Geologic Formations in Hong Kong

THE 10 BEST Hong Kong Geologic Formations

Geologic Formations in Hong Kong

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  • TheOExpress🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🇭🇰
    Hong Kong, China5,751 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    …this outcrop is incredible. It really does resemble a lion from the ground and the vistas from the walk up and the peak itself are truly beautiful. Very much recommended for hike, best reached by starting at Fat Jong Temple (get a minibus from Wong Tai Sun or a taxi).
    Written 6 April 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Brad
    Hong Kong, China173,427 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is the Chinese listing for the geological landmark called Devil's Fist, which is situated in front of a beautiful bluff made up of dark purple(ish) sedimentary rock at the southeastern point of Plover Cove Country Park and the Double Haven cluster of islands in the nearby Yan Chau Tong Marine Park. It is also one of the unique inclusions of the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark.

    Important to note, this is one of the most remote locations in Hong Kong, a place only accessible by way of long and challenging hike across the country park or by way of private hire boats that can be arranged to visit here and other islands around Double Haven. The most practical way to see the Devil's Fist and Bluff Head are by way of ferries to Lai Chi Wo or Kat O which depart from the Ma Lui Shui ferry pier at Science Park on weekends and public holidays. These ferries will pass by and stop for a few minutes so that passengers can have a look at the famous landmark before continuing onward to their respective destinations.

    What you can expect to see here is very old sedimentary rock bed that is slanted upward creating a very dramatic and colourful landscape. Just in front and usually slightly in the water, depending on the tide, is a small sandstone tower with a weather eroded top that now resembles fingers atop what sort of looks like a wrist, hence the local fist nickname.
    Written 1 March 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom10,825 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a spectacular natural sea cave. Despite it’s name, Crab Cave strangely does not have a single crab – not one. You can enter safely and still leave with all your toes intact. The name came about because from outside, the cave looks a little bit like like a crab. Actually, I couldn't see it at all until I stood at a distance and to the left and then maybe you can begin to see it.
    Even more strangely, Crab Cave is not actually a cave. From a geology point of view, it should more correctly be called a sea arch. However it feels more like a cave. When you go inside, it feels as if you are sitting inside a cave with the back wall knocked out, creating a window to the sea, where you can watch the foaming waves splash up. It really is as spectacular as it sounds.
    You will almost certainly have to share the space with lots of others. Most likely will have to share it with Instagrammers. Even on a weekday when we were there, people were changing their wardrobe and ditching walking shoes to get ready for their photos. Nevertheless, it is beautiful and it’s worth sitting patiently and waiting to get the space to yourself for a few quiet moments.
    The cave is just one of several features at the very scenic Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve. Thunder Cave, WWII military batteries, ‘Miss Willy’ (whale skeleton) and the lighthouse are all in the same area.
    Take plenty of water, snacks and sunscreen and wear good shoes because the areas around the caves are rocky and inside is slippery.
    GETTING THERE: Getting here is not easy as it is an isolated spot and is roughly a 5km walk down Cape D’Aguilar Rd into the reserve.
    From Central, we took the MTR to Shau Kei Wan. Exit A3 brings you up at the bus bay and we only waited about 10 min for the #9 bus that took us right to the big roundabout at the start of the walk. Be aware that not all #9 buses stop here so check first that your bus has a sign saying “via Cape D’Aguilar”. Public transport took us about an hour. A taxi or uber would have halved that time and from Central, would have cost under $200HKD.
    Written 16 April 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Brad
    Hong Kong, China173,427 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is one of the special places in Hong Kong if you are a fan of geology and/or enjoy seeing unique seaside cliffs and coastlines. Po Pin Chau is an island that was once part of a cape that extended into the sea just south of the High Island Reservoir East Dam in the Sai Kung Country Park. If that were all to the story, Po Pin Chau would be an absolutely beautiful island to see. However, what makes this place so remarkable is that the entire island is made out of 50-60 metre tall stacks of rare hexagonal volcanic columns which can only be found at a few places on Earth.

    The island is part of the UNESCO Geopark in Hong Kong and can be seen by way of a trail south of the East Dam which ascends up the cape to a cliffside viewpoint, where you find full frontal view of the Po Pin Chau cliff face, a straight vertical wall of volcanic columns. You can also see the small channel below, where the sea carved its way through and separated Po Pin Chau from the cape. Depending on the time of year and if you are lucky, you may see kayakers going through the cut below. The trail to Po Pin Chau is moderately difficult and will take no less than 20 minutes to climb for experienced hikers and probably 30+ for those with less experience or fitness.

    As part of your visit to see Po Pin Chau, it is well worth visiting three other places nearby. The easiest and most accessible is the High Island Geo Trail which goes down into the buffer area below the East Dam. Here you walk right past some of the volcanic hexagonal columns, the same you will see at Po Pin Chau. These are much shorter but it is nice to see them up close and there is posted information to help you understand how this rare geology was formed millions of years ago.

    A second add-on is a bit more challenging but even better than the previous mention. As you climb up to the Po Pin Chau viewpoint. You will pass a rope assisted climb down to the Kim Chu Wan pebble beach. Trust me, do this if you have time! Once you make it down to the beach, you will encounter much taller stacks of the hexagonal columns up close. These are not as tall as Po Pin Chau but they still tower above you. This is where you can really appreciate the uniqueness of the geology you are seeing.

    A third rewarding add-on are the remarkable viewpoints along the Po Pin Chau trail towards Pak Lap Beach. You have to climb over a fairly high hill. Afterwards, you find yourself at several incredible viewpoints, looking back towards Po Pin Chau from around 500-600 metres away. From here you can see the hexagonal column stacks extending into the distance, forming an entire coastline of towering hexagonal columns which only end at Po Pin Chau.

    These are three stops that you can consider adding to your hike up to see Po Pin Chau while in the Sai Kung East Country Park. We usually do all of them at least once or twice a year. Combined, they make a great way to spend 3-4 hours seeing the volcanic columns from different heights and proximities, they also represent some of the very best of the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark.
    Written 8 January 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom10,825 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a very beautiful marine reserve with craggy rock formations, sweeping coastal views and features, including unusual caves, the ‘Miss Willy’ whale skeleton, WWII military batteries and Hong Kong’s oldest lighthouse (see separate reviews). However, it is also an isolated spot and well off the beaten track. If you only have a few days in Hong Kong, then you will be too busy with other sights and this is too remote and too out of the way to include in an itinerary.
    Entry is free but to get there, you need to walk in. The bus will drop you off at the large roundabout which is where your walk starts.
    It is one of the easiest coastal trails and is a roughly 5 km gentle, downhill walk along Cape D'Aguilar Rd (the bad news is that you will have to walk back up again unless you are lucky enough to snag a taxi that has dropped someone else off).
    It’s not terribly well sign-posted. You can generally follow other hikers but basically stick to the road until you get to the radio transmitters. At this point, you take the dirt path on your left and circle around behind the station where you can pick up the road again to head downhill. Towards the end of your walk, the road splits but there is a large, blue sign at this point directing you down to the reserve.
    Make sure to take sunscreen, hats, water and food. The walk is quite exposed and if you go on a weekday, there are no opportunities to buy anything. You’ll also need good shoes because once you get to the reserve the rocks can be sharp and around the caves and water, it is quite slippery. The only public toilets that we saw were two porta-loos about 5 min into the walk.
    Be aware, that despite the beautiful waters and the hot walk to get here, you can’t jump in for a swim because it's a marine reserve. Instead, we took a taxi later in the day to Shek O beach for lunch and a cooling swim ($46HKD).
    GETTING THERE: It’s a long-ish but very straightforward trip from Central. A taxi or uber will take cut your travel time in half and can also save you some walking because it can take you part of the way down Cape D'Aguilar Rd. You should pay under $200HKD. We found public transport easy although it took about an hour. We caught the MTR to Shau Kei Wan. Exit A3 brought us right up at the bus bay and the #9 bus went right to the start of the walk. The only tricky part is to double-check that your bus stops at Cape D’Aguilar. Not all do. Some #9 buses go straight through to Shek O so don't get on unless the sign specifically says “via Cape D’Aguilar”.
    Written 15 April 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Brad
    Hong Kong, China173,427 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of my favourite places on Peng Chau is the Old Fisherman's Rock at the NE corner of the island. You can find it along the Peng Yu Path which skirts along the northern coast of the island. At the end, there is a beach with a overgrown rocky outcrop. A short 15 metre walk around the outcrop and you will find the Old Fisherman's Rock, standing alone, probably 10 metres in height against the blue sea backdrop. You can also see parts of Lantau to the north, Kowloon and HK Island to the east in the distance. It is a nice geological landmark that really sticks out and makes you wonder why is it even there.
    Written 20 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Brad
    Hong Kong, China173,427 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We recently spent half a day in the Lai Chi Chong area taking in the trail between Pak Sha O and Lai Chi Chong in the Sai Kung West Country Park. While the main trail can be enjoyed pretty much any time of day, it is important to note that the important Geosite area at Lai Chi Chong is dependent upon the tide schedule.

    On the occasion of this visit, we arrived just before high tide and found much of the Geosite underwater. You can still view fine examples of geological highlights here. However, particular impressive areas, especially the convoluted bedding and spot known for the folds are very shallow which inherently means they are greatly affected by the tide.

    Because of this reality when visiting Lai Chi Chong, it is very helpful to view the Hong Kong Tide Reports before planning your day at this UNESCO Geosite. Tides change from day to day in Hong Kong but ferry schedules from Ma Liu Shui are fixed so your experience can be dictated as such. If you are hiking in from Pak Sha O, simply adjust your hiking start time so that you arrive 1-2 hours after high tide. By then viewing conditions are very good. Hike time from Pak Sha O is around 45-60 minutes depending on your hiking pace.

    Note: If you arrive at Lai Chi Chong at high tide, you can kill some time in the area by exploring a bit around Lai Chi Chong. You can cross the creek that runs along the campground in front of the village for a decent hike up to the Caritas Jockey Club Siu Tong Camp. There is a neat and quiet little beach on that trail that is worth seeing as well. Then, make your way back to the Geosite to enjoy exploring those grounds.
    Written 11 April 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom10,825 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is one of two caves at the very beautiful but isolated Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve. The dark and narrow sea cave is like a giant fissure in the black rocks. At the end, a long gash in the cave opens up to the sea, letting the thunderous noise of the waves fill the cave chamber.
    It’s dark inside and the lighting makes it difficult to take a good photo. The large, smooth rocks underfoot can be slippery but the cave is very tall and you can walk in easily, without having to bend or stoop over.
    It’s easy to miss the Thunder Cave path. Once you are down at the marine reserve and you can see both the HK Uni Marine Science building and the whale skeleton up ahead, then look for a narrow set of stairs on your left. The other cave to see is Crab Cave and you will find that just past the whale skeleton.
    GETTING THERE: From Central, catch the MTR to Shau Kei Wan and take exit A3 for the bus bay. You are looking for the #9 bus which will take you right to the start of the walk. Before you get on the bus, check that the sign says “via Cape D’Aguilar” because some buses go direct to Shek O, by-passing Cape D’Aguilar. The walk down to the marine reserve is about 8km there and back.
    Written 14 April 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Calle K
    Hong Kong, China1,829 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We firstly anchored up outside the village and couldn’t figure out how to go here. Silly us! The only person on the island said also she didn’t know where this was. So we drove around and anchored again only to find out it’s just a short stroll from the village going north.
    It’s a beautiful view of Double haven/crooked harbour on one side and Yantian container port in China on the other.
    Even the 3 years old climbed up on the arch.
    Written 8 March 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Brad
    Hong Kong, China173,427 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amah Rock is a landmark boulder on the northern section of Lion Rock Country Park. It is a random 15-metre tall boulder that stands on its own facing Tai Wai and Sha Tin. It comes with old legend that a wife carrying child who would regularly climb to this location to look for the her husband in hope that he was returning home from working abroad. One day while waiting here, a thunderstorm passed by and she was turned into stone. This is why Amah Rock has the appearance of a mother carrying a baby on her back.

    One of the many trails through the Lion Rock Country Park takes in both Amah Rock as well as Lion Rock, which is one of the most easily recognisable landmarks in the city. You can start the trails on the Kowloon side, first taking inLion Rock before proceeding north to Amah Rock. You then finish in Tai Wai where you find a new mall called The Wai. Here you can stop for lunch or coffee break before making way home by way of the Tai Wai MTR Station.

    Alternatively, you can start from the north, entering the country park through the Hung Mui Kuk BBQ Area, proceeding up to Amah Rock first. Then proceed south across the park following signs to Lion Rock which you will encounter around 60-70 minutes later depending on your hiking speed, strength and stamina. Do take rests along the way as the ascends can be long and steep going up to both landmarks.

    If you finish with Lion Rock, proceed east along suggested trails to the park entry points nearest Wong Tai Sin. From there I suggest taking short bus 18M down to the Wong Tai Sin Square next to the MTR Station. Same if doing hikes in the reverse direction. Save yourself the leg strength and take 18M up to the Sha Tin Pass Road first, park entrance and trails up to Lion Rock are nearby. Y

    Note: you can find these trails easily on Google Maps as well as the very helpful HikingTrailHK app which is highly recommended if you are planning to do hikes in Hong Kong during visits to the city.

    Note: There are no facilities inside the park and limited public toilets at some of the park entrances. Best to prepare yourself in advance for taking on the trails. Have plenty of water, good walking shoes, hat and plenty of sunscreen if its sunny outside.
    Written 23 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Shasha A
    Hong Kong, China292 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Locations : Sharp Island, Kiu tsui beach and Hap Mun bay beach
    Type of visit : one night camping/ Group

    As we had a long holiday for Lunar new year we decided to camp. So we choose somewhere easily accessible because I had two first time campers to take care of. We chose Sharp Island in Sai Kung for your purpose.
    We all met in Hang hau and took a taxi to Sai Kung pier. There are big shopping malls (Fusion/welcome) in Sai Kung you can buy whatever you want. And then we took tickets for sampan. Each ticket costed 50$ round ticket. There are different stalls outside the pier you can select according to your destination. It was a very short boat ride, like about 15mnts. And we got off at Kiu Tsui pier. My friend forgot her bag in the sampan and we contacted the boat stall in Sai Kung and they helped us to get it back.
    When we arrived, Kiu Tsui beach is already full with camp tents. We found a quite decent spot to settle down. There is nothing much to do. But if you o during summer or much fair weather conditions you can swim to 2 close by islands from Kiu tsui.i was planning on this, but the climate was not that perfect for a swim in the ocean.
    Kiu Tsui is famous for its geological value as it is believed to be a part of an old volcano which situated in Sai Kung 140million years ago. Rhyolite can be found in this area. (Rhyolite forms by volcanic eruption and lava flows) and the rock fossils gives the estimation of the time frame of these incidents. Kiu tsui is famous for Pineapple buns. Some huge rocks in Kiu tsui has the same appearance as Pineapple buns. Pineapple buns are a famous delicacy in Chinese culture. Make sure to check on the tidal chart before you go through the beautiful rocky tombola. Good spot for great pictures.
    We had a relaxed and chilled evening with some BBQ, chilled booz and good music. It was a most needed escape for almost everyone who works really hard. Everyone on the beach was enjoying. Singing, cooking, making new friends, so many happy moments to remember. Toilet facilities were available at the beach station but the water that comes from the taps are not good for drinking or washing faces. Water is salty. Make sure to bring your own water. Toilets are clean and can be used properly.
    We planned to do the Kiu Tsui country park hike next day before we come home. Second day we had our lunch and started the hike from the left end of the Kiu Tsui Beach. It was little challenging in beginning as we had out bagpacks and equipments and it was all steps going uphill. But after we passed Hak shan teng area, the trail was easy.
    I have no words to explain the views from on top the hill. We were speechless when we encounter such 360° view points.
    After like an hour (including breaks) we ended up at Hap Mun Bay. People were camping there as well but not in front of the beach. We thought the boats come to Hap Mun pier as well. But when we called to the stall they said the sampan is not coming to the pier and we have to book a speed boat. And we paid 20$ extra per person and hired a speedboat only for ourselves. It came to the pier in like 10mnts and that part of the journey is awesome.
    From Sai Kung bus stand we took 792M which goes up to Tiu Keng Leng.
    This hike is not hard. Only few areas are steep to climb and descend.
    It is a good spot to enjoy a evening picnic with your family or camping overnight.
    Written 21 February 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Brad
    Hong Kong, China173,427 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Luk Chau Shan is a mountain peak in the Ma On Shan Country Park. It is also the location of a rare Rock Forest called Shek Lung Tsai (石壟仔石林), which is basically a massive field of large and oddly shaped boulders stacked up on the mountainside. For experienced hikers and climbers, this is a fun spot for a couple hours of bouldering.

    You can hike up to Luk Chau Shan from Ma On Shan by making way south and east of the Grace Youth Camp inside the Country Park. Alternatively, here is route from the south starting from Mui Tsz Lam Road near Tai Shui Hang.

    Note: There is no formal trail to the Shek Lung Tsai Rock Forest so hiking apps don't really help that much. However, if you look at online maps and cross reference with google maps, it is easy enough to find with fairly basic navigation skills.

    What you will encounter is a mountain slope area around 100 metres by 50 metres that is made up of massive boulders stacked up on each other, providing some nice climbing and bouldering opportunity. There are no set routes from the bottom up to the top of the Rock Forest, you just have to safely navigate your way up, over and around the large boulder stacks.

    Note: The boulders are gritty providing very good grip for your hands and feet. However, you will need good condition shoes, hiking trousers (not shorts) and proper gloves in order to avoid scrapping your legs, hands and feet during your climb.

    Note: Climbing at Shek Lung Tsai can be very fun but it can be a bit dangerous as well. In short, this is not a recommendable activity for children, those who lack physical strength or those lacking some minimum climbing experience. If you've done some challenging hikes which included clambering, bouldering or coasteering, you'll probably be fine. If not, this might not be the best place to get your start.
    Written 19 April 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Brad
    Hong Kong, China173,427 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The entire island of Tung Ping Chau is a geological paradise but if there were just one or two places I had to visit, one would include the area around Kang Lau Shek, the southeast corner of the island. Starting just past A Ma Wan beach and turning the corner, the landscape here is just amazing and so much fun to explore.

    The Tung Ping Chau Country Trail passes by Kang Lau Shek as stop # 4 on the HK Global Geopark map and stop #3 on the Discover Hong Kong map so this place is rather easy to find. What you see here are endless slanted sedimentary rock structures that run up against the sea, creating the most peculiar grounds of angled sedimentary layers with endless rock pools filling in the gaps. The sedimentary rock specimen present many colourful layers and are very interesting to inspect. Meanwhile, the rock pools are often full of sea urchin, sea hares, small fish and other marine life.

    There is two very large sedimentary rock towers at Kang Lau Shek which many tourists visit to take pictures and selfies. If you keep walking towards the beginning of a cliff that runs into the sea, you'll encounter fewer tourists and have more space and opportunity for unobscured photo taking. There is a long row of screwpines and vegetation that offers a couple of shady places depending on the time of year and position of the sun. We had picnic at one of them during a recent visit, a brilliant and beautiful location for a midday meal.

    It is easy to find yourself spending quite a bit of time at Kang Lau Shek, it is one of the most interesting geological highlight stops on the trail that encircles Tung Ping Chau.
    Written 28 December 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom10,825 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is not a ‘must-see’ but it is a strange and unusual rock feature set into the cliffs and is one of the scenic points along the Po Toi Walking Trail. It's sometimes also called Buddha's Hand but to me, it looked more like a giant robotic hand, reaching up from the earth. It even has finger tips. It’s a striking resemblance. There are several other dramatic-looking granite stones that have been eroded and weathered into various shapes along the trail. Nearby other stones have been nick-named Tortoise Rock, Coffin Rock and Monk Rock.
    You’ll find Palm Cliff on Route 2 of the looped walking trail which starts from the ferry pier. If you don't want to do the full trail all the way around the island, then this is the best option because it’s the most scenic and shortest stretch. As you approach the lighthouse, it’s on the lower path, on your right.
    Written 17 June 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Brad
    Hong Kong, China173,427 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Bluff Head (Wong Chuk Kok Tsui) and Devil's Fist are two geological landmarks situated at the end of the Tolo Channel at the far eastern end of the Plover Cove Country Park. This is also part of the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark and is one of the most remote locations in Hong Kong.

    Fossil evidence demonstrates that the very oldest sedimentary rock bed in HK is found here. Further, the bedding is almost completely vertical at Bluff Head, creating a dark purple(ish) colour cliff face that is remarkable to see. Devil's Fist on the other hand is a small sandstone tower that takes the shape of a wrist, hand with fingers due to millenniums of weathering and erosion.

    Unfortunately, due to the extremely remote location, Bluff's Head and Devil's Fist are only land accessible by way of long informal coastal trails south of Hung Shek Mun, not something recommended for casual hikers to try. The most practical way to view the two geological wonders is by way of ferry transportation from Ma Lui Shui to Lai Chi Wo, Kat O and Ap Chau. These ferries usually slow down and pause so that passengers can see Bluff Head and the Devil's Fist before proceeding through the Yan Chau Tong Marine Park to their destination. You can also arrange private boat transportation to see the two landmarks as well.
    Written 5 January 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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