Top 5 easy sea kayak trips in Hong Kong - #1

Dog Island Sea Kayak Trip

A half day trip - 3 hours kayaking.

This trip can be done in most conditions – except when the the wind is from the north-east and east, blowing greater than 25 km per hour.

This sea kayak trip is from beautiful Lamma Island, 6 klms SW of Hong Kong city and takes approximately 3 hours. 

The trip commences from Lo So Shing Village (beach) at the western end and of Sok Kwu Wan, a deep inlet and sheltered bay on the eastern side of Lamma Island, a short 35 minute ferry ride from Central, downtown Hong Kong city.

Sok Kwu Wan is protected on three sides so is usually very calm. The British called this place Picnic Bay because the main street is lined with seafood restaurants, most of which are supplied with fresh fish from the floating fish farms in the bay.

The kayak journey takes you through the fish farms and alongside the retaining wall on the northern side of the bay. Due to the large number of of fish in the bay you will see see black kites, grey herons and white egrets either basking on the shores or soaring overhead looking for their next meal. It is said that the black kite has replaced or rather displaced the seagull here in Hong Kong. These are majestic birds can regularly be seen hunting for fish as you paddle along.

Another strange phenomena here in Sok Kwu Wan are the schools of fish that jump out of the water all around you. It is not unusual to have fish fly over your kayak as they try to escape some unseen predator.

Leaving Sok Kwu Wan behind we head north into the East Lamma Channel which seperates Lamma and Hong Kong Islands. This was once the second busiest shipping channel in the world!

Your destination is a small island, totally uninhabited island except for two friendly canines. This island sits on the edge of the East Lamma Channel about 300m off the coast of Lamma Island.
It is a low-level Island with play rocky boulder clad shoreline except for a small, white sand beach facing west towards Lamma Island. It is this beach that the two dogs (“Red Dog” & “Black Dog”) call their home. Facing West means the beach is protected from any waves originating from the East Lamma Channel and the prevailing winds of Hong Kong. Heavenly!

Although Dog Island is our destination there are many other interesting things to see before arriving there.

Separated from Lamma Island buy a narrow channel, on the peninsula facing Dog Island is a remote ancient village called Luk Chau.  Nestling under the the hills of Lamma Island, looking north over Luk Chau Wan is an isolated Tin Hau temple with some unique features. This temple has direct connections to some of the most feared pirates of the South China Sea. This small village once was the home to 100’s of Hakka villagers, but today there are less than 20 permanent residents. Now there are 10 times more dogs that live here than humans. Directly behind the village is the home for over 200 dogs that have been rescued by the charity called Hong Kong Dog Rescue.

Our paddle takes us through another floating fishing village, this one caters to the greater Hong Kong restaurant community whereas the fishing village in Sok Kwu Wan caters solely to the local waterfront restaurants. From here we head to Dog Island to meet our friendly inhabitants and stop for a brief swim to cool down from the intense heat of Hong Kong. It is best to take snacks and water for this journey, but also to take some food for the local dogs. They always appreciate it.

Relaxing on this remote white sand beach on a totally deserted island makes you wonder why more development hasn’t occurred. Whatever the answer to that question is, we all hope is continues to prevail. This is a quiet retreat only minutes away from one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. 

Your return journey takes you back into to the East Lamma Channel, this time heading south along the coastal cliffs into the sheltered waters of Sok Kwu Wan. The trip covers a total distance of 7 kilometres in mostly protected waters. 

This is a sea kayak trip that highlights the contrasts that make Hong Kong such a unique destination. 

You are paddling to a remote and totally undeveloped, deserted island less than 2 kms away from Hong Kong Island itself, with over 1.2 million people. The city of Hong Kong is made of towering skyscrapers of glass and concrete, but the villages you visit on this trip are made up of 1, 2 or 3 story buildings constructed of adobe mud and ming dynasty bricks. You will paddle past high speed catamarans and luxury multi-million yachts while watching local fisherman dressed in drab cotton shirt and pants, wearing a bamboo shade hat, controlling their san pan with a long stick of wood shaped as an oa,r hanging from the back of their boat! You’ll see birds diving for fish then roosting on on steel railings that follow the concrete trails that lead from village to village. There are no roads on Lamma Island. Not one single car!

This is a unique, easy sea kayak trip that highlights the past present and future of Hong Kong. 

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