The pocked coast of Cheung Chau offers a clue to its past, riddled as its shores are with secretive coves and hidden bays. Like many of the islands off Hong Kong, it was once a pirate haunt; the caves at Cheung Po Tsai (a 2km walk from the main town) are even named after one of the island’s more infamous brigands and were where he ruled over some 4,000 men.
Those days are long gone but life on the tiny island still revolves around the water, as the many shrines to Tin Hau, the goddess of seafarers, shows. Four of her temples dot the main town, while a stroll to the pier reveals plenty of junkers and sampans. But it’s the Pak Tai temple that gains the most attention here, especially around the time of the Bun Festival when thousands descend on the island for events honouring the god of the fisherfolk.