24 hours in Hong Kong: Stanley, Aberdeen, and Lamma Island

In June, Ben and I had another great adventure in Hong Kong . For this weekend, we decided to hit up some of the areas on the southern side of Hong Kong Island and then take a ferry down to Lamma Island. We loved all three areas and were pleasantly surprised to find that they had so many clean public toilets, even along the fairly empty hiking trail on Lamma Island.

Saturday afternoon in Stanley

Stanley feels like what I imagine the British Virgin Islands feel like. There’s a street market, a bunch of beaches, and a string of British pubs serving fish and chips and Guinness. Stanley Market has lots of clothes, bags, and tourist items and is nice to wander through for about an hour before getting lunch on the beach.

Ben and I decided to forgo the British pubs and get basically the same food for half the price at a stretch that runs opposite the market but still along the beach.

enjoying a very British meal

Stanley also has a historical fort, prison, and free correctional museum that seems pretty cool if you have extra time to spend there.

You can swim at Stanley Beach, but unfortunately, it was raining pretty hard while we were there, so Ben and I decided to keep going

Ben and I didn’t stay at Stanley for the night because we couldn’t find even a moderate hotel room for the night, although we only looked a couple days in advance. If you look earlier, you may be able to find a better deal.

Getting to and from Stanley

While you can take a taxi, I would recommend taking the 6, 6A, or 6X bus from Central. These busses are double decker and give you a great view of the island while you’re crossing it. The bus ride takes about an hour. Take the bus to the Stanley Market stop, which is within walking distance of almost everything you can do in the area.

Saturday night in Aberdeen

Aberdeen is a historical fishing center, and even today you can see all the fishing boats in the harbor. Supposedly, some of the first dragon boat races took place here between fishermen hundreds of years ago.

For the afternoon, we took a ferry across Aberdeen Harbor to Ap Lei Chau Island, where we watched the sunset and the boats in the harbor, then had some excellent Thai food for dinner.

Ben and I stayed at Mojo Nomad hostel, which had a great special of US $35 for two beds for one night. The hostel organizes events every night for its guests, including bar crawls and movie nights. We met up with some people at the hotel bar that night and drank local beer. One guy was from The Netherlands and told us about his time as a study abroad student at a small town in Indiana of all places.

Getting to and from Aberdeen

You can take the 73 bus from Central or Stanley, or you can take the South Island metro line from Central to Wong Chuk Hang.

Getting to and from Ap Lei Chau

Take the ferry from Aberdeen harbor, or take the South Island metro line to Lei Tung or South Horizons.

Monday morning on Lamma Island

Sunday morning, we went to a dim sum restaurant next to the hostel. Unlike most of the dim sum places in Guangzhou, which are HUGE and have massive tables with lazy susans and are capable of seating 100 people or more, this dim sum place felt more like a diner. It had small tables that could seat 2 or 4 people and the whole room could fit maybe 20 guests.

They had an English picture menu, which was basically a photo album with printed pictures of each of the dishes they serve. We’ve found that about 5-6 dishes is the right number for two people for dim sum. Most of the dishes were about what we expected, but we ordered some pineapple buns that are normally sweet. These were the typical sweet pastry, but on the inside, they had delicious roast pork. Yum!

From Aberdeen Harbor, we took a ferry down to Lamma Island, which is underdeveloped and beautiful. We took a hiking trail through some 300-400 year old villages and saw the biggest spiders I’ve ever seen in the wild. Our original plan was to swim on a beach on the south side of the island, which turned out to be closed for the summer 🙁


We tried to swim closer to the main harbor, next to Lo So Shing Sitting-Out Area, but the water was fairly shallow and a little dirty. We did get to see Kamikaze Cave, where Japanese fighters stored boats in preparation for an attack when the island was occupied during WWII, which was pretty cool.

Before taking the ferry back to Central Hong Kong, we ate lunch at a restaurant that was one of many next to Sok Kwu Wan Pier and enjoyed the view.

Getting to and from Lamma Island

Ferries run from the Central Ferry Terminal in Central Hong Kong and from Aberdeen Harbor to Lamma Island. We took the ferry from Aberdeen to Mo Tat Wan, which is a less developed area, and got back on at Sok Kwu Wan Pier to go to Central. Unlike Ap Lei Choi Island, there is no metro service to Lamma Island.

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