Lamma is the island to visit if you want to escape city life, do some pleasant hiking, swim, or dine alfresco on fresh seafood with views of a peaceful waterfront. The closest of the outlying islands, only 35 minutes by ordinary ferry and 20 minutes by Fast Ferry from Central Ferry Piers no. 4 in Central, Lamma is Hong Kong's third-largest island, has a population of about 8,000, and is still largely undeveloped. The island has no cars, and a 1 1/2-hour hiking trail connects Lamma's two main villages -- Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan -- both served by ferries from Hong Kong Island. Yung Shue Wan, with a large and youthful expat population, has a decidedly bohemian laid-back atmosphere, while much smaller Sok Kwu Wan is popular for its open-air seafood restaurants. If it's summer, don't forget to bring your bathing suit, since there are several beaches along the trails. You'd be smart, too, to buy bottled water from one of the many stores in either Sok Kwu Wan or Yung Shue Wan before setting out on the trail. In addition, try to avoid Sundays, when the trail is crowded with families, seniors walking dogs, and even mountain bikers. For an insider's perspective on Lamma, check out www.lamma.com.hk.
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