Sharp Island (橋咀洲)
Much of Sharp Island (Kiu Tsui Chau, 橋咀洲), together with seven islets off its northeast and northwest coasts, is country park. Though you can hike here, Sharp Island and its neighbours are most popular for activities focused on the shore and marine environment – especially swimming at two of the best beaches near Sai Kung, as well as snorkelling over coral.
Sharp Island is indeed angular. The interior is a slender, north-south ridge that rises to 136 metres, with especially steep slopes to the west, small streams cutting into the east slopes. The slopes are well wooded, with native broadleaf trees. Near the shoreline are typical coastal trees such as Cuban Bast, and some mangroves grow at the stream mouths.
Though wildlife on land is mostly unremarkable, the islands’ are within a prime haunt of the White-bellied Sea-Eagle, a beautiful bird of prey that breeds along some of Hong Kong’s wilder stretches of coastline.
There are three main beaches on Sharp Island: one at Hap Mun Bay in the south, and two at Kiu Tsui on the west coast. Kiu Tsui was the site of a hamlet, and later of an amusement park that is now in ruins. From here, a tombolo – a rocky spit – links the island to Kiu Tau. Just south of this, there is a good coral community.
Relaxing on and swimming at Sharp Island’s beaches is a pleasant way to enjoy the country park’s scenery. There are lifeguard services plus barbecue facilities at both Kiu Tsui Beach and Hap Mun Bay.
At low tide, you can also stroll along the tombolo to Kiu Tau. Checking the tideline here, you should find shells, and perhaps fragments of coral.
Sharp Island boasts one of the most easily accessed coral communities in Hong Kong. The main area of corals lies south of the tombolo, and is marked by buoys that designate a no anchoring zone. Snorkelling here, you can readily see coral heads, along with other marine life such as urchins and colourful fish.
You can readily stroll along and near the beaches. There are also narrow, steep trails along the hillsides, and it’s possible to walk a fairly challenging circuit of the island.