Saturday, March 27, 2010

An Escape to Lamma Island, Hong Kong

Lamma Island Hong Kong

Birds chirping. Fresh air. Low-rise buildings. Stretches of golden beaches. No cars. Just bicycles gliding along. Everything seems to be in slow motion.

A half an hour ferry ride transports us from the hustle and bustle of Central Pier 4 to Yung Shue Wan village in Lamma Island. It is slightly past 16:00, and the aim is to reach Sok Kwu Wan village before it gets dark on this foggy day. The inviting carrot? Fresh delicious seafood, but more on that later.

First stop is Yung Shue Wan's main street. The large population of expatriates (and their dogs) is immediately noted, presumably drawn to Lamma Island's laid back atmosphere. Small shops are dotted along the street. Quirky restaurants, craft shops and old ladies selling vegetables. The most popular products seem to be salted fish and shrimp paste in a jar. Tempting, but a brief what-are-you-going-to-to-with-it conversation with myself refrains me from buying. The Engineer and April buy some drinks for the journey ahead.

Somewhere along the trail is Grandma's dou fu fah or sweet beancurd. A popular Chinese desserts, Grandma's version is soft, silky and enjoyed with a thick ginger sauce. As the journey continues, you will find Daughter-in-law's version too. Relationship with Grandma is unknown though.

Then there's Hung Sing Yeh beach in Sham Wan. Apparently this is the only place in Hong Kong where turtles regularly lay eggs, but none is sighted. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a turtle. Or a turtle egg for that matter. But anyway, the beach looks deserted on a Monday afternoon, except for a young couple chatting away their worries. A romantic picture, if you could ignore the sight of Lamma's Power Station in the background.

Our hungry stomachs and tired feet arrive at the fishing village of Sok Kwu Wan close to two hours later. The street is packed with seafood restaurants. Tanks and boxes of fresh fish and crustaceans are on display. We are then joined by Mrs April who just gets off work. After a short conference, we settle on Rainbow Restaurant.

As with many Chinese restaurants, the menu is extensive. We select a few dishes on the recommendation of the friendly waiter. No trip to Hong Kong is complete without having typhoon shelter-style crab. This dish is said to be invented in the 1990s by fishermen living in typhoon shelters. Crunchy deep-fried garlic, dried chilies and spring onion are good companions to the deep-fried crab, and a bowl of steamed rice.

The extra large fresh squillas (a.k.a. "peeing" prawns in Cantonese) are simply steamed to draw out their natural sweet flavours. Salt and pepper squid is well-executed. Bamboo clams are stir-fried with black bean sauce. I wish there is more of it. Rainbow's (award-winning) sweet and sour pork is probably our least favourite of the scrumptious lot.

As the night ages, it's time to return to the fast(er) paces of Hong Kong. April's suggestion of desserts is greeted with a resounding yes as we hop onto the free shuttle boat provided by the restaurant.

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14 comment(s):

Kristy Sayer March 27, 2010 at 6:08 PM  

your photos are gorgeous - as always.
I wish I had the chance to travel to some of the places you do. Hopefully once I'm done with school I'll get that chance.

Phuoc'n Delicious March 28, 2010 at 2:56 AM  

Those squillas look like something from the Alien movies..

Y March 28, 2010 at 7:12 AM  

Gorgeous! Hope you'll be posting more pictures soon :)

Sydney Shop Girl March 28, 2010 at 6:45 PM  


Gorgeous photos, Thank you for sharing.

SSG xxx

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial March 29, 2010 at 5:55 AM  

Wonderful photos - you have such a great eye for capturing the real essence on a place with your pics! Thanks for sharing, Wink! :)


Anh March 30, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

More photos, pls!!! You have such an incredible experience!

Von March 31, 2010 at 8:58 PM  

your photos are so good! How I wish I could take photos like you.....*sigh*

I went here a while ago, only it was a much quieter- barely any of he shops were open! I miss Hong Kong =[

The food looks great! Well better than what we had...

Cheryl April 1, 2010 at 11:14 PM  

Fried squid. Oh, how my saliva glands hurt. Great photos foodwink! :)

foodwink April 2, 2010 at 10:09 AM  

Hi Kristy - Thanks <3 The world is your oysters! I'm sure you'll have plenty of travel opportunities after high school. And I look forward to reading them.

Hi Phuoc - Tee hee ... Yes, but probably more delicious than Sigourney Weaver's playmates

Thanks Y!

Hi SSG - And thank you for dropping by!

Hi Celia - Thanks for your lovely comments.

Hi Anh - Haha. Ok, more pics soon.

Hihi Von - Thanks for your lovely comments. The shops were about to close when I was there too :(

Hi Cheryl - Thanks a lot! And nice to meet you too :)

Trissa April 2, 2010 at 10:46 AM  

I remember visiting Lamma Island once as people said the food there was terrific - which it was! But it was night time and I could not enjoy the scenery. This post is lovely as now I know what I was missing!

Cathy x. April 2, 2010 at 5:11 PM  

wow your photos are amazing! i can't believe i'm only just discovering your blog now! :P

foodwink April 5, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

Hi Trissa - It's a pity that you didn't get to see Lamma Island during the day. But glad to know that you didn't miss out on the scrumptious seafood fare, which was more important :D

Hi Cathy X - Thanks for your lovely comment! The feeling is mutual - I'm loving your blog too and wish I could photograph petits pois surgelés like you did :D

linda April 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM  

I absolutely adore Lanna Island. Last time I was there, we went for a 3 hour walk around the island, stopping at the rainbow restaurant. Typhoon style of cooking is lip smacking awesome, salty, crunchy and chilli, yum.

foodwink April 17, 2010 at 7:56 AM  

Hi Linda - Isn't Lamma Island wonderful? Such relaxing environment and good food. Thanks for dropping by!

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