UNESCO GEOPARK EXPEDITIONS
Section 2 - Double Haven Lagoon
What is a UNESCO Global Geopark?
Put simply, it is an area / region recognised by UNESCO as being of globally significant and unique geological features that should be showcased and protected. The Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark is made up of 8 such areas all encompassed within the one Geopark.
Sea Kayak Hong Kong has created a sea kayak expedition to 7 of the 8 locations neatly divided into two distinct sections both significantly different in their geological AND seakayaking nature.
Three (3) sea kayak journeys
Divided into 2 sections or do the entire 7 day experience!
The Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark comprises 8 individual sections. seven (7) of these sections are connected, but the 8th is seperated by a 20km section of ocean.
Sea Kayak Hong Kong has created 3 tours that cover up to 7 of the 8 sections of the Geopark. We have divided the Geopark into 2 logical sections and made it possible to combine both in one single expedition to create the 3rd option.
As section 1, the Sai Kung East Country park coastline is totally exposed, we can only offer this during periods of relatively low winds and small swells.
Section 2 is entirely different. A completely enclosed lagoon, except for the journey there, is sheltered in all weather conditions (typhoons are an exception). So we have seasons. Read the details to asertain which one is for you. All are world class sea kayaking trips.
3 days 2 nights
Serenity, peace and tranquility are the words that best describe the experience of sea kayaking the Double Haven lagoon – in absolute contrast to the dynamic, wild and exposed coastal environment of the Sai Kung East section.
Double Haven (section 2 of the Global GeoPark Tour) is in the far north eastern most region of Hong Kong SAR with NO road access to any part of the country park. Over the next few days we are completely isolated while we are in the lagoon.
Wong Shek to Hoi Ha Wan
Departing Sai Kung early by bus, we reach our kayaks at Wong Shek Pier, in the western branch of Long Harbour. After meeting our guides, we pack our kayaks with personal gear. The provisions and camping equipment are already stowed.
Our first destination is Hoi Ha Wan, home to over 80 species of coral reef, a little more than an hours paddle away by kayak. Here we join other paddlers who have recently completed the Sai Kung East section (1) of the Global Geopark Expedition.
We spend a short time snorkelling before having our first lunch on a fine sand beach surrounded by rainforest.
Double Haven, Lagoon of Solitude.
Our afternoon paddle is longer and takes us across the Tolo Channel and out of the volcanic region of Hong Kong into the more sedate, sedimentary geography, stepping back in time another 200 million years.
Once we cross the Tolo Channel and round the eastern most headland we enter the sheltered waters of Double Haven. The towering cliffs of Sai Kung East are replaced with low flat islands with broad beaches, mudflats, mangroves and forested hillsides that reach down to the waters edge.
Once we enter into the main lagoon, the transformation is complete. Waves disappear as we are surrounded by blocking islands keeping the elements at bay.
Our first night camp is in a sheltered bay – a beach campfire is a must have to celebrate the wilderness solitude.
Exploration of Double Haven Lagoon
Today we leave our campsite intact and head out for a day of exploring. Double Haven Lagoon historically was a very rich fishing and agricultural area. Today, all but a few of the villages are 100% deserted.
As we paddle from island to island we pass village remnants reminding us of the recent and ancient Chinese history. It is surreal, just 10 kms from the megacity of Shenzhen, hidden from view by the surrounding low lying islands.
Haven of solitude.
We make a short hike to visit the old, not quite deserted walled village of Lai Chi Wo to turn back the clocks and see how the Hakka Chinese lived in years gone by.
Again we are hit by he surreal contrasts hidden in this sleepy part of Hong Kong, sandwiched between 2 cities housing more than 30 million people between them.
We continue to glide peacefully, stopping at deserted beaches to swim or snorkel. This bay still boasts areas of coral reef. Because we left our camp established there is no need to hurry today. As long as we are back in time to prepare dinner, we have no other pressing engagements!
We spend the evening relaxing at camp, feeling how completely isolated we are.
Today is our return journey to civilisation. Leaving Double Haven, we head for distant Port Island at the mouth of the Tolo Channel. We are not sure whether its
the red sedimentary rocks or the fact that the island marks the entrance to the inland port of Shatin, but Port Island offers another chance to snorkel on the coral reefs.
As we pass Grass Island we again enter the sheltered waters of Long Harbour and quietly paddle back to our original starting place, 3 days ago.
A serene, surreal journey ends as we climb back aboard our bus and head away to the busy metropolis of Hong Kong.