The Plover Cove Country park in the northeast of the New Territories is one of the most under populated and pristine areas in all of Hong Kong. Many of the trails are little used, with barking deer and wild boar roaming these secluded areas. In fact, tigers still occasionally visited in the early 1900s, and in 1931 a leopard was trapped in the region. Your hike starts in the tiny hamlet of Wu Kau Tang. The walk proceeds upwards providing exciting views across the boundary into Mainland China and of the Yan Chau Tong Marine Park. You then descend to the deserted village of Lai Chi Wo.
Lai Chi Wo, dates back to 400 years ago, and was one of the most affluent villages in the Northeastern New Territories, where a a population of mainly Hakka origin lived. This area was once known for its lychee trees. Today a few villagers return in the weekends, or over festival times. The houses remain well preserved and the fung shui wood behind the village flourishes, home to camphor, autumn maple, incense tree and other specimens - it is said to be one of the oldest surviving fung shui woodlands in Hong Kong.
After leaving the village we walk through an area of intertidal mudflats formed by sedimentation. Where is meets the land you find the largest bed of Coastal Heritiera (Heritiera littoralis) in Hong Kong, and the “natural swing” around the forest of Heritiera littoralis in fact is formed by the growing White-flower Derris while on the verge near the sea other mangroves grow.
The surrounding waterways were famous around 900-1300 as these provided the pearls for the imperial court in its time. So abundant and reliable was the harvest that the area became known as “the Pearl Pool,”
but unfortunately this virtually wiped out the oysters. Today we have a Marine Park at Yau Chau Tong.
Along the way you will walk past abandoned rice fields and terraces once cultivated by the villagers. The abandoned rice paddies remain home to the Chinese pond heron, little egrets, great egrets, night herons and the extremely rare Swinhoe’s egret. Also we pass by the abandoned fishponds, that previously bred both fresh water and sea water fish. We can still see the walls along the shore to separate sea water and stream freshwater.
Following the coastline, you can admire some of the oldest geological formations in the area, dating back 400 million years. Note the colours of the rocks, said to be have been exposed to the air at low tide, and oxidation has occurred.
Walking distance: 12km
Facilities: Toilets en route
Please provide us with a contact phone number in Hong Kong, or the name of the hotel where you are staying, plus the name the booking is made in.
Please notify us of any medical conditions that we should be aware of. We will assume clients have their own medications for asthma or known illnesses. Insect repellent is not obligatory, but advisable if you tend to attract insects.
What you need to bring
We recommend that you wear either robust walking shoes or trainers/sneakers. Casual sandals or open shoes are not suitable for trails, which can be rocky in places.
Sun and rainfall can be intense and a hat is recommended. During the winter season (November - March) temperatures can drop with a chilling wind, so a sweater/fleece is advisable. During the wet season (April - September) a waterproof jacket is recommended. In warmer months (May - October) it is advisable to carry a spare T-shirt or other garment to change into at the end of the hike.
Suntan lotion should be used throughout the year, and applied frequently during the hike.
Please carry sufficient water for your own needs. In the warmer months, this may equate to one litre for every two hours of walking. Dehydration is a real risk on hot days. Choose mineralised rather than distilled water. Consider an electrolyte replacement drink as well.