Header image courtesy of @hiker_kit.siu (Instagram)
Consider yourself an avid hiker? Great, take your adventuring up a notch and visit Hong Kong’s many picturesque, uninhabited islands. Secluded, all-natural, and without so much as a soda kiosk to remind you of urban life, a far-flung island getaway will help you get away from it all, not to mention you’ll truly be avoiding the crowds. We’ve picked out some of Hong Kong’s best sequestered islands for day trips. Don’t forget to pack water and sunscreen!
Wong Mau Chau is perfect for those who don’t want to spend the entire day on a beautiful but desolate island; it is small and can be explored in roughly an hour. Aside from the tiny beach, there is also a lovely old lighthouse, which lends the island an even more idyllic vibe. Snorkelers will love this island for its beautiful surrounding seabed with a variety of corals, and it is similarly popular with kayakers as well.
Port Island is also known as Chek Chau in Cantonese, literally meaning ‘red island’, because its sedimentary rocks are a coppery red hue. As you sail in, the contrast of red earth and peaks, green trees, and blue waters makes for a lovely scene—in fact, this natural beauty is known as ‘Danxia Wonder at Sea’. Port Island is small, but it does feature a small river with clear rivers just beckoning visitors in for a swim.
Technically part of the Sai Kung district administration, Jin Island only separated from the larger Kau Sai Chau Island by a narrow channel. Its Chinese name is Tiu Chung Chau, literally ‘hanging bell island’, because it has a 30-metre arch in the approximate shape of the bells that hang in temples.
Due to exposure to easterly winds and waves, erosion has led to the forming of sea caves, stacks, arches, and inlets. The most famous of these is the sea cave called Kam Chung Ngam, though it’s more commonly referred to by its imaginative name ‘Goldfish Wagging Tail’. This fish-shaped stack can be admired from the sea or from the top of the hill.
The Ninepin Group is actually comprised of 29 islands and islets in Hong Kong’s easternmost waters, thus named because when British sailors discovered the islands, they were reminded of the British game of nine-pin bowling. Apart from sea arches such as the Tiger Mouth Cave, and dramatic chasms like the Sunken Ship Crack, the Ninepin Islands are also famous for its looming columns that are naturally hexagonal. The islet of Yuen Shek Pai in particular has such columns rising neatly around its centre, forming a spiral staircase of sorts. Because its waters are prone to strong easterly winds, big waves, and rough tidal currents, it is only possible to visit the Ninepin Islands in summer time, from approximately May to September.
Located to the southeast of Sai Kung are a group of four islands collectively referred to as the Ung Kong Islands. The smallest of these is Wang Chau, which boasts a striking geological feature of a sea cave, which is one of the Four Sea Arches of Hong Kong. If you go a few days after a typhoon, you’ll be able to catch awe-inspiring views of the swells and waves pound into the Wang Chau Kok Cave.
How many of the above islands of Hong Kong have you visited before? Since international travel has yet to resume (fingers crossed!), we may as well enjoy Hong Kong from the fresh eyes of a tourist and explore something new in the 852.
The Localiiz team has recently discovered a useful tool for figuring out places to visit. Holiday at Home is a one-stop online platform featuring a broad range of walking itineraries and hopping clusters, grouped under themes and interests. These routes and the places of interest along the way are presented on Google real-time navigational tools, so the streets and alleys of Hong Kong couldn’t be easier to navigate. The less tech savvy needn’t feel left out either, because an electronic guide is also available in downloadable format.
Additionally, Holiday at Home introduces all of Hong Kong’s in-town specials including retail, dining, attractions, staycations, and tours—there’s a whopping total of over 10,000 deals and offers for you to enjoy throughout Hong Kong. Rediscover the Hong Kong that we’ve all missed with comprehensive neighbourhood itineraries, and treat yourself with thousands of offers as you explore and fall in love with the territories once again. You can thank us when your friends start asking you about all these cool places you’re going to!