- Dazzling… Dazzling Cafe
- 5 reasons why I ditched London and move back to Hong Kong
- Wine and dine at Stone Nullah Tavern
- Sai Kung rock pools: the 4 consecutive pools and falls
- The Ultimate Guide to a Sai Kung Boat trip
- 5 transportations to take in Hong Kong
- Top 5 dessert place of Hong Kong (as of Sept 2016)
- 5+ amazing Sai Kung beaches in Hong Kong
- The Ultimate First Timer’s info guide to Hong Kong
- The Ultimate Guide to visiting the Peak, Hong Kong
- Best Egg Waffle Hong Kong: tried and tested
- Best brunch Hong Kong: my top 5 western restaurant
- Night Hike in Hong Kong: Suicide Cliff, Kowloon Peak
- The Best Time to Visit Hong Kong
- Pineapple Mountain: a visit to the Hong Kong Grand Canyon
- Top things to do in Admiralty and Central Hong Kong
- The Best Place to Stay in Hong Kong for First Timers
- Alternative places to stay in Hong Kong
- The Ultimate Guide to Temples of Hong Kong (ALL free entry!)
- Moreish and Malt Afternoon tea: a review
- West High Hill – an adventurous alternative to the Peak
- Ham and Sherry Brunch Review – Tapas in Hong Kong
- My top restaurants in Hong Kong
- Hiking Tsz Wan Shan: the most underrated view of Kowloon
- Bubble tea Hong Kong: a Laugh Travel Eat guide
- A Shop and Eat Guide to Mongkok Hong Kong:
- Tung Ping Chau Day trip: hidden Hong Kong
- Ninepin Island: the hidden hexagonal column paradise of Hong Kong
- Tai Tun Shan – the thousand islands view of Sai Kung
- 15+ most instagrammed place in Hong Kong that’s not the Peak and how to get there
- My 1 Day Itinerary in Hong Kong
- Best of Sai Kung’s nature: Lai Chi Chong, Sham Chung, and Yung Shue O hike
- MacLehose Trail Stage 4 – Shui Long Wo
- Wu Gau Tang to Tiu Tang Lung hike: Hong Kong’s mountain and bays
- Easy hikes in Hong Kong that aren’t Dragon’s Back
- Needle Hill Hong Kong – conquering the third sharpest peak
- High Junk Peak: hike the second sharpest peak of Hong Kong
- Lung Ha Wan Country Trail: a hike up Tai Tun Leng Hong Kong
- Sham Shui Po local guide: fabric, electronics, and food galore
- A local’s guide to Sai Kung Hong Kong
- Iris Hong Kong review: the annual yoga and wellness weekend festival
- A hike up Ma On Shan via Tiu Shau Ngam, Hong Kong
- Lion Rock Hike: how to hike up the iconic Hong Kong mountain
- Tai To Yan: a Hong Kong razor ridge hike
- Buffalo Hills: hike up rocky outcrops and silver grass in Hong Kong
- Robin’s Nest: hike between Hong Kong and Shenzhen
- Devil’s Peak: fortifications and urban views galore
- Qipao rental in Hong Kong: experience old Hong Kong charm
- Kai Kung Leng: the velvet trail of Yuen Long
- Tai O Hong Kong: a day trip from the city
- Hung Heung Lo Fung: shortest hike in Hong Kong with a view
- Top things to do in Lantau Island on a day trip (or two)
- Wo Yang Shan hike: frolic under Tai Mo Shan
- Things to do in Sheung Wan Hong Kong
- Things to do in Hong Kong at night
- Sheung Wan Restaurants: best eateries and cafes
- Cheung Chau Island: a Hong Kong day trip
- What to do in Hong Kong in 4 days – advice from a local
- Nui Po Shan: finding the phallic rock hike in Hong Kong
- Sharp Peak: conquering one of Hong Kong’s toughest trails
- Lui Ta Shek hike: a quiet hike in Sai Kung
- Hiking Middle Hill – a fly by from Kowloon Peak
- Kayaking in Sai Kung: where to rent and paddle to
- Green Egg Island – an unusual oasis in Sai Kung, Hong Kong
- Seeking Kam Kui Shek Teng, Sai Kung Hong Kong
- Ping Nam Stream: hidden waterfall in Hong Kong
- Madai Stream: chasing waterfalls in Ma On Shan
- Grass Island Tap Mun- a Sai Kung getaway
- Pak Lung Stream: a Lantau stream hike
- Top Hong Kong Staycation deals
- Ap Lei Pai adventure via Yuk Kwai Shan
- Po Kwu Wan: a hidden Sai Kung bay
- Wang Chung Stream: the most scenic waterfall hike
- Tai Shing Stream – seeking birds and dragons
- Basalt Island: an adventure in Sai Kung Geo Park
- Jin Island: a day trip to Tiu Chung Chau
- Rhino Rock Stanley: a short hike with a view
- Tsing Tam Reservoir and Ho Pui Reservoir: an easy hike
- Lantau Peak from Ngong Ping: the easy route
- Bluff Island: an island adventure in Sai Kung
- Lo Fu Tau Country Trail: a Lantau Island hike
- Wilson Trail Stage 4: Tung Yeung Shan – an unexpected silver grass heaven
- Middle Dog Teeth Ridge – Mid Kau Nga Ling up Lantau Peak
- Kau To Shan: the hidden hike in Fo Tan
- Lau Shui Heung Reservoir to Hok Tau Reservoir: a Fanling easy day hike
- Tai Mo Shan hike: 5 ways to go up the Highest peak in Hong Kong
- 10 best hikes Hong Kong
- Devil’s Fist – a Plover Cove Reservoir hike out Wong Chuk Kok Tsui
- Cape d’Aguilar Hike Hong Kong: a complete guide
- Violet Hill hike + Twins Peak
- Sham Shui Po Food: a tried and tested guide
- Thousand Islands: Reservoir Island viewpoint in Tai Lam Country Park
- Tai Tong: Hong Kong’s red leaves haven
- Mau Ping Ancient Trail: seeking the Vine King and Bamboo Tunnels
- Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden: a sustainable and education day trip
- Pat Sin Leng hike: conquering the 8 immortals peak
- Shek Uk Shan: highest peak in Sai Kung
- Nam Sang Wai: cycling to the Yuen Long scenic wetland
- Tsang Pang Kok Tsui: the hidden headline
- Seeking Devil’s Claw along Chung Hom Kok
- Things to do in Aberdeen Hong Kong
- Sok Kwu Wan: hidden Lamma Island
- Best Burgers in Hong Kong
- Wang Chau: Sai Kung’s hidden tombolo
- Yim Tin Tsai: the salt farming island of Sai Kung
- Top things to do in Tsim Sha Tsui
- Checkerboard Hill: a Hidden Kowloon hike
- Hidden Hindu Temple Fanling: low level urban exploration
- Shark Rock Hong Kong: a hidden Kowloon hike
- Cloudy Hill: the easy way to hike Wilson Trail Section 8
- Ngau Wu Reservoir hike: a quick trip to the forgotten Ma On Shan reservoir
- 134 hike Sai Kung: Sharp Peak-3 Peninsula-4 beaches
- Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls hike: Bali vibes in Hong Kong
- Little Hawaii Trail: easy waterfall hike with tropical vibes
- Maclehose Trail Section 3: Ka Kung Shan hike
- MacLehose Trail Section 2: Sai Wan, Ham Tin Beach, and Chek Keng
- Po Toi Island Guide: hikes, attractions, and where to eat
- Tsz Sha Ancient Trail: an easy hike between Shatin and Kowloon
- Easter Island Rock Hike: Sunny Bay to Discovery Bay on Lantau Island
- Fan Lau Trail: the southwestern most part of Lantau Island
- Shek Nga Tau: the hidden hill of Sai Kung
The first time I came across Ninepin group – a series of 29 volcanic islands in the Sai Kung Sea – was when I hiked the High Junk Peak. We could see the hexagonal columns from afar, and the dramatic formation gave them a certain exotic air. However, as a non-inhabited island, there was no way for us to visit it through public means. In fact, despite naming it a place she wants to visit, my sister hadn’t mentioned any more of it for the year since.
Luckily for her (and me), it seems that a family friend is a keen explorer and knows of a tour that sets off to the elusive Ninepin islands. And so we packed our bags, cameras, and drone, and set off for a day’s adventure!
Ninepin Island background
As mentioned above, none of the Ninepin group are inhabited. The island group is situated east of Clear Water Bay and Tung Lung Chau, and are not inhabited. The biggest islands are the North Ninpine, South Ninepin, and the East Ninepin. The islands are all volcanic in origin, forming several million years ago when Hong Kong was a volcanic zone.
Aside from hexagonal columns, there are many unique formations formed due to erosion on the islands, of which many are given a name. In this post, I want to unveil some of the most spectacular sights on these islands!
North Ninepin Island
The most memorable part of the North Ninepin Island is the huge hexagonal columns that you can walk over right by the pier.
While we didn’t get to see the southern part of the island on the tour, it was amazing to see the Sunken Ship Crack, Hok Tsai Pai (a detached island) and Big Stove Arch on the northernmost point Ngan Peng Tau.
Don’t worry if you don’t get any of the names, it really does do your head in with the phonetic translation.
There I also a lighthouse on the top, if anyone is keen on photographing structures.
South Ninepin Island
While the hexagonal columns aren’t as dramatic, there are some interesting sights on South Ninepin Island.
For example, the smallest Tin Hau Temple in Hong Kong is on top of one of the hills, the South Nai Tau.
Opposite that is the North Nai Tau, which is home to the King Kong head formation and overlooks the T-rex peninsular. Interesting tidbit: the Nai Tau also means boobs…
There is also a stone arch in the middle of the island, where the sea had eroded almost all the way through to the beach!
Further south, there is the Thousand-Inch Wall, a sheer cliff of hexagonal columns that faces the “Y” Cave.
Directly opposite them is the Rock Chambers, which is more like a slit in the rocks!
There are also other structures – such as this dead fish:
East Ninepin Island
Our tour didn’t stop on the East Ninepin island, but we did go around it and I was able to get this time-lapse by standing for 15 minutes:
How to visit the Ninepin Islands?
There is no public transport to visit the Ninepin group, nor is it possible to visit outside of May to September, as the sea condition would be too rough.
The cheapest and safest way is to go with a tour. We went with Yau Sing Tour for 230 HKD per person, however, it is a local tour and only speaks in Chinese. We did encounter another group which speaks English, but I am unsure of the tour company.
Another possible way to visit is to charter a boat, however, it would be expensive to rent out a boat. It’s also worth noting that most boats are too big to dock by the islands.
The tour has organised a smaller boat to ferry all passengers to and from the islands, hence if you don’t have that option, the only other way is to swim.
Pointers for visiting Ninepin Islands
When visiting the Ninepin islands, bear in mind that it would be a completely exposed trip with no refreshment point. There will be a lot of climbing over rocks and vegetation, so dress accordingly. Some of the essentials are:
- Enough water – I didn’t bring enough which sent my sis into an annoying rant
- Hat and sunscreen, even umbrella
- Proper footwear – hiking shoes if you have any
- Lunch and snacks
- A change of clothes – trust me!
- First aid equipment – there are some on the boat, but in case you slip on the island