Have you already hiked on Lamma and strolled around Cheung Chau? Time to visit the lovely little Peng Chau Island for a relaxed day trip with the kids!
This horseshoe-shaped isle, which was home to factories for everything from lime and matches to porcelain and rattan furniture, was once the only industrial island in Hong Kong. Peng Chau island is now a sleepy settlement marked by the absence of motorised vehicles and high rises. In fact, the locals pride themselves on the fact that Peng Chau is relatively untouched by big-city life – there isn’t even a 7-Eleven! Once you alight from the ferry, your gaze will fall on mismatched plastic tables and chairs where the residents play board games or shoot the breeze over a drink. The perfect vibe, we think, for a day away from the hustle and bustle of the hectic 852.
Peng Chau Ferry Schedule
Being an island, the ferry is your only option for getting to Peng Chau! There are direct fast and slow ferries from Central Pier No. 6, with the journey taking around 30 to 35 minutes on the fast boat. There are also frequent ferries between Discovery Bay‘s Kai To Ferry Pier and Peng Chau; you can complete the journey in 10 or 20 minutes, depending on whether or not your ferry makes a pitstop at Trappist Monastery. The last option is the inter-island ferry service that covers Cheung Chau, Chi Ma Wan, Mui Wo and Peng Chau Island.
Sassy Mama tip: The ferry from Discovery Bay to Peng Chau doesn’t accept Octopus payments, so you will need to have your fare ($7.5 for adults, $3 for children) ready in cash.
Kids Activities On Peng Chau
Peng Chau Hikes With Kids
There are quite a few trails you could explore on Peng Chau Island, many of them toddler and stroller-friendly. The gentle, stair-free Peng Chau Family Walk will take you past some of the attractions of inner Peng Chau, such as the Growing Smart Peng Chau Farm and the Peng Chau Garden of Remembrance in the southern part of the island, and the quiet farmland in the northern areas. Then there’s the climb up to Finger Hill, the highest point of elevation on Peng Chau (95 metres). It’s a relatively quick hike — follow any of the signs near the pier showing the way to this hill, and you’ll be at the peak in 30 minutes, tops. Since there are stairs on this hike, it’s best undertaken with older kids and teens. If you have some time to kill while waiting for your ferry back home, you could work in a stroll down the Peng Chau Promenade, which is just south of the pier. This is one of the more peaceful spots on Peng Chau to take in the sunset – and maybe for your toddler to get a power nap in the stroller.
Sassy Mama tip: If you’re after Insta-worthy pics, don’t wait till you get to a lookout point because the views are obstructed by foliage. Instead, take pictures from staircases or from paths running along the shore.
Visit Peng Chau’s Beaches
At Tung Wan Beach – not to be confused with its well-known counterpart in Cheung Chau – you can’t really soak up the sun or frolic in the waves. The main attractions here are the public barbecue pits (closed for the time being due to Covid restrictions). There is also the walking path along Wing Tung Street where you can take in the view of motorboats bobbing up and down in the gentle waves, with Stonecutters Bridge in the background. But, if you take the Peng Yu Path that runs along the northern shore of the island, you can camp out on one of the many small (and clean!) beaches that are easily accessible from here. Bring your bikes along and pedal away as you take in sweeping views of Discovery Bay, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and the Tsing Ma bridge before taking a load off at any of these secluded shores.
Get Into Arts-and-Crafts Mode On Peng Chau
Pottery Classes At Sunroom Studio
Conrad Li conducts pottery classes for kids and adults, which can be a one-time weekend activity or can extend over four sessions. While the kids’ classes are best suited to those over 6 years old, younger children can participate if they’re accompanied by an adult. There are no walk-ins, so you will have to make an appointment with Conrad first.
Paint Your Own Shells at House of Craft
Fancy a personalised seaside keepsake from your day at Peng Chau? Artist Helen Lau’s cheerful little corner store is known for its handmade souvenirs, but she also conducts arts-and-crafts sessions for children where they can paint their own seashells, mini canvases or even make shell mobiles. Her classes are 45 minutes to an hour long and currently run only from Friday to Sunday. The sessions are by appointment only and there is a minimum number of people required for them, so call ahead to book a slot.
Peng Chau Restaurants
Most of the dine-ins and bakeries are run by locals, who start work early in the morning so that schoolkids and officegoers can have breakfast on the go. Visitors can pick up a variety of snacks – think egg tarts and sesame biscuits – from family-run bakeries to munch on during hikes, as well as reasonably priced, chilled canned beverages. Once you’re done exploring Peng Chau, there are a surprisingly diverse number of restaurants and cafés where you can sit down to a meal on this little island – a couple of which even do a babyccino on request!
A Noy Bakery
This is a favourite among the island’s residents, and where you will see most of them queueing up to pick up traditional buns before they start their day. Another popular pick from this family bakery are its wafer-thin hand-sized fermented soybean sesame biscuits.
Even residents of neighbouring Discovery Bay come to this little spot to get their fill of all sorts of fresh-baked goodness. Think family favourites like flaky egg tarts, wobbly steamed cakes and crispy polo buns. If you’re in the mood for something Western, pick up doughnuts and croissants.
Today Bakery, 27 Wing On Street, Peng Chau, Hong Kong, [email protected]
This little takeaway joint opened in September 2020 and specialises in Japanese food like oyakodon (chicken rice), gyudon (beef rice) and yaki udon with eel. The menu also features fusion desserts and Japanese-inspired drinks: think Salty Egg New York Cheesecake, Hojicha Crème Brûlée, Mango Matcha Latte and Yuzu Red Tea. It’s the sort of food that travels well, so we recommend taking it back home rather than eating it on the go or at a bench at the promenade.
Here’s another one of Peng Chau’s trademark corner shops. Located bang in the middle of the commercial centre of the island, HoHo Kitchen is best known for its pineapple bun filled with ice cream, which it proudly advertises. However, if you’re in the mood for something savoury, the baked pork chop rice is also a popular pick among diners.
Hoi King Seafood Restaurant
If you’re getting to Peng Chau via Discovery Bay, this is the first restaurant you’ll see when you set foot on the pier. It’s a traditional dim sum restaurant, minus the cart service. Just take your pick from whatever’s steaming in the stacked bamboo baskets or from the goodies under the mesh covers. Be warned: The restaurant closes at 3pm, so it’s well worth heading there before lunchtime.
Hoi King Seafood Restaurant, G/F, 13-15 Wing On Side Street, Peng Chau, Hong Kong, 2983 9588
Kee Sum Café
There are two words to explain why foodies from across Hong Kong flock to this unassuming five-decade-old restaurant: Prawn toast. Kee Sum Café’s version – delightfully crunchy on the outside with perfectly cooked prawn coated in secret sauce on the inside – has patrons lining up to get a taste. They also serve up more substantial fare like a Western-style all-day breakfast and Hong Kong-style set lunches, along with iced coffee and tea to wash it all down. Indoor seating is limited, so be prepared to settle for takeaway during the lunch rush hour.
Kee Sum Café, Shop B, G/F, Wing On Street, Peng Chau, Hong Kong, 2983 0554
Island Table Grocer Café
This café was opened in August 2020 by three sisters who “just love to eat” – Mandy, Apple and Cony Cheung – and decided to turn their passion into a livelihood when their tour guide business went south post-Covid. As you emerge from the more commercial part of Wing Hing Street and turn right, you will light upon a welcoming astroturfed outdoor seating area. Inside, you’ll find a cheerful and cozy little setup where you can sit down to customer favourites such as a London Fog (their Earl Grey Rose Latte) and a Crème Brûlée Cheesecake. And if you have a hankering for imported Western ingredients, you can fill your shopping bag with the café’s picks of imported pasta and cheese.
Second Serve Coffee
This is another recent addition to Peng Chau’s coffee shop scene. It opened in January 2021 and is run by a husband-wife duo who have combined their respective passions for tennis and coffee into a single space. Ricky Cumes – an Elite Professional from the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) – conducts tennis classes at the indoor half-court, while his wife May runs the adjoining coffee shop. Some of their signature drinks include the Turmeric Latte and Turmeric Black Coffee. They also do a lot of takeaway for residents heading to Central on the ferry in the form of scrambled egg and oatmeal breakfast cups. And if you’re coming here with kids, you can chill out on the benches outdoors (weather permitting) or stretch your legs in the spacious indoor area.
Chill Chill Country
This space was opened in 2019 to provide visitors with a place that has, as the name suggests, a chilled-out vibe. And it lives up to that, with the fragrance of incense and beats of psychedelic music that fill the air once you enter. They do their own cold brew, and the owner has Macgyvered his own manual coffee machine because he insists the taste isn’t quite the same otherwise. The indoor space is stocked with incense, candles and a wide range of CBD products from the US. There is also an outdoor seating area where you can sip on your espresso tonic or dirty coffee while your kids scribble on the chalkboard or play with the friendly bulldog.
Chill Chill Country, G/F, 21 Wing On Street, Peng Chau, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/Chill-Chill-Country
Long-time visitors to Peng Chau will find that Thai restaurant Tino’s has been replaced by Islanders, a café-cum-bookstore that opened in March 2021. It started out as a space on Wing Hing Street where Peng Chau locals could get together to connect over shared interests like culture and sustainable living. Then the husband and wife who run Islanders – and who publish the bi-annual map-zine by the same name – decided to open a café with a sea-facing outdoor seating area, where they serve craft beer, tea and coffee. There are lots of kid-friendly features as well: a chalkboard in the café for kids to scribble on, a book-swap event that includes children’s books, and a play area. Don’t forget to ask about the dessert special!
Sassy Mama tip: Many of these establishments are open only during the weekend, and some of them only in the afternoon. Check their opening hours before you plan a visit.
Things To See On Peng Chau
Peng Chau was home to The Great China Match Factory, which was the largest of its kind in South Asia. It closed in the 1970s when lighters drove down the demand for matches, and its only remnants are boundary stones hidden in the undergrowth in the Nam Wan San Tsuen area. The island was also known for its 11 lime factories, the most prominent being the Sing Lei Hap Gei Lime Kiln Factory, which is now a protected heritage site. The locals, however, have taken it upon themselves to give new life to other remains of Peng Chau’s industrial past.
Chiu Kee Porcelain Factory
This factory, which closed in the 1980s, has been revived on a smaller scale to serve as a space where porcelain painters can create and sell their work, much like their antecedents did in the 1960s and ’70s; they also conduct workshops to regenerate interest in the art form. There are some works for sale, but there are older pieces on display only, including some by the late Lam Chiu – one of the owners of the factory who was known for his rooster designs.
Chiu Kee Porcelain Factory, G/F, 7 Wing Hing Street, Peng Chau, Hong Kong, 9193 8044
Peng Chau Leather Factory
This area just behind Wing On Street that has been accorded Grade 3 historic status is actually the site of two old leather factories: Fook Yuen Leather Factory and Kwong Fat Yuen Leather Factory, which played key roles in Peng Chau’s leather import industry in the last century. Nowadays, however, the area has a completely different vibe – right from the graffitied alleyway entrance to the bric-a-brac art installations that change every month as part of the My Secret Garden project spearheaded by Sherry Lau.
Peng Chau is home to a thriving art community, so it’s hardly surprising that there many spaces dedicated to art even on this small island. The main attraction is Sherry’s Art, located in one of the defunct leather factories. Sherry Lau, who runs the gallery, is also responsible for the rotating junkyard installations behind Wing On Street (the aforementioned My Secret Garden). Just around the corner is 5+2’s Studio, an underground musical gallery that showcases work by local artists. There is also a more conventional gallery, Sin Art Gallery on Wing Hing Street, which features portrait and landscape art.
Temples On Peng Chau
This barely 1-kilometre-square island has as many as three temples and one shrine. Most of them – the Tin Hau Temple (dedicated to the goddess of the sea), the Kam Fa Temple (aka, the Golden Flower Shrine) and the Lung Mo Temple (the island’s largest) – are located within shouting distance of Peng Chau’s commercial hub: Wing On Street. You’ll have to walk further afield to get to the Seven Sisters Temple on the north-western side of Peng Chau.
A Lit Corner
This space was well-known as Sun-Sat Store but was renamed after a partial change in ownership. It’s still that open-on-weekends-only quaint corner on Wing Hing Street that sells vintage ware like typewriters, suitcases, analogue telephones, antique irons and wall clocks. It’s a great place to potter around, and of course, it’s infinitely Instagrammable. Coffee connoisseurs can sample the locally roasted coffee served here that’s sourced from South America, Central America and Africa.
Tai Lei Island
This little island is better known for the bridge that connects it to Peng Chau: the Peng Lei Road (also called Tai Lei Bridge). It’s a popular fishing spot among the locals and a great biking spot for kids. There is also a little headland and pebble beach that you can explore, with a makeshift rest area along the way that has rubber-tyre swings and a hodgepodge of discarded toys.
Shopping On Peng Chau Island
The quaint commercial lanes of Wing On Street and Wing Hing Street are lined with stores that sell fruit, vegetables, toys, stationery, beach essentials and rain gear. However, some roadside stalls switch things up over the weekends and sell dried seafood instead. House of Craft specialises in handmade gifts and souvenirs, while Chill Chill Country sells incense, candles and a range of CBD products. If you’re interested in porcelain, you can pick up pieces from Chiu Kee Porcelain Factory or hunt down antiques at To Tsu Kok Porcelain Ware.