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

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

By National Geographic

Plover Cove Country Park mapPlover Cove Country Park offers a window on Hong Kong’s original inhabitants. Entering the park from Wu Kau Tang, visitors can explore its centuries-old Hakka walled villages and feng shui woodland—extant examples of traditional wisdom.

Wu Kau Tang & Miu Sam Ancient Trail
Wu Kau Tang & Miu Sam Ancient Trail

At over 400 years old, Wu Kau Tang Village hosts Hakka houses that have kept their characteristic tiled roofs. Located between fields, these houses have many bamboo species growing amongst and around them. Apart from natural protection, Hakka people use bamboo for construction and fuel, and to prevent soil erosion. Continue via Kau Kam Tso and Miu Sam Ancient Trail to Sam A Wan.

Sam A Wan & Sam A Tsuen Pier
Sam A Wan & Sam A Tsuen Pier

In Sam A Chung, a shade of red on the path surface indicates the presence of iron oxides in the underlying rocks. Sam A Wan features mangrove swamps where crabs and mudskippers can be easily seen. The Sam A Tsuen Pier is a great spot that overlooks the coastline of Double Haven.

Lai Chi Wo
Lai Chi Wo

Lai Chi Wo was once known for the village’s lychee trees. Unlike most other villages in Hong Kong, this one was settled in the 16th century by two separate families, and since then Lai Chi Wo has preserved the traditional Hakka village plan, where the individual buildings are arranged in a 9x3 grid. Also impressive is the feng shui wall at the entrance of the village and the feng shui woodland behind the houses, which is believed by generations of Hakka to have prevented natural disasters and garnered good fortune.

Hollow Maple and Five-Finger Camphor
Hollow Maple and Five-Finger Camphor

Lai Chi Wo has a number of old and unusual trees that create a precious platform for natural history. The century-old hollow maple tree, the ‘king’ of its kind, has various holes especially in the central part of its trunk, but it lives on. The Five-Finger Camphor, which had one of its five branches cut away during the Second World War, is still a remarkable sight.

Trip ideas:

  • The Geoheritage Centre organises guided tours of Lai Chi Wo Village on Sundays and public holidays, except the first three days of Chinese New Year. Enquiries: lcwculture@outlook.com
  • There are stray dogs in Wu Kau Tang and Lai Chi Wo. Keep an eye out for signs and avoid venturing into residential areas.


This is one of the featured hiking and cycling routes of Great Outdoors Hong Kong 2018–2019. Be sure to check out the others here.

Info
Area:
North District
Starting point:
Wu Kau Tang
End point:
Lai Chi Wo Pier
Average hiking time:
5.5 hours
Distance:
About 8 km
Refuel:
There are eateries and kiosks in Sam A Tsuen and Lai Chi Wo.
Difficulty:
Difficult
Shaded and gentle uphill paths in the first half; level paths in the second.
How to get there
To the starting point:
From MTR Tai Po Market Station take green minibus 20R to Wu Kau Tang.

From the end point:
  • A ferry service runs between Lai Chi Wo and Ma Liu Shui on Sundays and public holidays. Ferry time from Lai Chi Wo: 3:30 pm. The ferry takes about 90 minutes. The nearest MTR station from there is University Station, approximately 15 minutes away by foot. Enquiries: +852 2555 9269 (Best Sonic Ind. Ltd.).
  • You can return from Lai Chi Wo via the way you came or via an alternate route (about 2 hours; approx. 4.5 km— shown as a dotted line on the map) to Wu Kau Tang Village, from which you can take green minibus 20R to MTR Tai Po Market Station, where other means of transport are available.
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