24 July 2019
The double entrance of Long Mian Cave is both easy and daunting, depending on your point of view. Photo: HKEJ
The double entrance of Long Mian Cave is both easy and daunting, depending on your point of view. Photo: HKEJ

Trekking around Town Island

Ask anyone where Town Island (伙頭墳洲) is and you’ll probably get a blank stare.

Possibly nine in 10 Hongkongers have not heard of it. 

But if you try its other name, Dawn Island, you’ll get a positive response from one or two people who will tell you that there’s a drug rehabilitation center on it.

Town Island, in the south of High Island in Sai Kung District, is part of the Ung Kong island group (甕缸群島).

Underwater caves hog the coastline, making it popular with nature trekkers.

We recently trekked from opposite directions and each step brought new excitement.

Past a pebble-strewn shore, we arrived at an underwater cavern named Small Bell Cave, a miniature version of its more famous cousin, Tiu Chung Arch, in Jin Island.

Town Cave (伙頭墳洞) is deep and tall.

You’re swept away the moment you enter, where a stream greets you thanks to days of rain that has collected on the hillside.

Every one of us posed for pictures and did not mind the freezing cold as it set in.

From there, Long Mian Cave (龍眠洞), a more interesting land formation, is a stone’s throw away.

It is U-shaped with two entrances — one dry that hikers can walk through, the other in some depth of water which requires some swimming.

This “wet” entrance takes you to the tiny island of Bun Bei Chau (崩鼻洲) which strikes you as a giant triangular chocolate.

The canal between Long Mian Cave and Bun Bei Chau is filled with huge fallen rocks, where wind and rain must have eroded the soil.

It looks unstable and obviously not safe to traverse.

Getting there:

Hire a private boat to Basalt Island at Sai Kung pier. Only experienced persons are allowed to do certain activities such as trekking, rock-climbing and swimming along the coastline under the guidance of professional coaches.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 6, 2015.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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