Hong Kong's Hidden Island Retreat: Cheung Chau

Hong Kong's Hidden Island Retreat: Cheung Chau (VIDEO)

Chris C. Anderson/AOL Travel

"Island retreat" isn't the first thing that comes to the minds of visitors heading to Hong Kong. It's more like: massive, ultra-busy and urban – all of which are accurate. But, Hong Kong also offers a large array of diverse, out-of-city retreats many don't even consider. The island of Cheung Chau is one such place.

Cheung Chau is about a 25 to 45 minute ferry ride from Hong Kong Main Island's Central Ferry Pier. Cheung Chau is most widely known for the Cheung Chau Bun Festival, which attracts around 20,000 visitors each year on May 10th.

For those not in Hong Kong on May 10th, Cheung Chau still offers a great day or couple-day retreat, especially during the summer. The weekends are usually pretty packed with Hong Kongers, but for those able to swing a weekday trip it's much more kick-back and less crowded, giving more of a true sense of the place minus the hoards.

There's no need to book a hotel in advance as Cheung Chau has a number of small, private "resorts" like Miami Resort that offer rooms ranging from $45 to $75 per night, depending on the season, if the room is sea-view, and how busy a day it is. The hotels have small booths set up right as passengers get off the ferry pier, so browse around and do some bargaining.

Cheung Chau is a great place for couples to escape to, especially those looking for a relaxing day or afternoon drinking a few beers by the beach, wandering or riding bikes along the narrow streets and trails, or sampling the inexpensive seafood and snacks.

Check out the video of our trip below.

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