Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The awesome GeoPark (地質公園)

Hong Kong is a small place, yet it contains awesome natural wonders.  Yes it is a small place, yet some of these impressive sights can be difficult to reach.  The blandly-named GeoPark (香港世界地質公園) is one such place.  

On the day after Easter, my wife, our daughter and I got on a speed boat at Sai Kung, and visited several impressive sights in the GeoPark.   These include Fa Shan (花山), 

Po Bin Chau (破邊洲), 

Wang Chau (橫洲), Bluff Island (Shau Tong Hau Shan, 沙塘口山, or Ung Kong 甕缸), Jin Island (吊鐘洲), and Sharp Island (橋咀洲).   We could not get to the East Dam (of High Island Reservoir 萬宜水庫), and Basalt Island (火石洲) because of the big waves.  

It is believed that this whole area was one huge volcano, with lava all over the place.  When the lava cooled, they solidified and shrunk, forming vertical columns with polygonal cross-section.  

These rock formations are dispersed over a number of inhospitable islands and hard-to-access coastal areas to the east of Sai Kung.  The most practical way to get there seems to be by boat.   A slow boat would take hours just to get there, hence you need a speed boat.  Further more, some of these islands are practically in the Pacific Ocean.  Beyond these islands the next landfall is the Philippines.  It would be dangerous for a small speed boat in bad weather.  Herein is another challenge. 

Erosion has created some spectacular caves, such as this one at Wang Chau, 

and this one at Bluff Island.  

Fortunately, some parts of the GeoPark, such as Sharp Island, is very accessible.  And lots of people do get there.   The tombolo (sandbar) linking the small island to the larger one is accessible only at low tide. 

We don’t have to go very far to have fun. 


Unknown said...

Hi there.. I've been searching info of this hk geopark.. any tips to go for boat tour? Will be going to hk in nov this year.. tq

StephenC said...

There are several companies that you can choose from. You will see the booths around the pier. There are many options. Some take an hour or so and cost less than HK$100. But to see the most impressive sights you have to take the longer tours (2-3 hours) which really takes you to the outlying sites, where the waves are bigger. So pick a day with good weather and clear skies. Otherwise the waves will make it difficult or even impossible. And pick a tour using fast speedboats. Wear the life jackets.