Dubbed the “South Pole” of Hong Kong, Po Toi Island is the southernmost group of outlying islands in Hong Kong. Having said that, this group of small islands are only 30 minutes away by ferry from Stanley. It is famous for fresh seafood and interesting rock formation.
The ancient rock carvings on Po toi Island estimated to be over 3,000 years old was a proof that it has been a populated island for a long time. A group of rock carvings along the coast were found in 1960s and were declared monument in 1979.
From a Populated Fishing Village to an Almost Desert Island
Like many other outlying islands or remote fishing villages, fisherfolks are disappearing, young generations move to the main island to work and live. For some reasons, Cheung Chau, Ping Chau, Lamma Islands have continued to develop but the population of Po Toi Island has dropped from over 1,000 at its peak to less than 100 (some information said that there are only 20 residents left). The lack of electricity and fresh water has certainly made it difficult to live on the island. There was not even Hong Kong mobile phone reception over 10 years ago (well, you got China telecom signal).
The exotic feel of Po Toi Island has made it a charming and desirable weekend getaway for both Hong Kong locals and tourists. The ferries are packed on Sundays and Holidays so get to the ferry pier early to queue up. Given the small number of islanders living in Po Toi island, only a a few eateries and stalls selling seaweeds and dried fish maw around the ferry pier. There is a Tin Hau temple, an abandoned school, and the ruin of the haunted Mo’s old house. The rest are peculiar rocks, granites and beautiful coastline.
Po Toi Natural Trails
The hiking trails are on the south west of the island. A recommended trail is go up the middle trail up the mountain where you will walk past the abandoned school, Coffin Rock, Ngau Wu Teng Pavilion, Monk Rock, Tortoise Rock and Nam Kok Tsui lighthouse (126 lighthouse) , then descent to Nam Kok Tsui (literally means Southern tip) and connect to the natural coastal trail where you can see the Palm Cliff and the ancient rock carvings. Views are spectacular everywhere.
This nice walk takes about 2.5 to 3 hours depending on how many photo spots you take.
The first part of climbing up the rugged hill is quite tough but the view is well worth it.
There are ferries from Aberdeen and Stanley to Po Toi Road but not every day, and only one or two a day. So make sure you don’t miss the return ferry.
Tuesdays & Thursdays: From Aberdeen to Po Toi Island at 10am. Returning at 3:30pm.
Saturdays: 10:00 / 15:00 from Aberdeen. 13:20 from Stanley. Return to Stanley at 12:40. Return to Aberdeen via Stanley at 14:00 / 16:00.
Sundays & Public Holidays: 08:15 from Aberdeen. More ferries from Stanley: 10.00, 11.30, 15:30 and 17:00. Return to Stanley at 09:15, 10:45, 15:00 and 16:30. Return to Aberdeen via Stanley at 18:00.
Fees: HK$25 one way but you will have to buy round trip tickets at the weekends and Public Holidays. Only Octopus card or cash with no change. So please make sure you have the exact change.