Some of the most spectacular Hong Kong coastal scenery, with huge volcanic rock structures, caves, and frequently nice water where to swim.
- Beauty/fun: 9.5/10 If you like geology and coasteering, this route is a must. Similar to other areas in the geopark (Basalt island…) but with way higher columns and accessible without boat or kayaks.
- Difficulty (check this link if new here, this is not your standard HK hiking web): 7.5/10 The lower routing with quite some swimming is not complicated, but with bigger waves it can get tricky. In some areas, you might need to scramble quite high unless you want to swim long sections. Check East swell, similar to Tai Long Wan’s, if below 0.5m you will be able to swim all the tricky areas easily (6/10). Several early easy exits possible in case of an emergency.
And the Garmin track (a really slow day with my phone casing broken, taking it in and out of the waterproof bag continuously).
Transportation. (Mini)bus to Saikung or Pak Tam Chung. Taxi to the East dam of the High Island reservoir, the start of section 2 of the Maclehose trail. Go to the lower part,
at the very end go down and
find a dirt path on the hill. In little time you will find a creek (might be dry) going down to the sea. Coasteering time!
First iconic point is not much further: Po Pin Chau.
The picture of the tiny island from the opposite hill is what most people relate East Dam with. The rock pillars are huge. To give you some perspective a drone 360 photo from above.
In our case, we swam to its NW tip and coaster almost all its perimeter. Then swam back to the peninsula into the twin caves you can see in front.
Swim in through one, come out the other and continue walking with the massive pillars above.
Another 360 picture of the same point. Think that those lines go up 30+ meters high.
Most of our way required jumping in and out of the water continuously.
Here I decided to climb/scramble high to see the views from above. Doable, but be careful.
Not the highest cliff, but it can provide some perspective. She tiny compared
with the beautiful columns above (click on the picture for high resolution).
Climbing upper on the hexagonal rocks.
Recently there are boats going to most picturesque points. So they can get a bit crowded on good weather days.
But as soon as we left those spots behind, we got alone again.
There are several pools with trapped sea water. Some surprisingly deep. Some with super clean water and tons of life = seafood.
The thinnest sand beach with crystalline water. A pity that just behind me taking the pic there was quite some trash, plastics mainly…
Just little after where the ship in the pic was, we found a quite deep cave, nice to explore swimming with the torch on. But it was getting late and we went soon to Mok Min Cave.
And up the hill just above, with nice views
and easy path towards Pak Lap.
You have a beach and a restaurant here. You might want to call a taxi before departing up towards the road. The return might be the most troublesome part of all the outing. On weekends, above all Sundays, taxis are difficult to get here. So you better call in advance and arrive a couple of hours before sunset, peak time when everyone is trying to escape back to civilization. The other option is walking to Pak Tam Chung (really long) or East Dam back again where you might be able to share a cab with others.
A video with the full coasteering.
And a second video, with way more people joining and a shorter route in Oct18.
This time the waves increased throughout the route, getting close to the 0.5m mark finally. Bit tricky for those not so comfortable swimming long, but having the boat helped.