Cheung Chau in Cantonese means "Long Island" and is known for a few things. Back in the 18th century an infamous pirate was said to have had his base there and you can visit the cave where he supposedly stored his ill gotten gains!. Then there is a 3000 year old rock carving which suggests that it was inhabited at least as early as the Neolithic period. It was a thriving fishing village inhabited by Hakka and Cantonese settlers, who supplemented their income with smuggling and piracy! Today fishing is still a big industry and some of the people still live on junks and sampans anchored in the harbor. The island is sort of a dumbbell shape and the narrow section in the middle is where the village is and the public beaches. The harbor itself is large and has long rock barriers that protect the land from the waves of a typhoon.
|The harbor is to the right and the beaches on the left. As you can see it is very narrow in the middle of the island, with two hills on either end.|
|There are two ferries you can take from Central. The fast ferry takes about 35 min. and the ordinary one takes about an hour. We took the fast one over and the slower one back. The slower one is bigger and isn't air conditioned.|
|Because of the narrow streets, fire, police, and ambulance are the only vehicles on the island. These little cars were so cute because they looked like Tonka Toys!|
|The boat in the middle has fish drying on a screen. There is so much dried fish sold everywhere here. I don't know how they can possibly eat it all!|
|I think this is some kind of religious ceremony at the Temple. Even though it seems quite commercial, there is a religious meaning behind most of it.|
|Priests l think!|
|The dragons are amazing. It must be so hot bouncing around under all the cloth.|
|There is always so many symbols and pageantry. Too bad we don't understand most of it!|
See the guys feet sticking out under the dragon? I don't know how they balance on the pole and still make the dragon look like he's moving around!
|The big finale comes at midnight on the last day, when the climbers rush up the 60 foot tower and try and collect as many buns as possible!! There are different teams competing against each other to be crowned the King and Queen of the Bun Festival!|
What a fascinating and fun day we had at Cheung Chau. I would like to go back and just wander around when there aren't so many people, and you could really check out the town and surrounding area, and maybe find some pirate treasure!!