Lamma is an interesting 40-minute ferry journey from Hong Kong Island, and I would recommend that you use your Octopus Card to make the journey. On our outward journey, the ferry seats were, to be polite, utilitarian and the trip was less than comfortable. The return was far more luxurious, and plusher seats made for a relaxed journey. We were also entertained by a large church group, out for a day, who were singing and distributing sweets to their group. We must have looked longingly when they passed by our seats, as they included us in their distribution!
Leaving the busy Hong Kong Terminal behind us, we were soon to enjoy a multiplicity of sights. On our left were the high-rise buildings of modern banking Hong Kong, and the livelier Kowloon quarter was on the right, but keep a close eye on the changing landscape of Hong Kong Island as the ferry powers its way towards Lamma. Buildings hug the shoreline, and the swish, ultra-modern landscape is replaced by less impressive high-rise buildings, and then older multi-storey apartments. Soon we were observing the more tired buildings of Hong Kong Island, then apartment blocks that would be dwarfed by the mighty buildings of Central Hong Kong. But hang onto the final glimpse of the island, as it is there that we spotted a few individual low-level residences clinging precariously to the craggy extremities of the island (expensive, I’m sure, but an amazing contrast to the rest of this side of the island).
At about this time, we spot the dominating towers on Lamma Island – the source of Hong Kong’s power. But there’s still a great deal of interest as the ferry makes its way to the second-largest of the outlying islands. The waterway is full of activity: ferries, fishing vessels, offshore container storage vessels (said to be Hong Kong’s way of protecting its buildings for any cargoes that may be the remotest of fire risks), barges, speedboats, and small private boats. Not a minute passed without a significant change to the waterway. To the rear of the ferry, I’m transfixed by the wake our vessel is creating – strange what can fascinate a traveller!
We take a sharp right, then the whole of Lamma comes into view. Surprisingly, the electricity towers seem to give an air of mystery and majesty to the island, and it soon becomes evident that the island, despite its industrialisation, is a stark contrast to the bustle of Kowllon and Hong Kong. The waterway becomes less busy, and we are now seeing many more small boats – local fishermen, we presume – as we approach Lamma’s jetty. To the left are small stilted wooden houses; to the right, Lamma’s main street and two-storey buildings; and on the top of the hill, across a small bay, Lamma’s power-creation towers. What a difference from the busy harbour we left behind 40 minutes ago!