High Island Reservoir East Dam

Some architecture, the South China Sea, and 140-million-year-old volcanic rocks make this one of Hong Kong’s most spectacular places. The High Island Reservoir East Dam is the most accessible site in the Hong Kong Global Geopark and the only place where you can touch the hexagonal rock formations. The landscape is surreal and made even more surreal by the presence of thousands of drosses (huge reinforced concrete blocks shaped like bushes) along the coast to break up the ocean waves.

High Island was his second reservoir in Hong Kong (Prover Cove was the first) built by damming the coast. This was done to bring fresh water to the area after the 1967 riots in mainland China cut off supplies. The High Island was designed by Vinny and Partners in London and built by Vianini Ravoli in Italy. At the south end of the East Dam, you can see a huge light blue dross block, a memorial to those who died in the project.

Nearby is a concrete slab commemorating the opening of the reservoir in 1978 written in Chinese and English. The construction of the reservoir had an unintended effect. After 30 years, the Hong Kong Global Geopark is now accessible on foot. Offshore at the southern end of the causeway is Pho Ping Chau (literally, an island with one side broken), a massive sea stack with rock pillars lining its face like a giant pipe organ. The High Island Reservoir’s East Dam is on Stage 1 of the MacLehose Trail and is hikeable. Alternatively, you can join a geopark tour with a stop at East Dam. See website for list and registration.

At the time of the investigation, a special green minibus (Route 9A) was just launched to carry passengers between Paktamchong and East Dam in Sai Kung. During the trial period, this line (HK$11.30) operated from 3pm to 6pm on Sundays and public holidays. Alternatively, take bus 94 from Sai Kung bus station to Pak Tam Chung and walk 9 km along Tai Mong Tsai Rd and Sai Kung Man Kee Rd to MacLehose Trail Stage 1 to East Dam.

A taxi ride from Sai Kung Town to East Dam takes about 30 minutes and costs HK$160. However, you may need to call a taxi service on your way back. Call 852.8103.1189. When contacting us, we can offer a ride for an additional charge of HK$50 or more.

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