Header image courtesy of Paulo Evangelista (via Unsplash)
With the global pandemic putting everyone’s travel plans on hold, the only option to keep busy and entertained is to see what we can do while stuck in Hong Kong. Luckily, Hong Kong is not without its charms, as it has over 250 islands to explore, offering unique landscapes and activities to do.
Not only are the Instagram spots on the Outlying Islands less hectic than the ones on Hong Kong Island or Kowloon, but they are also just as beautiful and worth checking out. So here are the 10 best spots for Instagram-worthy pictures that make you seem like you’ve been travelling the globe.
Tai O is a fishing village that is located on Lantau Island and makes for a popular day-trip destination amongst tourist and locals. Many visit this neighbourhood to see its traditional stilt houses, eat delicious street food, and also for the slow-paced lifestyle not commonly seen in Hong Kong.
If you want that beautiful shot of both the ocean and mountains, go to the Fu Shan Viewing Point and snap away! Follow the hiking path that runs behind the village and then walk up the hill to get stunning views of the South China Sea. Tai O is filled with so many wonderful spots to take pictures; from its colourful buildings to the fishing boats, this is a great spot for unforgettable photographs.
Located on the southern portion of Lantau, Mui Wo is probably one of the busier neighbourhoods on the island. It offers plenty to do, from exploring beaches to waterfalls and caves, and Mui Wo is a great place to wander around for taking unique photos of a rural settlement.
One spot that is perfect for relaxation and also doubles as a cute Instagram photo-taking location is the Silvermine Waterfalls. As one of the more accessible waterfalls in Hong Kong, this waterfall offers a seating area with tables and chairs and also makes for a great place for a picnic.
Being one of the popular beaches on Lantau Island, Cheung Sha Beach is definitely worth the visit when in the area. Cheung Sha Beach’s long stretch of sand is a great place to take pictures during sunset, as it offers interrupted views. After catching the sunrise or sunset, there are also a ton of great beachside restaurants to give you much-needed vacation vibes. If the soft sand, views, and great waves are not enough, you can even see local buffaloes wander around in the afternoon.
Although Discovery Bay is primarily residential, the neighbourhood nevertheless offers much more than meets the eye. If you are looking for a lesser-visited spot, check out the Discovery Bay rock pools; it’s only a short walk from the Discovery Bay Ferry Pier and you can snap photos of your friends chilling by the waterfall and rock pools while simultaneously being surrounded by greenery.
Simply head towards the Discovery Bay Golf Course. Once you get there, turn right onto the hill. The rock pools are hidden behind some trees but you will see a clearing to allow you to access them.
Similar to Discovery Bay, Lamma Island is an expat-favoured rural settlement and also the third-largest island in Hong Kong. One recommended spot for great photographs would be Ling Kok Shan. Perfect for the late afternoon, this hike offers beautiful views alongside interesting rock formations. For the full experience, we would suggest taking pictures during the downhill return to Sok Kwu Wan, where you are on the steps looking out towards the mountains and ocean.
Tung Ping Chau lies in the northeast of Hong Kong and has sedimentary rocks that cover the island. As a UNESCO Global Geopark, Ping Chau is a beautiful place to take some jaw-dropping photos of sunsets—not to mention its special rock formations. Not only can you spend your time hanging around the ocean but you can also explore abandoned houses or the solitary Tin Hau Temple, all whilst learning about the 2,000-plus population that once inhabited this remote island.
Cheung Chau is probably the busiest and most crowded spot on the list—and for good reason, as it is the most densely populated outlying island in Hong Kong. Not only Cheung Chau’s main thoroughfare where the ferry terminal is, but it’s also stacked full of seafood restaurants and Western pubs. Cheung Chau’s promenade also boasts multiple locations for beautiful Instagram pictures. One of the best ways to travel across Cheung Chau would be on rented bikes—we would suggest pedalling out to explore Tung Wan Beach, hike to North Lookout Pavilion, or even visit Pak Tai Temple for some attractive Instagram pics to please your followers!
Tap Mun (also called Grass Island) sits at the coast of the Sai Kung Country Park and is basically just a sea of grassy hills and wandering cows. Not only can you see people camping and flying kites, but you can also snap photos that make it look like you are somewhere in Europe. Our favourite spot for great pictures would be at the hilltop in the middle of the island. Start from the fisherman’s village by the Wong Shek Pier and walk up to the hilltop. Not only do you get amazing panoramic views of the island but you can also relax with a book and watch the clouds pass by!
Sharp Island is known for its unique rock formations, so be sure not to miss them when you visit. What’s so special about them, you ask? Well, they are shaped like Hong Kong’s famous pineapple buns! Aside from being extremely uncommon, they are also quite photogenic. Sharp Island has two different beaches—Hap Mun Bay and Kiu Tsui Beach. Most prefer to go to Hap Mun Bay because it is clean and government-managed unlike its sibling at Kiu Tsui Beach. Sharp Island is great for a little getaway when wanting to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Located only a few kilometres away from Hong Kong Island, Po Toi is a great spot to check out for a weekend day trip. Albeit small, there is one main path on the island, which is known as the Po Toi Trail, and it loops over the southern side of the island. Following it will bring you to the Instagrammable lighthouse that Po Toi is famous for, surrounded by prehistoric rock formations.