Travel Diary: Day Trip To Lamma Island
I picked the fish I ate. As in, I ordered steamed garoupa (which is a far superior way to say grouper) beside a series of tanks filled with fresh fish swimming about, and then I watched as the chef scooped up said grouper with a net and take him or her to the back.
I felt terrible for a few minutes, but some fried squid, spring rolls and pineapple-glazed pork later, and I dug right into that steamed garoupa like I hadn’t just looked into its eyes 15 minutes earlier.
This, apparently, is a typical dining experience in Sok Kwu Wan on Lamma Island, which is about 20 minutes and a lifetime away from the overcrowded streets of Hong Kong Island.
The tiny village (population estimate is about 500 people) is lined with waterfront seafood restaurants where patrons order their meals alongside tanks of fresh seafood.
Lamma Island is known for its local hippie culture, fishing villages and landscape deliberately lacking in skyscrapers. There are no cars on the island, and the only way to get there is by ferry. Fun fact: women in labor have to take a helicopter to a hospital.
About 6,000 residents live on the island, but that may increase soon as housing development projects are cropping up in the area. According to Lonely Planet, a housing development planned for the very mellow Sok Kwu Wan will house some 5,000 residents, nearly doubling the entire island’s population.