Island Excursions: Kayak edition
If you’re looking for an adventure which involves a full body workout, then you may want to consider island hopping by kayak! In this week’s edition of island excursions, we highlight eight islands you can visit by kayak for various skill levels – if you are completely new to this, check out our last entry for a summary of places you can hire kayaks from to get your practise in. Like with any exploration, be sure you to know yours and your dog’s limits – and that you have enough energy to get yourselves back! If not, save the number of your rental place for a rescue tow if necessary!
1. Green Egg Island
Green Egg Island (綠蛋島) has become a popular destination for kayakers and hikers to visit, for its unique landscape and appearance. It has become so popular in recent years, that it's almost not worth the visit during the summer as it attracts hoards and hoards of visitors - a visit here is almost no different to visiting Causeway Bay, and therefore not ideal if you are looking for a quiet getaway. Should you wish to risk it, you can either hike from Clearwater Bay and have a short wade or swim over to the island, or rent a kayak from Lobster Bay Kayak. The hike along the Lung Ha Wan Country Trail is best suited to intermediate to advanced explorers as the climb down to the island involves a lot of bush-whacking and a near vertical climb (pictured left). Should you wish to kayak from Lobster Bay Kayak, this is probably one of the easier journeys you can do in this roundup, as it involves following the coast to your right until you reach the unmistakable Green Egg Island (– it looks like a green egg).
2. Jin Island
This is probably the most challenging on the list as it involves kayaking out into open water, with minial protection or shelter from neighbouring islands, and is also the longest journey of the ones mentioned in this list. Jin Island, known as Tiu Chung Chau (吊鐘洲) literally translates into "Hanging Bell Island", and is known for its sea arch and islet, which is shaped like a fish. Hence, the name Goldfish Wagging Tail (金魚擺尾). Rent a kayak from Lobster Bay Kayak, or - if you aren't too confident in your upper body strength - you can attempt a one way trip and ask for a tow by your rental company on the way back, or just skip the kayaking all together and charter a speedboat to get you to-and-fro.
3. Pak Sha Chau - Cham Tau Chau - Yeung Chau - Sharp Island
If you fancy a little island hopping and are new to kayaking, you can visit Yeung Chau (洋洲) Cham Tau Chau (枕頭洲) and Pak Sha Chau (白沙洲) from Sha Ha Beach, as the frequent pit stops on each island help break the journey up, making it easier for beginners. Yeung Chau is the closest island to Sha Ha Beach, and has a pebbly beach on one side, and an abandoned hut to explore on the other. Most kayakers tend to continue on to visit the long sandbank of Pak Shau Chau for a little pitstop and swim, whilst taking in views of Sharp Island in the back – if you’re feeling extra adventurous, and still have a bit of steam left in the tank, you can continue on to Sharp Island to visit the famous Sand levee. However, for us, we like to visit the hidden gem of Tai Tsan Chau (大鏟洲, pictured), which is a little man-made rock pool to the East of Pak Shau Chau (pictured, right) which makes for excellent drone footage, and is not too far from Sha Ha Beach!
4. Shelter Island
This island, also known as Ngau Mei Chau in Cantonese (牛尾洲), which literally translates to "Cow Tail Island", is closest to Clearwater Bay, so you will want to hire your kayak from Lobster Bay Kayak.
Unlike its name, the island isn’t much of a shelter or a safe haven, as a majority of this island requires climbing or coasteering along a rock face. There are some pebble beaches for you to get off, park your kayak and have a little explore, but there aren’t many trails here for you to enjoy with the dog. If you do visit however, Shelter Island has a a couple interesting archways (pictured) to the East of the island, which are worth checking out.
5. Paddle to nowhere
If you’re new to this and fancy getting a feel for the sport with your pup, there are several places you can hire kayaks, paddle-boards and gear from, by the hour or the day, and we’ve highlighted these below; Ah Kwok Water Sports Centre, Sha Ha Beach, Sai Kung Blue Sky Sports Club, Sha Ha Beach, Sai Kung Hiwind Lover Water Sport Centre, Stanley Main Beach Hoi Ha Wan Hoi Store, Hoi Ha Wan, Sai Kung (+852) 2328 2169
Lobster Bay Sandbank Kayak, Tai Hang Hau Road, Clearwater Bay
Long Coast Seasport, 29 Lower Cheung Sha Village, Lantau Island
Pak Lap Academy, Pak Lap Wan, Sai Kung
Be sure to be safe at all times, protect yourself from the sun, acquire a life vest for your dog, and make use of the (human) life vests at your rental store, regardless of whether you are a strong swimmer or not! Bon voyage!
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