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Your guide to Wong Mau Chau, Hong Kong’s tiny island

By Celia Lee 4 August 2023

Header images courtesy of @steph2085 (via Instagram)

Have you already been to the popular outlying islands of Cheung Chau, Lantau Island, and Lamma Island over and over again? As a coastal city, Hong Kong is no stranger to beautiful beaches and vibrant islands; we are surrounded by clusters of islets often less frequented by tourists and locals alike. If you are looking for a quieter, more secluded spot to do away your summer days, you have come to the right place. Here is your guide to Wong Mau Chau, a picturesque uninhabited island.

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A brief introduction

Located north of the Sai Kung East Country Park, Wong Mau Chau (黃茅洲; wong4 maau4 zau1) is one of the many islands and islets surrounding the Sai Kung Peninsula. Wong Mau Chau’s Cantonese name alludes to the type of vegetation that can be found all over its land, namely yellow thatch (黃茅草; wong4 maau4 cou2).

Attractions on the islet include a small beach bordered with crystal-clear waters, plenty of small peaks for short hikes, an elegant white lighthouse, and an abundance of nature. Although the island is relatively small compared to other destinations in Hong Kong—only 0.112 square kilometres—the natural beauty of Wong Mau Chau, paired with the different activities visitors can engage in, make the long trek to the island worthwhile.

Attractions and things to do

Photo: @karen_chowhiutung (via Instagram)

Snorkelling and diving

Isolated from the city, you can expect to find some of Hong Kong’s clearest waters surrounding Wong Mau Chau. Dubbed the “Maldives of Hong Kong,” the area around the islet is perfect for snorkelling and diving. On a good day, the ocean bed is visible from the surface. Divers can marvel at the sparse yet vibrant marine wildlife that call these waters home. Just remember to be careful where you step—and look out for spiky sea urchins!

Photo: @boyangbo (via Instagram)

Make the most of the beach

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the small white sand beach on Wong Mau Chau. Apart from taking a dip in the cooling water, building sandcastles, and engaging in a thrilling game of beach volleyball, more adventurous visitors can also spend a night camping on the beach—just remember to come prepared with tents, lights, cooking utensils, and plenty of food. However, a relatively rocky shore lines the beach, so cannonballing into the ocean isn’t your best bet—an elegant descent into the waters is recommended.

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Visit the 118 Lighthouse

118 Lighthouse is Wong Mau Chau’s highest point. Climbing up the relatively low structure will get you to the best viewpoint of the island, where you can look out across scenic seas and the outlying islands north of the Sai Kung Peninsula.

Photo: @hiking_ricky (via Instagram)

Take a dip in the rock pool

Those up for some small-scale island exploration can head over to a small rock pool at the back of Wong Mau Chau. Dubbed the “Concubine Rock Pool,” this breathtaking natural feature is the highlight of Wong Mau Chau’s vibrant offerings.

Photo: @kim_krissha (via Instagram)

How to get there

From the Sai Kung Bus Terminus, take bus 94 all the way to Wong Shek Pier, where you can hire a private boat out to Wong Mau Chau. For a smooth return back to Wong Shek Pier, be sure to remind your boatman of a specific time to pick you up from the island.

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Celia Lee

Staff writer

Born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in the UK, Celia is passionate about culture, food, and different happenings in the city. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her scouting for new and trendy restaurants, getting lost in a bookstore, or baking up a storm at home.