Think “Hong Kong” and the first images that come to mind are tall skyscrapers and busy bazaars. But all it takes is a short ferry ride from Central to find yourself amid completely different scenery. The leafy palms, salty air, and half-shuttered shops of Cheung Chau — Hong Kong’s favourite outlying island — beckon.

So what’s the best way to get to this island retreat, where oversized fishballs, bun towers, and a mysterious pirate cave loom large?

Pro Tip: Read our Cheung Chau area guide for top tips on what to do, see, and eat, and even where to stay.

How to get to Cheung Chau

Unless you plan to charter a helicopter, there’s really only one way to get to Cheung Chau: by ferry. Luckily, the ferries are not only frequent (roughly every 15-20 minutes), but also pretty comfortable. And if you want more comfort, there’s also Deluxe Class, complete with air conditoning, for a few extra bucks.

Below, we have a quick comparison of the ferry options at hand:

Ordinary Ferry (departs from Central Pier 5)From HK$14.80~1 hourSee the timetable here
Fast Ferry (departs from Central Pier 5)From HK$29.20~35 minutesSee the timetable here
Inter-Island Ferry (Cheung Chau -> Chi Ma Wan -> Mui Wo -> Peng Chau)From HK$14.50~1 hourSee the timetable here

Getting to Cheung Chau from the city center

Cheung Chau offers a relaxed vibe, and the seafood is as fresh as it gets. | Photo by HK Cheapo
  • First, make your way to Central Station
  • Then, exit the station and head to the Central Ferry Piers (you can walk through IFC Mall)
  • Locate Central Ferry Pier 5
  • Check the schedule for the next departing ferry
  • Tap your Octopus, go through the turnstiles, and board the ferry

Expect crowds during weekends and public holidays.

Getting to Cheung Chau from other islands

If you have time, try hiking the Cheung Chau Family Trail. | Photo by HK Cheapo

The Inter-Island Ferry is not the most efficient way to see Hong Kong’s various outlying zones, but it may well be the most picturesque. Most often used by island residents, this slow and meandering cruise around the 852’s farthest reaches is worth the time — if you’ve got it.

The ferry does a circuit along the following route: Peng Chau -> Mui Wo -> Chi Ma Wan -> Cheung Chau.

Pro Tip: Want the complete island-hopping experience? Read our guides to Peng Chau and Mui Wo, two adventure spots where Hong Kong’s frenetic hustle and bustle melts away.

How do I get to other attractions in Hong Kong?

For directions on how to get from the Hong Kong International Airport to specific areas in the territory, make sure to check out our handy guides:

Getting from the airport to:

From the city centre, getting to:

Frequently asked questions

Is Cheung Chau worth visiting?

Definitely. Although the Cheung Chau Bun Festival in May is a major highlight, even if you can’t time your visit to coincide with it, there’s plenty to do and see. Think scenic hikes, island bites (such as mango mochi and fresh seafood), and a slice of pirate history. To get the full experience, an overnight stay is recommended.

Are attractions on the island free to visit?


What’s the best way to get to the island?

There’s really only one way: taking the ferry. If time is on your side, the Ordinary Ferry is a lovely ride.

Can you stay overnight there?

Yes. Turn your day trip into an overnight stay to get the full Cheung Chau experience. There are a few places you can stay right on the island. For retro vibes with serene beach views, we recommend the Warwick Hotel Cheung Chau. Alternatively, if you want to be in the thick of things when it comes to nature, opt for the geodesic domes in the Saiyuen Adventure Camping Park.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Post first published in April 2024.

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Filed under: Getting Around | Things to Do