Hiking & Beaches

Bluff Island – Exploring sea caves & beaches

Bluff Island was the first island I visited in Sai Kung. And I loved it—there is a beautiful beach and also remarkable rock formations. You can review my exploration day in my linked video below.

About Bluff Island

Bluff Island is also known as Sha Tong Hau Shan (Chinese: 沙塘口山) or Ung Kong (甕缸). It’s located in Port Shelter, in the south of Sai Kung in Hong Kong. The island is also an important area for corals and other marine life. For this, it has been zoned as a Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1979. Together with Basalt Island and Wang Chau, it forms the Ung Kong Group (甕缸群島) and is as well a part of the Hong Kong National Geopark.

Ung Kong Wan on Bluff Island

How to get there?

You have to rent a boat to reach the islands. The cheapest way to go to the island is by tour. We got ours at the Sai Kung Public Pier. The price was around HKD 150 per person. Be aware that you have to prebook these tours, and usually, you will start at 8 AM in Sai Kung — and return around 5 PM.

As mentioned, our tour guide operated from the Sai Kung Public Pier. We got a speedboat for 18 persons. If you like to ask our guide for more details, have a look at the Facebook group The Sole Explorers. It’s a group primarily for domestic helpers in Hong Kong.

Basalt Island, picture made on Bluff Island

To rent a kayak and paddle to Bluff Island is another option. You can, for example, visit Bluff and Basalt Island on the same day. But be careful: Distances are far, it will take the whole day. I would recommend this trip only for experienced kayakers and not beginners (I got my experiences with that).

Beach & hikes on Bluff Island

If you take a speed boat, you will usually arrive at Ung Kong Beach. The beach is pretty nice, and you should bring your swimwear for a dip after the hike. I also heard that Bluff is one of the best places to snorkel in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, it was raining in our case, and the water was a bit murky.

Bluff Island – On the trail

You can hike to the famous arch, the rock formations and climb down to the sea cave. You can find the trail that goes up on the northern end of the beach. The path is hidden behind bushes but marked by ribbons. On the trail, you have a great view down to Basalt Island. At the end, you will reach the famous rock formations, where I was flying with my drone. You can see these shots in my linked video above.

To go down to the famous sea cave is a bit tricky. The way down is steep. I also would not rely on the rope, as it’s pretty rotten. Please wear proper shoes.

Bluff Island from the top

What have you to know?

  • Please bring some food and water (!). It’s an uninhabited island in the middle of the sea. There are no shops or restaurants.
  • You will be exposed to the sun the whole day! Bring also some sun protection.
  • Ung Kong Wan is a lovely beach. Bring a beach towel, and some clothes to change. Furthermore, some snorkelling gear can be helpful.
  • Bring some shoes for the beach, for exploring the beaches. The rocks are sharp.
Bluff Island from the top

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