How to Get to Tap Mun Island
A.From Diamond Hill
- Take Bus 92 to Sai Kung ( HKD 6.8). Frequency is every 15- 20 minutes. It takes 50 minutes to get to Sai Kung.
- Take Bus 94 from Sai Kung to Wong Shek Pier (HKD 6) . Frequency is every 30 minutes and it is also a 30 minute ride.
- Take ferry from Wong Shek Pier ( HKD 9.5) to Tap Mun. It will be the 3rd
- On weekends, you may take bus 96R which will take you directly to Wong Shek Pier (HKD 18.7) and a total of 65 minutes. From Wong Shek Pier, take the ferry to Tap Mun.
B.From Chung Hung Exit C2
- Take the green mini bus 1A from Chunghung to Saikung. ( HKD 8). Frequency is every 3-5 minutes, and journey time of 25 minutes.
- Ride bus 94 from Sai kung to Wong Shek Pier ( HKD 6).
- Take the ferry from Wong Shek Pier to Tap Mun (HKD 9.5).
My friend Tina and I decided to take the option from Diamond Hill for the following reasons:
- MTR ride to Diamond Hill and Chung Hung costs the same from Tsim Sha Tsui ( HKD 8), but Diamond Hill was nearer in distance.
- Bus 92 from Diamond Hill is the first stop, therefore we could get good seats. Aside from that, we were so sleepy, having gotten up super early, so we picked the one that had the most direct route. Sai Kung was the last stop, so we had 40 minutes of sleep.
- Chung Hung mini bus 1A is a route from the Star Ferry and as such, usually entailed longer lines. In comparison, there is a mini bus every 5 minutes.
Above is the Tap Mun Ferry Schedule. The ferry we took had 3 stops. Tap Mun is the last stop.
Total Travel to get to Wong Shek Pier is 1.5 hours to 2 hours including the waiting time for the next bus to depart.
What to see in Tap Mun
Tap Mun, also known as Grassland is a very small yet scenic islet. What I loved about it is that the trail is very easy that it can be done with the family.
Upon reaching the island, we decided to eat before we explored the island. From the pier, we turned left towards the Tin Hau Temple and bumped into a seafood restaurant. The lady was very accommodating, despite not being able to speak in English. Luckily, there were pictures posted outside; we used that to order since the menu too, was written in Chinese. We ordered shrimp rice and calamari.
After eating, we headed to the Tin Hau temple.
The direction arrows on the island pointed out Balanced Rock to be on the same side as Tin Hau, but the map showed otherwise. We were confused, so we asked a local, and the map proved to be the right one. So in essence, from the ferry when you turn left you end up at the temple, and when you turn right you end up in Balanced Rock.
The 2km trail consists of stairs, and it was paved, making the whole walk very easy. This is perfect for people like Tina who enjoy walking but not uphill hiking.. The walk was very short and it was along a scenic and breezy coast.
My favorite part of the trail was where it changed into grass land. There was a snake like path and the views were amazing. I remember likening it to Batanes. There are 2 islands that you see in the distance, and a rocky beach shore below. It is a small island that is rich with rolling, grassy hills with wild cows roaming the island.
Tina and I sat here for a while and talked about how blessed we were in spite of the many challenges that 2015 had brought upon us. We realized that being around nature and friends makes you reflect more.
The island itself has a very interesting story. Tap Mun was once inhabited by 5000, but because of mass exodus that happened in the 1950’s, there are now only 100 Hanka and Tanka people. Sad as it may seem, a lot were forced to leave for better education and for better careers elsewhere, despite the natural beauty of this fishing village. Now, Tap Mun serves as a good camping spot and kite flying.
At the end of the path, towards the cliff, you’ll see two sheds, for which I coined the name “ The Thinking Shed”. I did say, “it’s the place where we dream, we wait, and we hope.” At some point we realized, it is places like this that makes one feel a deep sense of gratitude; and in that moment, your perspective on everything changes.
In this mini-adventure, Tina and I spent a lot of time talking, reflecting and taking pictures. We learned more about life. They say it matters who you’re with in a journey; in this case, I was glad it was her.
When we finally checked the time, it was nearly 1:15pm. We had wanted to catch the 1:45pm boat since it only departs every 2 hours, and at that point we had already explored the whole island. We briskly walked back to the pier, with ample time to buy cold water and wait for our boat ride.
Again, talk about God’s perfect timing, I’ll explain why, in my next blog which is coming soon: A boat tour around Sai Kung.