Eco- and Geotour of Plover Cove Country Park.
This tour is suitable for children of age 6 and up.
This is a combination of walking and boat tour: a walk from Bride's Pool to Sam A
Tsuen, from there a boat back to Wu Kai Sha pier.
Start: 10:00 at Tai Po Market MTR.
Finish: about 16:45 at Ma On Shan MTR.
Fee: HKD 320/HKD280 (children under 12).
The ecology and geology of Plover Cove Country Park is really rich. It is mostly
untouched, the only development in the area is in the form of small
villages, most of which have been abandoned for decades. The hilly, wet terrain is
great for trees to grow, and the lack of grave sites means the area is not suffering
from hillfires much.
This tour starts with a visit to the wonderful waterfalls at Bride's Pool and at
the Mirror Pool. Getting to these waterfalls is a bit of a challenge: the route
passes through a riverbed, requiring a little scrambling up big rocks. No need to
get wet, though, unless you want to of course. To get from the bottom of the Mirror
Pool Falls to the Mirror Pool above, we'll take a short but very steep trail.
Next we walk through the nearby village of Wu Kau Tang, passing by the tiny
hamlet of Kau Tam Tso, leaving civilisation behind. Soon after the concreted path ends,
and we continue our walk over a well maintained dirt path, following the river up to
the pass, then down the other side. Not far from here are the ruins of Ha Miu Tin,
a long abandoned village. We'll visit the Mandarin Duck Pool, one of many potholes
in the river.
The duck shape of the pool is well recognisable in this image: the head in the left top, and
the body in the centre, the tail to the right.
Continuing along the river we soon reach the mangrove marches at Sam A Chung,
an area rich with life. Mangroves form important ecosystems for many animals, such as
fiddler crabs and mud skippers. We end our walk at Sam A Tsuen, a village abandoned
except for the restaurant which opens on weekends to provide great Chinese style
food to hungry hikers.
After lunch we head out to the sea. The rocks along the sea shore are completely
red here, a sedimentary rock that formed some 100 million years ago when Hong Kong
had a mostly dry, arid climate. From here a speed boat will pick us up to take us
through the waters of Double Haven with its many islands. We pass by Hung Shek Mun,
named so after the totally red rocks here, and round Wong Chuk Kok Tsui.
Around the corner the rocks are suddenly totally different: this are 400-million
year old Devonian era rocks. Here is also the famous Devil's Fist, set against a
dramatic background of red and white layered rocks, layers that are almost vertical.
Finally the boat takes us through Tolo Channel and Tolo Harbour to Wu Kai Sha
pier, a short walk from Ma On Shan MTR station (here you can also catch buses
direct to Hong Kong Island).
- 10:00 meet at Tai Po Market MTR station, take bus to Bride's Pool
- Bride's Pool and Mirror Pool waterfalls
- Wu Kau Tang
- Kau Kam Tso
- Ha Miu Tin (ghost village)
- Sam A Chung (mangroves)
- About 14:30 arrive in Sam A Tsuen (lunch and red rocks)
- 16:00 boat: pass by Hung Shek Mun (red rocks), Devil's Fist
- About 16:30 arrive at Wu Kai Sha pier, a 10-minute walk from Ma On Shan MTR station.
This is a mostly easy hike over paved and dirt footpaths with limited height
differences and a total distance of about 6 km. Some scrambling over rocks is needed
to access the Bride's Pool waterfall.
Fee for this tour: HKD 320 per person, HKD 280 children 3-12, which includes guide fee and
boat from Sam A Tsuen to Wu Kai Sha. Excluding lunch at Sam A Tsuen (usually $100-120/person)