Island of Horse Feces Geopark, HK (Ma Shi Chau Special Area)


Island of Horse Feces Geopark (Ma Shi Chau Special Area)

Island of Horse Feces Geopark (Ma Shi Chau Special Area)

Introduction

I apologise for the English translation. It sounds a bit gross but a bitter truth. I believe that the island is named this way due to the presence of a sausage structured rock formation. I have no solid evidence on that and it is merely my guess.

An aspect of the island

An aspect of the island

What to expect

The trip may take you half day or whole day. It depends on how you like. The trip from the starting point in the village to the entrance of the geopark takes you approximately 30 min. with an easy walk. A pavilion at the top of the mountain will be a perfect place for you to rest and escape from the scotching sun. Bring some water and food for your trip because there would probably one spot selling very local snack and drinks there e.g. Cha Koh / Gai Si Tan (茶果/雞屎藤)! She is only there on weekends. She is the boss for the boat ride. You can spot her in between the beach and after your walk on Tombolo. The tourist spots are as follows:

  • (1) Colourful Mudstone
  • (2) Concretion
  • (3) Fold & Fault
  • (4) Quartz Vein
  • (5) Shell Beach
  • (6) Tombolo

Traveling to the island is a piece of cake

Traveling to the island is a piece of cake

Transportation & access

1 - Green Minibus (possibly the best option)

When leaving Tai Po Market MTR Station Exit A3, you will see a subway ahead. Dive in the subway and turn your way to left. There will be heaps choices for you on Green Minibus. At this time, Green Minibus No. 20K is on your list. I can't help emphasising again here an ordinary Optopus Card offers you great convenince traveling nearly everywhere in Hong Kong. Green Minibus is no exception. Of course, they accept coins and notes as well. However, no change is offered. The station should be located at the front of middle row so it is quite easy to locate. The cost is $4.90 for a single trip. The fare is subject to change. The terminus for 20K is Sam Mun Tsai. Make sure to look for the sign "Sam Mun Tsai" in front of the minibus as another minibus with the same number will reach Sha Lan (special line) which is a village next to Sam Mun Tsai. If you got the wrong minibus, please do not panic as you can walk back to the main road where the entrance of the village is. The main road is Sam Mun Tsai Road. After your hit back, turn right and you will be on a bridge crossing the river and you will reach Sam Mun Tsai

2 - KMB Bus No. 74K can take you there!

After leaving Tai Po Market MTR Station Exit A3, you will see a subway ahead. Dive in the subway and turn your way to right. Follow the direction signs closely and you won't get lost. The cost is $7.30 for a single trip. The fare is subject to change

3 - Sampan

It is only available at Sam Mun Tsai Village. The sampan travels between somewhere at the peir in Sam Mun Tsai (not sure the exact location) and Island of Horse Feces Geopark (Ma Shi Chau Special Area). Great! This is the easiest way to get to geopark from the village. It costs around HK$25 for a single trip. The condition for the ride is that you need to wait until other strangers come to fill the boat. Otherwise, you gotta pay between HK$100 and HK150 to make up a differnece to hire the whole boat with the service of the driver. Of course, accompanies will save you money! Just to mention that it is not an easy task to find a sampan from Sam Mun Tsai to Island of Horse Feces (Ma Shi Chau) Special Area because I never try this! One solution is approaching the staff at Tai Po Geoheritage Centre. The little problem is that the centre is opened only on weekends and public holidays. I guess 30 minutes walk for the trail is not exhausive as the mountain is not steep and tall! The problem here is that you will face many challenges ahead of your journey (greeted by ancestors of the village by passing a lot of graveyards along the way!) So, it is better to avoid going there too late!

Let's launch a mix of Culture, History and Geology expedition!

Let's launch a mix of Culture, History and Geology expedition!

Exhibition

Sam Mun Tsai Historical Gallery (Opening Hours: 24 hours)

Prior to Sam Mun Tsai Historical Gallery, there will be local stores and a shrine for Earth God (a protector of the village). When walking into the village on the main road, you will find an array of photos with introduction alongside the wall on your left.

The Salvation Army North East New Territories Fisherman's Culture Gallery

Opening Hours: 10:30 a.m. - 04:30 p.m. on weekends and public holidays.
Approximately five minutes walk, you will see this tiny gallery accommodate some interesting stuff about fishing culture in Hong Kong.

Tai Po Geoheritage Gallery

Opening Hours: 09:30 a.m. - 05:00 p.m. on weekends and public holidays except lunchtime from 01:00 p.m. to 02:00 p.m.
This is a tiny museum focus on educating people about geoparks in Hong Kong. This museum exhibits rocks with facts may interest geology enthusiasts.

Island of Horse Feces Geopark

Island of Horse Feces Geopark

Island of Horse Feces Geopark (Ma Shi Chau Special Area)

Where are we heading

Where are we heading

Direction

A pavilion

A pavilion

You will see this sign adjacent to a pavilion

You will see this sign adjacent to a pavilion

Your journey begins!

Your journey begins!

Turn right after the first staricase climb

Turn right after the first staricase climb

You will see this playground unless you headed the wrong way

You will see this playground unless you headed the wrong way

Tidal information provided on the board

Tidal information provided on the board

Get ready for your adventure

Get ready for your adventure

Finally here

Finally here

There are two things to get ready for the trip! The first thing you need to be aware of is tidal information. There is a place there called Tombolo. Tombolo acts like a connection between two sides. If we go there when the tide is high, we definitely screw up ourselves. We should check the tidal prediction at Tai Po Kau. Weather information is available on the official website of Hong Kong Observatory.

Anything else

Anything else

Miscelleous

Ship Bay Village / Sandy Fence Village

Ship Bay Village / Sandy Fence Village

On the bridge reaching from town to Sam Mun Tsai, you can see a large staute for Goddess of Mercy over the ocean. Actually, this statute is situated at Tze Shan Monastery which is not a tourist spot. When you walk on the bridge until its end and turn right, you will find Ship Bay Village / Sandy Fence Village (Sheung Wan Tsuen / Sha Lan Tsuen).

Tang Clan plays a promonant role in Hong Kong history

Tang Clan plays a promonant role in Hong Kong history

This village is not special and I do not recommend you spending time to visit there unless you just wanna walk along the beach as shown in the photo. This village does not have things to see. I was just curious to seek the unknown so I went there. For interest, I discovered something. This village has three ancestral halls for Lee Clan, one very old style ancestral hall for Chan Clan and most importantly an ancestral hall fro Tang Clan. When I walked till the end of the village, I saw the antithetical couplet of all ancestral halls in this village and they are all relevant to imperial court of China. What's more, I saw the Antithetical couplet on the porch of the ancestral hall for Tang Clan. It is pretty similar to the one at the ancestral hall in Ping Shan. I believe that Tang Clan village must be a branch of Tang Clan in Ping Shan.

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Written by Bigaltravelcompanion
Albert Wilson born and has lived in Hong Kong for nearly twenty years. He is inspired by Lara Croft and her father much which lead him to have a profound interest in history, archeology, anthropology, culture, festival, and local food. His knowledge gained through guided tours, reading, watching the video, chatting and befriend with locals! In his book, he is more than willing to share his experience and knowledge in Hong Kong by relevant and practical approaches with you from common to hidden gems. In addition, Albert Wilson experienced some interesting life stories and he wants to share with you in his book as well as travel blogs and so... Read more

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