A few weeks ago was the ‘bun festival’, a very famous local festival held in Cheung Chau approx. 50 minutes away from Hong Kong island. Going on a bank holiday we were obviously expecting horrific queues to make it onto the ferry, but upon arriving at the pier we walked straight onto a ferry and were on our way to Cheung Chau feeling very smug (but like everything in Hong Kong, it’s not the getting there that’s the problem, its the getting back, which we would learn the hard way once again).
We arrived at Cheung Chau greeted by A LOT of police and a sea of people. Making our way towards the beach and away from the crowds we soon realised that the little island was snack heaven. There were stalls on every corner selling everything from fried potatoes to noodles to frozen watermelon. We had pretty much one of everything and arrived at the beach loaded with carbs and ready for some exploring. We took one look at the main beach and decided that being surrounded by hundreds of children kicking sand wasn’t particularly what we imagined our day off to consist of, so we continued walking until we found an idyllic spot on the other side of the island.
We made it back to the centre a few hours later to watch the parade which was one of the most bazaar experiences. For some reason, there were a lot of children suspended 5ft in the air dressed as the elderly. These were followed by an abundance of dragons and a lot of drumming. After the parade we went in the search of food.
Apparently we never got the memo about the fact the entire island goes vegetarian for the festival. Like the clueless idiots we are, we attempted to order a parma ham panini (which was received with a very strange look and the simple answer ‘no’). We then went on a hunt for some pork buns and couldn’t seem to understand why everywhere was just selling vegetables. We finally found the perfect spot for lunch by the deserted beach we’d been to earlier that day, which was followed by some more exploring and a well-deserved swim in the sea.
Later on, we headed towards the queues in an attempt to get the ferry back and joined what we thought was the queue for the ferry back to Hong Kong island. Seeing as there was only Chinese signs we went with it and presumed we were in the right place. We were very impressed with how quiet it was until we were asked for our passports and realised we were queuing to go to Macau. We were quickly directed to the correct queue and it took us about 10 minutes just to reach the back of it. Luckily Hong Kong is incredibly efficient and had scheduled a lot of extra ferries- we only ended up waiting 30 minutes before boarding.
We arrived home feeling bloated from all the potato and sporting some rather fetching rucksack tan lines!