Event #4: Cheung Chau
September 19, 2015  / 1:30pm – 6:00pm

About Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau, literally meaning “Long- Province”, is one of the most densely populated outlying islands in Hong Kong. It is nicknamed as ‘Dumbbell Island’ due to its shape. Cheung Chau Island has been a prosperous fishing village since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The historical monuments make the island a unique hub of Eastern and Western cultures, with plentiful hereditary relics and cultural manifestations. Most of the earlier settlers made their livelihood by fishing and farming and Cheung Chau gradually evolved into a seafood market with a rapidly growing population.

Today, Cheung Chau is a packed community. Still it has preserved typical portraits of a traditional Chinese fishing village. The island has numerous seafood restaurants, food stalls and souvenir shops which do a brisk trade on weekends. While the temples offer varied choices of those who want to explore traditional Chinese legends, others may prefer a refreshing walk along the beaches with spectacular sea views.

The Jiao Festival in Cheung Chau, now internationally known as “Bun Festival” with pageantry and colourful parade, lion dances and bun-snatching competition, is originated from the annual religious rituals of the Hailufeng community in every April of the lunar calendar. “Jiao” is a traditional folk religious ceremony to thank the gracious gods for protection. Residents also pray for good weather, thriving business and peace.

Pak Tai Temple

The oldest temple on the island was built in 1783 for the worship of Pak Tai. It was built to protect the local fishermen and villagers as a result of a plague broke out in 1777 on the Island, when the Huizhou and Chaozhou people carried the deity of Pak Tai from their native county to the Island to suppress the plague. The Temple celebrates the Pak Tai Festival and The Jiao Festival every year.

Fong Pin Hospital

Originally called the Asylum, Cheung Chau Fong Pin Hospital was established in 1872 by a merchant named Choi Leung. His aim is to provide shelter to the homeless and sick and those perished in sea during typhoon. It was then expanded in 1915 by Cheung Chau Kai Fong. But ever since 1934 when St John’s Ambulance opened Haw Par Hospital providing western medicine, Fong Bin Hospital was slowly fading away till complete abandon in 1988.

Hung Shing Temple

Being a fishing community, the Hung Shing Temple was erected in 1813 to worship Hung Shing, a sea divinity of the fishing folk. It is a temple in two-hall-one-courtyard layout of three bays. Hung Shing is the second god invited by the residents after Pak Tai for the purpose of dispelling evil spirits and disaster. Historical items in this temple can be dated back to 1874.

Go “street sweeping”- Enjoy all the drool-worthy snacks!

In local slang, “street sweeping” means to enjoy street food as you wander through the community until you’re completely full. Cheung Chau has developed a street food culture all of its own and offers a great selection of popular eateries.

Ping On Bun

Cheung Chau Ping On Bun (Peace Bun) is the icon of the Cheung Chau Jiao Festival. There is a delicious variety of flavours, including lotus seed paste, red bean paste and sesame seed paste. The buns are first used in ceremonial rituals and for pacifying ghosts. Traditionally, blessed Ping On Buns are distributed to residents of Cheung Chau on the last morning of the Jiao Festival. People believe that the blessed buns will bring them peace.

Big Fishballs

Cheung Chau has long been a fishing village and thus fresh seafood is naturally one of the famous cuisines on the island. Apart from fresh seafood, the chewy fishballs made with fresh eel. Massive golf-ball-sized fishballs on sticks are also the highlights of the island. They come in 5 flavors: original, satay, spicy, pepper salt and curry.

Mango Mochi

Filled with huge chunks of mango, the glutinous mochi is surprisingly big in size. Inside the thin and chewy rice coating there is the eye-catching yellow fruit-fresh, sweet and juicy mango. Mango juice oozes out the moment you sink your teeth into it. One of the must-eat of the island.