Geologic Formations in Hong Kong

Top Geologic Formations in Hong Kong, China

Geologic Formations in Hong Kong

  • Traveler favorites
    Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
  • Traveler ranking
    Highest rated attractions on Tripadvisor, based on traveler reviews.
Types of Attractions
Nature & Parks
Nature & Parks
Traveler rating
Neighborhoods
Good for
26 places sorted by traveler favorites

What travelers are saying

  • TheOExpress🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🇭🇰
    Hong Kong, China4,053 contributions
    …this outcrop is incredible. It really does resemble a lion from the ground and the vistas from the walk up and the peak itself are truly beautiful. Very much recommended for hike, best reached by starting at Fat Jong Temple (get a minibus from Wong Tai Sun or a taxi).
    Written April 6, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom6,637 contributions
    This is a spectacular natural sea cave. Despite it’s name, Crab Cave strangely does not have a single crab – not one. You can enter safely and still leave with all your toes intact. The name came about because from outside, the cave looks a little bit like like a crab. Actually, I couldn't see it at all until I stood at a distance and to the left and then maybe you can begin to see it.
    Even more strangely, Crab Cave is not actually a cave. From a geology point of view, it should more correctly be called a sea arch. However it feels more like a cave. When you go inside, it feels as if you are sitting inside a cave with the back wall knocked out, creating a window to the sea, where you can watch the foaming waves splash up. It really is as spectacular as it sounds.
    You will almost certainly have to share the space with lots of others. Most likely will have to share it with Instagrammers. Even on a weekday when we were there, people were changing their wardrobe and ditching walking shoes to get ready for their photos. Nevertheless, it is beautiful and it’s worth sitting patiently and waiting to get the space to yourself for a few quiet moments.
    The cave is just one of several features at the very scenic Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve. Thunder Cave, WWII military batteries, ‘Miss Willy’ (whale skeleton) and the lighthouse are all in the same area.
    Take plenty of water, snacks and sunscreen and wear good shoes because the areas around the caves are rocky and inside is slippery.
    GETTING THERE: Getting here is not easy as it is an isolated spot and is roughly a 5km walk down Cape D’Aguilar Rd into the reserve.
    From Central, we took the MTR to Shau Kei Wan. Exit A3 brings you up at the bus bay and we only waited about 10 min for the #9 bus that took us right to the big roundabout at the start of the walk. Be aware that not all #9 buses stop here so check first that your bus has a sign saying “via Cape D’Aguilar”. Public transport took us about an hour. A taxi or uber would have halved that time and from Central, would have cost under $200HKD.
    Written April 16, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom6,637 contributions
    This is a very beautiful marine reserve with craggy rock formations, sweeping coastal views and features, including unusual caves, the ‘Miss Willy’ whale skeleton, WWII military batteries and Hong Kong’s oldest lighthouse (see separate reviews). However, it is also an isolated spot and well off the beaten track. If you only have a few days in Hong Kong, then you will be too busy with other sights and this is too remote and too out of the way to include in an itinerary.
    Entry is free but to get there, you need to walk in. The bus will drop you off at the large roundabout which is where your walk starts.
    It is one of the easiest coastal trails and is a roughly 5 km gentle, downhill walk along Cape D'Aguilar Rd (the bad news is that you will have to walk back up again unless you are lucky enough to snag a taxi that has dropped someone else off).
    It’s not terribly well sign-posted. You can generally follow other hikers but basically stick to the road until you get to the radio transmitters. At this point, you take the dirt path on your left and circle around behind the station where you can pick up the road again to head downhill. Towards the end of your walk, the road splits but there is a large, blue sign at this point directing you down to the reserve.
    Make sure to take sunscreen, hats, water and food. The walk is quite exposed and if you go on a weekday, there are no opportunities to buy anything. You’ll also need good shoes because once you get to the reserve the rocks can be sharp and around the caves and water, it is quite slippery. The only public toilets that we saw were two porta-loos about 5 min into the walk.
    Be aware, that despite the beautiful waters and the hot walk to get here, you can’t jump in for a swim because it's a marine reserve. Instead, we took a taxi later in the day to Shek O beach for lunch and a cooling swim ($46HKD).
    GETTING THERE: It’s a long-ish but very straightforward trip from Central. A taxi or uber will take cut your travel time in half and can also save you some walking because it can take you part of the way down Cape D'Aguilar Rd. You should pay under $200HKD. We found public transport easy although it took about an hour. We caught the MTR to Shau Kei Wan. Exit A3 brought us right up at the bus bay and the #9 bus went right to the start of the walk. The only tricky part is to double-check that your bus stops at Cape D’Aguilar. Not all do. Some #9 buses go straight through to Shek O so don't get on unless the sign specifically says “via Cape D’Aguilar”.
    Written April 15, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Calle K
    Hong Kong, China1,777 contributions
    We firstly anchored up outside the village and couldn’t figure out how to go here. Silly us! The only person on the island said also she didn’t know where this was. So we drove around and anchored again only to find out it’s just a short stroll from the village going north.
    It’s a beautiful view of Double haven/crooked harbour on one side and Yantian container port in China on the other.
    Even the 3 years old climbed up on the arch.
    Written March 8, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom6,637 contributions
    This is one of the very striking parts of Peng Chau Island. Beside a small beach, on a rocky knoll, you will see this dramatic rock formation, known as Old Fisherman’s Rock. The rock stack looks precariously perched as if it is almost about to topple over. It’s very scenic, especially as the view beyond the rock looks across the water to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
    A narrow, scrubby path lets you can clamber up to the top for a good photo but beware of the bushes as you climb up - they are rough and scratchy.
    A second outcrop of rocks sits a little further out, behind Old Fisherman’s Rock. At low tide you can walk around them and when we were there, several locals with buckets and knives were collecting some type of shell fish from the rock platform. At high tide, the platform is submerged and the outcrop becomes cut off.
    Fisherman’s Rock is part of the Peng Yu Path, an easy, mostly level walking trail that takes you past several small beaches and around the northern part of Peng Chau.
    Written March 28, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Shasha A
    Hong Kong, China203 contributions
    Locations : Sharp Island, Kiu tsui beach and Hap Mun bay beach
    Type of visit : one night camping/ Group

    As we had a long holiday for Lunar new year we decided to camp. So we choose somewhere easily accessible because I had two first time campers to take care of. We chose Sharp Island in Sai Kung for your purpose.
    We all met in Hang hau and took a taxi to Sai Kung pier. There are big shopping malls (Fusion/welcome) in Sai Kung you can buy whatever you want. And then we took tickets for sampan. Each ticket costed 50$ round ticket. There are different stalls outside the pier you can select according to your destination. It was a very short boat ride, like about 15mnts. And we got off at Kiu Tsui pier. My friend forgot her bag in the sampan and we contacted the boat stall in Sai Kung and they helped us to get it back.
    When we arrived, Kiu Tsui beach is already full with camp tents. We found a quite decent spot to settle down. There is nothing much to do. But if you o during summer or much fair weather conditions you can swim to 2 close by islands from Kiu tsui.i was planning on this, but the climate was not that perfect for a swim in the ocean.
    Kiu Tsui is famous for its geological value as it is believed to be a part of an old volcano which situated in Sai Kung 140million years ago. Rhyolite can be found in this area. (Rhyolite forms by volcanic eruption and lava flows) and the rock fossils gives the estimation of the time frame of these incidents. Kiu tsui is famous for Pineapple buns. Some huge rocks in Kiu tsui has the same appearance as Pineapple buns. Pineapple buns are a famous delicacy in Chinese culture. Make sure to check on the tidal chart before you go through the beautiful rocky tombola. Good spot for great pictures.
    We had a relaxed and chilled evening with some BBQ, chilled booz and good music. It was a most needed escape for almost everyone who works really hard. Everyone on the beach was enjoying. Singing, cooking, making new friends, so many happy moments to remember. Toilet facilities were available at the beach station but the water that comes from the taps are not good for drinking or washing faces. Water is salty. Make sure to bring your own water. Toilets are clean and can be used properly.
    We planned to do the Kiu Tsui country park hike next day before we come home. Second day we had our lunch and started the hike from the left end of the Kiu Tsui Beach. It was little challenging in beginning as we had out bagpacks and equipments and it was all steps going uphill. But after we passed Hak shan teng area, the trail was easy.
    I have no words to explain the views from on top the hill. We were speechless when we encounter such 360° view points.
    After like an hour (including breaks) we ended up at Hap Mun Bay. People were camping there as well but not in front of the beach. We thought the boats come to Hap Mun pier as well. But when we called to the stall they said the sampan is not coming to the pier and we have to book a speed boat. And we paid 20$ extra per person and hired a speedboat only for ourselves. It came to the pier in like 10mnts and that part of the journey is awesome.
    From Sai Kung bus stand we took 792M which goes up to Tiu Keng Leng.
    This hike is not hard. Only few areas are steep to climb and descend.
    It is a good spot to enjoy a evening picnic with your family or camping overnight.
    Written February 21, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom6,637 contributions
    This is one of two caves at the very beautiful but isolated Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve. The dark and narrow sea cave is like a giant fissure in the black rocks. At the end, a long gash in the cave opens up to the sea, letting the thunderous noise of the waves fill the cave chamber.
    It’s dark inside and the lighting makes it difficult to take a good photo. The large, smooth rocks underfoot can be slippery but the cave is very tall and you can walk in easily, without having to bend or stoop over.
    It’s easy to miss the Thunder Cave path. Once you are down at the marine reserve and you can see both the HK Uni Marine Science building and the whale skeleton up ahead, then look for a narrow set of stairs on your left. The other cave to see is Crab Cave and you will find that just past the whale skeleton.
    GETTING THERE: From Central, catch the MTR to Shau Kei Wan and take exit A3 for the bus bay. You are looking for the #9 bus which will take you right to the start of the walk. Before you get on the bus, check that the sign says “via Cape D’Aguilar” because some buses go direct to Shek O, by-passing Cape D’Aguilar. The walk down to the marine reserve is about 8km there and back.
    Written April 14, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • BradJill
    Hong Kong, China148,468 contributions
    This is one of the special places in Hong Kong if you are a fan of geology and/or enjoy seeing unique seaside cliffs and coastlines. Po Pin Chau is an island that was once part of a cape that extended into the sea just south of the High Island Reservoir East Dam in the Sai Kung Country Park. If that were all to the story, Po Pin Chau would be an absolutely beautiful island to see. However, what makes this place so remarkable is that the entire island is made out of 50-60 metre tall stacks of rare hexagonal volcanic columns which can only be found at a few places on Earth.

    The island is part of the UNESCO Geopark in Hong Kong and can be seen by way of a trail south of the East Dam which ascends up the cape to a cliffside viewpoint, where you find full frontal view of the Po Pin Chau cliff face, a straight vertical wall of volcanic columns. You can also see the small channel below, where the sea carved its way through and separated Po Pin Chau from the cape. Depending on the time of year and if you are lucky, you may see kayakers going through the cut below. The trail to Po Pin Chau is moderately difficult and will take no less than 20 minutes to climb for experienced hikers and probably 30+ for those with less experience or fitness.

    As part of your visit to see Po Pin Chau, it is well worth visiting three other places nearby. The easiest and most accessible is the High Island Geo Trail which goes down into the buffer area below the East Dam. Here you walk right past some of the volcanic hexagonal columns, the same you will see at Po Pin Chau. These are much shorter but it is nice to see them up close and there is posted information to help you understand how this rare geology was formed millions of years ago.

    A second add-on is a bit more challenging but even better than the previous mention. As you climb up to the Po Pin Chau viewpoint. You will pass a rope assisted climb down to the Kim Chu Wan pebble beach. Trust me, do this if you have time! Once you make it down to the beach, you will encounter much taller stacks of the hexagonal columns up close. These are not as tall as Po Pin Chau but they still tower above you. This is where you can really appreciate the uniqueness of the geology you are seeing.

    A third rewarding add-on are the remarkable viewpoints along the Po Pin Chau trail towards Pak Lap Beach. You have to climb over a fairly high hill. Afterwards, you find yourself at several incredible viewpoints, looking back towards Po Pin Chau from around 500-600 metres away. From here you can see the hexagonal column stacks extending into the distance, forming an entire coastline of towering hexagonal columns which only end at Po Pin Chau.

    These are three stops that you can consider adding to your hike up to see Po Pin Chau while in the Sai Kung East Country Park. We usually do all of them at least once or twice a year. Combined, they make a great way to spend 3-4 hours seeing the volcanic columns from different heights and proximities, they also represent some of the very best of the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark.
    Written January 8, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom6,637 contributions
    This is not a ‘must-see’ but it is a strange and unusual rock feature set into the cliffs and is one of the scenic points along the Po Toi Walking Trail. It's sometimes also called Buddha's Hand but to me, it looked more like a giant robotic hand, reaching up from the earth. It even has finger tips. It’s a striking resemblance. There are several other dramatic-looking granite stones that have been eroded and weathered into various shapes along the trail. Nearby other stones have been nick-named Tortoise Rock, Coffin Rock and Monk Rock.
    You’ll find Palm Cliff on Route 2 of the looped walking trail which starts from the ferry pier. If you don't want to do the full trail all the way around the island, then this is the best option because it’s the most scenic and shortest stretch. As you approach the lighthouse, it’s on the lower path, on your right.
    Written June 17, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • BradJill
    Hong Kong, China148,468 contributions
    Luk Chau Shan is a mountain peak in the Ma On Shan Country Park. It is also the location of a rare Rock Forest called Shek Lung Tsai (石壟仔石林), which is basically a massive field of large and oddly shaped boulders stacked up on the mountainside. For experienced hikers and climbers, this is a fun spot for a couple hours of bouldering.

    You can hike up to Luk Chau Shan from Ma On Shan by making way south and east of the Grace Youth Camp inside the Country Park. Alternatively, here is route from the south starting from Mui Tsz Lam Road near Tai Shui Hang.

    Note: There is no formal trail to the Shek Lung Tsai Rock Forest so hiking apps don't really help that much. However, if you look at online maps and cross reference with google maps, it is easy enough to find with fairly basic navigation skills.

    What you will encounter is a mountain slope area around 100 metres by 50 metres that is made up of massive boulders stacked up on each other, providing some nice climbing and bouldering opportunity. There are no set routes from the bottom up to the top of the Rock Forest, you just have to safely navigate your way up, over and around the large boulder stacks.

    Note: The boulders are gritty providing very good grip for your hands and feet. However, you will need good condition shoes, hiking trousers (not shorts) and proper gloves in order to avoid scrapping your legs, hands and feet during your climb.

    Note: Climbing at Shek Lung Tsai can be very fun but it can be a bit dangerous as well. In short, this is not a recommendable activity for children, those who lack physical strength or those lacking some minimum climbing experience. If you've done some challenging hikes which included clambering, bouldering or coasteering, you'll probably be fine. If not, this might not be the best place to get your start.
    Written April 19, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • BradJill
    Hong Kong, China148,468 contributions
    This is a 15-metre tall, landmark boulder situated on a hillside in the north of the Lion Rock Country Park. The boulder is in a forested area but uniquely rests on its own on the slope of the hill, providing nice viewpoints of Sha Tin area and back toward the Tolo Harbour as well.

    According to an information sign along the trail up to Amah Rock, there is an interesting old legend that a local villager left to work overseas. However, he failed to send letters home to his wife and child who would climb up this hill and watch for his return every day. One day, after a thunderstorm, they were turned into stone - hence explaining why Amah Rock's appearance to some people is that of a a mother holding a baby.

    The easiest way to see Amah Rock is by way of the Hung Mui Kuk Nature Trail that starts at the northern entrance to Lion Rock Country Park, just north of the Lion Rock Tunnel Road and south of Tai Wai MTR Station. If you using KMB Bus 85, just get off at World Wide Gardens and you are just a couple minutes from the country park and trailhead. While walking the nature trail, at the end of the catch water structure you pass after 20 minutes into the hike, you will see signs pointing for Amah Rock and Lion Rock as well. Just follow it and you'll be there in 10-15 more minutes. The trail is a bit steep but not too difficult.
    Written December 7, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • BradJill
    Hong Kong, China148,468 contributions
    We recently spent half a day in the Lai Chi Chong area taking in the trail between Pak Sha O and Lai Chi Chong in the Sai Kung West Country Park. While the main trail can be enjoyed pretty much any time of day, it is important to note that the important Geosite area at Lai Chi Chong is dependent upon the tide schedule.

    On the occasion of this visit, we arrived just before high tide and found much of the Geosite underwater. You can still view fine examples of geological highlights here. However, particular impressive areas, especially the convoluted bedding and spot known for the folds are very shallow which inherently means they are greatly affected by the tide.

    Because of this reality when visiting Lai Chi Chong, it is very helpful to view the Hong Kong Tide Reports before planning your day at this UNESCO Geosite. Tides change from day to day in Hong Kong but ferry schedules from Ma Liu Shui are fixed so your experience can be dictated as such. If you are hiking in from Pak Sha O, simply adjust your hiking start time so that you arrive 1-2 hours after high tide. By then viewing conditions are very good. Hike time from Pak Sha O is around 45-60 minutes depending on your hiking pace.

    Note: If you arrive at Lai Chi Chong at high tide, you can kill some time in the area by exploring a bit around Lai Chi Chong. You can cross the creek that runs along the campground in front of the village for a decent hike up to the Caritas Jockey Club Siu Tong Camp. There is a neat and quiet little beach on that trail that is worth seeing as well. Then, make your way back to the Geosite to enjoy exploring those grounds.
    Written April 11, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • BradJill
    Hong Kong, China148,468 contributions
    One of the most interesting geological features of Tap Mun (Grass Island) is the Dragon's Neck (龍頸筋 ) situated at the end of the informal trails north of the Hilltop Pavilion. This is a neat place to visit if you enjoy unique landscapes less frequented by visitors.

    At the end of the trails heading north, you repel down the hillside with the assistance of ropes until you reach a boulder beach. To the west, you will see a large boulder with a jagged top. It is around 10 metres tall and is beautiful to see, particularly on days with good sky conditions.
    Written February 14, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • BradJill
    Hong Kong, China148,468 contributions
    One of the notable things to see on Tap Mun (Grass Island) is Balanced Rock which is situated along the southeast shoreline. You will pass right above it as part of the short loop trail that circles the southern end of Tap Mun.

    What you see here are two rectangular shaped boulders around 6 metres in height stacked atop each other. It is a peculiar configuration amongst the many large boulders scattered around the southeast shoreline. You can make your down to Balanced Rock directly from the loop trail or by clambering the shoreline from either direction. Photos of Balanced Rock are better from the northeast (morning) where you can see the two boulders outlined against the sky.

    Note: Lots of great boulders to climb over and around in route to Balanced Rock. If you make your way northeast on the boulder and pebble beach. You will eventually run into the Tap Mun Sea Cave which is also rather neat geological feature to find while exploring the island.
    Written February 13, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • BradJill
    Hong Kong, China148,468 contributions
    Ap Chau (Robinson Island) is the smallest habited island in the Hong Kong territories. It is located just across from Kat O (Crooked Island) in the Double Haven area of the N.E. New Territories and is usually visited in tandem with Kat O by weekend day trippers from the city. This very small island has rare and unique geology which is why it is also one of the geosites which make up the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark.

    What you can see at Ap Chau is a large amount of rare red-brownish coloured breccia which forms much of the island. It is found around most of the island coast, including the north end where there are other unique geological formations, including a large fracture zone called the Duck's Neck and a rare sea arch called the Duck's Eye that is around 6 metres in length and 2 meters high.

    There is a UNESCO geosite information panel just next to the sea arch showing you the location of the island's geological highlights and providing a brief explanation of what you are looking at while exploring around Ap Chau.

    In the end, because of the very small size of Ap Chau, you will be able to sufficiently explore and view the entire geosite in 30-45 minutes with relative comfort. This is more than enough time between scheduled ferry arrivals (10.45am) and departures (12.30pm) to/from Kat O on weekends and public holidays when ferries call upon these two islands from the Ma Liu Shui ferry piers at Science Park.
    Written January 31, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hong Kong