Your guide to exploring Tung Ping Chau
Among the list of Hong Kong’s many outlying places, the castaway island of Tung Ping Chau is worth the trip at least once. The adventure to and from island, which is part of the Unesco Global Geopark, is as much an attraction as the being there is. From easy, beginner-friendly trails and pristine white sandy beaches to rock formation adventures and historical rekeys, Tung Ping Chau has something for everyone. No matter how you wish to play things, this will be a full-day outing at the very least.
Read more: How to hike Cheung Chau off the beaten path
How to get there
There are only two ways to reach Tung Ping Chau, either by private chartered boat or by taking the public ferry, which runs on weekends and public holidays only, from Ma Liu Shui in Sha Tin. The public ferry departs from Ma Liu Shui at 9am and 3:30pm on Saturdays and only runs at 9am on Sundays. A return ticket will set you back for $90.
The ferry journey from Ma Liu Shui takes one and a half hours to complete, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the views of Tolo Harbour. Expect a landscape of tranquil channels lined with red rocks (unique to this part of Hong Kong) before emerging upon the open waters of Mirs Bay.
Arriving at Tung Ping Chau
Once ashore, you’ll notice that mainland China is a mere stone’s throw away. Once upon a time an outpost for smugglers, during the Cultural Revolution, many mainland folk swam across the channel in hope of entering Hong Kong. Back then the island was home to a thriving community of around 1,500 people, who made a living as fishermen and traders. Sadly however, as with many parts of the rural New Territories, such populations have dwindled to the point of near extinction.
Located in the heart of the Tung Ping Chau close to the pier lies the only major settlement of note on the isle and definitely deserves a pit spot upon arrival. After a refreshing drink and bite to eat, one could easily spend the best part of a couple of hours strolling the adjacent northeastern beaches, interspersed by crumbling Hakka houses and shade yielding Banyans.
Ping Chau Country Trail
The unique geology of Tung Ping Chau is an enduring attraction to spend your time exploring. The best way to discover the island is by circumnavigating the Ping Chau Country Trail, which at 5km typically takes around two hours to walk in one go without any long breaks. However, stopping along the way to explore all the incredible sedimentary rock formations on show, or delving into the interior of Tung Ping Chau is what this Island is all about. Possessing the youngest rocks in Hong Kong, there are numerous laminated coastal shelfs and sea cliffs to witness.
How to get back
Be sure to catch the final boat leaving the island to Sha Tin at 5pm – unless taking your own boat back or camping overnight is more your thing. Camping in Hong Kong can be an awesome experience and Tung Ping Chau is a superb illustration of this. Beware that there is a lot of ambient light coming from China at night, so try to orientate your camp towards Mirs Bay and get more breeze in the process.