Sharp Island (橋咀洲) near Sai Kung

sharp islandSharp Island and its neighbours are most popular for swimming at beaches, and snorkelling over coral.

Sharp Island and its neighbours are most popular for swimming at beaches, and snorkelling over coral.

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

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.

sharp island tombolo

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.


 

2 Comments

  1. Great corals but getting damaged..
    Sharp Island is actually an area of really lovely corals and very accessible from Sai Kung pier. It is possible to see a multitude of marine life at this spot in pretty shallow water. I have some really nice shots of coral heads in pretty clear water, taken at Sharp Island. There is an issue here however in that the accessibility is leading to damage. Actually I have seen a number of careless snorkelers walking on the coral heads and the number of divers in the area is putting some strain on the ecosystem. There are signs of real damage to the area.

    Please be careful not to step on or damage any of the corals, they are very sensitive to disturbance. But ENJOY, it is a lovely spot.

  2. SHarp Island

    This is a nice article.

    Sharp Island is great and unfortunately bears the brunt of traffic because of its short distance to the pier. The reason it is overwhelmed with divers is that it is a cheap fuel day for the boat operators. Ask any diver in HK which site they have done the most and it will be this one.

    The coral forms in some large clusters in the bay described above, but actually if you move along the coastline away from the bay you hit a bunch of large anemones and hundreds of clown fish (usually pretty aggressive ones as well).

    This was a juvenile painted sweetlips I saw there a while back.

    [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=HK&hl=zh-TW&v=6V2qGB6Zv0U%5D

    Followed by what I have been told is a tubeworm anemone, if you watch it closely you will see it using its tentacles to bring food to its central mouth.

    [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=HK&hl=zh-TW&v=HeSqhzpKSBo%5D

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