A little bit of the country side in the city. That is how you can describe Lamma Island best. It’s one of the many islands of surrounding Hong Kong. It’s small and cozy. You can only reach it by a ferry from the Central Pier.
When I took that thirty minute ferry ride, almost two years ago now, I arrived at a wonderful place: white sand, picture perfect beaches, palm trees, and an abundance of bright green plants and tree leaves surrounding me everywhere I went. But most of all, there was something about the relaxed, hippie-like atmosphere of Lamma Island that inspired me.
You see, atmosphere is something you can find everywhere you go. Every place has its own atmosphere and it is always different. Hong Kong’s atmosphere, its flavour, its air, the feeling of the city, is one of business and endless possibilities. The skyscrapers looming large against the backdrop of Kowloon seem to say “the sky’s the limit”. The cacophony of neon signs and street sounds overpower your senses at times. The walkways and different levels of the city confuse the average pedestrian’s mind and sense of direction. After a few days of Hong Kong, I absorbed its atmosphere and started to feel a little rushed by all the hustle and bustle going on around me in the city’s streets.
How different it was when me and my friend stepped out of the ferry and set foot on Lamma Island. I had read two enthusiastic lines in my guidebook about the island. Then, a friend of mine who had lived in Hong Kong for a while told me to definitely go to Lamma Island. Whenever you get the same tip twice, there is just one thing to do: go.
Lamma Island is an oasis of green lying in the bright blue and glittering sea surrounding Hong Kong. It is so tiny that there are practically no roads for cars – which are also not allowed on the island. There are two tiny villages, one on each side of the island: Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan. A trail crossing the hill connects the villages. While me and my friend made the hike to the other side of the island, I remember thinking to myself: why don’t I take a walk more often?
We passed a beach, with white sands, trees for shade, and a cool blue sea with (strangely enough) a power plant in the background. Some people were swimming to cool off in the hot summer weather. Others were chilling in the shade of a tree or a parasol. Inevitably, I thought: if I would live in Hong Kong, I would come here every weekend. But then the realistic-slash-pessimistic side of my brain kicks in and says: hah, as if! I probably wouldn’t go to this perfect beach every weekend. I would feel like it’s a waste of time – even though it isn’t.
My parents’ even live a ten-minute walk from the beach. Granted, it’s in the Netherlands and most of the time it’s cold and windy (sometimes even in the middle of summer!), but there is a beach nonetheless. Yet somehow I always feel like it’s a waste of my time!
Thinking about Lamma Island and its atmosphere, then, makes me think about all the things I should be doing right now and how to make a better use of my time. How I should walk more (like I did on the island) and go to the beach more often.
This is one of the reasons you should travel. To have great memories like this that you can dig up from the archives in your brain. To think about a sunny, green, palmtree-populated, white-sands-beaches island far away in Hong Kong. Even when the temperature’s close to zero and I hear the wind beating against my windows, I can think of Lamma Island and I’m inspired.
About the Author: Corianne Oosterbaan hails from the Netherlands and is almost graduated from a degree in business administration She loves to travel and see the world. She also loves to write – fiction, essays, and travel writing. Find her on Twitter and on her blog curating interesting stuff from the online world.
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