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Visiting the Outer Islands
Hong Kong comprises 260 outlying islands, and several of them are great escapes from the city for the waterfront views, some seafood, and a little peace. Island villages are up to speed (to the regret of many, cell phones work), but they run at a more relaxed pace. Hong Kong ferries travel from Central to many of the islands, where beaches are often a short walk from the pier.
Cheung Chau. This small, carless island southwest of Hong Kong is best known as the home of windsurfing Olympic gold medalist Lee Lai-shan. The island community lives mostly on the sandbar that connects the two hilly tips of this 1.2-mile-long, dumbbell-shape landmass. It's a one-hour ferry ride from Central's Pier 5 outside Two IFC, and the town harbor is lined with seafood restaurants and shops.
On weekends Tung Wan, Cheung Chau's main beach, is so crowded that its sweep of golden sand is barely visible. At one end of the beach is the Warwick Hotel. Plenty of nearby restaurants offer refreshments, seafood, and shade. There are no private cars allowed on this island, so the air is noticeably cleaner.
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