Hong Kong Hikes: Po Toi Island (蒲台島)

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Often referred to as the “South Pole of Hong Kong,” Po Toi Island is, surprise surprise, the southernmost island within Hong Kong boundaries. This is the main island of the Po Toi Islands group, which is made up of ten small islands.

Why should you come here? Its remote location (even though it’s only three kilometres from Hong Kong island) means that there are great unobstructed views. There are also some interesting rock formations and carvings along the way, and the adventurous can go explore on the granite paths.

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Po Toi’s walkable area isn’t that large, so it’s possible to have a quick walk and lunch within three hours before catching the ferry back. But be warned: the ferry service isn’t that regular, so if you miss the boat, you’ll possibly have to wait two days until the next ferry comes in.

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We did an anti-clockwise walk around the island (heading right just after we got off the ferry), with a total distance of approximately 6km. The trail took us to see rock carvings, Palm Rock, Nam Kok Tsui, Monk Rock, Tortoise Rock, a Chinese Pavilion, and various other rock formations along the way.

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Steps down to see the rock carvings, which you then have to climb back up to continue along the trail

Although there is historical significance, whether or not the small detour off the path to see the rock carvings is up to you

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Palm Rock

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Tiny excursion at Nam Kok Tsui, before heading up to the lighthouse

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Monk Rock (I think…)

The trails on the island aren’t difficult, with most of it being fairly flat and paved. There are a few steps along the way, which are manageable, and a 910-step climb up to the pavilion. The sign at the bottom of the steps say to expect the trek up to take around 45 minutes, but we managed to get to the top in about 20 minutes—I credit the cool temperatures during our visit.

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The view looking up the steps to the pavilion, and looking back down from the top

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Descent from the pavilion and heading back towards the pier

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You know you’re getting close once you reach tree cover

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Mostly abandoned stalls closer to the beach

When you finish the hike and get back to the pier, there are a few open-air seafood restaurants along the beach where you can relax with cool drinks and fresh seafood (cash only), and wait for the ferry to arrive.

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Seafood restaurants along the beach


How to get there:
From Aberdeen:
Take the small ferry at Aberdeen Pier, located approximately 150m east of the Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market.
• The ferry service from Aberdeen only operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, and takes around an hour.

From Stanley:
• Take a ferry from Blake Pier near Stanley Plaza.
• The ferry service from Stanley only operates on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, and takes around 30 minutes.

Note: Bring cash to pay for the ferry service on board (HK$50 same day return for non-Po Toi residents.)

The ferry service schedule can be found here.

The ferry pier in Aberdeen

The ferry pier in Aberdeen

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