The island is not exactly a well-known destination among tourists but it is a great way to experience the island's laid-back lifestyle and escape from the city's hustle and bustle. With a land area of barely one square kilometre, it only takes a little over an hour to explore the entire island by foot which is also the only way to check out Peng Chau's nooks and crannies as cars are not allowed in the island (except for emergency vehicles)! Aside from walking, bicycles and small motorised carts are the only modes of transportation in Peng Chau.
The island used to be home to some of Hong Kong's most prolific businesses. Shanghai magnate Lau Hung Sang setup Great China Match Plant in the island which became the biggest match factory in Southeast Asia. However, it closed shop after losing business due to the advent of cigarette lighters.
Other industries that thrived in Peng Chau during those years include wood furniture, textiles and leather tanning. But decades even before these industries where erected, Peng Chau was already known for its lime kiln factories which went into decline in the 1950's due to the introduction of modern construction materials. Today, only abandoned workshops and factories are the only remnants of the island's industrial past, that is if they were not demolished yet to build apartment blocks.
Being an island, Peng Chau is also known for fresh seafoods served at the numerous small eateries along Wing On Street. Other popular attractions are the numerous temples located around the island such as the Tin Hau Temple, Golden Flower Shrine, Lung Mo Temple and Seven Sisters Temple where barren couples pray for fertility.
The island also offers several hiking trails including the one going to Finger Hill, Peng Chau's highest point. Finger Hill boasts of 360 degree unobstructed views of the island, South China Sea, Tsing Ma Bridge, Hong Kong Disneyland and Hong Kong Island.
More historical in scope, the Peng Chau Heritage Trail, provides insights on the island’s age-old structures including the Peng Chau community school, a traditional ancestral hall common in walled villages, what remains of the Great China Match Factory, ancient lime kilns and the abandoned Peng Chau Theatre (cinema) which served as a respite to workers after a day's toil.
Peng Chau can be reached by ferry from Central Pier 6 on Hong Kong Island.