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Sleepy Village: Peng Chau

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Having lived in Hong Kong permanently for the past 4 years, I am almost ashamed to admit that the numerous outlying islands are foreign to me.

The idea of Peng Chau (坪洲) came during the middle of work-week - my colleagues and I needed to get out of the office and go somewhere peaceful to chill out. So on Saturday morning, we arrived at the central pier along with the most beautiful weather anyone could ask for. The ferry cost us a mere $15.30 each, taking only 30 minutes to get to Peng Chau.

 My first impression of this island was serene. I expected it to be different from Hong Kong island, but to describe it better, I'd say I wouldn't acknowledge Peng Chau as a part of Hong Kong if it didn't have cantonese-speaking people and the symbollic Wellcome supermarket. If you really tried to breathe and feel this island, you'd know that the vibe of the place and its people are unlike where we came from.

The streets were mostly empty, with the biggest crowd we saw all day being near the pier. The pier led to a mini market street just wide enough for two to walk side by side, and consisted of only a handful of vendors. Beautifully blue and clear, the skyline was not disrupted by any tall buildings, which is a rare sight in Hong Kong.

We walked around in circles for a bit, keeping an eye out for the restaurants, then stopped to have a fresh sea-food lunch.

The food was satisfying and affordable compared to HK, leaving us replenished and ready for more exploring.

After walking along a 15 minutes path near the sea, we discovered a small beach - it was empty! Guess the residents of Peng Chau were staying inside on this full-blast sunshine afternoon. Though this wasn't the prettiest beach in the world, we had it to ourselves. If you've ever visited the overcrowded beaches in Hong Kong, you'd know that this kind of luxury is priceless.

When we were done glorying over the luxury of the private beach, we decided we needed some air conditioning (true Hong Kong people speaking). Close to the ferry pier sat a cafe, which was, yes you've guessed it - empty. This contrasted so much with Hong Kong where you would have to queue for every restaurant/cafe.

To be honest, there wasn't much to see in Peng Chau. 3-4 hours could probably take you around the entire island. But if you appreciate quietness, the lack of crowds, private beaches, sweet family-owned cafes, and the fact that you could escape busy Hong Kong and slow down for a day. then Peng Chau is for you.

Peng Chau is a sleepy village on an island. Island adventure number 1, check.

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