Hiking Hong Kong’s scenic South Pole
An easy weekend nature-stroll: sea, mountains, and lava rock formations
Catching the earliest 10am ferry ride from Stanley is totally doable without needing extra effort to get up.
I took the minibus from Causeway Bay and arrived Stanley Plaza at around 9am. There wasn’t much traffic and it took less than thirty minutes before I was already at Stanley Plaza. We had totally enough time to get a brekkie and then a cuppa before hopping onto the ferry at Blake’s Pier, just by the edge of Murray House.
Short Ferry to Po Toi Island from Stanley is just a short 30 mins: Nice view, clear skies. What else could one ask for?
The ferry back to Stanley is at 3pm (or 2pm if heading back to Aberdeen), which gives three to five hours on the Island depending on which return ferry you take.
Route is easy enough for kids aged 6 and up and I did spot a family that brought a stroller (not sure how they fared given stairs). The attraction of Po Toi is all the lava rock formations — which at the Po Toi pier offers a bulletin that gives an overview of the various “monk-like” “hands-like” etc rock formations to look out for.
Bring sunblock, lots of water, and maybe a packed lunch. We enjoyed not one, but two bowls each of the cool green bean dessert with local seaweed after a fulfilling hike of around 2.5 hours around the whole island.
Others grabbed lunch at the only seafood restaurant, which looked pretty decent, before taking the ferry back to the city. Note they charged a minimum of hk$190 per head. It’s located near the pier, across a small walkway. The diner-type instant noodles with seaweed served in the small shops we hear were only so-so — so steer clear.
So if you’ve yet to set foot on Hong Kong’s ‘southpole,’ hop onto a ferry one of these weekends at Stanley’s Blake’s Pier and spend a half day out on Po Toi Island and go rock formation hunting!
p.s. Looking out to the south on Po Toi, in the distance, we saw another island. One of us checked on the map and it turns out that the island belongs to China! Who would have thought that mainland China had more land beyond the southern-most end of Hong Kong! I wonder how they decided that Po Toi Island be part of Hong Kong, and the other island not.
Ferry: HK$50 roundtrip; staff on the ferry will come around to sell it once you’re onboard.
Timetable (ferry runs are not daily): http://www.td.gov.hk/en/transport_in_hong_kong/public_transport/ferries/service_details/index.html#k10
What to bring:
Water/energy drink, sunscreen, sunhat, snack, camera of course, and some money for a dessert or a seafood lunch.
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