The delightful island of Peng Chau is an effective antidote to inner-city exhaustion. A day spent exploring, sunbathing and hiking will leave you feeling like you’ve just been on a relaxing holiday – especially if you go midweek. Located just 30 to 40 minutes by ferry from Central (depending on whether you take the slow or fast one), Peng Chau is easily walkable, offers incredible views, quiet, private spots to soak in the sun and enjoy the sea breeze, and a beautiful landscape of gardens and greenery.

Village houses on Peng Chau Island Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP

With several secluded, soft-sand beaches, rambling paths for hikes, garden walks and breath-taking city views, you may have a hard time deciding what to do first. Exploring the entire island takes no more than a couple of hours, and it’s easy to do. If you’re keen on cycling, there are a few bike rental places offering options to hire one for the day, and the beaches are great for camping.

Peng Chau means “flat island,” so the name alone tells you navigating won’t be too hard, but don’t be fooled – there are a couple of steep hills and steps along some of the pathways. However, none is too extreme and even families with children can manage. 


How to get to Peng Chau

Take the Peng Chau ferry from Central Ferry Pier 6. Timetables can be found here. The fast ferry is always preferable but because Peng Chau isn’t that far, the slow ferry is also acceptable.

Peng Chau Heritage Trail Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP

Hiking routes on Peng Chau

  • North Peng Chau Walking Trail – an easy path along the water where you can stop along the way and have a picnic on the beach or just lie in the sun for a few hours.
  • Finger Hill – a longer hike up to the highest point on the island.

Whether you’re hoping to do a long hike or just a short walk, there are a couple of options from which to choose. We started by going left off the ferry, where you will see bike racks and an oddly placed outdoor “gym” area (complete with stationary bikes and even a rowing machine spaced out along the promenade). You’ll pass the waterfront Treasure Cove villas, which may have you questioning whether city dwelling really is the way to live, and eventually you’ll see the circular garden area where the small Seven Sisters temple (Chek Tset Temple) is located.

Lung Mo Temple in Peng Chau Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP

Keep walking towards the North Peng Chau Walking Trail and Peng Yu Path. Soon you’ll see the signs for Peng Yu Path and Old Fisherman’s Rock Lookout Pavilion. Take that path upward (the path is paved). As you round each corner, stunning views and secluded beaches surprise you, each one better than the next. Keep following the path – there are a few stop-and-see spots with incredible city views on a clear day, as well as a tiny pavilion along the route – and when you get to the fork in the road, go left towards the village.

Beaches on Peng Chau Island Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP

While walking in the village area, make sure to stop and enjoy the various banana and papaya trees planted alongside the path, while also checking out the vegetable gardens. Eventually you’ll come back down to the water and Tung Wan barbecue area. Keep going but take the first right onto He King Street back towards the village. This is where you can decide if you are finished with your stroll or want to keep exploring (we say opt for the latter).

Ferries to Peng Chau Island Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP

Go past the Peng Chau Kam Fa Temple, and when you get to Peng Chau Wing On Street, make a left. Follow along the alleyway but keep an eye out for the hand-painted signs that say Room for Rent and Shery’s Leather Factory, which are hung over a little doorway.

Make sure you go through that alleyway, because what awaits you is the best part of this village. Beautiful and quirky artwork adorn the walkway, so keep your camera at the ready as you exit to a hidden little street where the former leather factory is situated. The area has been transformed into a gorgeous garden, complete with a café and a few antique shops. This spot is not to be missed.

Leather factory on Peng Chau Island Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP

If you’re ready to take on the other half of the island, head back where you came from and find your way back towards the pier. Once on the main drag, go left (if you’re just getting off the ferry, this would be on the right) and walk toward the delicately manicured garden area on the waterfront side. Take a rest at one of the many benches or keep going towards the signs for Finger Hill.

Follow the signs for Nam Shan Road and head upwards – a bit of a steep stretch here. Soon in the distance you’ll see Finger Hill, which seems like it will be a huge climb but it’s really just a matter of going up a long flight of stairs. It won’t be hard for the avid hiker, and we saw elderly people mastering the steps with ease.

View from Finger Hill on Peng Chau island

While climbing the stairs make sure to stop and turn around because the view from the staircase is better than the view from the top. When we were there the top view was blocked in part by overgrown trees. 

Peng Chau. Photo: Roxanne Dowell/HKFP.

Coming back into town is just as simple as the way you came, but you can also take the option to turn left at the bottom of the steps and continue on the Peng Chau Family Walk back towards the pier. It also offers a peek into village life and will take you to a few more beautiful beach spots with a stellar view of Hong Kong and Kowloon on a clear day.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP

Even if you decide not to follow these suggested routes, the island’s infrastructure has made wandering simple and a lot of fun, and discovering what lies ahead is what makes this place so special.

Peng Chau. Photo: Roxanne Dowell/HKFP.

If you still haven’t had your fill of exploring, a bridge will take you to the tiny island of Tai Lei, which has a small beach and some good spots for taking snapshots. You can get there by making a left instead of going onto Peng Yu Path after the Seven Sisters Temple.

Shopping on Peng Chau

Peng Chau is similar to most islands, with various shops and alleyways selling everything from fruit and vegetables, fresh seafood, meat and other grocery items, as well as the usual backpacker items (elephant pants, anyone?)

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP

There are local eateries and other restaurants, but if you’re hoping for more variety, taking a 10-minute ferry to Discovery Bay is just as simple. The pier for Discovery Bay and Mui Wo is just to the right side of the pier to Central.

Peng Chau’s Temples

For such a tiny island there are quite a few temples to see. There are clearly marked signs but the first is the most obvious – Tin Hau Temple – just off the ferry pier to the right.

Tin Hau Temple on Peng Chau Island Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP

Others include the Kam Fa Temple, Lung Mo Temple and the Seven Sisters Temple.

File photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Where to eat on Peng Chau

There are quite a few places to eat on Peng Chau, but operating hours vary, so make sure to check before you go.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP
  • According to its website, Second Serve Coffee (Shop 10, G/F, Monterey Villas No. 10, Po Peng Street) is “always open,” which means you can grab filling breakfasts such as scrambled eggs, oatmeal cups and bagels while also getting your caffeine fix, no matter the time of day.
  • Some people can’t visit the islands without tucking into fresh seafood, so if that’s your game, Faai Che Cha Chaan Teng (快車茶餐廳 – G/F, 53 Wing On Street) will have what you’re looking for – everything from fish soup with deep-fried tofu balls, fresh shrimp and crab. 
  • Exploring Peng Chau can whip up quite an appetite, so for some hearty Japanese fare, head to Chaya Daruma (G/F, 38 Wing On Street) for everything from Gyu Don (beef rice), Yaki udon eel, Japanese style deep fried pork and more.
  • Yummy Café seems to be a local favourite, where you’ll find traditional Chinese dishes a plenty to sate your palate, but if dim sum is what you’re after, Hoi King Restaurant (G/F 13-15 Wing On Side Street) will have what you’re looking for.

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Roxanne Dowell

Roxanne Dowell earned a master’s degree in print journalism from Boston University and has been a writer, editor and content creator for more than 20 years. She moved to Hong Kong in 2016 and has been published in various local and international publications and websites.