Rory Mackay heads to Tung Lung Chau.
Rugged, windswept and diverse, Tung Lung Chau has a little bit of something for everyone. From familyfriendly outings and historical reccies, to rock climbing and zip lining sessions, this craggy outcrop has all the tricks to keep you more than entertained for the day. Easily accessible, it makes for a convenient full or half-day trip away from the city.
To reach the island, take the ferry from Sam Ka Tsuen Public Pier in Yau Tong (a five-minute walk from Yau Tong MTR Station). Several sailings make their way to Tung Lung Chau each day until 4.30pm. Make sure to check out climatic conditions the day before venturing onto the water. If the weather is wild, it may not make for the most pleasurable of experiences, but on a fair day the island and its surroundings are simply stunning. Departing adjacent to the
“This craggy outcrop has all the tricks to keep you more than entertained for the day”
picturesque Lei Yue Mun Village, the ferry embarks across the open waters of eastern Victoria Harbour. There are brilliant views across the Clear Water Bay Peninsula to the north and to Shek O Peninsula to the south.
After half an hour on board, Nam Tong ferry pier soon comes into view. Once ashore, you’re greeted by a selection of route options. For those who fancy either a relaxing day out or want to cut out the faff and be thrust straight into the action, hang a left at Nam Tong, following signs for Tung Lung Fort. A twentyminute stroll will take you to the eastern side of the island. For the more intrepid traveler, a longer walk around the island may suit. There is an 8.5km route circumnavigating Tung Lung Chau that takes around four hours to complete and is best experienced in an anticlockwise direction. This trail is a great way to pack in all the sights of the island, including a climb to its 232-metre pinnacle.
No matter which of the two routes you choose, you will arrive at Tung Lung Chau’s northeastern promontory. Close to the campsite lie the remains of Tung Lung Chau Fort, which was built between 1662 and 1722 by order of Yang Lin, Viceroy of Guangdong and Guangxi.
It used to defend the island from pirates attempting to enter Victoria Harbour from the South China Sea.
Climbers, don’t forget your chalk bag! Regarded as one of the best places in Hong Kong for rock climbing, the eastern escarpments of Tung Lung Chau offer bountiful climbing lines in a spectacular setting. Several operators provide climbing and zip lining sessions here, visit hongkongclimbing.com for more information.
Be sure to catch the final boat leaving the island for a 5pm return to the mainland, unless you fancy an overnight stay. Camping in Hong Kong can be an awesome experience and Tung Lung Chau is a superb destination to experience it at its best. The campsite beside Tung Lung Fort has adequate facilities and a rugged waterfront setting to die for. Weekends and public holidays can be busy here so time it wisely: try not to visit on a public holiday. If you have time to kill before the next ferry departure, make a detour to see Hong Kong’s oldest and largest rock carving. The dragon depiction dates back over 5000 years. Alternatively, relax at one of the island’s several dai pai dongs.
All in all, this is a cracking little spot. Among the list of Hong Kong’s many islands, Tung Lung Chau flies under the radar and punches well above its weight.