The Hidden Islands of Hong Kong
School’s out for summer and we’re spending our time exploring Hong Kong. In this post, Chatteris’ own Louis Stewart spills the beans on some far off secret spots for us to head to.
The landscape of Hong Kong is scattered with a plentiful abundance of mountains, hiking trails and coastline. It’s entirely possible to begin your day hiking up Tai Mo Shan and finishing it relaxing at Repulse Bay with a drink in hand. The ease of accessibility to these landmarks makes them highly popular and sometimes, a little too crowded. If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten-track, there are several undisturbed and hidden islands waiting to be explored.
1. Tung Lung Chau
If you are looking for a physical challenge, Tung Lung Chau may interest you. Located off of Clear Water Bay, Tung Lung Chau is known as ‘climber’s paradise’ due to its rugged and rocky terrain. Multiple climbing routes of varying difficulty mean that climbers of all abilities are able to tackle the island and the campsite situated near the ferry pier offers the opportunity to stay overnight. Rock carvings of a dragon dating back 5000 years ago, and the ruins of the old fort (once used to defend against pirates) help steep the island in history. If you would like to visit the island, it is just a short ferry ride from Yau Tong.
2. Yim Tin Tsai
If adventuring is more your style, there are several hidden gems to cater to that too! Just a 15-minute boat ride from the Sai Kung promenade is the island of Yim Tin Tsai. Once stepping off of the ferry, you’re transported to a ghost town as the island is entirely abandoned. Once inhabited during the 19th century, Yim Tin Tsai used to thrive due to the abundance of salt the inhabitants would produce and sell. As the salt industry declined during the 1900’s, so did the island’s population and by the 1990’s, there was no one left living on the island. Chapels and schools have been reclaimed by nature however it is still possible to enter and explore what remains of the town. Exploring the island takes no more than a couple of hours and the regular ferry to Sai Kung makes it easy to leave if you get too spooked out!
3. Po Toi
Another island brimmed with adventure is Po Toi. In contrast to the metropolis that is Hong Kong, Po Toi is inhabited by people that don’t have an official electricity supply or a running water source. Similar to Yim Tin Tsai, there was previously a large population, however, it is not entirely abandoned with under 200 people populating the island. There is one path on Po Toi in the shape of a figure eight; the loop taking you past the island lighthouse, unique rock formations, rock carvings and the island village. One of the buildings on the island, Mo’s Old House, is said to be haunted due to disturbances heard at night by the inhabitants. A public ferry runs from Aberdeen (1 hour) and Stanley (30 minutes), however this ferry only runs on weekends so make sure you time it well!
And many more…
Hong Kong is made up of 264 islands, each one unique in its own way. If you’re looking for UNESCO Geoparks, maybe try Tung Ping Chau, which is closer to China than it is Hong Kong! If you fancy a walk, perhaps Peng Chau is calling you due to the hiking trail around the island, or maybe you would prefer to chill at power station beach on Lamma Island after a long week of work. Whatever you’re looking to do, one of the many islands of Hong Kong will surely be able to accommodate!
If you’re looking to spend your weekends island hopping like Louis, apply now to become a Chatteris Tutor. For more weekend trips and hiking recommendations, explore the Chatteris Blog.