Mun Chau (Grass Island)
of Mirs Bay is yet another island known as Tap Mun Chau or Grass
Island. The island is home to an affluent community of fishermen,
who crowd the harbor with their boats. The harbor acts as a pivotal
gathering point for fishermen all over this region. There is also
a Tin Hau Temple atop the hills of the island. This 100-year-old
temple has special importance because it is the last one before
fishermen reach the open sea. Usually, fishermen would make a stop
at this temple to pray and make offerings for a safe return from
their voyages. A strange thing about this particular temple is that
when the east winds roar, their sounds can be heard in a crevice
under the altar. This eerie howling is interpreted by fishermen
as a warning of storms to come. Tap Mun can be reached by kaido
(small boats) at Wong Shek pier in the New Territories.
Crooked Island, Kat O Chau is huge and located to the northwest
of Mirs Bay. Also a gathering place for fishermen, this quiet isolated
island contains small villages scattered everywhere. Islanders pass
time by catching, drying, selling, and eating fish. Specialty catches
around this area are fresh abalone, squid, and mussels.
most beautiful features are the ancient brick houses, traditional
temples, steep cliffs, and small grottoes where pirates used to
hide their hidden treasures several hundred years ago. Like many
places in Hong Kong, there is also a Tin Hau Temple that is adorned
with perfectly preserved blue-and-green glazed ceramic friezes.
Besides these, other attractions include the Tung Bay Beach, Marriage
Tree, Quanyin Cave, and Flying Rat Rock.
Kat O Chau
is in close proximity with China and thus visitor entry is restricted.
To come in, you must go through a travel agent or be sponsored by
a resident of the island. Organized tours are available, which starts
from Sha Tau Kok or Ma Liu Shui piers in Kowloon, on weekends and
public holidays. For inquiries, call 2679 9475.
Island and Horse Bay
Ap Chau (Duck
Island) is a cluster of small islands situated between Starling
Inlet and Crooked Harbour off the northeastern New Territories.
All these islands inherited their names because of their unique
shapes: Tai Ap Chau (Big Duck Island), Sai Ap Chau (Small Duck Island),
and Ap Tan (Duck Egg). Not all of these islands are inhabited, only
the biggest. The populations of the islands, mostly fishermen, are
believers of Christianity. All the islanders are part of the True
Jesus Church congregation, a Protestant Sect whose headquarters
is in Taiwan. Ap Chau is also a restricted area that can only be
accessible through a local tour group. However, there are no restaurants
on the island; it is better to prepare a food basket before venturing
off to the island.
Ma Wan (Horse
Bay), also called Kup Shui Mun Island, is famous for the rapids
and reefs at the Rapid Water Gate and the Unicorn Rock, which is
a rock formation in the shape of a unicorn. A Tin Hau Temple is
also built on this island. Water-sports enthusiasts should visit
Ma Wan to enjoy the clean beaches that are superb for windsurfing
and canoeing. The kaido services (small boats that act as water
taxis) are available from Sham Tseng pier in Kowloon.
Tsui Chau (Sharp Island)
Off Sai Kung
in eastern New Territories is Sharp Island (Kiu Tsui Chau), which
is worth a visit. A perfect beach, Hap Mun Bay, with clear water
and fine sands occupy the southern side of the island. Several popular
camping and barbecue spots are open to visitors. Kaido services
are available from Sai Kung pier.
Chau Kwan To (Fruit Islands)
be a diver's paradise, this island is also called the Fruit Islands
or Ninepin Group, and is located to the east of Hong Kong. There
is a small Tin Hau Temple and some fabulous caves on Nam Kwo Chau
(South Fruit Island).
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