Are you tired with the shopping malls? You should consider those beautiful outlying islands in Hong Kong. Today I am introducing a small and beautiful island which has its unique historical background and you can visit an old Chapel, which is a grade III historical building.
Yim Tin Tsai (Its mean small salt field), a small outlying island in Sai Kung. In 1700, the Hakka Chan clan settled on the Island and started their salt-making business. The island has over 1,200 inhabitants at its peak, most of them lived on fishing, farming and salt-making. In 1864, two missionaries arrived Yim Tin Chai, all the villagers on the Island were baptized in 1875. Joseph Freinademetz set up the first chapel in 1879 and the villagers built the current St. Joesph chapel in 1890 with a school adjacent on it. The last villagers moved away from the Island in 1990s and the village school was also closed. After being abandoned for over 10 years, the government approved rehabilitating the salt fields, some of the villages started to move back and renovated the chapel.
When you get off from the ferry, you can see very clean water here which is very different from the Victoria Harbour. You might agree with me if you have already visited Victoria Harbour. You will see a store next to the pier selling local steamed bun, which is a traditional food of Hakka clan. The buns are sweet in taste, there are 3 favors which are Chinese Fevervine, Pumpkin and Almonds while the Chinese Fevervine bun is the most traditional one, I would suggest you to buy one before you leave the Island.
You will see the school and the chapel after a few minute walk on the main road. The school has been abandoned and now used to display the cultural and historical objects of the island. Next to it, you will see the hundred years old Romanesque style chapel. The St. Joesph statue is set up at the center of the altar and you can also see the statue of missionary St. Joesph Freinademetz inside the chapel.
After visiting the chapel, you can continue your walk by following the main path. You will climb up a little hill until you reach the pavilions. You can take a rest and enjoy the nice sea view from there where you can see other outlying island nearby.
Follow the lane and walk down the mountain, you will see your path spit into 2 ways while the left one will lead you to the golf field on another outlying island , where you can see Mangrove on the way. The right one is going to the salt field and the pier. The salt field is still operating, you can take a visit and understand how a salt field works.
You can complete a round trip of this little beautiful outlying island in around an hour. At last, don’t forget to buy a local steamed bun at the pier. You will like the Chinese Fevervince favor bun!
How to get there?
You can get a ticket near the Sai Kung Ferry Pier:
Please note that there are no regular ferry schedule on weekdays but they do provide special arranged ferry service but you will need to ask the staff at the ticket selling counter or call 852-2796226 for advance arrangement. For regular ferry on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday, please refer to the schedule below:
Regular Ferry schedule on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday:
Sai Kung to Yim Tin Tsai: 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm
Yim Tin Tsai to Sai Kung: 12:20pm, 2:20pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm
Official page of Yim Tin Tsai (Chinese only)