Travel-hungry wanderers fill in the void COVID-19 created with virtual tours and experiences.
While nothing still beats the real thing, these online tours let viewers experience and explore a city or a country without leaving their homes, while also providing valuable information about the place useful should the viewer be able to visit in person.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) offers an online tour of Peng Chau Island or “flat island”, an “old industrial island full of vibrant arts”. This less than 1 square kilometer destination, located less than an hour’s ferry ride from the central business district, is home to a number of postcard-worthy spots.
Ngan Chau Tsai Pavilion
Located at the end of the island, locals call this place the “edge of the sky and corner of the sea”.
Before reaching the top of the Pavilion, tourists have to take an approximately 12-minute climb over Finger Hill. At the peak, visitors are treated to a remarkable panoramic view of Hong Kong’s wonders, including Tsing Ma Bridge, known as the world’s 14th longest bridge; Ting Kau Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge that connects Hong Kong International Airport on Lantau to the rest of Hong Kong; Lamma Island, recognized as the laid-back place where tourists can fish and relax; and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Fook Yuen Leather Factory is one of the popular tourist spots on the island. It was a former factory built in the early 1930s and demolished in 1975 because of economic downturn. In 2012, it was restored and revitalized into a colorful “secret garden” by owner Sherry Lau.
Lau, along with the artists she invited, designed the abandoned place with colorful graffiti and creative art displays made of recycled materials such as chairs, bottles, and tires.
Aside from the factory, there are other artistic spaces to visit on the island that showcase arts and crafts by local talents. Visitors can also attend pottery-making workshops.
Wing On and Wing Hing Streets
Only a few minutes from the Leather Factory are Wing On and Wing Hing streets where visitors can find various small restaurants and cafés. It serves local signature dishes such as sesame crackers, deep-fried shrimp toast, steamed shrimp with fried rice, truffles, pineapple bun ice cream, and more.
Lung Mo Temple
One of the largest and most iconic temples on the island is Lung Mo which means Dragon Mother, the goddess of the water. According to legends, those who wish to bear children and have a good marriage will be blessed once they touch the goddess’ bed.
Lung Mo festival is celebrated every year on the eighth day of the fifth lunar month. Local villagers pay respect to Lung Mo by offering incense sticks and attending festive ceremonies.
Tai Lei Island
With only a bridge away from Peng Chau, Tai Lei Island is a perfect place for swimming, fishing, and watching the sunrise and sunset.
While on the island, visitors can see giant stones shaped like animals, which, locals said, were made by volunteers who clean the beach as a way to pass the time or celebrate the day after work.
To virtually explore these spots, go to discoverhongkong.com.
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