Grass Island Tap Mun- a Sai Kung getaway

Last updated on January 13th, 2022 at 11:22 am

  1. Dazzling… Dazzling Cafe
  2. 5 reasons why I ditched London and move back to Hong Kong
  3. Wine and dine at Stone Nullah Tavern
  4. Sai Kung rock pools: the 4 consecutive pools and falls
  5. The Ultimate Guide to a Sai Kung Boat trip
  6. 5 transportations to take in Hong Kong
  7. Top 5 dessert place of Hong Kong (as of Sept 2016)
  8. 5+ amazing Sai Kung beaches in Hong Kong
  9. The Ultimate First Timer’s info guide to Hong Kong
  10. The Ultimate Guide to visiting the Peak, Hong Kong
  11. Best Egg Waffle Hong Kong: tried and tested
  12. Best brunch Hong Kong: my top 5 western restaurant
  13. Night Hike in Hong Kong: Suicide Cliff, Kowloon Peak
  14. The Best Time to Visit Hong Kong
  15. Pineapple Mountain: a visit to the Hong Kong Grand Canyon
  16. Top things to do in Admiralty and Central Hong Kong
  17. The Best Place to Stay in Hong Kong for First Timers
  18. Alternative places to stay in Hong Kong
  19. The Ultimate Guide to Temples of Hong Kong (ALL free entry!)  
  20. Moreish and Malt Afternoon tea: a review
  21. West High Hill – an adventurous alternative to the Peak
  22. Ham and Sherry Brunch Review – Tapas in Hong Kong
  23. My top restaurants in Hong Kong
  24. Hiking Tsz Wan Shan: the most underrated view of Kowloon
  25. Bubble tea Hong Kong: a Laugh Travel Eat guide
  26. A Shop and Eat Guide to Mongkok Hong Kong:
  27. Tung Ping Chau Day trip: hidden Hong Kong
  28. Ninepin Island: the hidden hexagonal column paradise of Hong Kong
  29. Tai Tun Shan – the thousand islands view of Sai Kung
  30. 15+ most instagrammed place in Hong Kong that’s not the Peak and how to get there
  31. My 1 Day Itinerary in Hong Kong
  32. Best of Sai Kung’s nature: Lai Chi Chong, Sham Chung, and Yung Shue O hike
  33. MacLehose Trail Stage 4 – Shui Long Wo
  34. Wu Gau Tang to Tiu Tang Lung hike: Hong Kong’s mountain and bays
  35. Easy hikes in Hong Kong that aren’t Dragon’s Back
  36. Needle Hill Hong Kong – conquering the third sharpest peak
  37. High Junk Peak: hike the second sharpest peak of Hong Kong
  38. Lung Ha Wan Country Trail: a hike up Tai Tun Leng Hong Kong
  39. Sham Shui Po local guide: fabric, electronics, and food galore
  40. A local’s guide to Sai Kung Hong Kong
  41. Iris Hong Kong review: the annual yoga and wellness weekend festival
  42. A hike up Ma On Shan via Tiu Shau Ngam, Hong Kong
  43. Lion Rock Hike: how to hike up the iconic Hong Kong mountain
  44. Tai To Yan: a Hong Kong razor ridge hike
  45. Buffalo Hills: hike up rocky outcrops and silver grass in Hong Kong
  46. Robin’s Nest: hike between Hong Kong and Shenzhen
  47. Devil’s Peak: fortifications and urban views galore
  48. Qipao rental in Hong Kong: experience old Hong Kong charm
  49. Kai Kung Leng: the velvet trail of Yuen Long
  50. Tai O Hong Kong: a day trip from the city
  51. Hung Heung Lo Fung: shortest hike in Hong Kong with a view
  52. Top things to do in Lantau Island on a day trip (or two)
  53. Wo Yang Shan hike: frolic under Tai Mo Shan
  54. Things to do in Sheung Wan Hong Kong
  55. Things to do in Hong Kong at night
  56. Sheung Wan Restaurants: best eateries and cafes
  57. Cheung Chau Island: a Hong Kong day trip
  58. What to do in Hong Kong in 4 days – advice from a local
  59. Nui Po Shan: finding the phallic rock hike in Hong Kong
  60. Sharp Peak: conquering one of Hong Kong’s toughest trails
  61. Lui Ta Shek hike: a quiet hike in Sai Kung
  62. Hiking Middle Hill – a fly by from Kowloon Peak
  63. Kayaking in Sai Kung: where to rent and paddle to
  64. Green Egg Island – an unusual oasis in Sai Kung, Hong Kong
  65. Seeking Kam Kui Shek Teng, Sai Kung Hong Kong
  66. Ping Nam Stream: hidden waterfall in Hong Kong
  67. Madai Stream: chasing waterfalls in Ma On Shan
  68. Grass Island Tap Mun- a Sai Kung getaway
  69. Pak Lung Stream: a Lantau stream hike
  70. Top Hong Kong Staycation deals
  71. Ap Lei Pai adventure via Yuk Kwai Shan
  72. Po Kwu Wan: a hidden Sai Kung bay
  73. Wang Chung Stream: the most scenic waterfall hike
  74. Tai Shing Stream – seeking birds and dragons
  75. Basalt Island: an adventure in Sai Kung Geo Park
  76. Jin Island: a day trip to Tiu Chung Chau
  77. Rhino Rock Stanley: a short hike with a view
  78. Tsing Tam Reservoir and Ho Pui Reservoir: an easy hike
  79. Lantau Peak from Ngong Ping: the easy route
  80. Bluff Island: an island adventure in Sai Kung
  81. Lo Fu Tau Country Trail: a Lantau Island hike
  82. Wilson Trail Stage 4: Tung Yeung Shan – an unexpected silver grass heaven
  83. Middle Dog Teeth Ridge – Mid Kau Nga Ling up Lantau Peak
  84. Kau To Shan: the hidden hike in Fo Tan
  85. Lau Shui Heung Reservoir to Hok Tau Reservoir: a Fanling easy day hike
  86. Tai Mo Shan hike: 5 ways to go up the Highest peak in Hong Kong
  87. 10 best hikes Hong Kong
  88. Devil’s Fist – a Plover Cove Reservoir hike out Wong Chuk Kok Tsui
  89. Cape d’Aguilar Hike Hong Kong: a complete guide
  90. Violet Hill hike + Twins Peak
  91. Sham Shui Po Food: a tried and tested guide
  92. Thousand Islands: Reservoir Island viewpoint in Tai Lam Country Park
  93. Tai Tong: Hong Kong’s red leaves haven
  94. Mau Ping Ancient Trail: seeking the Vine King and Bamboo Tunnels
  95. Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden: a sustainable and education day trip
  96. Pat Sin Leng hike: conquering the 8 immortals peak
  97. Shek Uk Shan: highest peak in Sai Kung
  98. Nam Sang Wai: cycling to the Yuen Long scenic wetland
  99. Tsang Pang Kok Tsui: the hidden headline
  100. Seeking Devil’s Claw along Chung Hom Kok
  101. Things to do in Aberdeen Hong Kong
  102. Sok Kwu Wan: hidden Lamma Island
  103. Best Burgers in Hong Kong
  104. Wang Chau: Sai Kung’s hidden tombolo
  105. Yim Tin Tsai: the salt farming island of Sai Kung
  106. Top things to do in Tsim Sha Tsui
  107. Checkerboard Hill: a Hidden Kowloon hike
  108. Hidden Hindu Temple Fanling: low level urban exploration
  109. Shark Rock Hong Kong: a hidden Kowloon hike
  110. Cloudy Hill: the easy way to hike Wilson Trail Section 8
  111. Ngau Wu Reservoir hike: a quick trip to the forgotten Ma On Shan reservoir
  112. 134 hike Sai Kung: Sharp Peak-3 Peninsula-4 beaches
  113. Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls hike: Bali vibes in Hong Kong
  114. Little Hawaii Trail: easy waterfall hike with tropical vibes
  115. Maclehose Trail Section 3: Ka Kung Shan hike
  116. MacLehose Trail Section 2: Sai Wan, Ham Tin Beach, and Chek Keng
  117. Po Toi Island Guide: hikes, attractions, and where to eat

Tap Mun, also known as Grass Island in English, is an island on the northern edge of Sai Kung famous for its grass field, hence the name. Once a flourishing fishing village with over 2,000 inhabitants, nowadays Grass Island is a sleepy village that is a popular day trip and camping spot.

to dragon view pavilion north grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat-2

Shaped like an elongated comma, Grass Island is a thirty minutes boat ride from Wong Shek Pier. The most famous feature on the island is its Balanced Rock, which looks like the character 呂 in Chinese. It’s perfect for a little day trip or overnight camping, and here’s a quick guide to Grass Island:

Grass Island Hong Kong Essential Information

There are quite a few Grass Islands around the world, the Grass Island in Hong Kong is more commonly called Tap Mun, and one of the few islands in Sai Kung that is inhabited.

It has been inhabited since the 16th century and was a supply stop along the sea trading route during the Ming Dynasty. So it’s not surprising to learn that Tap Mun is home to a historic Tin Hau Temple, and they also hold a Tin Hau Festival during her birthday.

The island used to have over 2,000 inhabitants, but most of them have moved to the city center for work. Nowadays, only around 100 people still live there.

Grass Island is a relatively small island and you can see everything in a day. Before we get to how to get to Grass Island, here are some frequently asked questions:

Where is Tap Mun?

Are there restaurants on Tap Mun?

Can you camp on Grass Island?

Are there hikes on Grass Island?

Are there beaches on Tap Mun?

Getting to Tap Mun Grass Island

How to get to Tap Mun Island? There is only one way: by ferry.

To reach Tap Mun, you can take a ferry from either Wong Shek Pier in Sai Kung or Ma Liu Shui Pier near the University East Rail Station in Tai Po. Both of the ferries are run by Tsui Wah Ferry Service and you can find the timetable here.

Grass Island Ferry from Sai Kung

ferry from wong shek pier to grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

The ride to Grass Island is only 30 minutes from Wong Shek Pier. The ferry from Wong Shek Pier only stops at Ko Lau Wan before heading to Tap Mun.

new fisherman village back to pier grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat-4
Tap Mun Pier

Ferries are far more frequent from Wong Shek Pier

To get to Wong Shek Pier, take the bus 94 from Sai Kung. On Sunday and Public Holidays, 96R from Diamond Hill and 289R from Shatin are also an option.

Ferry to Tap Mun Island from Ma Liu Shui

It takes 90 minutes from Ma Liu Shui Pier and stops at Sham Chung, Lai Chi Chong, as well as Ko Lau Wan and Chek Keng. You can take this ferry to Chek Keng for the Sharp Peak hike but this way takes longer.

But depending on where you are coming from, it might make sense to get the ferry from Ma Liu Shui.

What to do on Grass Island Tap Mun

As the island is not big, a day or even half a day is enough to see everything. It is an inhabited island with several villages dotted around the southern side, along with most of the attractions.

view from pier grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

The coastline is mostly pebble and rocky beaches, but the area is good for snorkeling if you come prepared. If you are feeling adventurous, the highest mountain on Grass Island in the north or opt to walk along the nicely paved path in the southern end.

Here is a vlog if you prefer a video guide:

Enjoy the sea urchin fried rice

The famous dishes of Grass Islands happen to be sea urchin fried rice and Hong Kong milk tea. Just 2 minutes walk from the pier to the left are two restaurants that are across from each other, both serving exactly that. We ended up going with the first one, as it looks more lively, and ordered sea urchin fried rice, shrimp paste fried morning glory, and a bottle of milk tea.

sea urchin fried rice and shrimp paste morning glory grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

The portion is good for 2, or 3 if none of you eat a lot. The grand total of the meal was 190 HKD for two.

Note: the restaurant is not on Google Map or has an English name, so just use my photos for reference.

Visit Tap Mun’s Tin Hau Temple

tin hau temple grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

The Tin Hau Temple on Grass Island dates back to the 17th century, built during the Qing Dynasty. But the one we see today was renovated in the 70s. Tin Hau is a sea goddess in the Toaist religion and wildly popular in Hong Kong and surrounding areas. See more about temples in Hong Kong here.

tin hau temple grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat-2

Like many of the other temples in Hong Kong, it is a compound temple with a small shrine for Kwan Tai, the god of Mercy and Martial Art.

Camp/picnic/chill on the grass field

grass field and sharp peak from grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

In case you didn’t notice, but Grass Island is famous for its wide expanse of grassland. Admittedly, I got my hopes up a little and it isn’t as big as I thought. I mean, Sham Chung has a bigger patch. But considering that we’re in Hong Kong and the grass field overlooks the sea and Sharp Peak, it is definitely a good location.

north to balanced rock grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat-2

The biggest patch is about 15 minutes walk from the Tin Hau Temple. Simply follow the sign for the Balanced Rock and you’ll reach a helipad/football field that is on the edge of the field. It does slope downwards with the occasional big rocks, an ideal place to camp/picnic/chill or fly a kite.

tin hau temple to grass field grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat
From TIn Hau Temple

Note: please throw your rubbish away in one of the many rubbish bins on the island!

See the Balanced Rock

balanced rock grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

Continue to follow the trail that heads back down south to see the famous Balanced Rock. I almost missed it because it is actually very close to the cliff that the path takes you to. Be careful when you peer down. If you want a better view, go to the grassless orange ground or continue south and look back!

balanced rock grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat-2

Fun fact: it’s simply called the 呂(a Chinese character and a surname) stone in Chinese because it’s shaped like that.

Go on a Tap Mun hike

to dragon view pavilion north grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

You can hike up the highest mountain or Lung Ka Keng.

From the helipad/football field, you can carry on up north along a flight of well-paved stairs to the Dragon View Pavilion. The first stretch of the steps is also a great place to sit and take photos, since you’ll get the entire grassfield, the beach, the ocean, and Sharp Peak in frame!

dragon view pavilion north grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

Once you reach the pavilion, there is a trail that continues north. If you follow it, you can either head to the highest mountain or to Lung Ka Keng (a pebble beach).

We went most of the way to Lung Ka Keng where we got a great view of the Port Island and Kung Chau, and decided that the descent to the beach was a little too much for us and headed back the way we came.

But I do believe that there are some angular rocks and boulders by the beach that you can take photos of!

Go on a walk in the south

From the Balanced Rock, many turn back to return to the pier, but if you carry on, you’ll reach a red-railed walkway by the coast with a view of Ko Lau Wan and back to Wong Shek. It makes for a nice walk and takes you to the New Fisherman Village.

New Fisherman Village

The village south of the pier, it has a more live-in and chill vibe with a basketball field and a few murals of Grass Island. There is another public bathroom here and some local convenience stores for refreshments.

Visit the Tap Mun Church

view of tap mun church grass island sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat

As the ferry pulls in at Grass Island Pier, a lone church stands on the hill and this is that Tap Mun Church. The pink and white church was founded in 1961 and at its height had 200 church goers among the 2000 inhabitants. There is a small path that goes up from the staircase by the public bathroom near the pier.

A Note on Grass Island Camping

Written by Nam Cheah

Hi, my name is Nam. I am 24 and spent half my life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. I believe there's endless experience and beauty in the world and this is me chronicling how to experience the best at the best price.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

hidden waterfall at the top madai stream Ma On Shan Hong Kong - laugh travel eat

Madai Stream: chasing waterfalls in Ma On Shan

Pak Lung Stream: a Lantau stream hike

pak lung stream tung chung lantau island hong kong - laugh travel eat-5