Your insider’s guide to Hong Kong

Best places to discover off-the-beaten-track Hong Kong

Daisann McLane, founder of tour company Little Adventures in Hong Kong, shares her top five places outside of Central for an authentic taste and experience of the Fragrant Harbour

Peng Chau
Only 25 minutes from Central by scheduled ferry, you are in another world the instant you step off the boat on to Peng Chau Island. I especially recommend walking along the harbour promenade, and then continuing on the Family Trail to an amazing hidden beach on the island’s south-east.

Shau Kei Wan
At first sight, you will not notice much difference between Shau Kei Wan and other working class areas in Hong Kong. It’s only 20 minutes by MTR from Central and the station is surrounded by public housing blocks. But soon you’ll stumble across the largest and best outdoor food market on Hong Kong Island. And all the little side streets are filled with small noodle and roast meat shops that are fast disappearing elsewhere due to high rents. Oh, and do not miss Master Low Key, Hong Kong’s number one vendor of gai daan jai – little egg waffles.

Fanling 
Anyone coming to Hong Kong should try to see some of the old walled Hakka and local bun dei villages that dot the northern New Territories. Some are over 300 years old! While many of these villages can only be reached by hiking across hills, in Fanling there is a cluster of traditional Chinese villages that can be accessed easily from the MTR station, and are on flat ground. Afterwards, follow the locals in Fanling Town to a shop that has some of the most delicious beef ball noodles in the city.

Mui Wo
Although parts of this Lantau Island community have become popular as an expat enclave, traditional Hong Kong is only a short walk away from the ferry pier. You can also rent bicycles in town to get around. Villages and, yes, farms, dot the area in the foothills of the rugged Lantau mountains, and you can spend a happy afternoon exploring them. Save time for a beer at one of the waterfront bars along Silvermine beach before taking the ferry back to the city.

The other side of Lamma Island
We like exploring the south side of Lamma, away from the more accessible and popular ferry piers on the north end. The access point is Aberdeen pier, where you can catch a scheduled small boat to Ma Wan on Lamma – the ride takes about 20 minutes. There’s a casual seaside restaurant there, but we enjoy the short 30 minute hike that leads through a few villages (including the one where Hong Kong movie star Chow Yun Fat was born) to a beachside enclave where a few fishing families will cook you a simple meal from seafood gathered on site. If you go during May, you can eat fresh sea urchin right out of the spiny shell.

Little Adventures in Hong Kong provides private walks and food experiences that take you to a hidden, delicious Hong Kong. Guests can book tours directly via www.littleadventuresinhongkong.com

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