I met a friendly Brit in Hong Kong when I was hiking up Lantau Peak. He advised me to check out Lamma Island, but warned me about spiders. So I’ll pass that along now: there are a lot of spiders on Lamma. A metric arse-load, to be exact. And we’re not talking about teensy-weensy spiders here like the one that climbed up the water spout; these are 3″ long beasts that look like they could tie up a small hobbit. There are several pictures of them in this post, so prepare yourself.
It’s an easy day trip, or even half-day trip, to Lamma Island. You can take the ferry there (half an hour or so with lots of departures), hike across the island for about an hour or two, and then take a different ferry back from the town at the end of the hike. I walked from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan, ate at the very tasty Lamma Hilton (mmm, garlic chili tiger prawns!), and then headed back to Hong Kong Island. There’s a beautiful beach near Yung Shue Wan:
I had seen a couple of spiders in webs above the trail before arriving at Hung Shing Yeh beach. But after that they grew in size, and the webs spanned the trail. All were well above my head, but I was still a bit nervous that the spiders would fall off in the breeze and land on me. Here’s one of ’em:
This guy was probably the largest spider I saw. He was over 3″ in length. I had to crouch down to get far enough away to snap some shots (one drawback of the 70-300mm VR is the ~4′ minimum focus distance). This made me pretty nervous, being directly under a massive spider that’s only hanging onto his web by a few legs. Notice his protege in the background. “Let me show you how it’s done. Look at that tourist quiver in fear!”
Some of the webs were truly impressive in their size and perfection. Here’s one that was backlit rather nicely by the sun:
Finally I reached Sok Kwu Wan at the other side of the island and had some dinner, well away from any spiders. Seafood on Lamma Island is fantastic: I recommend the Lamma Hilton, which was as good as promised by my anonymous British tipster. Thanks, anonymous!
Getting to Lamma Island:
- Depart from the Central Ferry Pier on Hong Kong Island (Pier #4 at the time of writing).
- Make sure to get exact change after checking the current price (there is a change booth at one of the piers)!
- Take the ferry to Yung Shue Wan.
- Hike across the island on the (paved) trail. Avoid the spiders!
- Take the ferry from Sok Kwu Wan back to the Central Ferry Pier.