Updated: Aug 17, 2020
The High Island Reservoir East Dam is the only place within the Hong Kong Global Geopark that is reachable on foot. Once there, we decided to go on the 'Po Pin Chau' trail to get a closer look at the 'broken-sided' island.
Difficulty Rating: 5/10 (while the Po Pin Chau trail is relatively straight easy, the entire trip depends on how difficult and adventurous you'd like to make it)
Duration: 4-5 hours
Cell Service: 5/5
If you have the time to explore, the dam boasts some of the coolest spots. From hexagonal rock columns formed due to a volcanic eruption to T-shaped blocks (aka tetra-pods) and S-shaped columns, the entire place is almost surreal!
How to get there:
An alternative route is to either take bus no.94 from Sai Kung town centre or bus no.96R from Diamond Hill MTR station (weekends and public holidays only). Get off just after Pak Tam Chung. Then, walk for 9km with 360° scenic views.
There isn't really a specific route as the Dam spans out in all directions and is surrounded by several hills that can be climbed for gorgeous views.
One of the most well-known spots is a wooden boardwalk that leads to a sea cave. This place is usually packed with crowds taking photos of the with an unobstructed view of the sea cave.
After, we headed in the direction of Po Pin Chau (using Google maps as a reference). This involved climbing some part of the trail on all fours, making it one of the more adventurous hikes we've done.
The reservoir is on the left of the image, and the arrow on the image is pointing at Po Pin Chau. We climbed through the sides and found an adventurous path towards it.
Po Pin Chau is an island that was once part of Fa Shan, but has been cut away from the mainland. Po Pin Chau was formed over several stages. Firstly, pounding waves resulted in the formation of a sea cave. This cave eventually became larger and cut through Fa Shan, forming a sea arch. Eventually, it collapsed and cut Fa Shan into two parts.
The rock stacks tower vertically over the sea, and the rock face looks like a giant pipe organ.
We carried sandwiches and did a mini picnic facing the the beautiful view of Po Pin Chau!
We simply retraced our steps to go back. However, we weren't satisfied yet and wanted to hike some more. As the area is surrounded by hills, we crossed the reservoir and went up a hill on the other side.
Once on top, we spotted the main road and headed in that direction when climbing back down.
On the way back down, the route was extremely unclear. One great tip is to follow ribbons tied onto trees which ensures that there will be a path going forward.
While we got lucky finding a cab back to Sai Kung Town Centre, it may be challenging to find one. A tip would be to take down the phone number of a taxi service before going on the hike.
If you do end up going to East Dam for a hike, do share the route you took with us in the comments below!