Header image courtesy of @andriy_tse (via Instagram)
If you’re a seasoned hiker, nature lover, and all-round adventurous spirit, you’ve probably already checked Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park off your to-do list. But did you know there was another marine park just a 20-kilometre kayak ride away from Hoi Ha Wan? Yan Chau Tong—also known as Double Haven—is a 6.8-square-kilometre harbour in the northeast New Territories flanked by Crescent Island, Double Island, and Crooked Island. Here’s our guide on how to hike to Yan Chau Tong Marine Park.
The area was declared a protected marine park in 1996 thanks to the presence of two important ecological features: mangroves and seagrass beds, which act as nursery grounds for a variety of marine life. The harbour’s pristine beauty and diverse geographical features—from rock cliffs and beaches to sandpits and peninsulas—have earned it the nickname “Mini Guilin.” Despite the fact that it is a bit of a trek, we promise it’s worth it.
Besides kayaking from Hoi Ha Wan, you can also see Yan Chau Tong by hiking to Plover Cove Country Park. It should be noted that while you can see a lot of geological features by hiking, you won’t be able to fully explore the islets unless you kayak there (unlike at Hoi Ha Wan, there are no kayaks for rent at Yan Chau Tong). For a scenic beginner-friendly hike that ends with views of the marine park’s pristine waters, head to the village of Sam A Tsuen in Plover Cove Country Park.
Distance: 9 kilometres approx.
Total ascent: 141 metres
Duration: 3 hours approx.
To hike to Yan Chau Tong Marine Park, your journey starts at Wu Kau Tang. It’s just off of Bride’s Pool Road in Tai Mei Tuk in the Tai Po District. From here, you’ll make an easy walk of it to Sam A Wan, where Double Haven is located.
Follow the marked path down towards Sam A Tsuen. At the next fork in the road, take a right—the signpost should say Kau Tam Tso. After passing Kau Tam Tso, the path will transition from solid concrete to uneven cobblestones, so watch your step. Follow the signs to Sam A Tsuen—the path will have a gentle uphill incline, but nothing unmanageable. Along the way, you’ll see verdant mountains, bamboo groves, scenic brushland, and even ancient “ghost village” settlements.
Towards the end of the path, you’ll see another fork in the road—take a left into the village if you want a bite to eat. Otherwise, take a right towards the pier, where you’ll be rewarded with breath-taking views of the bay and mangroves. After you’re done taking photos, just turn back the way you came to get back to Wu Kau Tang.