Po Toi

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.

Kaito in Aberdeen harbour

Kaito in Aberdeen harbour

(Click on any of the images to open a bigger version in a new window/tab.)

On the way to Po Toi there is plenty to see:

Fishing Boats Jumbo's grubby rear

Fishing Boats, and Jumbo

A sea cave below Ocean Park A stream running down to the sea Stanley Earth Station

A sea cave below Ocean Park, a stream running down to the sea and Stanley earth station

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”).

Tai Wan Map of Po Toi at the pier

Tai Wan, and the Po Toi map at the pier

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).

Nam Kok Tsui

Nam Kok Tsui

My companion and I found the scenery here quite beautiful.

Vertical slabs of rock Sea cliffs (and hot hiker) Resting by the pool

Vertical slabs of rock, sea cliffs, and hikers

Stanley in the far distance

Stanley in the far distance

From the headland we proceeded up over the “warm up” hill to the small lighthouse and past Monk Rock.

The lighthouse Monk Rock

The lighthouse, and 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.

Tai Wan from above

Tai Wan from above

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!

An exposed wooden coffin

An exposed wooden coffin

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.

Derelict but still shiny

Derelict but still shiny

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.

Tin Hau temple Ming Kee Restaurant Private & public transport

Tin Hau temple, Ming Kee Restaurant, and private & public transport

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.

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3 Responses to Po Toi

  1. hkorbust says:

    Try Le Carre’s “Honourable Schoolboy” – it has a memorable last scene on Po Toi’s beach… if you haven’t read it already, that is.

    Nice island!

  2. mina says:

    Wow! what a great views out there! Clear blue sky. I don’t remember when was the last time I saw Hong Kong in this view. Great! Nice one!

  3. smog says:

    For those of you coming here by searching “how to get to Po Toi” I strongly recommend Intimate Charters – simply the best way to have the perfect day out.

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