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Lamma Island

Lamma Island (南丫島 in pinyin: nan2 ya1 dao3; in Jyutping: naam4 ngaa1 dou2; in penkyamp: Nam4 Nga1 Dou2), also known as “Po Liu Chau”, is the third largest island in Hong Kong and part of the Islands District, Hong Kong.

Situated at the southwest of Hong Kong Island, it has a total area of 14 square kilometers and an estimated population of 6,000. There are regular ferry services to Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan from the Outlying Islands Ferry Pier No. 4 in Central on Hong Kong Island, as well as to Yung Shue Wan via Pak Kok from a pier in Aberdeen near the fish market. It takes about 20 minutes by fast ferry, and 35 minutes by regular ferry, to get between Yung Shue Wan to Central.

Lamma is, in contrast to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, peaceful and tranquil, with relatively natural scenery. Buildings higher than three storeys are prohibited and there are no roads and hence, no automobiles, but diminutive fire trucks and ambulances, as well as village vehicles are around to serve the community's transport needs. Lamma provides an alternative to the hectic life in the city. Property values and rental costs are also very cheap compared with those of central Hong Kong. Partly in consequence, there is a significant expatriate community on Lamma Island. It is also popular with younger people and a haven for artists. The different communities live together quite peacefully and successfully.

Lamma was named after the shape of the island which looks like the limb of a tree, or the letter Y (corresponding to the Chinese character of "ma"), and Lam means "south". The northern village is called Yung Shue Wan (Banyan Tree Bay) and the eastern village Sok Kwu Wan. The southern part of Lamma Island has minimal population. Sham Wan, an important breeding site for sea turtles, is located there. This bay is also the site of an important Bronze Age settlement which was unearthed by archaeologists in the 1970s. It yielded evidence of people living on Lamma during the "Middle Neolithic" phase (approximately 3800-3000 BC).

Chow Yun-Fat, a well-known actor, grew up on the island.

Table of contents
1 Northern Part
2 Eastern Part
3 Southern Part
4 Traditional Festival
5 External Links

Northern Part

Yung Shue Wan is the most populated area on Lamma Island. Several decades ago, it was the center of the plastics industry. The factories have now been replaced by seafood restaurants, pubs, grocery stores and shops which sell oriental and Indian-style handicrafts, environmentally friendly products, homewear and art. The area has become popular among young people and expatriates owing to the low rent and peaceful setting.

Boats at the little bay of Yung Shue Wan

Hong Kong Electric's power station is located at a 50-hectare site at Po Lo Tsui, to the immediate south of Yung Shue Wan. With its distinctive three tall chimney stacks, the power station is visible from the surrounding islands. Lamma Power Station is a modern coal burning plant and has supplied virtually all the power for Hong Kong Island, Ap Lei Chau and Lamma Island since 1990.

Lamma Island Power Station and Hung Shing Ye beach

Eastern Part

The main street of Sok Kwu Wan consists mainly of seafood restaurants. Sok Kwu Wan has the largest fish farming site in Hong Kong. Tourists can barbecue and fish at Lo Shing Beach which is ten minutes' walk from the village. The trail between Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan, surrounded by grassland, offers a picturesque walk. From there, one can see the coastline of the island. It takes roughly an hour to walk through the trail.

Southern Part

Sham Wan is one of the five most important archaeological sites in Hong Kong. According to the archaelogical findings, human settlement on the northern and eastern part of Lamma Island could be traced back to around 1600 BC, the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.

It is also a place for green turtles, the only species of turtle that breeds in Hong Kong, to lay eggs. The endangered green turtles are a special group of marine organisms with distinctive navigation behaviour between their nesting, breeding, development and reproduction sites. As Sham Wan is the only existing nesting site for them in Hong Kong, every year there is a period of restricted access to it from June 1 to October 31 to allow the turtles to breed. The breeding site is about 0.51 hectares large.

Traditional Festival

Tin Hau temples are typical places of worship in Hong Kong's coastal communities because Tin Hau is believed to be the goddess of the sea and of fishermen, protecting them and ensuring fine weather and full nets. There are two Tin Hau temples on Lamma, located in Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan respectively. Both were built in 1826.

The Tin Hau Festival (twenty-third of the third month of the Lunar Calendar) is widely celebrated by the fishermen's communities in Lamma. Cantonese opera and floral paper offerings known as "Fa Pau" at both Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan are the highlights of the celebration.

See also:

External Links