Ko Lau Wan: a quiet bay for spiritual retreat

April 22, 2016 17:30
Tan Ka Wan used to be a very busy fishing village, but it is a lot more tranquil nowadays. Photo: HKEJ

Grass Island, also known as Tap Mun (塔門), has recently become a popular destination for weekend campers.

But there are other equally enthralling locations in the vicinity where you can spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and ponder on the good old days when life was uncomplicated.

Opposite Tap Mun across the South Channel is Ko Lau Wan (高流灣), which is comparatively more tranquil. Next to it is Tan Ka Wan (蛋家灣), a fishing village that is now almost uninhabited.

Kaito ferry is the main means of transport to Ko Lau Wan. The village used to be home to about 150 families. Back in the 1960s, it had a gasoline station and an icemaking plant.

But now only a handful of villagers have chosen to stay, content with the slow rhythm of life, the calm milieu broken only during celebrations of the Lunar New Year and the Taoist Da Jiu, which is observed every seven years.

Tan Ka Wan, founded by a group of Tanka and Hakka villagers, is almost unattended. Around 60 years ago, it was also one of the busiest fishing villages in Hong Kong. Catholic missionaries came and set up a school and a church for the villagers.

But the place has changed. Some houses have been renovated and it now hosts a water sports center with its multicolored canoes.

Hiking from Tan Ka Wan to Nam She Wan (蚺蛇灣) is not an easy proposition. The plants are so overgrown and the path seems endless.

But it has its rewards, like the peace and quiet you feel as you stroll along the beach, basking in the warm sunlight.

Up at Sharp Peak, also known as Nam She Tsim, you will find yourself in the midst of bountiful nature. It is calming, a balm to body and soul.

Getting there:

To go to/return from Ko Lau Wan: Take a kaito ferry at Ma Liu Shui Pier.

Reference: Ferry service schedule

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 22.

Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

-- Contact us at [email protected]


Ko Lau Wan is a good place to spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Photo: HKEJ

HKEJ contributor