A Travellerspoint blog

Making Waves.

Hiking to Big Wave Bay.

sunny

Today I decided to walk from Siu Sai Wan to Big Wave Bay. My first problem was working out how to get to Siu Sai Wan as it is further than the eastern end of the MTR line. Eventually I settled on taking bus 788 from the Macau Ferry Pier in Sheung Wan. This is an express bus so it was fast and most of the journey was along the waterfront so it was quite enjoyable.

Express bus to Siu Sai Wan.

Express bus to Siu Sai Wan.

Historically Siu Sai Wan had an RAF base that was involved in intelligence gathering. I found lots of old photos of this on-line, but I don’t think there’s any, or at least not much, of the base itself left any more. Nowadays Siu Sai Wan is a residential area and is home to the Island Resort Complex which is built on the most expensive land in Hong Kong. The 2,500,000 square metre area of land it is located on was purchased by Sino Land for US$1,515,384,620 a short time before the handover of Hong Kong to China.

The Island Resort Complex.

The Island Resort Complex.

I got off the bus at Fullview Gardens and walked to the nearby park where I found the start of the Leaping Dragon Trail. This goes uphill via a series of stairs and slopes. It is not too strenuous and there are great views over Siu Sai Wan every so often, if you look back. There are several sitting out areas here which would be pleasant places to have a picnic in non-covid times.

Views from the Leaping Dragon Trail.

Views from the Leaping Dragon Trail.

Views from the Leaping Dragon Trail.

Views from the Leaping Dragon Trail.

Sitting out area.

Sitting out area.

The Leaping Dragon Trail is quite an easy gentle trail.

The Leaping Dragon Trail is quite an easy gentle trail.

Just before you reach Cape Collinson Road there is a viewpoint with seats. I took a little rest here and rehydrated on my bottled water. I also took some photos of the view though it was a bit hazy.

Views from sitting out area, Cape Collinson Road.

Views from sitting out area, Cape Collinson Road.

Views from sitting out area, Cape Collinson Road.

Views from sitting out area, Cape Collinson Road.

Then I walked to the right along Cape Collinson Road past a little cafe and followed the sign for Pottinger Peak View compass. Here there is a steep set of apparently around five hundred steps, though I did not actually count them. Intermittently there are places to sit and take a rest. There are good views here if you remember to turn around. I took this part of the trail slowly as it was so steep, but fortunately it did not go on too long.

Cafe.

Cafe.

Sign for Pottinger Peak View Compass.

Sign for Pottinger Peak View Compass.

Steep stairs up the hill.

Steep stairs up the hill.

The Views back down were good.

The Views back down were good.

The Views back down were good.

The Views back down were good.

Eventually I reached the turn off for the view compass on my left. I looked at the views which stretched in every direction and had another drink and rest, then returned to the main path and continued in the direction I had been heading before I went to the view compass. I passed a small derelict building, which was probably military at one time.

View from the Pottinger Peak View Compass.

View from the Pottinger Peak View Compass.

View from the Pottinger Peak View Compass.

View from the Pottinger Peak View Compass.

View from the Pottinger Peak View Compass.

View from the Pottinger Peak View Compass.

View from the Pottinger Peak View Compass.

View from the Pottinger Peak View Compass.

Old military building.

Old military building.

Old military building.

Old military building.

Onward to Big Wave Bay.

Onward to Big Wave Bay.

The walk to Big Wave Bay from this point was all downhill with beautiful coastal views. I took my time to enjoy it and took lots of pictures. There were a few lovely flowers here.

Along the Path.

Along the Path.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Spectacular Views.

Spectacular Views.

Starting the Descent.

Starting the Descent.

Starting the Descent.

Starting the Descent.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

On Route to Big Wave Bay.

On Route to Big Wave Bay.

On Route to Big Wave Bay.

On Route to Big Wave Bay.

Pagoda.

Pagoda.

As I neared Big Wave Bay I could hear the endless announcements that the beach was closed and anyone going on it would be fined. These must drive residents mad. Before descending to the beach, I went left to look at some beautiful old rock carvings.

Near the rock.

Near the rock.

Rock Carvings.

Rock Carvings.

Rock Carvings.

Rock Carvings.

Rock Carvings.

Rock Carvings.

There are at least eight ancient rock carvings on the coasts of Hong Kong which may date from as long ago as the Bronze Age. These have beautiful geometric patterns or animal pictures on them. The carving at Big Wave Bay was found by a police officer in 1970.

Approaching the beach.

Approaching the beach.

Approaching the beach.

Approaching the beach.

Approaching the beach.

Approaching the beach.

Approaching the beach.

Approaching the beach.

Approaching the beach.

Approaching the beach.

Approaching the beach.

Approaching the beach.

Big Wave Bay Beach.

Big Wave Bay Beach.

Big Wave Bay Beach.

Big Wave Bay Beach.

Big Wave Bay is a very popular beach for surfers due unsurprisingly to its big waves. Of course, at the moment no-one is allowed to surf. This is obviously a huge blow to the shops and stalls whose income is largely based on surfers.

Big Wave Bay Beach.

Big Wave Bay Beach.

Beach Art.

Beach Art.

Mangroves on the Beach.

Mangroves on the Beach.

There was one tiny strip of sand that was not cordoned off and illegal to go to, and guess what? Everyone who wanted to enjoy the beach plonked themselves there. If the beach had just been open, they could have spread themselves out. I took a quick look at some of Big Wave Bay’s houses, shops and restaurants then looked for transport out. I had decided to take whatever came first, so I was either going to end up in Shek O or Shau Kei Wan. There was a number nine red minibus for Shau Kei Wan waiting to fill up so I jumped on that. Red minibuses don’t take octopus cards, so you need change to use one. Fortunately, I had some.

Big Wave Bay Village House.

Big Wave Bay Village House.

Big Wave Bay Village House.

Big Wave Bay Village House.

Village Shop.

Village Shop.

Surf Shops.

Surf Shops.

Surf Shops.

Surf Shops.

Surf Shops.

Surf Shops.

Village shops.

Village shops.

Village Banyan Tree.

Village Banyan Tree.

Instead of just going straight home from Shau Kei Wan, I decided to take a look around this time. Shau Kei Wan means Rice Sieve Bay, because the bay it was located on was shaped like a basket that was traditionally used for washing rice. I say was rather than is, because there has been so much land reclamation in Hong Kong that this area is no longer located on this bay.

Fishermen began settling around here in the early eighteenth century, as the bay was a good place to shelter during storms. Later Hakka people moved here to work in the nearby quarries. By 1841, Shau Kei Wan was home to around two hundred people, most of them lived on boats.

By 1860, Hong Kong was experiencing problems with pirates, especially around both sides of the Lei Yue Mun Channel, so Governor Richard MacDonnell decided to try and restore law and order to the area. In the process he rebuilt Shau Kei Wan with new houses and proper roads. By 1911 the population of this area had risen to 7,000. Industries such as ship building began to move into the area. After World War II a large fish market was opened here. Refugees from Mainland China began pouring in and the area was filled with slum houses. In 1975 there was a huge fire here and most of the slums were destroyed. In the aftermath of the fire new public housing estates were built here. Nowadays Shau Kei Wan is mainly a residential area with a fish market, boats and several beautiful temples. It is also well known for its restaurants.

I ended up visiting three of Shau Kei Wan’s four temples. I’d have gone to them all, but I mistakenly thought there were only three.

The first temple I visited was the Tin Hau Temple, dedicated to the goddess of the sea. This was built in 1873 and prior to land reclamation was situated right on the waterfront. Tin Hau was of great importance to Shau Kei Wan as its inhabitants were fishermen. Other deities in the temple include Kwan Tai, the god of war, Kwun Yum, goddess of mercy, Liu Dung Bun, one of the eight immortals and Wong Tai Sin. This temple was very busy with people coming to pray for good luck for the new lunar year.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

The second temple I visited was Tam Kung Temple, which was built in 1905. Tam Kung was originally a native of Huizhou in Guangdong Province during the Yuan Dynasty. Legends state that he had supernatural powers from the age of thirteen and that he could control the wind and the rain, cure sickness and forecast the weather, because of these powers he became lord of the sea. Due to quarrying in the area around Shau Kei Wan, stonecutters from Huizhou flocked to this area bringing their belief in Tam Kung with them.

As well as Tam Kung other deities in this temple are Kwan Tai - god of war, Man Cheong - god of literature, Kwun Yum - goddess of mercy, Tin Hau - goddess of the sea, Wong Tai Sin, Wah Kwong - god of fire, Lung Mo Leung Leung – the dragon mother who is the goddess of parents and children, Ng Tung gods – or the gods of five different types of luck, which I think are related to health, wealth, longevity, love of virtue and peaceful death, and Gum Fa Leung Leung - patron of pregnant women.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple Door.

Tam Kung Temple Door.

Outside Tam Kung Temple.

Outside Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung Temple.

The final temple I visited was the Temple of Yuk Wong in the village of A Kung Ngam. This was also built by people from Huizhou who came to work in the quarries nearby. Yuk Wong was the Jade Emperor who is in charge of heaven. There was also a very lovely house in A Kung Ngam Village.

The Temple of Yuk Wong.

The Temple of Yuk Wong.

The Temple of Yuk Wong.

The Temple of Yuk Wong.

The Temple of Yuk Wong.

The Temple of Yuk Wong.

A Kung Ngam Village.

A Kung Ngam Village.

A Kung Ngam Village.

A Kung Ngam Village.

A Kung Ngam Village.

A Kung Ngam Village.

A Kung Ngam Village.

A Kung Ngam Village.



I also looked at Shau Kei Wan’s typhoon shelter with its boats and realized I was directly across from Lei Yue Mun and the Devil’s Peak where I walked last week. Near the typhoon shelter there was a stage, perhaps for Chinese opera and other events.

Cultural Square with its stage.

Cultural Square with its stage.

Cultural Square with its stage.

Cultural Square with its stage.

Typhoon Shelter.

Typhoon Shelter.

Typhoon Shelter.

Typhoon Shelter.

In addition to the temples, I had a quick look at some old shipyards on Tam Kung Road. I think these are mainly involved with repairing boats rather than building them. I also walked passed the wholesale fish market. Nothing much was going on there on a Sunday afternoon. I then looked at the Museum of Coastal Defence perched on its hill in the distance. I also had a look at Basel Road Playground and The Tsung Tsin Mission of Hong Kong Church on Basel Road. This church was founded by a group of missionaries who were trained in Basel, Switzerland and worked among the Hakka people in Guangdong.

The Museum of Coastal Defence.

The Museum of Coastal Defence.

Historic Shipyards.

Historic Shipyards.

Historic Shipyards.

Historic Shipyards.

Church on Basel Road.

Church on Basel Road.

Basel Road Playground.

Basel Road Playground.

Then I took the MTR home. Even more Chinese New Year decorations have appeared in our building.

Chinese New Year Decorations.

Chinese New Year Decorations.

Posted by irenevt 09:59 Archived in Hong Kong

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

It's again -15C in here so I am enjoying some sun and warmth through your walks and photos! :)

by hennaonthetrek

That sounds a bit chilly. It was really hot here for February on Sunday. Cooled a bit now but nowhere near -15, I'm glad to say.

by irenevt

Wonderful views as always to reward your climb :) I would have been glad of those railings! I enjoyed your temple photos which took me back to Hoi An last year - all those coils of incense!

It's amazing that those Bronze Age carvings were only discovered in 1970 - how fascinating!

by ToonSarah

Hi Sarah, these are the first bronze age carvings I have come across here but apparently there are around eight spread around various parts of Hong Kong.

by irenevt

They might have been discovered following a landslide or something as they are right on the edge of a cliff. Not sure.

by irenevt

That would make sense :)

by ToonSarah

A lovely day out. Here at the moment it is either snowing, sleeting or raining alternately. And we have no local transportation unless you count the shuttle bus that goes to the hospital

by greatgrandmaR

Hi Rosalie, Happy Year of the Ox. We are heading towards the rainy season. I'm hoping it holds off for a week or two as I've just started Chinese New Year holiday. I've been doing quite a few hikes as all sports facilities and beaches are closed here walking is the only exercise available. Hope all good with you.

by irenevt

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login