The impending public holiday has a lot of Hongkongers clamouring to go out and about. Instead of your run-of-the-mill time-wasters such as catching a film and going shopping, or going on a hike packed with people, hop on over to one of Hong Kong’s many uninhabited islands instead! Here are five more secluded islands for you to explore.
Off the shore of Lung Kwu Tan near Tuen Mun lies a group of four islets named Sheung Sha Chau, Tai Sha Chau, Ha Sha Chau, and Siu Sha Chau. Collectively, they make up Sha Chau. There is a sandbar connecting the smaller Siu Sha Chau to the larger Tai Sha Chau which makes for interesting photos, especially with a bird’s eye view using a drone.
Together with Lung Kwu Chau and Pak Chau, they form the Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park. Due to geological luck, with the Pearl River to the west, the waters around the marine park are low in salinity with high levels of organic nutrients. This makes for a great area for marine fauna and flora to flourish, and indeed the area is known for being a habitat of the rare Chinese white dolphin.
Part of our UNESCO Global Geopark, Tung Ping Chau has some of Hong Kong’s most interesting rock formations as well. These wave-cut structures are made of various layers of stratified rock in multiple colours, giving them the overall effect of slices of mille-feuille when viewed from the side. The island’s surrounding waters are rich in biodiversity too, so if you’re an avid diver, it’s well worth bringing your gear. Summer is the best time of year to view corals, with hard corals found to the northeast of the island, and soft varieties in the southeast. Click here for our full guide to Tung Ping Chau.
It’s funny how people flock in hoards to the beaches in Hong Kong’s southside, yet never really stop to consider the quieter options in the area. Sitting between Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay, Middle Island is a small island that’s only a two-minute boat ride away. While it is home to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s clubhouse, the rest of the island is open to the public, including a beach that’s usually secluded and therefore quiet enough to kick back on for a whole day. From the Seaview Promenade, simply hop onto the shuttle boat belonging to the RHKYC—it’s free. And if you know a member who can bring you into the clubhouse for a drink or two, even better!
The island of Po Toi is possibly the last inhabited place in Hong Kong that isn’t supplied with electricity or running water. Composed almost entirely of granite, it is also home to some unusual rock formations. Keep an eye out for ‘Tortoise Climbing Up a Mountain’ and ‘Buddha’s Palm’—all natural features created by the elements and then given life by some very fertile imaginations. There are also rock carvings which reportedly date back to the Bronze Age 3,000 years ago, and are now declared monuments.
There are also ruined houses and a disused school for those who like exploring abandoned settlements. Don’t miss Mo’s Old House—a once-grand villa built by a pirate called Mo Shui-tong—which is supposed to be haunted, or a victim of bad feng shui due to the coffin-shaped rock directly behind it. Believe what you will, but it’s sure to be interesting to poke around in.
Tung Lung Chau is easily accessible but feels like worlds away once you get there, with no shortage of outdoorsy things to do. If you’re just there for a short jaunt or a leisurely day out in the sun, then hike the main paved trail from the pier to the top of the hill. This will bring you past Hong Kong’s largest and oldest rock carving—an ancient depiction of a dragon—which is said to be over 5,000 years old.
For the more adventurous, Tung Lung Chau is widely regarded as the best place in Hong Kong for rock climbing, and there are plenty of smaller trails aside from the main one that are more challenging. Scale cliff faces that are marked with chalk and rope bolts, scramble along perpendicular cliffs, take a dip in the sea, explore caves, go cliff diving, and even climb up waterfalls—the only limit is your bravery!