Living the island life isn’t easy

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.

By the water at the township of Yung Shue Wan

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.

Busy times at Central Ferry Pier

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!

The most important delivery - BEER!

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.

Trolley of freight on the passenger ferry to Cheung Chau

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.

Moving goods on Cheung Chau: handcarts and motorised trikes

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.

Dangerous goods vessel 'Sea Leader' in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

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.

Vehicular barge arrives at Yung Shue Wan, 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.

Barge loaded with gravel

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.

Delivering gravel by barge on Lamma Island

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.

'Mo Sing Leng' loading rubbish at the Island West Transfer Station

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6 Responses to Living the island life isn’t easy

  1. xahldera says:

    Ah yes, those dreaded village mini trucks. They were a menace on the roads when we visited Cheung Chau. They would barrel down the road every few minutes making things a bit hazardous if you were trying to do some photography at the same time…XD

    • At least all of the noise from the dirty old two stoke engines means you know when you are going to get mowed down – imagine if you gave they had silent electric motors! Battery-electric vehicles would also be a lot less polluting.

      • xahldera says:

        True. You could hear them from a mile away. But they were still dangerous as the locals would drive them as though they were in the Le Mans…or in your case the Bathurst 1000…XD

        I do recall there may have been an electric vehicle. Possibly the hospital transportation buggy…but I may be wrong…

  2. Alan says:

    I suppose the fire truck on Cheung Chau is the only full size vehicle on the island while the cop cars and the ambulance fleet are miniatures. Even then, most fire engines on Cheung Chau are quad bikes!

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