Explore Po Toi Island: Hike & Incredible Attractions!

Explore Po Toi Island: Hike & Incredible Attractions!

If you’re hungry for adventure and outstanding natural beauty, you might be thinking of discovering Po Toi Island, Hong Kong’s most southern point.

As well as being a unique island full of history and everlasting traditions, visitors flock to Hong Kong’s South Pole every weekend to admire the incredible rock formations that appear all over the island. If you love the iconic Lion Rock in Hong Kong, you will surely fall in love with Po Toi.

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to relax and enjoy some fresh seafood, embark on a not too challenging 8km hike, soak up some history, or admire some impressive natural rock formations, there is plenty to see and do on Po Toi Island.

And because there is still lots to see and explore on Po Toi Island, we have written this guide to inform you of all the top things to do on Po Toi Island.

So, let’s get straight to it!

What Are The Po Toi Islands?

Po Toi Islands Hong Kong

Po Toi Island is the main island in the group of islands known as Po Toi Islands. While many people don’t know that, there are a total of 10 islands in the group, with three of the biggest being Po Toi Island itself, Beaufort Island, and Sung Kung Island.

Po Toi Island is the only island in the group that is connected by a ferry. All the other islands are uninhabited and there isn’t any reason to visit them.

Legend has it that humans settled on Po Toi Islands more than 3,500 years ago, according to prehistoric rock carvings located at the foot of the jaw-dropping cliffs.

Poi Toi Island

Po Toi was once a thriving island where residents made a living by fishing and harvesting seaweed. By the 1950s, only 500 residents remained on the island and two schools were still in operation.

By the 1980s, the schools closed due to a lack of students and the majority of villagers moved to the city.

Today, it remains mostly uninhabited and the buildings that remain still don’t have access to fresh water or electricity. 

From the village, there are a few restaurants where fresh seafood and seaweed takes center stage on the menu. 

Seaweed Po Toi Island

Some remaining villagers can be seen outside their homes selling seaweed and cutting up dried fish, a tradition that has lasted over 3 millennia.

The rest of the houses have succumbed to the environment and remain a derelict ruin. The most famous one of all is Mo’s Mansion. Mo was once a simple merchant who made his fortune selling bean curd sheets over a hundred years ago.

While Po Toi Island is now short of residents and buildings alike, it still celebrates the Tin Hau Festival every year.

Hiking Po Toi Island

How To Get To Po Toi Island

Getting to Po Toi Island is quite simple, but it does involve some forward-planning due to the limited number of ferries that travel there.

There are two points on Hong Kong Island that offer ferries to Po Toi – Aberdeen and Stanley.

Both piers offer a kaito ferry that goes directly to Po Toi Island on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

You should arrive 15-20 minutes early to catch the ferry as boarding starts approximately 15 minutes before departure. From our experience, the ferry leaves exactly on time and won’t wait for you even if you run down the pier after it!

Here is the Po Toi Island ferry schedule online from the HK Transport Department!

Po Toi Island Ferry Schedule Timetable

Po Toi Island Ferry From Aberdeen Pier

If you are staying closer to Aberdeen, you might want to catch the Po Toi Island ferry from Aberdeen Ferry Pier. Ferry times are infrequent and often return via Stanley. The ferry also takes longer from Aberdeen, but costs the same.

Non-residents of Po Toi Island are expected to pay $50HKD for a return ticket, or if you’re camping, $25HKD each way. You can pay by cash or Octopus from the ferry pier as your board the ferry.

The ferry takes approximately 30 minutes from Aberdeen to Po Toi. There are no ferries on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays. 

Ferry times:

Tuesday & Thursday:

Leaves Aberdeen at 10am.

Return ferry back to Aberdeen is at 3:30 PM.


Leaves Aberdeen at 10 AM and 3:30 PM.

Return ferry back to Aberdeen via Stanley is at 2 PM and 4 PM. Return ferry to Stanley is at 12:40 PM.

Sundays & Public Holidays:

Leaves Aberdeen at 8:15 AM.

Return ferry back goes to Stanley at 9:15 AM, 10:45 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM and 6 PM. The 6 PM ferry stops at Stanley before going to Aberdeen.

Po Toi Ferry From From Stanley’s Blake Pier

Po Toi Island Ferry From Stanley Blake Pier

Ferries leaving from Stanley are still few, but a little more convenient if you decide to visit on a Sunday, which is the favorite hiking day in Hong Kong. For that reason, we decided to catch the Po Toi ferry from Stanley.

The cost of a ferry from Stanley is the same as Aberdeen at $50 HKD for a non-resident return ticket, or $25 HKD each way for campers. You can pay by cash or Octopus from the ferry pier as your board the ferry.

The ferry departs from the Blake Pier in Stanley takes only 25 minutes to get to Po Toi Island. There are no ferries to Po Toi island from Stanley on the weekdays.

Ferry To Po Toi Island

Ferry times:


Leaves Stanley at 1:20 PM.

Return ferry back to Stanley at 12:40 PM, 2 PM or 4 PM. The return ferry at 2 PM or 4 PM stops at Stanley before going to Aberdeen.

Sundays & Public Holidays:

Leaves Stanley at 10 AM, 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM and 5 PM.

Return ferry back to Stanley is at 9:15 AM, 10:45 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM. Or you can catch the 6 PM ferry to Aberdeen via Stanley.

Po Toi Island Hike

Po Toi Island Hike Summary

Not sure if the hiking Po Toi Island in Hong Kong is right for you? Here is a quick summary:

Hiking Routes On Po Toi Island: Before we get into our hike, you should know that there are a total of three routes on Po Toi Island: Route No.1, Route No.2, and Route No.3. These three routes make up the Poi To Country Trail.

Hiking all thee routes are totally doable on a day trip to Po Toi Island, and it is the only way you will fully experience this island. With that said, we were only able to do Route No. 3 and Route No. 2 because we didn’t know about Route No.1 when we visited.

To summarize the routes, Route No.1 takes you from the ferry pier to Mo’s Mansion and up towards the mountains where you will eventually intersect with Route No. 3.

Route No. 3 is the longest hiking route on Po Toi Islan, taking you to places like the Tin Hau Temple, Kwoon Yat Pagoda, and some of the highest peaks on Po Toi.

Route No. 2 is strictly a loop on the southern peninsula of Po Toi Island. Here, you will find some of the coolest rock formations on Po Toi, such as the Palm’s Cliff, Tortoise Rock, and Monk Supine Rock. It is a short route that offers plenty of things to see on the way.

Po Toi Island Hiking Trail

Duration Of Hike: We spent around 4 hours in total for Route No.2 & Route No.3. Out of this time, we spent nearly 3 hours hiking, the rest of the time was used for taking breaks, admiring the rock formations and sites, and taking photos.

We also did not go to Mo’s Mansion (because we spent too much time admiring the rock formations!), so allocate an extra 30 to 45 minutes if you plan on taking a detour to check out the mansion.

Po Toi Island Hike Difficulty: 4/10 for technicality, 4/10 for physically demanding.

It is not a physically difficult hike and does not have a very high incline, but the trail is very rocky and can be treacherous if you are not careful.

At no point on this hike did we feel the trail was unsafe or dangerous, but proper care should be taken as the rocks can be slippery in places.

However, if you are visiting in the summer, the barren landscapes and the fiery sun will increase the difficulty by tons.

Po Toi Islands

Elevation Gained On Hike: 261 meters (856 feet) for the entire loop (Route No.2 & Route No.3).

Total Distance Of Hike: 7 Kilometers (4.34 miles) for Route No. 2 & 3  (allow another 1km if you want to visit Mo’s Mansion).

Why Hike Po Toi Island? Doing the various hiking trails on Po Toi Island is the best way to experience what this unique island has to offer. From the top of the Shan Liu on Route No.3, you can see some insane 360-degree views spanning across the South China Sea and back at Stanley & Cape D’Aguilar.

Though it is possible to see the cool rock formations just by doing the short Route No.2, you miss out on the some of the views and sense of scale at the top.

Our Experience Hiking Po Toi Island

We decided to get the ferry from Stanley’s Blake Pier at 11:30 AM, and the ferry ride took 25 minutes to reach Po Toi Island. At first, we feared that we might not get on the ferry because of how big the queue was, but there are plenty of seats on the ferry. 

Po Toi Ferry

Once we arrived at Po Toi, we didn’t hang about and went straight into our hike at 12 PM. Many visitors did stop by the small restaurant at the ferry pier, but we packed our own lunch! 

Po Toi Island Restaurants

From the pier, we decided to turn west and head towards the Tin Hau Temple first, before tackling the mountain.

The family-friendly trail winds through the village where we could see the few residents sitting outside their houses drying fish or selling seaweed. We stopped to take some photos before continuing on.

Inhabitants of Po Toi Island

The walk took us no more than 10 minutes to reach the Tin Hau Temple from the pier, also passing a quiet beach and the delicious aroma of seafood from the restaurants along the way.

The temple is a modest size overlooking the bay of Po Toi Island. We could see fisherman waiting patiently for their catch of the day underneath the cliff.

Inside the temple, the small interior harbors a huge cloud of incense. We only put our heads through the door because the smoke was too strong, but visitors can step all the way inside.

We continued along the path past the temple for 2 more minutes where we caught a glimpse of our first rock formation, conch rock.

After taking some photos, we decided it was time to make the ascent up the mountain. Just 100 meters away from the temple, the paved path clears and you can see a wild, rocky and dusty path appear through the bushes…we knew this was the right path up the mountain.

Po Toi Island Hike

After a few minutes of hiking through the bushes, the path opens out into a clear and open desert surrounded by rocks and dead trees. If you’ve ever wondered what Mars looked like, I could imagine it would look something like Po Toi Island’s landscape.

The path becomes a little less visible from here, but don’t worry, there are some blank signs pointing you in the right direction.

How To Get To Po Toi Island

We followed the blank sign through some short bushes and up a steady slope. Within five minutes we had nearly reached the top.

From here, you can see the path wind steadily around the ridge of the mountain. You can also see the immense and impressive views of Tai Wan underneath, and from the other side back towards Stanley.

Hike Po Toi Island

Having done most of the incline by now, the rest of the hike is pretty easy. We followed the blank signs and other hikers along the winding and rocky trail.

A small fraction of this trail requires you to clamber up rocks where a rope might be needed, but at no point did we feel it was dangerous or unsafe. In fact, we didn’t really need to use the rope, it’s just there for safety.

In about 20 mins of hiking, we reached an area near the top of the mountains known as Shan Liu. We spent 30 minutes or so enjoying a picnic and admiring the views. There are plenty of places to stop and rest on a flat rock without being disturbed by other hikers.

Considering the number of people on the boat, we found it rather peaceful at the top of Shan Liu, eating sandwiches and taking in the beautiful views. However, we did get followed by an eager wasp, lucky us!

Po Toi Hong Kong

After chasing off the wasp, we continued on. From Shan Liu you can take a short detour to the peak, Tai Pai Tong Den. The path to the peak is quite hidden amongst the bushes, so if you want to check out the peak then keep your eyes open for a small break between two bushes to the left.

The detour to the peak is only 1 km (there and back) so allow yourself another 45 minutes if you want to add this to your hike.

We decided we were happy not visiting the peak as we were conscious of time, so we continued on.

Soon, the wild, rocky and desert terrain becomes and paved path once again. From here, you have two choices – continue on to the left and the path leads over the mountain and down towards the peninsula, or take a right down the mountain (Route No.1) to visit Mo’s Mansion.

We decided to keep going so we turned left up the steps and over the mountain.

Hiking Po Toi

The steps were not too challenging and ended as quickly as they started. They are quite shallow steps so they are easy underfoot.

At the top of the path, we could see the Kwoon Yat Pagoda on the right which made a nice rest stop before descending down the mountain. 

Kwoon Yat Pagoda Po Toi

After a five minute break, we headed down the steep steps towards the peninsula. The path down the mountain was short but steep, and we are thankful we decided to hike Route No.3 counter-clockwise.  

The path leads directly to the peninsula where most of the rock formations can be found. After 10 minutes of hiking, we made it to the peninsula and were officially on Route No.2!

Po Toi Island Landscape

At the end of the path, a sign tells us the circular route around the peninsula takes 30 minutes. We spent about 1 hour on the peninsula taking in the impressive formations in front of us and adventuring around the rocks.

Visit Po Toi Island

The first rock you will see is Tortoise Rock, which you may need to look at from a few angles to see the turtle form that gave it its name. Directly opposite the Tortoise Rock is Supine Monk Rock. A huge rectangular structure with a square stone on the top, which looks almost humanlike. 

Monk Supine Rock Po Toi Island

After admiring Turtle Rock and Monk Rock, we continued on to the Po Toi Lighthouse. The lighthouse is small but made for some nice photos.

Then, we continued down the path behind the Lighthouse and decided to venture out on the rocks for some adventure time.

Here you can really see how vast and edgy the rocky landscape really is. The rocks seemed to go on for miles, though it was really only a few hundred meters.

We found it to be quite busy where the rock formations lay, with some people camping and lots of hikers…and some people had to queue for photos with the rocks! However, down here there was next to no one, just the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks.

Po Toi Island Guide

After spending much too long adventuring around the southernmost tip of the peninsula, we started to head back. On the way back across the peninsula, we saw the most famous rock formation on Po Toi, the Buddha’s Hand, or Palm Cliff.

From the photos, it didn’t look too impressive. But up close, it really astonishes you! It really does look like a hand on the side of a cliff. Amazing!

After Palm Rock, we hiked back to the paved path that we hiked down earlier, and continued west towards the pier.

Budhha's Hand Palm Cliff Po Toi Island

After five minutes of hiking along the path, we reached the place of the Ancient Rock Carvings of Po Toi. The path to the carvings is a short 100-meter detour to the left, descending down a few steps and then along the bottom of the cliff.

It took us no more than 10 minutes to walk down, see the rock carvings and walk back up again. The carvings are small and faded in some places, but there was one that really stood out!

Personally, we thought the rock carvings on Tung Lung Chau were more impressive, but these were still cool to see, and unlike Tung Lung Chau, required very little effort to get to.

After taking some photos we continued along the paved path of the Po Toi Country Trail back to the pier. From the peninsula, it took us no more than 15 minutes to reach the pier.

It was 4 PM when we finished hiking so we aimed to catch the 4:30 PM ferry. The ferry arrived at 4:10 PM and was almost full of people, so we were lucky to have allowed plenty of time at the end of our hike to catch the ferry.

Attractions On Po Toi Island (Besides Hiking)

Po Toi Island Map

Po Toi has a really relaxed vibe about it. If you don’t want to hike and you just want somewhere to spend the day, there is still plenty to see and do on Po Toi Island.

Visiting the majority of the attractions on Po Toi Island is really easy and requires minimal hiking, which is why this island is perfect the perfect island to explore with kids in Hong Kong.

Ancient Rock Carvings On Po Toi

Ancient Rock Carvings On Po Toi Island

The ancient rock carvings on Po Toi Island date were discovered in the 1960s and became a declared monument of Hong Kong in 1979.

The exact age of these carvings is unknown, but experts have linked the designs of the carvings to similar designs on some Bronze Age pottery discovered in the territory, which suggests the carvings date back to around 3000 years ago.

There are two carvings adjacent to each other on Po Toi Island. The designs are mainly composed of spirals and curved lines, similar to the geometric shapes you can find in the rock formations on the island. Patterns consisting of lines resembling fish and animals can be seen. 

The carvings are located at the base of the cliff, near the sea. It is said that the carvings were placed here to harness the power of the sea with the hope it will bring good luck to the fishermen of the island.

There are nine ancient rock carvings across Hong Kong’s coastline and outlying islands in places such as Tung Lung Chau and Cheng Chau. Rock carvings continue to be discovered in Hong Kong. Just n 2018, the rock carving in Cape Collinson was discovered

Old Mansion of Family Mo

Though we did not see Old Mansion of Family Mo, we wish we had!

Mo’s Mansion is an old dwelling built by a merchant (Mo, hence the name) in the 1930s. During the Japanese Occupation, a group of pirates attempted to kidnap him and blackmail his family.

After this, Mo left the building to his housekeeper, who stayed at the mansion until she died in the 1950s. Today, the once beautiful retirement home is now an abandoned and derelict ruin. Its pictures reminded us of the abandoned Ma Wan Village on Park Island.

Mo’s Mansion has also earned the name “The Haunted House”, partly because of the Coffin Rock (a rock that looks like a coffin) in the rear of the house. There have been no real ghost sightings here.

To get to Mo’s Mansion, visitors can take the direct Route No.1 starting adjacent to where the ferry drops your off. It is the quickest way to get to Mo’s Mansion but you will miss Route No.3. 

Alternatively, if you are hiking the full trail (Route No. 3), you can also join this part of Po Toi Country Trail from the top of the mountain from where the trail forks near Ngau Wu. Instead of continuing up the steps to the pagoda, simply turn right down the path and you will see the Mansion after 400 meters or so.

Signposts are everywhere on Po Toi Island, but they have no writing on them (helpful), so it’s best to check the map if you are unsure. We would recommend downloading the app, maps.me, which accurately displays all hiking routes in Hong Kong.

Po Toi Lighthouse (Nam Kok Tsui Lighthouse)

Po Toi Island Lighthouse Hong Kong

The Po Toi Lighthouse, also known as Nam Kok Tsui Lighthouse, is located on the Southside of the island on the peninsula near the rock formations. 

The lighthouse was built in the 1970s and is still in operation today. It is the most southern man-made structure built in Hong Kong.

While you cannot enter the lighthouse, it boasts some of the most incredible views of Po Toi Island and the sea surrounding it.

Tin Hau Temple

Tin Hau Temple Po Toi Island

Located on the southwestern side of Po Toi Island is the Tin Hau Temple, a temple dedicated to Tin Hau (Mazu), the Chinese sea goddess.

Though relatively small, inside the temple is an incense-filled room where visitors can see the typical decor of a Chinese temple.

Every year, visitors flock to Po Toi Island to celebrate the Tin Hau Festival; a festival to honor the birthday of the Goddess of the Sea. It is said to be one of the loudest and most colorful festivals in Hong Kong.

For the festival, a temporary bamboo theater is built close to a cliff where Chinese opera performances and the likes take place.

The bamboo structure is made by masters of their skill and has been adapted to fit around its environment.

Like most Tin Hau celebrations, dragon dances, the clashing of cymbals and drums, and the smell of hundreds of burning incense fill the air in Po Toi every year.

Tin Hau’s birthday is celebrated on the 23rd day of the 3rd month in the Lunar calendar. So if you’re traveling around that time, make sure to add Po Toi Island to your Hong Kong Itinerary!

Rock Formations: Buddha’s Hand (Palm Cliff), Turtle Rock, Monk Rock & More!

Po Toi Island Rock Formations

One of the biggest reasons to visit Po Toi Island is to admire the peculiar looking rocks. These rock formations are completely natural and are made from granite stone, a soft rock that is easily shaped by weathering.

At the southern-most point of the island is a peninsula, where the most impressive formations are found.

There are many impressive and eye-catching rock formations on Po Toi, but the most famous of all is the Buddha’s Hand, also known as Palm Cliff. This formation takes the shape of a fist or palm, and it’s easy to see how it earned its name from up close.

Other notable rock formations are the Coffin Rock (near Mo’s Mansion), The Tortoise Rock, and the Supine Monk Rock. (Though all of them are cool, we still think Rhino Rock in Stanley is more impressive!)

All these formations can be found on the southern peninsula, so it is only about a fifteen-minute walk from the ferry pier.

Camping On Po Toi Island

Po Toi Island Camping

Another fun thing to do on Po Toi Island is to camp next to the incredible rock formations. Being located a little further away, the campsite is often quiet and peaceful.

Though it is not officially a campsite, many visitors come here to camp in the cooler months. To access the ‘camping area’ simply head East on the Po Toi Country Trail from the Po Toi ferry pier towards the southern peninsula of Po Toi Island.

Those wanting to camp should be warned that there is no electricity or fresh running water on the island, so you will need to bring as much water and battery power as you will need.

There are also no toilet facilities…it says there is a toilet on the map, but what we saw was an overflowing porter-potty that had not been maintained for some time.

Therefore if you’re wanting to go camping on Po Toi Island, you will have to embrace the wilderness.

Dried Seafood and Seaweed

Dried Seafood From Po Toi Island

If you are visiting Po Toi Island, consider bringing home some souvenirs in the form of dried seafood or dried seaweed, the island’s most famous produce. Because fishing is so prominent on this island, visitors will find an abundance of top-notch dried seafood and seaweed for an affordable price.

Not only will purchasing them help support the local business, but it will also preserve the traditions of this unique little island. If you would like to cook Chinese cuisine, dried seafood and seaweed are essential ingredients for many various types of Chinese soups and dishes. 

Sample The Best Seafood Restaurant On Po Toi Island

Ming Kee Seafood Restaurant Po Toi

Though there are a few restaurants on Po Toi Island, none is as equipped and delicious as Ming Kee Seafood Restaurant. Situated on the soft sandy beach at Tai Wan Bay, diners can enjoy some freshly prepared seafood as they admire the beautiful sea.

When compared to the prices of seafood restaurants inland, Ming Kee Seafood Restaurant tends to run a little more expensive. However, the experience of dining next to a peaceful beach as you listen to the soothing waves makes the price worth it. 

Don’t forget to try the salt and pepper squid!

Swim At The Po Toi Island Beach

Po Toi Island Beach

If you are visiting Po Toi Island in the summer. consider cooling off in Tai Wan bay. This bay is located next to the only beach on Po Toi Island, and to the extent of our knowledge, does not have a name.

This Po Toi Island beach is sandwiched between Tai Wan and the small village where Ming Kee Restaurant is located, so visitors will inevitably encounter in within 10 minutes of hiking if they decided t head west from the pier.

Though we didn’t go for a swim, the sand looked relatively fine and soft (but still incomparable to beaches in Sai Kung such as Ham Tin or Sai Wan). The water looked very clean as well.

Best Time To Visit Po Toi Island

Po Toi Island Trail

One of the best times to do any hiking or exploring in Hong Kong is during the winter months (December to early March). This is because the weather is cooler and there’s less rainfall.

Because Po Toi Islands is very exposed and has minimal shade, we would recommend visiting during the winter months. Otherwise, catch the first ferry so you can hike early and miss the midday heat.

The last ferry leaves at 6 PM to Aberdeen Pier (via Stanley), so it is best to travel to Po Toi Islands earlier in the day to give you enough adventure time.

If you’re visiting in the summer, you might want to consider some indoor activities in Hong Kong to stay out of the heat. Hong Kong’s summer is quite painful!

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Po Toi Islands Hong Kong Pinterest

This concludes our guide on Po Toi Islands, HK. We hope you will find our experience and information helpful for your Po Toi Island trip!

Any questions? Leave a comment!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Po Toi Islands Hong Kong Pinterest
Violet Hill Hike & Twin Peaks Hike (Wilson Trail Section 1), Hong Kong

Violet Hill Hike & Twin Peaks Hike (Wilson Trail Section 1), Hong Kong

Planning on doing the Violet Hill hike and/or Twin Peaks hike? Great!

Located on the stunning southside of Hong Kong Island is the Wilson Trail section 1, commonly known as the Twin Peaks and Violet Hill trail. 

Though the hiking trail passes two peaks (The Twins and Violet Hill), hikers often combine the two simply because they are connected. Though possible, it is rare for anyone to just hike Violet Hill or just hike Twin Peaks.

This hike is deemed as one of the most difficult hikes in hong Kong, as it involves around 1200 relentless steps that will leave your legs feeling numb after. It is so dreadful that the Twin Peaks (not Twins Peak) is commonly referred to as the Terrible Twins.

Although challenging, it still offers beautiful views of lush green mountainsides, the striking ridges along the Hong Kong Island peninsula, and the Tai Tam Reservoir below, making those aching limbs a little bit more worth it.

That is why we have written this hiking guide for the Twin Peaks & Violet Hill, so travelers and locals can enjoy one of the most challenging and beautiful hikes on Hong Kong Island!

Hong Kong Twin Peak & Violet Hill Hike Summary

Hikes In Hong Kong Island

Not sure if the Violet Hill & Twin Peaks hike in Hong Kong is right for you? Here is a quick summary:

Duration Of Hike: Typically 3.5 to 4 hours in total should suffice to hike the 5.6-kilometer trail from start to finish, including rest stops and photo-taking breaks. Our total moving time was only 2.5 hours of hiking.

Twin Peaks & Violet Hill Hike Difficulty: 6.5/10

The hike is relatively short (5.6 km) and the trail is paved all the way (unlike the adventurous Ap Lei Chau hike), but the most difficult part is the ~1200 steps up to Twin Peaks. Though only occasionally shaded, it is shaded on the most difficult parts of the hike.

If you have done the Lion Rock hike, the Violet Hill & Twin Peaks hike is a little harder than that. However, it is still much easier than the Lantau Peak hike (especially done via West Dog’s Teeth)

Elevation Gained On Hike: 476 meters (1,561 feet) gained in total on the entire hike.

Hiking Violet Hill Hong Kong

Total Distance Of Hike: 5.6 Kilometer (from bus stop to bus stop)

Why Hike Twin Peaks & Violet Hill? Though strenuous, the Twin Peaks and Violet Hill hike offers some of the most spectacular views of the south side of Hong Kong Island (though not better than Cape D’Aguilar). From the trail, you can see the reservoir, mountainsides, the South China Sea, and Stanley Village.

It is also one of the easiest hikes to get to in Hong Kong as the start of the hike is near a popular bus stop. This is the perfect hike for any travelers looking to experience one of Hong Kong’s most famous hikes but without getting up at the crack of dawn.

Violet Hill & Twin Peaks Hiking Trail (Wilson Trail Section 1)

Above is the Twin Peaks & Violet Hill hiking route from Wong Nai Chung Reservoir to Stanley Gap Road.

While you can start the hike from Wong Nai Chung Reservoir or Stanley, we would recommend starting from Wong Nai Chung and hiking south as the steps up to Twin Peaks are sheltered from this direction, but exposed the other way.

Because Wong Nai Chung Reservoir is not accessible by the popular MTR (Mass Transit Railway), hikers must take one of the buses to get there. The closest bus stop to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir and the start of the hike is Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park stop here.

The bus drops you off at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Gap. Once you have arrived at this point, you should walk up the steps and onto Tai Tam Reservoir Road.

How To Get To Violet Hill

Continue up Tai Tam Reservoir Road for a further 500 meters. Before you reach the residential complex Parkview, you will see the start of the Wilson Trail Section 1 on the right. This is the start of the Twin Peaks & Violet Hill hike.

Trailhead for Violet Hill

The trail starts off pretty easy. Follow the path and it will take you through a shaded trail that hugs a chainlink fence to Parkview Estate.

It might look like you’re about to walk into someone’s garden at this point, but keep going and it will start to look more like a hiking trail.

After 5 minutes you will see the pavement disappears and the dirt path begins. This is where the true fun begins! 

Hiking Twins Peak HK

The path is gradually steep, but thankfully, it’s not long to get to Violet Hill. It is only 1.3 km from the official trailhead (start of Wilson Trail Section 1) of the hike.

The trail is all one way, but there is a connection point from the Tai Tam Country Trail just a hundred meters or so before arriving at Violet Hill.

When you reach the point where the trail forks, continue following the path on the left. This will take you up to Violet Hill. 

Hike Twins Peak Hong Kong

Don’t forget to turn around and admire the impressive landscape behind you. The towering residential block peeping out from the overgrown grass of the mountainside shows a rare harmony between nature and urban infrastructure.

The peak of Violet Hill doesn’t offer much to see, mainly because of all the vegetation around it.

Catch your breath and make the long descent down to Tze Kong Bridge. Yes, you read that right. You need to head down now.

Wilson Trail 1 Hong Kong

For the next 1.5 km, you will make your way down to the bottom of the valley. The trail is a mixture of steps and slopes, so make sure you take care when going downhill.

Unlike the top of Violet Hill that didn’t offer much of a view, this part of the hike is very scenic as lush mountains and the Tai Tam Reservoir hug you from the left. 

Violet Hill Tai Tam Reservoir

After making your full descent, you will arrive at the Twins Catch Water that leads to the Tai Tam Reservoir. 

When you are ready, cross the short Tze Kong Bridge and head up the path to the right, which is the start of the ~1200 steps up to Twin Peaks.

If at this point you’re feeling like you’ve made a huge mistake and you don’t want to continue up to Twin Peaks, there is another path that leads you to Repulse Bay.

Terrible Twins Hong Kong

Here is where the hardest part of the hike begins. The steps are quite steep and close together, making it quite tiresome to climb. Fortunately, they have marked every 100 steps with a number so you can see how far you’ve come (and how far you’ve got to go!)

It takes about 1000 steps to reach the first peak of the Twin Peaks. What are you rewarded with at this peak? Nothing except an average view of the remaining hike to the second peak of the Twin Peaks.

Hiking Twin Peaks Hong Kong

From here, follow the path that descends slightly, before climbing the last 200 or so steps up to the second peak.

What is awaiting your arrival at the second peak? Unfortunately, not much either. This peak only has a bench for you to sit down and catch your breath. Surrounding by tall vegetation, there isn’t much to see either.

Twin Peaks Trail

To descend from the Twin Peaks, it’s relatively simple, but should be taken with care. What goes up, must come down, and the way down is much the same as the way up, a lot of steps!

Here are some of the most gorgeous views of the entire hike. The exposed path offers stretching views of Stanley, Tai Tam Bay and everything around it. 

The Twins Hong Kong

From the second peak of the Twin Peaks, it is 1 km downhill until you reach Stanley Gap Road and the end of the hike.

From Stanley Gap Road, you can catch a bus back or head into Stanley. If you only have a few days in Hong Kong, consider combining the Twin Peaks hike with a visit to Stanley or Stanley’s iconic Rhino Rock hike.

Our Experience Hiking Violet Hill & Twin Peaks In Hong Kong

Getting To The Start of the Wilson Trail Section 1 (Violet Hill & Twin Peaks Hike)

Planning to catch the sunset (~6 PM) near the end of our hike, we set out for Violet Hill & Twin Peaks at around 2 PM. From Jordan (where we were staying), we took the MTR to Admiralty station.

There we hopped on the No. 6 Bus that took us to the Wong Nai Reservoir Park bus stop. Being the weekend, we waited no more than 15 minutes for the bus to arrive. 

The bus arrived at the Wong Nai Reservoir Park bus stop in just about 20 minutes, and almost everyone on the bus got off. In front of us was a group of hikers who promptly proceeded up the set of stairs on the left onto Tai Tam Reservoir Road.

How To Get To Twin Peaks

Once we got on the Tai Tam Reservoir Road, we saw the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir almost immediately.

We decided to stop and admire the reservoir for a bit and noticed some people taking a hiking trail around to the right of the reservoir. We very nearly followed them before checking the map.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Wilson Trail

This trail leads to the Tai Tam Reservoir Trail, which also goes to Violet Hill, so we wouldn’t have gotten lost if we took it, but it’s not the trail we wanted. (It is a harder alternative!)

After a bit of admiration, we continue along the steep Tai Tam Reservoir Road. By the time we got to the start of the Violet Hill and Twin Peaks hike, we had already done 500 meters in distance and 70 meters in elevation. That is one-third of the elevation needed to summit Violet Hill!

Hong Kong Trail

We encountered the sign for Wilson Trail along with a map that contains the details of the hike. We doubled checked with our maps.me app to make sure it was the path and entered the trail!

Hiking Up To Violet Hill

The path started off with one of our least favorite elements of hiking – stairs. (In hindsight, this wasn’t the best hike to do if you hate stairs.) This path followed the exterior of a fence for a good 5 minutes before becoming a full dirt path.

That didn’t last long as we were interrupted with more steps. Certainly, we weren’t quite impressed by the monotonous terrain, but at the same time, we were just glad we weren’t tiring ourselves out too much before the ultimate climb up Twin Peaks.

Steps on Violet-Hill

The path continued to be a combination of dirt, stairs, shaded, and not shaded. Though the terrain wasn’t exciting, the views certainly were unique. We turned around and saw the large Parkview residential complex completely surrounded by greenery.

It almost looked like an abandoned building where nature started to slowly reclaim its territories.

After about 30 minutes of hiking from the start of the Wilson Trail, we reached the top of Violet Hill, expecting some spectacular views or anything worth seeing.

To our disappointment, there wasn’t much of a view at Violet Hill.

Descending To Tze Kong Bridge

After a disappointing summit at Violet Hill, we wanted something to make those dreadful steps worth it. Fortunately, the descent from Violet Hill to the Tze Kong Bridge is home to some of the best views on this hike. 

Violet Hill Hiking Trail Hong Kong

At this point, we were far away from civilization. Every direction we looked, we saw nothing but lush green hills and metallic blue skies. The Tai Tam Reservoir blessed us with its mirror-like water that harmonized with the surrounding greenery.

The descent to Tze Kong Bridge was a mixture of steps (who knew?!) and dirt path. The winding stairs, though a bit boring, did offer incredible visuals as they led to nothing but drop-dead gorgeous vegetation.

It took about 45 minutes of leisurely hiking to reach the bottom where the Tze Kong Bridge is located.

Hike Violet Hill Hong-Kong

Hiking Up To The Twin Peaks

We didn’t see a lot of people on our hike to Twin Peaks, except at the Tze Kong Bridge. It is also as if they were contemplating whether they wanted to suffer over 1,200 steps of hell or go home and watch Netflix.

After we took a small break and observed the fear and hesitation on everyone’s face, we crossed the bridge and headed towards our demise.

We knew that the path to the peak of Twin Peaks involved around 1200 steps but we didn’t anticipate how challenging it would be.

As we mentioned, we eventually realized that there are markers on the steps for every 100 steps. It was until about 400 steps that we decided to take our first break. Because it was shaded, we were able to rest peacefully without the sun glaring down at us.

The markers motivated us to continue, and eventually, we set up a system where we would rest after every 100 steps. After about 1000 steps, we reached the first peak of the Twin Peaks.

Twin Peaks Hiking Trail Hong Kong

Expecting something incredible, we were not too happy when we found out that the first peak of the Twin Peaks didn’t offer much of a view. It did show you the rest of the path you must embark on before you can claim you conquered the Twin Peaks. 

Knowing that the worst was behind us, we marched on after a short break. At this point, we just wanted to get it done and go home. The path descended briefly before we were met with more stairs. If we had to nickname this hike, we would call it “Hike of a Thousand Steps”. 

We eventually arrived at the second peak of the Twin Peaks. Again we were met with a disappointing view (there wasn’t one). 

Hike Twin Peaks Hong Kong

Descending Twin Peaks At Sunset

I mentioned earlier that we set off late afternoon so we could catch the sunset, and it was a really good decision. Not only did we miss the midday heat, but the views as we descended the peak during golden hour were magical.

The Twins Hike Hong Kong

The descent towards Stanley is the most beautiful part of the hike, so we were lucky that we got to hike this part during golden hour. Like the other 80 percent of the hike, the descent towards Stanley is all stairs.

But since the path was exposed, we were rewarded with gorgeous views of Stanley, Tai Tam Bay and the surrounding areas. By the time we were descending Twin Peaks. the crowd has already left and we were left with a surreal view and sooting serenity.

Twin Peaks Hike Stanley Hong Kong

After snapping some photos, we slowly descended the rest of the way to Stanley Gap Road, where we took bus No. 6 back to Admiralty. It only took us about 30 minutes to descend the entire way!

Bus To Twins Peak Hike

Best Time To Hike Twin Peaks & Violet Hill In Hong Kong

Violet Hill Hike Hong Kong

The best time to do any hiking in Hong Kong is in the winter (December to March). The weather is less hot and humid and there is very minimal rainfall, making it the perfect hiking conditions.

If you are visiting Hong Kong in the summer, you might want to consider doing a sunset hike like we did and starting later. If it’s too hot, you can consider some indoor activities in Hong Kong. 

Heat-related conditions are very common in Hong Kong, especially in the summer.

You want to avoid weekends when hiking Twin Peaks & Violet Hill because it is a very popular hike and heavily trafficked. Because it is one of the most easily accessible hikes in Hong Kong, you will find big crowds on the trail.

The best time of the day to hike Violet Hill & Twin Peaks is either early in the morning or 3 to 4 hours before sunset. Not only do you miss the miserable Hong Kong midday heat, but you can also beat the crowd.

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Violet Hill Twin Peaks Hike Hong Kong Pinterest

This is the end of our guide to hiking Violet HIll & Twin Peaks in HK. We hope you get to enjoy this beautiful and fun hike the way we did!

Any questions? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Violet Hill Twin Peaks Hike Hong Kong Pinterest
Explore Hong Kong’s Tung Lung Chau: Hike, Camp & More!

Explore Hong Kong’s Tung Lung Chau: Hike, Camp & More!

There are many stunning outlying islands in Hong Kong, but possibly one of the most underrated is Tung Lung Chau (or Tung Lung Island, “Chau” means island in Cantonese.)

Located just a few miles off the coast of the Clearwater Bay peninsula, Tung Lung Chau attracts flocks of visitors all year round wanting to bask in its unspoiled natural landscape.

Though it is mostly uninhabited, there are many things to do in Tung Lung Chau, such as hiking the full 9km circular loop, taking “Instagram-worthy” photos at the Eagle Tooth Rock (牙鷹石), rock climbing the most challenging cliffs in Hong Kong, or even camping with friends.

That is why we have written this complete guide on how you can explore Tung Lung Chau, conquer the long hike and enjoy the island’s best attractions!


Why Visit Tung Lung Chau (Tung Lung Island)?

Tung Lung Chau Pictures

Characterized by epic geological formations, historical landmarks, breathtaking views and an arduous hiking trail,  Tung Lung Chau is one of the best places to visit in Hong Kong if you want to escape the urban concrete jungle. Because the island is mostly uninhabited, its natural beauty remains unspoiled.

There is no doubt that Tung Lung Chau is a breathtaking place with plenty to offer; and suitable for day trips or a weekend’s camping adventure.

Visitors usually come to Tung Lung Chau for the scenic hike.

Though it’s quite a long hike if you want to do the full circular loop, it’s not too challenging as the incline is mostly very gradual. It is quite a nice hike that doesn’t exhaust you too much, but also makes you feel like you’ve had a good work out.

The constantly changing landscapes from lush vegetation to jaw-dropping rock formations, to open grasses swaying in the wind and then to dense jungle-like, over-grown bushes will never bore you! 

How To Get To Tung Lung Chau?

Ferry To Tung Lung Chau

Getting to Tung Lung Chau is relatively easy. You can take a ferry from two piers in Hong Kong.

From the Kowloon side, you can take the ferry from Sam Ka Tsuen pier in Lei Yue Mun in Yau Tong, and for those staying on Hong Kong island, it is best to take the ferry from Shau Kei Wan Typhoon Shelter in Sai Wan Ho.

Taking The Tung Lung Chau Ferry From Sam Ka Tsuen (Kowloon)

Sam Ka Tsuen Ferry -Pier To Tung Lung Chau

We took the ferry from Sam Ka Tsuen and purchased our return ticket at the ferry terminal.

For a round trip, the Tung Lung Chau ferry costs $45 HKD and $20 HKD for pets (at the time of writing). You can pay using cash or the contactless Octopus card. You must purchase both the ticket to Tung Lung Chau and the return ticket together.

Ferry times from Sam Ka Tsuen can be found online, but it is best to arrive 15 to 20 minutes early so you don’t risk the chance of the tickets being sold out (especially the return ticket) and secure a spot on the boat. Unfortunately, we did see some people not being able to get on the boat. 

How To Get To Tung Lung Chau

If you are traveling from Sam Ka Tsuen, the ferry will drop you off at Tung Lung Chau Public Pier (also known as the Nam Tong Pier), one of the two piers on Tung Lung Chau. Boats that return to Sam Ka Tsuen will depart from this pier, so you must return to this location for your return journey.

When we took the ferry, we went on a popular day so they added an extra return ferry, which was quite nice for us as we weren’t sure we would have enough time to make the last ferry at 5:30 PM!

It is important to note that both ferries operate only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, so make sure you allow plenty of time to explore the island and don’t forget your return ferry time, or you could be stuck there for a week!

Tung Lung Chau Public Pier

Ferry To Tung Lung Chau From Sai Wan Ho (Hong Kong Island)

Though we didn’t take the ferry from Sai Wan Ho, we heard it is as simple as getting a ferry from Sam Ka Tsuen. The ferry to Tung Lung Chau departs from Shau Kei Wan Typhoon Shelter.

Ferry times for Sai Wan Ho can be found online, but it is always good to arrive at least 15 minutes early to secure your ticket. From our understanding, it seems like the ferry option from Sai Wan Ho is less busy than the one in Sam Ka Tsuen. That might be due to the fact that the ferry runs less frequently from Sai Wan Ho.

The ferry from Sai Wan Ho costs $55 HKD for a round trip.

If you are traveling from Sai Wan Ho, the ferry will drop you off at Tung Lung Chau North Pier (also known as the Fat Tong Mun Pier). This is also the same pier you will be taking your return ferry if you came from Sai Wan Ho.

The two piers on Tung Lung Chau island are about a 15 to 20-minute hike from each other, so both ferries are optimal for getting to Tung Lung Chau.

Tung Lung Chau North Pier

Hong Kong Tung Lung Chau Hike Summary

If you are planning a visit to Tung Lung Chau, you must be interested in doing its hike. More like a scenic loop, the Tung Lung Chau hiking trail takes you through all the top attractions of this small island, as you can see from the map above.

Here is a quick summary of the hiking trail on Tung Lung Chau to see if it is right for you!

Duration Of Hike: The total adventure time was 5-6 hours in total. Out of the 6 hours we spent on Tung Lung Chau, our actual moving time was about 4 hours hiking. The rest of the time was used for breaks, admiring the scenery and taking photos.

We also did not go to the Eagle Tooth Rock (牙鷹石) or Secret Cave because we ran out of time and had to catch the last ferry back, so allow extra time if you plan to visit these unique geological formations in Tung Lung Island.

However, we did make an extra stop at the Belly Button Cave (肚臍洞) which took us about an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour of hiking time. 

Tung Lung Chau Hiking

Tung Lung Chau Hike Difficulty: 7.5/10 for distance, 6/10 for physically demanding.

It is not a physically difficult hike and most of the incline is gradual, but there is a lack of shade on the entire island which can exhaust you quickly if you’re not well prepared. The terrain is also very beginner-friendly, perfect for anyone that wants to do any hiking in Hong Kong with kids.

However, this Tung Lung Island hike is at least 8 kilometers, so if you are not used to the distance it might tire you out!

Hiking Trail Tung Lung Chau

Elevation Gained On Hike: 539 meters (1,768 feet) gained in total throughout the entire loop.

Because we did not go out Eagle Tooth Rock and went down to Belly Button Cave, your results might vary.

Total Distance Of Hike: Our loop was 9.8 kilometers (6.08 miles) for the entire loop but we visited the Belly Button Cave. Normally, expect around 8.5 kilometers for your hike on Tung Lung Chau.

What To See On The Tung Lung Chau Hiking Trail 

Above is the Tung Lung Chau map with all its attractions, both well-known and hidden. The best way to see all these places is by hiking the full ~9 km circular trail from the pier where the ferry drops you off on Tung Lung Chau.

Depending on which ferry you take, you will either start from Tung Lung Chau Public Pier in Nam Tong village or Tung Lung Chau North Pier near Fat Tong Mun. The two piers are about a 15-minute walk from each other and start in a small village where you can pick up some water or snacks before you set off.

Tung Lung Chau Map

Now you’re ready to start your hike!

We decided to hike the loop counter-clockwise as we heard it was the best route to take. After experiencing the entire hike, we can say that it is less physically demanding to hike counter-clockwise but a bit more dangerous.

Why? If you hike counter-clockwise, the descent from Nam Tong Teng involves a steep and slippery rocky terrain.

If you hike Tung Lung Chau clockwise, it will be more tiresome because of the steep incline to Nam Tong Teng, but your decline will be on a nice gradual paved path.

Here are some of the best sightseeing spots on your Tung Lung Chau hiking trail.

1. Tung Lung Chau Ancient Rock Carving

Tung Lung Chau Rock Carving

Aside from being an area of impressive natural beauty, Tung Lung Chau has also retained a lot of its history. The first historical point on the Tung Lung Chau hike is the ancient rock carving, located on the northwestern side of the island.

The Tung Lung Chau ancient rock carving is the biggest of the nine rock carvings in Hong Kong, measuring 1.8 meters x 2.4 meters. If you are interested in the other rock carvings, make sure you check out Po Toi Island, Cheng Chau, Cape Collinson (recently discovered), and more!

According to the information displayed at the sight, it dates back to over 4000 years old near the Bronze Age. While no one really knows what it says, the pictures slightly resemble a dragon.

As with all things old and impressive, getting to them requires some sacrifice. The way to the ancient rock carving requires hiking down, and back up again, some 460 steps, which if you are planning to take the full 9 km hike you might want to factor this in.

While it might be a little tiring to visit, it is definitely worth checking out.

2. Tathong Point: Tung Lung Chau’s Most Southern Peninsula

Tathong Point Tung Lung Chau

Tathong Point itself doesn’t really have any attractions as such, with the only structures on the peninsula being an old radio station and the ruin of the island’s coastal defenses.

However, it is still worth checking out for the incredible views looking back at the island from the end of the peninsula. At this southern tip, visitors can faintly make out Cape D’Aguilar, home to the only marine reserve in Hong Kong.

To get to the peninsula from the trail, follow the road sign to Luk Keng Wan and walk 80 or so meters down the hill.

When you come to the start of a huge fenced off area, you actually want to turn left and scramble up the hill along the side of the fence. It looks dangerous, but it’s not. You are a long way from the cliff edge (but still be careful!). From the top of the hill, you will find a good spot to capture some insane photos of the island.

You can then enter the grounds through a broken part of the fence by following a small trail, leading you to a circular ruin that resembles what a helicopter pad might look like if it was built in the 1800s. 

3. Nam Tong Teng: Tung Lung Chau’s Highest Peak

Tung Lung Chau Station

If you had decided to hike counter-clockwise, hiking up to Nam Tong Teng should be relatively easy for you. At over 230 meters high, Nam Tong Teng is the highest peak on Tung Lung Chau, but it is minuscule compared to Lantau Peak, Tai Mo Shan or Lion Rock.

The path is well paved all the way and the incline is gradual, which makes it an easy terrain to hike on (if done counter-clockwise). As you hike, make sure you turn around and admire the incredible views behind you.

The hike to the peak has little shade until you reach the top, so make sure you pack plenty of water.

At the top of the peak, you will find Tung Lung Chau’s satellite communication station and a helipad. This station is completely gated off so don’t try to enter!

Once you reach the station, follow the fencing around and you will find a narrow and slightly overgrown path. Follow that path and it will allow you to continue on your hiking path.

If you have hiked counterclockwise, the route down the peak is a little more tricky as the pavement has now disappeared and the more rustic and fun hiking begins!

4. Belly Button Cave (Only For The Adventurous)

Tung Lung Chau Belly Button Cave Naval Cave

We’ll start by being brutally honest, we wish we had read a guide on the Belly Button Cave (肚臍洞) before tackling this beast. Luckily for you, we will explain the reasons why so you can embark on this quest with the full knowledge of what to expect.

The Belly Button Cave (might also be called Navel Cave) is a unique and natural rock cave that opens up onto a cool rocky bay. With a massive opening on the side of the rock surface, the Belly Button Cave offers visitors an extraordinary photo experience.

You can also walk through the cave and emerge seaside, but beware of the strong waves that are often present near Tung Lung Island.

Though quite the geological formation, arriving at Belly Button Cave requires some sacrifices.

The entrance to the “path” is quite hidden from the hiking trail, so you must rely on the app maps.me to find the exact location for the start of the trail.

Once we got on the trail, we started walking through this dense, overgrown brush that came up to our armpits. The trail began to make its way down the mountain through thick forestry that required some bushwhacking in places. 

The Belly Button Cave is located at the end of a steep “sketchy” path on the right before you reach the edge of the cliffs. If it wasn’t for the ribbon you find on the hiking trails in Hong Kong, we would never have found it.

If there is one thing we learned from hiking to the Belly Button Cave, it is to cover yourself as much as possible. Long sleeves and pants are necessities, even if you are visiting Tung Lung Chau in the summer.

5. Tung Lung Fort (AKA Fat Tong Fort)

Tung Lung Fort Special Area

Spoiling us with another impressive historical site on Tung Lung Chau is the Tung Lung Fort.

The fort dates back to (1662-1722) during the Kangxi era. According to old, historical documents that no one has seen, it was built to protect the island from pirates. According to some different historical documents, the fort was built by Yang Lin, Viceroy of Guangdong and Guangxi in 1719.

Although exact details of when it was built are a little hazy, it has been abandoned since the 1800s, and today it remains nothing but a ruin…but a cool ruin, at that.

The ruin itself has undergone some partial repair and restoration work, as well as an archeological excavation in the early 80s, but the majority of the fort remains true to its original form.

The fort is small and does not require much time to see, but it is worth taking the time to admire this great monument.

Make sure you check out the viewpoint that is a little further down the path from the fort.

6. Spring Rock

In close vicinity to the Tung Lung Fort is another one of the island’s hidden gems – Spring Rock (噴水岩). This one is quite difficult to find mostly because it is somewhat misleading. If you are using Google Maps (like we were) you would arrive at the lookout that we mentioned above in the Tung Lung Fort section.

However, this isn’t where the Spring Rock is. If you want to visit Spring rock, use the maps.me app and you will discover a small trail that takes you closer to the edge of the island. Because we didn’t visit the correct place, we can’t tell you what that is like.

But according to what we read online and the poster from the Sam Ka Tsuen ferry pier, it is a place where the waves crash violently with the side of the cliffs, creating a gush of water that shoots into the sky. At a certain angle, it looks like a small geyser.

A short walk from the Tung Lung Fort, it is worth checking it out if can spare the extra time. Spring Rock is also one of the most popular locations for rock climbing in Tung Lung Chau!

7. Secret Cave

Secret Cave Tung Lung Island

The Secret Cave (崖下秘洞) is another location in Tung Lung Chau that we didn’t get to visit due to the time restraint. We were only able to see it with our drone from the lookout point next to Tung Lung Fort.

From the drone shot, it is an impressive and slightly phallic-looking cave that only has a Chinese name (崖下秘洞), which roughly translates to Below-Cliff Hidden Cave.

Though on maps.me, there is technically a trail that arrives somewhere near it, we are unsure if you can get down and see through it like the Belly Button Cave. However, we have seen pictures of it looking out from inside the cave, but we aren’t sure if those pictures are from rock climbers.

This location is one of the most popular spots for rock climbing on the island. Like the Spring Rock and Belly Button Cave, the Secret Cave is a somewhat unpopular attraction on Tung Lung Chau. Consider adding this to your visit if you have extra time.

8. Eagle Tooth Rock

Tung Lung Chau Eagle Tooth Rock

As soon as you step off the ferry, your eyes begin to marvel at all the impressive rock formations around you. We bet our bottom dollar that your eye is immediately drawn to one, singular rock formation that sticks out like a sore thumb.

This rock is commonly referred to as Eagle Tooth Rock (牙鷹石), as its Chinese name translates to. When you look at the rock from the trail, it’s not hard to see how it got this name as it resembles an upturned eagle’s beak.

To get to the rock, it’s just a short, 10 to 15-minute walk from the main hiking trail from the North side of the island to the rock formation.

Getting there is only a 25-minute detour (there and back) but it’s worth factoring in more time as you’ll want to spend time taking photos.

9. Tung Lung Chau Lighthouse

Tung Lung Chau Lighthouse

Little information is available for the Tung Lung Chau Lighthouse, but don’t let that undermine its beauty. Located in the Northeastern tip of the island, the Tung Lung Chau Lighthouse sits on the edge of the rocky outcrop, enduring the powerful waves that relentlessly assaults it daily.

The lighthouse is located near the Tung Lung Fort, so it is definitely worth the small detour to visit it. This area, though far from the toilets, is a popular place for camping because it boasts some of the most magnificent views on Tung Lung Chau.

Other Things To Do on Tung Lung Chau Besides Hiking

1. Go Camping On Tung Lung Chau

Camping On Tung Lung Chau

One of the best things to do in Tung Lung Chau is to go camping. With the campsite located near the Tung Lung Fort, it has been a special area to camp since the late 70s.

Camping at Tung Lung Chau is quite a simple process, but you will need to carry all your equipment and everything you need, as there is no tent rental and limited options when it comes to refreshments.

The shops also close after the last ferry has left for the day, meaning from around 5:30 PM to the next morning,  you are pretty much on your own!

The Tung Lung Chau campsite features dry toilet facilities, access to stream water, barbecue pits, benches and tables, and rubbish bins. If you would like to drink the stream water, make sure you have a way to treat it. We drank from it using our LifeStraw bottle and we were fine!

Some campers might decide to camp near the Tung Lung Chau Lighthouse. While that is not an official campsite, it offers unparalleled views and the utmost serenity.

Tung Lung Chau Camping

If you just want to visit the island to camp, getting there is easy. The campsite is located on the North East side of the island, so it’s easier to get a ferry to Tung Lung Chau North Pier from Sai Wan Ho. Otherwise, it is only a 20-minute walk from the Tung Lung Chau Island Public Pier if you are coming from Sam Ka Tsuen.

2. Rock climbing

Rock Climbing in Tung Lung Chau

For avid rock climbers, Tung Lung Chau is one of the best places to go rock climbing in Hong Kong. Its steep, vertical rock faces are not to be underestimated and require the highest level of skill.

Most of the rock climbing sites are on the west side of the island, but some like to climb the Kite Rock in the center of the island if the cliff edges seem a little daunting.

While Tung Lung Chau offers a variety of different levels of technicality, the overall difficulty rating for climbing on Tung Lung Chau is medium to high.

Though we are not rock climbers ourselves, we were able to witness climbers tackling the beastly rocks and it is not for the faint-hearted.

If you are new to rock climbing then perhaps Tung Lung Chau is a little ambitious for you. You can practice at one of Hong Kong’s indoor climbing walls beforehand to see if it’s for you.

Whatever your experience, we would not recommend rock climbing alone and best to be accompanied by a professional guide.

3. Swim At A Beach on Tung Lung Chau

Tung Lung Chau Beaches

Although best known for the campsite and hiking trail, beaches in Tung Lung Chau are also a good spot to chill out and relax away from the bustling city.

There aren’t many beaches to choose from, both the small beaches we saw rest on either side of Tung Lung Chau North Pier. The beaches are small but they’re clean and quiet, with a small shop nearby to replenish at.

If you’re looking for a quiet beach in Hong Kong with fewer people, you might want to consider Tung Lung Chau.

Food And Restaurants On Tung Lung Chau

Food On Tung Lung Chau

Are there any food or restaurants on Tung Lung Chau?

The answer is: Yes!

Near the two piers of Tung Lung Chau are tiny “villages” where the few inhabitants of Tung Lung Chau reside. Here you will find small restaurants and stores (similar to the ones in Ham Tin or Sai Wan in Sai Kung) offering you food and drinks. 

While their selection is certainly not the greatest, the meals are quite delicious and the perfect fuel for exploring Tung Lung Chau. Visitors can try some homemade herbal tea in one of the stores.

However, because the ferries only operate on the weekends and public holidays, everyone that wants to visit Tung Lung Chau is going to be there on those days.

The result? Extremely packed restaurants that could take over an hour to prepare your food.

If avoidable, we recommend you to bring your own packed lunch or eat a big meal before visiting Tung Lung Chau. This way you don’t waste valuable time waiting for your food!

Tung Lung Chau Restaurants

Best Time To Visit Tung Lung Chau

Tung Lung Chau Hike

Because of the lack of shade on this island, the best time to do any hiking on Tung Lung Chau is in the winter (December to March). Hong Kong’s winter weather is mostly dry with hardly any rainfall, making it the perfect time to venture outdoors.

We highly advise against hiking Tung Lung Chau in the summers of Hong Kong because the trail is very exposed and offers little shade. If you do decide to hike, pack lots of water (3 liters or so) and go early in the day so you can avoid the midday heat!

Because this is a ~9 km hike, it is best to be well prepared and plan your time accordingly. If you wake up late, perhaps you should consider a smaller hike like Ap Lei Chau and try Tung Lung Chau another weekend.

Tung Lung Chau ferries only operate on weekends and public holidays, so it is best to plan ahead if you want to add Tung Lung Chau to your Hong Kong itinerary.

How to Prepare For Your Tung Lung Chau Trip

Visit Tung Lung Chau
  • If you are planning on visiting the Belly Button Cave, we highly recommend you to wear long pants and sleeves. Even if you are not, consider them due to the lack of shade and long hike on Tung Lung Chau.
  • If you want to try rock climbing, it is best to find a rock climbing guide as the rock faces are very steep and should only be tackled with the assistance of a professional.
  • Planning is essential when you want to take a day trip to Tung Lung Chau. The entire hike itself takes about 5 to 6 hours to complete, so allocate enough time if you don’t want to miss the ferry. Remember: Ferries are only available on the weekends or public holidays!
  • There are a few restaurants on Tung Lung Chau. But because of their popularity, they are often crowded. Even though their food isn’t bad, you might have to wait up to an hour or more for your food, especially during peak hours such as lunchtime.
  • The hiking trail is mostly paved, but upon descending Nam Tong Teng Peak, the path becomes quite steep and overgrown. So, we would recommend sturdy hiking boots to support your ankles on this descent.

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Tung Lung Chau Island Hong Kong Pinterest

This is the end of our guide to Tung Lung Chau in Hong Kong. We hope we have given you an insight into all the attractions in Tung Lung Chau and provided the necessary information to explore this incredible island!

Any questions? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Tung Lung Chau Island Hong Kong Pinterest
Discover Ma Wan: Hong Kong’s Abandoned Ghost Village

Discover Ma Wan: Hong Kong’s Abandoned Ghost Village

When visiting Hong Kong, Ma Wan Ghost Village probably doesn’t immediately spring to mind. However, for those of you seeking adventure and cool photography spots in Hong Kong, Ma Wan should not be missed!

Once home to a thriving fishing village, today it remains mostly abandoned; offering an eerily cool village full of wild, derelict buildings that have been taken back by the elements of nature.

While the name ‘ghost village’ implies it is haunted, it’s not actually a haunted village…so don’t expect to see any ghosts.

Read on to find out more about the cool and under-rated Ma Wan Village in Hong Kong!

History Of Ma Wan Ghost Village

Hong Kong is not short of abandoned villages, sadly, and the village of Ma Wan is one of the must-see abandoned villages in Hong Kong.

This old fishing village located between Tsing Yi and Lantau island was once home to several thousand residents, who thrived under the Tsing Ma Bridge (the longest suspension bridge in the world for rail and road traffic).

Ma Wan Ferry

Once home to over 2,000 people, this unique stilt house fishing village was thriving, and famous for its seafood restaurants and dried shrimp paste.

However, in 2011, a property developer called Thomas Kwok, owner of Sun Hung Kai Properties, bought most of the land on the island and built the luxurious Park Island complex that stands there today.

According to the stories, the developer asked the residents of Ma Wan village to leave their houses to make way for their new development.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Working with the government, the developer offered residents a plush new apartment in the new Park Island complex, or a three-story house nearby, which most people accepted (I mean, why wouldn’t you accept an upgrade?) but a few stubborn residents declined the offer.

Ma Wan Island

Today you can still see signs of protest from residents who refused to leave.

As well as offering a swanky new home, it was revealed that the developer also built the Noah’s Ark theme park next to the village as a way to encourage the last remaining people of Ma Wan Village to leave their homes.

In short, the developer wanted to rehaul the whole island, but due to a court case that landed the developer in jail in 2014, plans to pave way for the development project were put to a halt.

Today, Ma Wan village has barely a handful of residents left, and the old houses which were supposed to be demolished, have been left to the effects of nature and many are now derelict and dilapidated.

Ma Wan Hong Kong

Bad news for the building developers, great news for photographers. Within its eerie demeanor, this village has beauty surrounding its decaying walls. Situated next to the ocean and thick forestry, Ma Wan has become a ghostly hit with urban explorers, tourists and wedding photographers.

How To Get To Ma Wan Ghost Village

Don’t worry if you are not sure how to get to Ma Wan, it is relatively easy. Located on Park Island, Mar Wan Village is accessible by the ferry or a combination of bus or MTR (Mass Transit Railway).

Taking The Ma Wan Ferry (Park Island Ferry)

Taking the ferry to Ma Wan is usually the easiest and fastest way (depends on where you are staying in Hong Kong). Visitors can get to Ma Wan by taking a 25-minute ferry ride from Central Pier 2 to Park Island.

The ferry from Central costs 27 HKD.

A different ferry is also available from Tsuen Wan Pier, but it departs much more sporadically.

Once you have disembarked the ferry, it is only a short 10-minute walk to Ma Wan Village.

Exit the ferry terminal and walk straight towards Park Island. Then, follow the Park Island promenade on the left until you reach the Noah’s Ark Theme Park,  the amusement park built by property developers to oust out the Ma Wan residents.

You will also pass by the beautiful Ma Wan Tung Wan Beach (or just commonly Ma Wan Beach).

Keep walking straight until you reach the end of the footpath, and then bare right under the bridge. Cross the road under the bridge and follow the path in front. The path should look green and overgrown…then you know you are on the right path into the village.

Find more info about the ferry to Ma Wan here!

Ma Wan Beach

Taking the MTR and Bus To Ma Wan

If you’re not a fan of boats, there are buses available from Tsing Yi MTR station or Kwai Fong MTR Station. From Tsing Yi MTR Station, visitors can take NR330 which costs 9.5 HKD. From Kwai Fong MTR Station, you can take the NR332 which costs 10 HKD.  Get off at the Beach Commercial Complex (the first stop on Park Island). The Ma Wan ghost town is a 10 to 15-minute walk from here. With the beach to your left, continue down Ma Wan Road until you reach Noah’s Ark, then follow the instructions above.
Find more details about the buses to Ma Wan here!

Why Visit Ma Wan Village In Hong Kong?

Undeniably, the main attraction in Ma Wan Village is the abandoned buildings. While some people prefer the new and fancy, these old buildings in Ma Wan are a part of Hong Kong’s heritage.

In a sense, the whole village is a small museum showing you a glimpse of the past. It showcases the forces of nature and how quickly nature reclaims its territory, similar to the town of Pripyat in Chernobyl. Well of course, the magnitude of the disaster in Chernobyl cannot compare to the eviction in Ma Wan Village.

Ma Wan Park

Though it isn’t haunted (as far as we know), the empty buildings, broken windows, and overgrowing vegetation do provide an eerie feeling, perfect for urban explorers of Hong Kong looking for a thrill.

It is a place that can have everything and nothing at the same time, depending on how far you are willing to go. Just be careful when entering some of these buildings though, as Ma Wan was evicted in 2011.

Some of these buildings will have gates, chains, and/or locks around them. There is a reason for that, don’t try to enter those buildings!

Ma Wan Park Island Hong Kong

Aside from the insanely cool abandoned villages, Ma Wan is also an area of outstanding natural beauty (though nothing beats Cape D’Aguilar). From the old fishing village that now remains abandoned, you can still see fishermen flock to its shoreline to fish under the Tsing Ma bridge.

Around Ma Wan Village are lush vegetation and mountainous views (a common sight from most islands in Hong Kong). Pre-warning though; with lush vegetation there comes a price…mosquitoes! Make sure you pack some mosquito repellent when visiting Ma Wan.

Ma Wan is also a little less crowded than the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, making it a nice place to visit if you want to experience an area with more history and avoid the crowds.

Ma Wan Ghost Town Hong Kong

Other things to do in Ma Wan, Park Island

If you have come to Ma Wan as a day trip, you might want to add some other nearby attractions to fill in your time. Luckily, there are plenty of other things to do in Ma Wan and Park Island. 

Ma Wan also has a beautiful and slightly less crowded beach, Ma Wan Tung Wan beach, which is a nice rest stop on a sunny day. It doesn’t take too long to get there and it’s far less crowded than the popular Clearwater Bay and Repulse Bay beaches.

There is also a pleasant nature garden, Ma Wan Park Nature Garden, which is a great place to take the kids.

Aside from that, there really isn’t much else to see and do in Ma Wan. It’s mostly a residential island with a few nice restaurants to sit and chill in.

1. Ma Wan Beach (Ma Wan Tung Wan Beach)

Ma Wan is home to the Ma Wan Tung Wan Beach, a family-friendly beach with one of the best views of the Tsing Ma Beach. Though not as big as some of the other beaches in Hong Kong (like Ham Tin or Long Ke in Sai Kung), it features clear water and soft fine sand.

If you are traveling in Hong Kong with kids, the smaller space might be favorable! 

2. Explore Noah’s Ark Theme Park

Noah's Ark Ma Wan Hong Kong

Credit: HK Arun via CC 3.0

Noah’s Ark is one of the many theme parks in Hong Kong. Its uniqueness comes from its full-size replica of the Noah’s Ark, an important biblical artifact.

Visitors can learn about Noah’s story through an interactive experience, as well as other exhibits that combine nature, education, and entertainment.

Find out more about the Noah’s Ark Theme Park!

The Noah’s Ark Theme park also has its own resort called the Noah’s Ark Hotel & Resort, perfect for any families that want to enjoy a staycation or a luxurious experience in Park Island.

3. Check Out The Solar Tower

The Solar Tower in Ma Wan is an excellent museum for kids to learn more about the solar system.

The centerpiece of the Solar Tower is the 350mm diameter vacuum solar telescope, which is the largest professional telescope in South East Asia opened to the public. With this powerful instrument, the telescope projection, visitors can observe the Sun’s surface activity in real-time.

4. Check Out Ma Wan Park Nature Garden

Ma Wan Nature Park Hong Kong

Credit: WiNG via C.C 3.0

Adjacent to the abandoned Ma Wan Village is surprisingly one of the most beautiful gardens in Hong Kong. Stroll through this relaxing garden and find numerous art decorations, plants, and flowers. It is an excellent place for some photos with nature!

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Ma Wan Ghost Village Hong Kong Pinterest

This is the end of our guide to Ma Wan ghost village. We hope that it shows you what a cool place this is and that you enjoy your experience there.

Any questions? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Ma Wan Ghost Village Hong Kong Pinterest
Guide To Stanley’s Rhino Rock Hike: Hong Kong’s Cool Geological Formation!

Guide To Stanley’s Rhino Rock Hike: Hong Kong’s Cool Geological Formation!

Planning to hike Rhino Rock in Hong Kong? We are here to help.

Located on the southern tip of Stanley hides one of Hong Kong’s most “Instagram-famous” spots – the Rhino Rock. While Hong Kong is in no shortage of incredible geological formations, the Rhino Rock is uniquely shaped like a rhinoceros.

Here in our guide to the Rhino Rock hike, you will find out how to get there, what it is like the hike the trail, and when it is the best time to visit so you too can have this stunning photo opportunity!

Rhino Rock In Hong Kong Hike Summary

Not sure if the Rhino Rock in Hong Kong hike is worth the trouble? Here is a quick summary to help you decide if it is right for you!

Duration Of Hike: It takes about 30 minutes one way, so the whole Rhino Rock out-and-back trail can be done in 1 hour! However, expect to spend at least 2 hours in total to include time for taking photos of the Rhino Rock and admiring the coastal views of Tai Tam Bay.

Rhino Rock Hike Difficulty: 3.5/10

The hike is extremely short (especially when compared to other hikes such as Lion Rock or Lantau Peak). The first half of the trail is shaded but you will be at the mercy of the Hong Kong sun after emerging out of the wooded areas.

However, the sea breeze does alleviate some of the insane heat (especially if you are hiking in the summer).

Another thing to note is that the Rhino Rock trail is slippery (But definitely not as slippery as the Ap Lei Chau hike). Some parts of the trail are steep with loose sand, so proper hiking shoes are recommended. You will also need to squeeze in some tight spaces and climb up some sizable boulders!

Elevation Gained On Hike: ~120 meters gained in total (sorry, we forgot to resume our tracking app…). The start of the trail is full of stairs but becomes quite flat once you reach the summit at Che Pau Teng.

Total Distance Of Hike: 1.6 kilometers (1 mile)

Why Hike Rhino Rock? Rhino Rock is one of the coolest rock formations in Hong Kong. The rocky outcrop resembles that of a rhinoceros, and hikers can climb on top of the Rhino Rock for an iconic photo. It is truly one of the most “Instagram-worthy” locations in Hong Kong.

The hike also offers sweeping coastal views, perfect for a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. There are many viewpoints where one can just relax, read a book, or even have a picnic. The short hike allows you to easily get to these natural paradises without breaking too much of a sweat.

How To Get To The Rhino Rock Hiking Trail

Bus To Rhino Rock

Located on the southern tip of Stanley, getting to Rhino Rock is easy, but it is usually quite a long journey for most people. The trailhead for Rhino Rock is conveniently connected to the city by two buses: Bus No. 14 and Bus No. 6A.

Bus No. 14 runs from Grand Promenade in Sai Wan Ho to Stanely Fort and vice versa. Because of this, it is recommended to take the MTR (Mass Transit Rail) to Sai Wan Ho MTR Station. Take Exit A at the Sai Wan Ho MTR Station and you will exit on Tai On Street. The bus stop for bus No. 14 will be in front of you.

Bus No.14 runs from 6:20 AM to 8:40 PM daily. The stop for Rhino Rock trail is Stanley Fort, which is conveniently the last stop of the bus. The journey takes about 30 minutes to get from Sai Wan Ho to Stanely Fort.

Bus No. 14 is usually a better option than Bus No. 6A because 6A only operates from 7 AM to 8:20 AM daily (except for Sundays). Unless you plan on hiking Rhino Rock in the morning, taking bus No. 6A will be nearly impossible.

Bus No. 6A operates from the Exchange Square Bus Terminus in Central to Stanley Fort, perfect for anyone staying near the popular area of Central or Admiralty. The 6A bus journey takes about 50 minutes. Stanley Fort (the trailhead for Rhino Rock hike) is also conveniently the last stop on the 6A.

Our Experience Hiking Rhino Rock In Hong Kong

Arriving At The Rhino Rock Trailhead

Rhino Rock Trailhead

We took the MTR (Mass Transit Rail) from Jordan (where we were staying) to Sai Wan Ho MTR Station. To take the MTR, or any public transportation in Hong Kong, it is recommended to have the refundable contactless Octopus Card, though you can also buy single-ride tickets at the stations.

The Octopus card will make your lives so much easier if it is your first time in Hong Kong.

We arrived at Sai Wan Wo at about 3 PM because we wanted to watch the sunset at Rhino Rock, which was happening at around 5:30 PM.

We exited Sai Wan Ho MTR Station through exit A and promptly found the bus stop. We waited about 10 minutes for bus No. 14 to arrive.

If you have taken the bus to Cape D’Aguilar (our favorite hidden gem in HK) or Dragon’s Back, then you will notice that the bus to Stanley Fort goes the same way, before eventually making a fork down Tai Tam Road instead of Shek O Road.

Once you have arrived at Stanley Fort, you have officially arrived at the start of the Rhino Rock hike. The trail conveniently starts next to the Stanley Barracks so try not to loiter around or take too many photographs!

Hiking Up To Che Pau Teng (177m)

Once we started the hike to Rhino Rock, we were immediately met with our kryptonite – steps, a lot of them. Unfortunately, it is quite common for the hikes in Hong Kong to be riddled with stairs.

Compared to the over a thousand steps in the Twin Peaks hike, these steps were a walk in the park. Nevertheless, they were quite steep and surely took our breath away.

Rhino Rock Hiking Route

Though this first part of the hike made us break a sweat, it is relatively short. After a series of steps, the path became flatter with a gradual incline. We continued along the way and eventually reached Che Pau Teng, the highest point of the Rhino Rock hike at 177 meters above-sea-level.

It only took us about 15 minutes to arrive at the peak.

The summit of Che Pau Teng is marked by a cylindrical marker and the Che Pa Teng Radio Station, so you won’t miss it.

Che Pau Teng Rhino Rock Hike Elevation

When we arrived at Che Pau Teng, it looked like it was a dead-end with nowhere to go. After looking around for a bit, we found a small trail that led into a densely vegetated area. The start of that trail is marked by ribbons, a lot of them!

How To Get To Rhino Rock Hong Kong

Hunting Down The Rhino Rock!

After a small endeavor through the vegetated area, we emerged at the coast. In front of us were long-stretching coastal views and the turquoise water of the Tai Tam Bay. We felt the air change as sea breezes gently caressed our sweaty faces!

Compared to the hot and sweaty of Hong Kong, it is almost like we traveled to another country!

Hiking Rhino Rock Hong Kong

The good news is that there won’t be anymore uphill at this point, but the bad news is that the trail becomes a lot more slippery.

Once you get out of the shaded area, you will get to the most slippery part of the hike. Stick to the left and hold onto the plants and pray you don’t slip!

Rhino Rock Hong Kong Hike

Along the trail, you will find many incredible rock formations, some might even look a little like the Rhino Rock. However, don’t mistake them for the actual Rhino Rock. The actual one will look like a Rhino’s head without having to use a bit of your imagination!

Some of these rock formations can be cool vantage points! Don’t hesitate to check them out if you have extra time. The whole area is full of beautiful geological formations and stunning views.

Rhino Rock Viewpoint

Though we did get lost (took a small detour on our hike), we later found that the entire Rhino Rock hiking trail is indicated by plenty of ribbons. 

Don’t be afraid if you get lost. Because the area is quite small, getting lost would only mean you are a few minutes away from the correct path.

Hike Rhino Rock Hong Kong

There were some parts that were pretty tight and we had to squeeze through between the rocks. The trail required a little bit of scrambling (especially when returning) but it didn’t make this trail difficult by any means. We actually quite enjoyed the different terrains on this trail and found it quite interesting.

In fact, the Rhino Rock trail is a popular hike for families and older folks. For kids, it’s like going to the zoo and a hike at the same time!

Hiking Rhino Rock

Though Rhino Rock can be seen from the trail, it just looks like a big rock. The only thing that gives it away is the huge crowds around it.

After climbing over rocks and slipping a few times, we reached Rhino Rock. It took us about 30 minutes in total from the start of the trail to reach Rhino Rock.

Rhino Rock Stanley Hike

Getting The Iconic Photo At Rhino Rock

If you decided to venture out to the edge of Hong Kong, you probably want the same thing we did – to get an iconic photo on top of the Rhino Rock. We are here to tell you that it is not that simple.

To get on top of the Rhino Rock, you have to climb the massive rock from behind, which if we have to guess, is about 4 meters tall. The only thing that is there to assist you is a rope tied to a small tree that stands no taller than 3 meters.

Not everyone is going to be able to climb up onto Rhino Rock, and we don’t think everyone should.

Not only is it difficult and treacherous to climb up to Rhino Rock, but dismounting is also a concern. Because the rock is situated quite high off the rock, the only way to get off is to jump off the side, which is a 2 to 2.5-meter jump onto a slippery sandy terrain. (I actually scraped my knee on the way down.)

The crowd on the Rhino Rock itself definitely did not help.

Please consider carefully before deciding to get climb up onto Rhino Rock.

Climbing Up Rhinos Rock

If you don’t decide to climb up, the photo of the Rhino Rock from the side is quite majestic. Unlike the Lion Rock where you need a drone to see the lion head itself, the Rhino Rock is quite visible. You can see the little indents and ridges of the rock, resembling the facial features of a rhino.

Rhino Rock HK

After getting some stunning photos of the Rhino Rock, we sat on the rocky outcrop and enjoyed the view. The soothing sea breeze combined with the perfect temperature (we visited in the winter) made it a perfect place to just relax.

We recommend that you plan your visit during sunset because sunset colors brings out the Rhino Rock and the sweeping coast! The trail back is easily navigable so you have nothing to worry about hiking in the dark. 

Rhino Rock Hiking Trail

Best Time To Hike Rhino Rock In Hong Kong

Rhino Rock Stanley Hong Kong Sunset

Generally speaking, the best time to do any hiking in Hong Kong is in the winter (December to March). The weather is the most moderate and the sun isn’t strong enough to melt your skin off.

If you are visiting Hong Kong in the summer, you might want to consider some indoor activities in Hong Kong because it will be HOT! Otherwise, plan your hike for the early morning or late afternoon to help with the heat. Don’t forget to bring a considerable amount of water if you are hiking in the summer.

Besides the weather, you must also consider the number of hikers on the trail. When we visited on the weekends, there were simply too many hikers. Everyone had to queue up for a photo with the Rhino Rock. It was pretty insane. 

Therefore, the ideal time to hike Rhino Rock would be in the winter on a weekday!

Additional Information On Rhino Rock Hike In Hong Kong

Best Time To Hike Rhino Rock
  • Rhino Rock is located adjacent to the Stanley Prison and the Stanley Barracks, so flying a drone could get you in big trouble!
  • We don’t recommend hiking Rhino Rock at night for the sake of seeing Rhino Rock. However, if you are into night photography, we heard that the area near Rhino Rock has some of the least light pollutions in Hong Kong.

Want something to do at night? Check out our list of the best things to do in Hong Kong at night!

  • Combine a visit to Rhino Rock with a visit to Stanley for a full day trip in Hong Kong. Stanley is a gorgeous seaside village with very laid-back vibes and delicious food!

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Rhino Rock Hong Kong Hike Pinterest

This is the end of our guide to hiking Rhino Rock in HK. We hope you get to enjoy this iconic geological formation the way we did!

Any questions? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Rhino Rock Hong Kong Hike Pinterest
Guide To Hong Kong’s Cape D’Aguilar: Hike & Things To Do

Guide To Hong Kong’s Cape D’Aguilar: Hike & Things To Do

Planning a visit to Cape D’Aguilar? We are here to help.

As one of the most trendy places to visit in Hong Kong, Cape D’Aguilar is becoming a must on any Hong Kong itinerary. Here in our guide, we will teach you how to get to Cape D’Aguilar, what to do there, and how to hike Cape D’Aguilar!


What Is Cape D’Aguilar In Hong Kong?

Cape D’Aguilar is one of our favorite hidden gems in Hong Kong. Situated on the southeastern tip of Hong Kong Island, Cape D’Aguilar is the home of Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve, the only Marine Reserve in Hong Kong.

Stretching a total of 20 hectares between Kau Pei Chau and the rocky coastline, the Marine Reserve is a highly-protected area. Though the glistening water and crashing waves might be appealing, swimming is completely prohibited in this area. Fishing, diving, and collection of any organisms are also prohibited.

Kau Pei Chau Cape D Aguilar

Because of the lack of light pollution, stargazing and astrophotography here have become popular night activities in Hong Kong.

Though you cannot swim, Cape D’Aguilar offers sweeping coastal views, something that is rare in the bustling city of Hong Kong. Dramatic cliffs and powerful waves dot the beautiful coastline, and for a second you have to remind yourself you are not in Hawaii.

Cape D Aguilar Scenery

Besides breathtaking views, visitors can embark on an easy Cape D’Aguilar hike (more like a walk) and check out the two surreal caves caused by natural erosion.

A day trip to Cape D’Aguilar is perfect for anyone looking to get out for some fresh air and amazing views but doesn’t want to do something strenuous like a Lion Rock or Ap Lei Chau hike.

Cape D Aguilar Coastal Views

How To Get To Cape D’Aguilar

Because Cape D’Aguilar is located on the southeastern tip of HK Island, getting there is no easy task. It is almost as difficult as getting to Sai Kung or Lantau Island.

To get to Cape D’Aguilar, it is best to take the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) to Shau Kei Wan MTR Station (Don’t forget your Octopus Card). Take exit A3 at the Shau Kei Wan MTR Station for Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus.

Shau Kei Wan MTR Station To Cape D'Aguilar

Once you arrive at the surface, follow the signs for bus No. 9. If you are visiting Cape D’Aguilar on the weekend, the bus stop won’t be difficult to locate as there will be a huge queue. That is because bus No. 9 is also the same bus to take to arrive at the trailhead of the Dragon’s Back hike.

Bus To Cape D'Aguilar

When you get on your bus, make sure it says Cape D’Aguilar and Shek O, especially on the weekdays. Because of its lack of popularity, some buses might go directly to Shek O and skip Cape D’Aguilar.

Get off when you reach the Cape D’Aguilar bus stop. The ride takes about 25 minutes and Cape D’Aguilar is the fourteenth stop.

No.9 Bus From Shau Kei Wan To Cape D'Aguilar

Cape D’Aguilar Hike Summary

Total Distance of Hike: ~8 Kilometers (Out-and-back)

Total Elevation Gained: ~250 Meters (Both up and down)

Total Duration Of Hike: 3 Hours 15 Minutes (Only 2.5 hours of moving time, rest of the time was for photos and enjoying the views)

Cape D’Aguilar Hike Difficulty: 4/10 (Not steep, well-paved, and shaded for most parts)

To call the Cape D’Aguilar hike a hike is a little belittling to the other hikes in Hong Kong because it is more like a leisure walk.

The start of the hike is about 120 meters high in elevation and you descend all the way down to the sea level. To return, you take the route back, so you technically only hike up an altitude of about 120 meters.

Cape D'Aguilar Hiking- rail

The one redeeming factor is that this entire route is about 8 kilometers long (out-and-back). It does take about 2.5 hours to complete the entire Cape D’Aguilar hiking trail. If you want to stop to admire the views of marine features, you could easily spend 3.5 to 4 hours here. 

Cape D’Aguilar Hiking Trail

How to Get To Cape D'Aguilar

The hiking route starts off at the Cape D’Aguilar bus stop, where the bus drops you off. You will find Cape D’Aguilar Road on the right. Follow that down as it leads you through some windy turns and amazing views of Tai Tam Bay.

Cape D'Aguilar Road

After about 20 minutes of downhill walking, you will arrive at Hok Tsui Tsuen, or Hok Tsui Village in Cantonese. If you venture a bit into the village (the village is tiny), you will find a small store selling light refreshments. If you are lucky, it might even have tau foo fah (soybean pudding), a local favorite dessert.

Don’t worry if you decide not to make a slight detour, there is also a small “restaurant” (I am not really sure what to call it) shortly after the village.

It has proper outdoor seating and more options when it comes to food and drinks. However, we are unsure if this is open on the weekdays, as the owners are deterred by the fewer visitors or might need to go to work.

Cape D'Aguilar Hiking Route

About 40 minutes into the hike, you will reach the PCCW Radio Transmitting station and a “No Trespassing” Sign. Simply follow the dirt path on the left and continue along the route.

Hiking Cape D'Aguilar Hong Kong
Hike Cape D'Aguilar Hong Kong

After you have turned the corner at the end of the green fence, beautiful coastal views will open up. To your left is the (in)famous Hok Tsui Garbage Bay and it is sadly filled with garbage (though improving day by day due to volunteering efforts).

If you wish to check it out, look for a small dirt path on the left that descends onto the bay.

Route To Cape D'Aguilar

Continue onward and you will eventually reach a fork. The path on the left leads to the Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse and the path on the right leads to the Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve. We recommend you to check out the lighthouse before going to the marine reserve because the lighthouse is a quick visit.

Cape D'Aguilar How To Go

After you have checked out the lighthouse, make your way towards the Cape D’ Aguilar Marine Reserve. Shortly, you will reach a long downward slope with spectacular views of Hok Tsui Wan and Kau Pei Chau to your right. This is the most scenic spot of the entire hike.

Cape D'Aguilar Marine Reserve

Continue all the way down the slope and you will arrive at a fork again, one continuing forward and one towards the right. The path to the right takes you to the beach and its various attractions such as the Crab Cave and dramatic lookout points.

The path continuing forward takes you to a parking lot, but on the left of that parking lot is a small path that leads to the Thunder Cave.

Entrance Of Thunder Cave Cape D Aguilar

Stroll along the beach, check out the stunning geological features, take some photos and fully enjoy this beautiful nature’s creation before heading back the same way you came from! 

Cape D Aguilar Rock Formation

Things To Do In Cape D’Aguilar Hong Kong

1. Find Tranquility At Garbage Bay

Garbage Bay Cape D'Aguilar

Though we haven’t actually been on the beach of Garbage Bay itself, we have actually heard good things about it. Volunteering efforts have removed a lot of the trash that naturally flows up ashore here (due to its location). The issue is getting better day by day.

From what we could see from above, the Garbage Bay looked like it was fairly clean on the day of our visit. Though we assume that it could fluctuate quite a bit depending on that last time it was clean and how much rubbish it has accumulated.

However, if you are lucky, you will have the entire beach completely to yourself. Listen to the crashing waves as you admire the beautiful views on your own private beach!

Because of its name, many visitors will simply skip this attraction. There were hundreds of visitors on the day we visited and not a single person went down to the bay. 

2. Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse (Hok Tsui Beacon)

Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse

Put into service in 1875, Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Hong Kong. It was in use until 1893, when the commissioning of Waglan Island Lighthouse made it redundant. It wasn’t until 1975 that the Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse was re-lit. Nowadays, it is a declared monument of Hong Kong.

Standing 9.7 meters tall, the Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse is perched over a hill, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding areas. Visitors can admire its original structure, which was built using granite. The foundation and the arch doorway are built simply using stone blocks. (That is properly why it was under renovation when we visited.)

When it isn’t under renovation (which seems to be quite often with this Hong Kong landmark), Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse is an unmissable attraction. Though you cannot climb to the top, its rustic construction is worth the small detour to get there!

3. Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve

Things To Do In Cape D'Aguilar

As mentioned above, Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve is the only Marine Reserve in Hong Kong. Managed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) in conjunction with the Swire Institute of Marine Science (a research faculty from HKU), they protect the rocky shores and the subtidal habitats in the area.

That means no swimming, diving, fishing, or collecting any organism. Violators will be fined heavily. That doesn’t mean you can’t walk along the rocky shores and admire the stunning geological formations and the tumultuous waves.

Cape D Aguilar Marine Reserve Protection

With the infinite sea as the backdrop, Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve is one of the most beautiful photo spots in Hong Kong. Visitors can spend some considerable time here taking photos, watching the violent waves and listening to the soothing sounds of the sea. 

4. Bones Of Miss Willy

Bones Of Miss Willy Cape D Aguilar

Bones of Miss Willy is one of the top attractions in Cape D’Aguilar, though I honestly don’t see the appeal of it. Located adjacent to the Swire Institute of Marine Science, Bones of Miss Willy is inside the Cape D’Agilar Marine Reserve.

Bones of Miss Willy is actually a skeleton of a whale, which I assume was called Miss Willy. Because there is really a lot of information on this random skeleton, we don’t really know much. Who is Miss Willy? What is Miss Willy? How is Miss Willy? (Probably not too good.)

Unsheltered from the natural elements, the Bones of Miss Willy have definitely seen better times. Many outer parts of the skeleton seem to be coming off, revealing what is inside. From what we could see, we don’t think the skeleton is that of an actual whale (but we could be wrong).

5. Check Out Thunder Cave

Thunder Cave Cape D'Aguilar

Thunder Cave is one of the coolest geological phenomena at Cape D’Aguilar. This narrow sea cave is a result of a small crack in between the rocks. Because of its tiny opening, the sound of the violent waves reverberates, as if thunder had just struck nearby.

Be careful when visiting the Thunder cave. Don’t get too close to the waves because the surface is covered with slippery pebbles. It is unpredictable how far up the waves can come up.

6. Take A Photo At The Crab Cave

Crab Cave Cape D'Aguilar

Visiting the Crab Cave is one of the best things to do in Cape D’Aguilar. Located next to the Swire Institute of Marine Science, it is easy to locate the Crab Cave. If you are visiting on the weekend, the big crowd and long queues for a photo opportunity will give it away.

Crab Cave earned its iconic name from the arch-like rock formation that resembles a crab. The mouth of the crab is the perfect place for a photo, as the wild waves behind you create a dramatic landscape. Just be careful to not go too far in, the crab might not swallow you up, but the waves definitely will!

Visitors are also welcome to climb up to the top of the Crab Cave for a better view of the coastline. Just be careful as the rocks are razor-sharp!

7. Cape D’Aguilar Battery

Though we did not visit the Cape D’Aguilar Battery, we did see it on the way to the Marine Reserve. Because it is not located on the main trail, visitors will have to take a 1-hour detour (down-and-up) when they get to the Hok Tsui Village. 

The Cape D’Aguilar Battery was destroyed in World War II and only ruins remain. The path is also somewhat overgrown but it is worth checking out if you have extra time.

Additional Tips On Cape D’Aguilar In Hong Kong

Boars At Cape D'Aguilar
  • Don’t fly your drone here! We tried flying our drone and it was just way too windy. The wind was taking our drone away and we couldn’t control it at all. We were unbelievably close to losing our drone.
  • You might encounter a pack of village dogs. Don’t be afraid. They are friendly as long as you don’t try to run! You might also encounter some wild boars. There is no need to be afraid of those either.
  • Make sure you don’t miss the last bus back to Shau Kei Wan. If you do, good luck! (You will have to take a taxi/Uber.)
  • The waves are brutal at Cape D’Aguilar and there are many conditions in Hong Kong that can exacerbate this situation. If there is a typhoon warning, we highly advise against visiting Cape D’Aguilar. You might want to consider an indoor activity in Hong Kong instead.

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Hong Kong Cape D'Aguilar Pinterest

This is the end of our guide on exploring Cape D’Aguilar. We hope you have a good time visiting this beautiful hidden gem in the southeastern corner of Hong Kong. Don’t hesitate to share your discovery with your friends or family!

Any questions? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Hong Kong Cape D'Aguilar Pinterest