I had a great trip yesterday to the island of Po Toi, which for some reason had never really occurred to me as a place to go in my 10 years here. Which is a shame because it’s a beautiful place and somewhere to which I’ll definitely be going back. Apparently it’s very busy at weekends, and during the week there is only one kaito each way on Tuesdays and Thursdays (leaving Aberdeen at 10am and Po Toi at 2pm), but the main restaurant was open, and while we were there they had two other parties of gweilos as well – one from a yacht and one from a junk.
The journey by kaito is part of the attraction. These little ferries are part of the wonderful thing that is Hong Kong’s public transport system.
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On the way to Po Toi there is plenty to see:
After about 50 minutes the kaito pulls into the little bay, Tai Wan, where all the remaining inhabitants of Po Toi live, and we’re off to explore the island (or at least the relatively small part of it that is accessible without going seriously “off trail”).
The storm that passed through last Monday night had put quite a lot of debris in the form of bits of trees and so on on the paths, but we quickly found our way out to the main track towards the rocky headland at Nam Kok Tsui (via one of Hong Kong’s declared monumental rock carvings, which we found rather underwhelming).
My companion and I found the scenery here quite beautiful.
From the headland we proceeded up over the “warm up” hill to the small lighthouse and past Monk Rock.
The second hill is 1000 steps up to a pavilion at 188m (600′). There aren’t any photos because it was 34 degrees and I was too knackered! Then it was downhill all the way back into the village. We considered the “Rugged Trail” which swings around to the north, but decided that with limited time and no more ferries for two days we would leave that for another time. Instead we took the path straight down towards the village.
Again this was strewn with natural debris from the recent storm, but unusually for Hong Kong, the path has been allowed to go simply across the rock in places without some bureaucrat feeling the need to add concrete! On the way down we came across a graveyard (in fact we saw a number around the island) which was unusual in that one of the graves appeared to have been very recently dug open, and there was the top of a wooden coffin lying exposed. I managed to persuade my companion, who has something of a fascination with death, not to climb into the hole for a closer look!
The population of Po Toi is a fraction of what it was years ago, so there are quite a few derelict buildings around. Amongst them one with a very bright eagle on the door.
We walked through the village to the far end to have a look at the Tin Hau temple, which is very well maintained, and then back to Ming Kee Seafood Restaurant, which is the only one open mid-week. There was another table of foreigners who had arrived by yacht just finishing lunch, and a third group arrived from a junk shortly after us.
Unfortunately, we had a ferry to catch so only had time for a couple of Tsing Taos, but the food looked excellent, so we’re definitely trying to make plans to get back there for that. All in all this was an excellent short day out, and I thoroughly recommend Po Toi, particularly if you have access to your own transport and can go midweek.