still get a good workout in. My morning routine consists of walking or jogging ten minutes from our apartment to the Hung Shing Ye beach. If you're coming from Hong Kong Island, you will most likely take the ferry from Central to the Yung Shue Wan ferry pier. From the pier you can get onto the Family Trail which will go right past this beach as well. This was taken mid week but it can get quite crowded. I feel like this is my island during the week but I have to share it on weekends and holidays.

I like to swim at this beach because of the shark nets and because it's close to home. Just past this beach you can continue on the Family Trail. During the summer it wasn't fun to go first thing in the morning because then you would be the one breaking through all the spider webs spun across the path. But in October/November the webs were gone.

After the first bit of climbing you will reach a lookout section with a large map of the island's trails and roads.

Keep going past the lookout/map and you'll get to a place near the top of the mountain where you can curve to the right and continue on the Family Trail toward Suk Kwu Wan. The road from here is mostly downhill and flat so if you want to burn calories you need to start running.

You'll travel across the top of this mountain for a bit and get a good view of the other side. The photo below shows the village Suk Kwu Wan where weekenders like to walk and enjoy a meal at the famous seafood restaurants along the shore. The photos I took on this day are pretty cloudy because a storm was coming in. I waited until my last day to take pictures so poor lighting is the price I paid for procrastination. The first time I saw this view I thought of Kevin Costner in Waterworld.

Just before you reach another tiny village you will come across this message painted on the road:

Don't feel too bad, it's not a comment on your running style or your mental acuity. It's just a warning that the road will take a steep dip and a sharp turn into the village ahead. Where you will be delighted to see the famous Pink and Purple Pig Palace.

It will take you approximately two minutes to walk through this village and then you will reach another fork in the road.  Stay to the left to continue on the Family Trail. Or go up the stairs to the right for Lo So Shing beach, my favorite swimming spot.

As soon as you climb the stairs you will see some public bathrooms. 

I'm not sure where the stairs on the right go. I am saving  these mystery stairs for another day. Just past the bathrooms the road becomes a dirt trail. This used to be my favorite part of the trip but I've seen five snakes in the past two weeks of hiking so I'm more comfortable on the wider concrete roads now.

But it's a very pretty trail that leads to an even prettier beach. Last summer Zoe and I would hike out here in the mornings. She always had to lead because she could see the spider webs better than I could and she would tell me when to duck. Then we would swim out to the floating dock to cool off before we headed home again.

Below is a photo of the village with the Pink and Purple Pig Palace. This is the view coming from the opposite direction (on my way home.) 

If you've gotten this far you can see why I enjoy exploring Lamma Island. It's a beautiful and fascinating place. Don't let the snakes bother you, I'm sure there's plenty of room for all of us.
This is the three-footer who was in the middle of the street right outside my apartment when I left to take these photos. We stared at each other for a moment until I looked away to get my phone ready for a photo. He seized that opportunity to slither across the street and escape in the gutter. 

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