Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Destination: Ma Shi Chau (Photo-essay)

Why would one want to visit an island with the unattractive sounding name of Ma Shi Chau (Cantonese for "Horse Excrement Island")?! For those in the know, the answer would be "To see its rock formations of course!" For as it so happens, this island in Tolo Harbour which is connected, at low tide, to Yim Tin Tsai via a tombolo is part of a designated Special Area on account of its rich geological features (and also a part of the Hong Kong National Geopark which came into being in November 2009).

In particular, Ma Shi Chau is considered to have the oldest sedimentary rocks in Hong Kong -- dating back to the Permian Period (about 280 to 225 million years ago)! So while it doesn't have rock formations that look like turtles, Buddha's palms and such as on Po Toi, the island certainly has its attractions especially for those with a geological bent... and hikers who can appreciate the beauty of rocks along with other aspects of nature! :b

Like the sign shows, to get to Ma Chi Shau, one
has to
pass through Sam Mun Tsai New Village

View from inside the relocated fishing village (the original
settlement was one of a number whose inhabitants were
displaced by the construction of the Plover Cove Reservoir)

Boats (and one perching egret) out on
the nearby
Shuen Wan Typhoon Shelter

View of Tolo Harbour, the Plover Cove Reservoir's
Main Dam and beyond from Yim Tin Tsai

View from Yim Tin Tsai of Ma Shi Chau and
the tombolo that connects the two islands

Follow this path downhill...

...and you'll find yourself at sea level
and within spitting distance
of the tombolo!

Across the water (and the tombolo) is Ma Shi Chau --
the island that's far more beautiful than its name! :)

To be continued (but of course!)...


baroness radon said...

And why is it named that?

magiceye said...

this is so interesting!

YTSL said...

Hi baroness radon --

From what I've gathered, Ma Shi Chau is so named because the island's shape is thought to resemble a heap of horse excrement when viewed from an elevated angle! ;D

Hi magiceye --

Thanks, I'm happy you find it to be so. :)

sarah bailey knight said...

hi ytsl,

I enjoy your photos (other photo-essays too) of the fishing villages your hikes take you through as the buildings and lanes are so different from where I live.

Hehe...some of the rocks do remind me of horse excrement though much bigger than the real horse pile I almost stepped in on my early morning walk with my dog this morning.

baroness radon said...

Thanks--that's what I guessed!

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

I'm glad you like seeing the photos I take of fishing villages in Hong Kong. And interesting that Ma Shi Chau's rocks get you thinking of horse shit -- maybe that's another reason why the island came to have the name that it does! :b

Hi Baroness Radon --

Hope you read sbk's comments re Ma Shi Chau's rocks as well as the answer I gave as possibly being why Ma Shi Chau is so named. :)

Fili said...

wow, haven't heard about this one before. Looks like a place worth visiting.


YTSL said...

Hi Fili --

Definitely reckon that Ma Shi Chau's worth visiting. And it also is one of those places for which the trip there and out of it also is really cool. :)