Po Toi Island
 – Radius from Central 4.5 miles/7.25km
Hong Kong SAR has over two hundred islands within its territory. The main Hong Kong Island, once described as a “barren rock”, is everything but barren now. Most of the other islands remain uninhabited, and are not easily accessible. But with a few, you can make an enjoyable day trip quite conveniently.

One of these islands is Po Toi, a 30-minute ferry ride away from Stanley. It is the most southerly point of Hong Kong. You will be reminded of this fact because here the signal of your mobile phone operator maybe lost to one from the mainland.
The 4 sq. km. island has few inhabitants now. There are a couple of stalls selling drinks and local fare, a seafood restaurant at the beach, and, most importantly for fishing folks, one Goddess of the Sea Temple.

Goddess of the Sea
Goddess of The Sea Tin Hau was born in 960 A.D. during the Sung Dynasty. The imperial court deified her because of her power in protecting seafarers. Through the course of history, she was also credited with many life saving deeds. She is called Matsu in Taiwan and in Macau.

It is only a leisurely stroll along the bay to the temple. Bring along some drinks and maybe stretch out on the rocks in front of the temple. For hikers, the Po Toi Print On Demand Guide  has a map, transport information and descriptions of various trails. Of these trails, one is rugged and the other can be strenuous (over thousand steps) but all are quite pleasant because of the open view. There are pre-historical rock carvings and also formations bearing names that challenge one's imagination. The island is rich in flora and fauna and a stopping point in spring and summer for over 200 species of migratory birds*.

* According to the bird migration study of Geoff Welch in 2006

The Hong Kong Maritime Museum
  is at the G/F of Murray House near the pier. If time permits, consider to start or end a trip to Po Toi Island with a visit to the museum. They are open from 10:00 to 18:00 from Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays. Closed on Mondays and the first two days of the Lunar New year.

Copyright © 2010 by Jude Lam - Hong Kong Dollarsaver

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1 comment:

Pete said...

Good suggestion for a day trip!

Which island is next? I could recommend Tung Lung and Tung Ping Chau, both accessible by ferry but a little more remote than the popular 'commuter' islands like Cheung Chau or Lantau.