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Cheung Chau (長洲)

Friday, November 13, 2015

On an island far away from the city, where pirates buried their treasure and the mango mochi was born. Welcome to Cheung Chau! Home of the famous pirate of Hong Kong Cheung Po Tsai (張保仔) and where he hid treasures in a tiny cave (oh hey, it rhymes). 

A few weeks ago on a spontaneous week off from work, we decided to go to Cheung Chau as I heard this was one of the islands you should visit whilst you're in Hong Kong and I have to agree! After reaching solid land from the 40 minute ferry journey, we were welcomed with Cheung Chau's famous mango mochi stalls, extra large fish balls and other street vendor snacks. However, I wouldn't recommend going for the mango mochi at the first stall you see. After wandering around for a little while, we came across the bike rentals. Being a nervous bike rider, I attempted to control the joint carriage bike but it was far too heavy for me to operate. So instead we rented two smaller bikes. 

We were so lucky that day, the weather was perfect for a bike ride and my soul felt so happy and content slowly cycling along the pier front. It reminded me to let go of my fears about balancing on the bike and just to ride as much as I could. We came across the famous cave of Cheung Po Tsai and decided to ditch the bikes (with the locks) and hiked up the mountains. I have to say though, if you're claustrophobic then these caves really aren't for you. You definitely need a flashlight or light from your phone and to carefully duck and crawl through the cave. It was definitely an interesting experience to wriggle through them and gain an understanding of what the pirates had to do to protect their wealth.

Because we ended up riding to the other end of Cheung Chau, we cycled past this bustling mochi shop and decided to give it a try after we gave back the bikes. After biting into the durian and mango mochi, we realised why people were queuing up and grabbing boxes of them. The mango was delicious and soft, with a light juice that flowed through it. The durian was so soft and was wrapped lovingly in the mochi pastry. If you're in Cheung Chau definitely try the ones where people are queuing because it will be worth it- sadly I didn't get a picture of the name of this shop. But when you're at the pier, turn left past McDonalds and walk for 5- 10 minutes.

After indulging in the mochi and having our tiring bike ride, we decided to fill up on food before we headed back to the city. We chose a quieter restaurant and decided on individual dishes, the whole dinner with two bowls of rice only cost us around 140ish HKD and tasted delicious! Pictured are- salt and chilli prawns, stir fried bitter melon and stewed aubergine in chilli bean sauce. I would definitely recommend Cheung Chau for a day out and a place to retreat to when the urban city gets too much.

-Sophia x

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