The ultimate guide to Sai Kung’s Islands

Sai Kung Islands, Hong Kong
Nicole Slater discovers Sai Kung’s hidden gems, most of them just a short Sampan ride away

With 70 unique islands across Sai Kung, getting off the grid has never been easier. We’ve rounded up some of the territory’s most untouched locations for you to explore.

Tung Lung Chau

Located just off the tip of the Clearwater Bay Peninsula, Tung Lung Chau was once home to Emperor Duanzong of the Southern Song Dynasty. While the island is now uninhabited, it offers some of the best rock climbing spots in Hong Kong, including the Technical Wall and Sea Gully Wall. Catch the weekend Coral Sea Ferry number 8 service from Sam Ka Tsuen to Tung Lung Chau. 

Kau Sai Chau 

As the 6th largest island in Hong Kong, Kau Sai Chau is home to the city’s only public golf course, which consists of three 18-hole courses and a clubhouse overlooking a picturesque  landscape. Besides being a great place to practice your swing, the southern tip of the island is home to a small fishing hamlet and a prehistoric rock carving sits on the north-western coast.Hop on the ferry, which runs every 20 minutes from Sai Kung Public Pier for $75, round trip.

Tap Mun 

Also referred to as Grass Island, Tap Mun offers a slice of the English countryside in the middle of Hong Kong, with a large open meadow overlooking the South China Sea. This secluded location is the perfect getaway from city life, offering just a few seafood restaurants and temples around the pier. Hop on a ferry from Ma Liu Shui Ferry Pier (near the University MTR station) or Wong Shek Pier, to get to this secluded spot. 

Shelter island

It may be small (0.55 km, to be exact), but this little land has quite a controversial background. First appearing on the map in 1866, Shelter Island became part of the Port Shelter Firing Range for the British military in 1950, before becoming a hiding den for drug lords in 1970. After 40 years of peace, the island was back in the headlines in 2011 when a mortar shell was discovered along the beach. While Shelter Island hasn’t seen much action in recent years, it is a popular diving site with a unique sea cave, just watch out for shells!

Read more: Explore Sai Kung’s hidden tulip field

Sharp Island

Located next to Sai Kung town, this picturesque island is home to two white sandy beaches and some of the cleanest water in Hong Kong, making it the perfect place to take a dip. As part of the Geopark, the island boasts volcanic rock formations that have been referred to as “pineapple bun rocks’ ‘ due to their similar appearance to the iconic Hong Kong snack. Sampans and Kaitos are available from Sai Kung Public Ferry Pier and leave every 30 minutes until 5.30 pm. The 15-minute ride costs around $30 return (subject to demand).

Bluff island 

Dating back to the Jurassic Period, Bluff Island is made up of dramatic rock formations molded from underground magma 146 million years ago, these unique rocks have people comparing its resemblance to a turtle from above. The island is also home to one of Hong Kong’s biggest sea caves, Sha Tong Hau Cave, making it a popular location for divers to explore. Hire a private boat or kayak to the island from Sha Kiu Tau. 

High Island

Now connected to the Sai Kung Country Park via a man-made road, this 8.511 km High Island was once a thriving fishing village. The island is now famous for its world-class hexagonal rock columns which stand up to 30 metres tall and date back 140 million years. Enjoy all this island has to offer by walking the High Island Geo Trail from East Dam to Biu Tsim Kok. 

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