From my previous posts on Cheung Chau and Lamma Island you might think living the island life in Hong Kong is free and easy. While it might be quieter than life in the urban areas such as Kowloon or Hong Kong Island, transport can be a pain in the neck.
Ferries to the outlying islands run much less frequently than the other forms of public transport in Hong Kong, and the majority do not run past midnight: leaving you out in the cold if you spend a bit too long out shopping of an evening.
Local businesses also need a way to get their goods onto the island, with their needs being served by a fleet of small cargo vessels that ply the waters around Hong Kong. Here is the all important beer delivery for Yung Shue Wan on Lamma Island!
Moving house is even more difficult, as you cannot take a removalist van across the ocean! Loading up a trolley and wheeling it aboard a passenger ferry is one option offered by ferry companies, provided they have enough space on the voyage.
Once on the island there are no vans for moving goods to your store, with hand carts or motorised ‘Village Vehicles’ being the only mode of transport.
Providing gas and petrol supplies to the islands is the task of another fleet of vessels. Dedicated to the carriage of dangerous goods, these ships carry a red ‘DG’ sign up high to warn others while negotiating the busy shipping lanes of Victoria Harbour.
Vehicular barges also make their way between the islands, carrying heavy construction equipment to worksites: this one is carrying a concrete pump and two tanker trailers to Lamma Island.
Once the equipment has arrived, construction materials such as sand and gravel also need to come by sea, supplied by barges fitted with conveyor belts in their cargo holds.
As well as delivering construction materials to company depots on the outlying islands, these barges are also used to dump sand at land reclamation sites around Hong Kong.
On a final note: what goes in must come out, and rubbish is no different. Hong Kong’s landfills are all located in the New Territories, so rubbish from around the city is moved by rubbish trucks to transfer stations located on the waterfront, where it is compacted into steel containers, then loaded onto specialised vessels for onward transport.