Plover Cove Country Park (Wu Kau Tang to Lai Chi Wo)

Plover Cove Country Park (Wu Kau Tang to Lai Chi Wo)

‘The Dragon’s Back and beyond: the best hikes in Hong Kong’ — Lonely Planet

Plover Cove Country Park mapWater is a key element in feng shui whereas bamboo is a symbol for virtue in Chinese culture. The cultural significance of these natural elements is showcased at the Plover Cove Country Park, where hikers will find distinctive geological features, local flora and fauna as well as Hakka heritage dating back to the Qing Dynasty.

Starting Point — Wu Kau Tang Village
Wu Kau Tang Village

Begin your journey through a poetic path surrounded by bamboo groves, patterned cobwebs and a gently flowing creek. ‘Wu Kau Tang’ literally means ‘soaring black dragon’, a euphemism for the tortoises abundant in the area when Hakka villagers settled here during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Sheung Ha Miu Tin
Sheung Ha Miu Tin

Follow the footpath and walk for around an hour on natural trails before you reach Sheung Ha Miu Tin, which literally means ‘upper and lower seedling fields’. Cross the gushing streams by walking on stone columns across from the small waterfalls. Along the way, you’ll come across extensive mangroves where many tiny mangrove crabs and molluscs can be found.

Sam A Chung
Sam A Chung

Sam A Chung has a well-facilitated campsite where you can barbecue and enjoy the picturesque view of Yan Chau Tong (Double Haven) and its three islands — Wong Wan Chau (Double Island), Ngo Mei Chau (Crescent Island) and Kat O.

* Camping is only permitted at designated camp sites.

Sam A Village
Sam A Village

Stop by Sam A Village for lunch. The sleepy village sits against the backdrop of dark green hills that overlooks a g lassy lake in front. The village is most picturesque on rainy days, when clouds gather at the hilltop and form perfect reflections on the lake.

End Point — Lai Chi Wo
Lai Chi Wo

Follow the signs and hike for around 45 minutes from Sam A Village to Lai Chi Wo. Climb the stairs at the village entrance to the viewpoint to enjoy the scenery. Along Lai Chi Wo Nature Trail, you will encounter interesting coastal plants and small animals up close. Lai Chi Wo is a designated Site of Special Science Interest (SSSI) – the only place to find Derris trifoliate in Hong Kong among other rare mangroves and seagrass species. As a geo-area of Hong Kong’s geopark, Lai Chi Wo presents many spectacular geological features such as fault systems, folds as well as an abundance of igneous and sedimentary rocks.

Lai Chi Wo is also home to an exquisite Hakka village established 400 years ago. The hiking trail will first lead you to Hok Shan Temple and Hip Tin Temple where Hakka villagers come to seek spiritual blessing. Houses are aligned in neat rows; during the village’s heyday, more than a thousand clansmen lived here. The front of the village is guarded by a gate adorned with a pair of auspicious Chinese couplets. The woods at the rear of the village is an ecological treasure box rich in both common and protected plant species.

Trail photos provided by HK Discovery.

Info
Area:
Tai Po District
Starting point:
Wu Kau Tang Village
End point:
Lai Chi Wo
Average hiking time:
Approx. 5 hours
Distance:
Approx. 9.5 km
Difficulty:
Difficult (Physically demanding — long hike on rugged natural trails, and no retreat point accessible by vehicle)
How to get there
To the starting point:
    Walk from MTR Tai Po Market Station Exit B to Tai Po Market Station Public Minibus Terminus. Take minibus 20R for around 45 minutes to Wu Kau Tang Village on Chi Sum Road.

From the end point:
    A ferry service runs between Ma Liu Shui and Lai Chi Wo on Sunday and Public Holidays.
    From Lai Chi Wo: 3:30pm (Sundays and Public Holidays)
    Enquiries: +852 2555 9269 (Best Sonic Industrial Limited)
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