Peng Chau, in my opinion, is extremely under rated. Unlike Lamma and Cheng Chau, Peng Chau wasn’t one of the islands in my guide book. In fact I hadn’t heard of it until I was wondering past central ferry piers one day, as saw that they had ferries going there. So last sunday, when everyone else in my flat was either incapacitated through illness, or a tad too much to drink the night before, I decided to go on a solo exploration of this unheard of island. After the cold weather we’d been having, and the miserable cold I had been suffering as a result, it was so nice to be out of the flat – and on such a gloriously sunny day (late february is just like british summertime, plus the humidity).
It takes about 30 minutes to get to Peng Chau from central ferry piers and suddenly you are a world away from the hustle and noise of the city. Like the other small inhabited islands in Hong Kong there are no cars on Peng Chau which means no background sound track of traffic. Just the sound of birds and the crashing of waves. Wondering around Peng Chau I had such a serene and peaceful afternoon that I’d highly recommend it, if you just want to get away and unwind. With only around 5,000 inhabitants there is less to do in terms of shops and places to eat and drink than you would find on Lamma or Cheng Chau but it has some wonderfully empty beaches and a network small paths, winding around the coast as well as cutting through the interior. I walked for ten or fifteen minutes at a time without crossing paths with another person! An extraordinary feat in Hong Kong.
According to the Hong Kong tourism website, Peng Chau was a centre of industry in the 70s and 80s but since then has reverted to its former self, leaving an array of abandoned workshops, and empty theatre as well as a number of temples.
I definitely felt that I could enjoy living in a place like Peng Chau and it got me wondering how many places there are in the world where you can live somewhere so scenic and peaceful, yet that is also only 30 minutes from an exciting and buzzing city (good weather is also a plus – we have some truly beautiful beaches in England but not the weather to fully appreciate them). If I find anywhere like that in Europe, just so I’m a bit closer to home, then I know where I will be permanently relocating to in future!